A writer offers an edited, single-book version of the Gospels in order to provide a simplified version of Jesus’ teachings and life.
In his previous book, Falade (Bible Jesus Used, 2018, etc.) argued that the standard Christian Bible gets away from its core purpose: to present the life and lessons of Jesus. This work represents the realization of that argument, as it reformats the Bible by removing all non-Jesus materials and condenses the four Gospels into one chronological narrative. The author has dispensed with traditional book names and chapter-and-verse numbering, developing his own organizational structure and numbering system. The first book, simply called “INTRODUCTION,” includes information on Jesus’ ancestry as well as the stories of the birth of John the Baptist and the Annunciation. The second book, “BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD,” deals with those two portions of Jesus’ life. In this manner, Falade is able to communicate the entirety of Jesus’ life and teachings in about 150 pages. Particular attention is paid to the quotes by Jesus from the Gospels, which appear to be included in their entirety. When Falade has to synthesize the accounts of multiple Gospels, he does so in a prose that sounds sufficiently biblical that readers may not be able to differentiate between his own writing and Bible excerpts: “Leaving the synagogue, Jesus, James and John went to Andrew and Peter’s house, where Peter’s mother-in-law was in bed with high fever. On hearing this, Jesus went to her, rebuked the fever and pulled her up by the hand. The fever left, and instantly she rose and served them.” The earnest and ambitious book is similar to other essentialist versions of the Gospels, such as Thomas Jefferson’s famous The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (though Jefferson excluded the miracles and exorcisms, and Falade does not). But readers unfamiliar with Falade’s other work will likely be confused by this volume, as it offers no explanation of what it is or how it was composed. The author uses many different color-codings for various sections of the text, but these, too, are unexplained. Without more context, it’s difficult to see why a believer would prefer Falade’s version.
A lean but vaguely defined rendering of the life of Jesus.