Is there a book that recounts the gospels...

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Posts 545
Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Aug 22 2010 3:46 AM

... but putting them all together into one story from beginning to end, inserting the various events as they go?

Either in Logos or "out there" in the paper world.

So I don't necessarily mean a Harmony of the gospels in the traditional sense, I mean literally a Biblical life of Jesus using the gospels but not separately.

Oy vey, it's too early for me to be trying to make sense, but I hope you know what I mean! Big Smile

Posts 545
Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 3:49 AM

Oh, and I'll also take any reference to any "fictionalized" life of Jesus as well... as long as they got it right. Dan Brown need not apply. Wink

Posts 1686
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 3:57 AM

In 2005, Leith Anderson wrote a book called Jesus, published by Bethany House (Mineapolis MN) which weaves all 4 gospels into one story.

Seth Wilson's Life of Christ (College Press, Joplin MO, 1977) did a similar thing as a text book. You can download it as PDF from College Press.

This one is available in Logos:
Cheney, Johnston M., Stanley A. Ellisen, and Johnston M. Cheney. Jesus Christ The Greatest Life : A Unique Blending of the Four Gospels. Eugene, Or.: Paradise Publishing Inc., 1999.

To search your own library, perhaps try:
    Title:life AND title:Jesus

Posts 545
Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 4:42 AM

Thanks Allen, I'll look those up!

Posts 545
Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 4:50 AM

Actually Allen, I've been looking around the College Press website and can't seem to find it... have you an exact link by any chance?


Posts 545
Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 4:57 AM

Actually Allen I've been looking around the College Press website and am unale to find the Wilson book. Have you got a specific link, by any chance?


Posts 1686
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 8:11 AM

Sorry: I misled you on the title. It's called, "Learning from Jesus"

Direct link is:

Posts 31421
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 4:47 PM

Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell:
as long as they got it right

Until you added this little proviso, I could have given you a list of 40-50 of good to excellent literary retellings of the Life of Christ. But I can still give you a classic: The Shadow of the Galilean: The Quest of the Historical Jesus in Narrative Form by Gerd Theissen.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 3
Bevan Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 4:54 PM

I have The Life of Christ in Stereo by Johnston M. Cheney which maybe an earlier version of the title that Allen mentions above.

Posts 653
Alex Scott | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 5:29 PM

The Life of Christ in Stereo by Johnston M. Cheney

An interesting title - it kind of implies a 3D perspective.  Some time ago I decided to try and combine the 3 synoptics.  I used Mark as a base and then went to the others where applicable.  It soon became apparent that the same events were being described from different perspectives and the thought occurred to me at the time that it provided a kind of 3 dimensional look at the events.  I did OK until I got to the witness of the resurrection - I still can't sort that out (and yes - I'm aware of MacArthur's take on that - just not sure I buy it).

Longtime Logos user (more than $30,000 in purchases) - now a second class user because I won't pay them more every month or year.

Posts 653
Alex Scott | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 5:35 PM

The Life of Christ in Stereo by Johnston M. Cheney which maybe an earlier version of the title that Allen mentions above.

By the way, Jesus Christ The Greatest Life combines two previously published works. The first is The Life of Christ in Stereo copyrighted in 1969 by Western Seminary, and the second is The Greatest Story copyrighted in 1994 by Western Seminary.

Longtime Logos user (more than $30,000 in purchases) - now a second class user because I won't pay them more every month or year.

Posts 8660
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 22 2010 8:08 PM

I would recommend Frederick Farrar's Life of Christ

I read it a few years ago based up on the suggestion of someone at Logos (Dan Pritchett?).  Since then they got it in Logos and I bought it in Logos as well.

Have a read of a portion of the first chapter and see if it doesn't agree with you.  :-)


Αὐτὸς ἐνήνθρώπησεν ἵνα ἡμεῖς θεοποιηθῶμεν.—ATHAN., De Incarn., p. 54 (Opp. i. 108).
ONE mile from Bethlehem is a little plain, in which, under a grove of olives, stands the bare and neglected chapel known by the name of “the Angel to the Shepherds.” It is built over the traditional site of the fields where, in the beautiful language of St. Luke—more exquisite than any idyll to Christian ears—“there were shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night, when, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord2 shone round about them,” and to their happy ears were uttered the good tidings of great joy, that unto them was born that day in the city of David a Saviour, which was Christ the Lord.
The associations of our Lord’s nativity were all of the humblest character, and the very scenery of His birthplace was connected with memories of poverty and toil. On that night, indeed, it seemed as though the heavens must burst to disclose their radiant minstrelsies; and the stars, and the feeding sheep, and the “light and sound in the darkness and stillness,” and the rapture of faithful hearts, combine to furnish us with a picture painted in the colours of heaven. But in the brief and thrilling verses of the Evangelist we are not told that those angel songs were heard by any except the wakeful shepherds of an obscure village;—and those shepherds, amid the chill dews of a winter night, were guarding their flocks from the wolf and the robber, in fields where Ruth, their Saviour’s ancestress, had gleaned, sick at heart, amid the alien corn, and David, the despised and youngest son of a numerous family, had followed the ewes great with young.
“And suddenly,” adds the sole Evangelist who has narrated the circumstances of that memorable night in which Jesus was born, amid the indifference of a world unconscious of its Deliverer, “there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will.”
It might have been expected that Christian piety would have marked the spot by splendid memorials, and enshrined the rude grotto of the shepherds in the marbles and mosaics of some stately church. But, instead of this, the Chapel of the Herald Angel is a mere rude crypt; and as the traveller descends down the broken steps, which lead from the olive-grove into its dim recess, he can hardly persuade himself that he is in a consecrated place. Yet a half-unconscious sense of fitness has, perhaps, contributed to this apparent neglect. The poverty of the chapel harmonises well with the humble toil of those whose radiant vision it is intended to commemorate.
“Come now! let us go unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord made known to us,” said the shepherds, when those angel songs had ceased to break the starry silence. Their way would lead them up the terraced hill, and through the moonlit gardens of Bethlehem, until they reached the summit of the grey ridge on which the little town is built. On that summit stood the village inn. The khan (or caravanserai) of a Syrian village, at that day, was probably identical, in its appearance and accommodation, with those which still exist in modern Palestine. A khan is a low structure, built of rough stones, and generally only a single storey in height. It consists for the most part of a square enclosure, in which the cattle can be tied up in safety for the night, and an arched recess for the accommodation of travellers. The leewan, or paved floor of the recess, is raised a foot or two above the level of the court-yard. A large khan—such, for instance, as that of which the ruins may still be seen at Khan Minyeh, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee—might contain a series of such recesses, which are, in fact, low small rooms with no front wall to them. They are, of course, perfectly public; everything that takes place in them is visible to every person in the khan. They are also totally devoid of even the most ordinary furniture. The traveller may bring his own carpet if he likes, may sit cross-legged upon it for his meals, and may lie upon it at night. As a rule, too, he must bring his own food, attend to his own cattle, and draw his own water from the neighbouring spring. He would neither expect nor require attendance, and would pay only the merest trifle for the advantage of shelter, safety, and a floor on which to lie. But if be chanced to arrive late, and the leewans were all occupied by earlier guests, he would have no choice but to be content with such accommodation as he could find in the court-yard below, and secure for himself and his family such small amount of cleanliness and decency as are compatible with an unoccupied corner on the filthy area, which must be shared with horses, mules, and camels. The litter, the closeness, the unpleasant smell of the crowded animals, the unwelcome intrusion of the pariah dogs, the necessary society of the very lowest hangers-on of the caravanserai, are adjuncts to such a position which can only be realised by any traveller in the East who happens to have been placed in similar circumstances.
In Palestine it not unfrequently happens that the entire khan, or at any rate the portion of it in which the animals are housed, is one of those innumerable caves which abound in the limestone rocks of its central hills. Such seems to have been the case at the little town of Bethlehem-Ephratah, in the land of Judah. Justin Martyr the Apologist, who, from his birth at Shechem, was familiar with Palestine, and who lived less than a century after the time of our Lord, places the scene of the nativity in a cave. This is, indeed, the ancient and constant tradition both of the Eastern and the Western Churches, and it is one of the few to which, though unrecorded in the Gospel history, we may attach a reasonable probability. Over this cave has risen the Church and Convent of the Nativity, and it was in a cave close beside it that one of the most learned, eloquent, and holy of the Fathers of the Church—that great St. Jerome to whom we owe the received Latin translation of the Bible—spent thirty of his declining years in study, and fast, and prayer.
From their northern home at Nazareth, in the mountains of Zabulon, Joseph, the village carpenter, had made his way along the wintry roads with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. Fallen as were their fortunes, they were both of the house and lineage of David, and they were traversing a journey of eighty miles to the village which had been the home of their great ancestor while he was still a ruddy shepherd lad, tending his flocks upon the lonely hills. The object of that toilsome journey, which could not but be disagreeable to the settled habits of Oriental life, was to enroll their names as members of the house of David in a census which had been ordered by the Emperor Augustus. In the political condition of the Roman Empire, of which Judæa then formed a part, a single whisper of the Emperor was sufficiently powerful to secure the execution of his mandates in the remotest corners of the civilised world. Great as are the historic difficulties in which this census is involved, there seem to be good independent grounds for believing that it may have been originally ordered by Sentius Saturninus, that it was begun by Publius Sulpicius Quirinus, when he was for the first time legate of Syria, and that it was completed during his second term of office. In deference to Jewish prejudices, any infringement of which was the certain signal for violent tumults and insurrection, it was not carried out in the ordinary Roman manner, at each person’s place of residence, but according to Jewish custom, at the town to which their family originally belonged. The Jews still clung to their genealogies and to the memory of long-extinct tribal relations; and though the journey was a weary and distasteful one, the mind of Joseph may well have been consoled by the remembrance of that heroic descent which would now be authoritatively recognised, and by the glow of those Messianic hopes to which the marvellous circumstances of which he was almost the sole depositary would give a tenfold intensity.

Frederic William Farrar, vol. 1, The Life of Christ. (New York: Cassell publishing company, 1888), 1-9.

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

Posts 545
Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 24 2010 4:18 AM

Hey everyone... thanks for all your input... it was really useful!

Posts 19140
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 24 2010 5:07 AM

You might think you've got all the input you need (I was away when you asked your question), but here are some more ideas:

Within Logos:

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, by Alfred Edersheim (contains more than just the chronological life of Christ; the first 8 chapters, of a total of 98, lay out the background setting to the story of Jesus' life)

The Life of Jesus Christ by James Stalker (1848-1929), a noted pastor and theologian of the Free Church of Scotland; written in 1879, but still in demand and beloved.

"Out there" in the paper world, a "fictionalized" -- but true to the gospels -- life of Christ:

Jesus: A Novel by Walter Wangerin; I haven't read it personally, but I loved his similar novelized version of Paul's life and I highly recommend Wangerin as an author (I wrote the entry on him in the recently published Encyclopedia of Christian Literature). Here's a good review of this book. By all accounts it is excellent and stays close to the Scripture text even though it takes some liberties in fleshing out the characters a bit.

Another possibility is to take a Bible that's organized in chronological order, such as The Daily Bible (edited by F. LaGard Smith) and read just the gospels section of it. Or read the gospels section of one of the chronological Bible reading plans. But these options will of necessity contain some repetition which the above suggestions will have ironed out.

Posts 945
Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 6 2010 4:42 PM

This isn't a prose description, but you might have a look at my Composite Gospel if you're interested in (one version of) a chronological account of the Gospels (note this was done well before joining Logos, so there's no official connection or endorsement implied).

Don't know whether M.J. would say i got it right or not ...

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