The Words of Jesus
- Publisher What if you could encounter the words of Jesus on their own, lifted up from the surrounding narratives and presented in their full power and mystery? That's the question Phyllis Tickle-one of America's most beloved writers on Christian spirituality-asked when she set out to write what she calls a "Sayings gospel." In The Words of Jesus Tickle has compiled and arranged all the sayings of Jesus from the first four books of the New Testament and the first chapter of the Book of Acts in a way that creates an entirely new kind of encounter with the texts. And she has accompanied those sayings with her own personal reflections and commentaries not just on the words themselves but on the One who spoke them.
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About "The Words of Jesus"
Harsh. Testy. Uncompromising. These aren't words typically associated with Jesus, but Christian scholar Phyllis Tickle, a former religion editor of Publishers Weekly, says they often came to mind as she wrote her new book, "The Words of Jesus." The book, which arrives in stores next week, plucks Jesus' words out of the Gospels and Acts, leaving them to stand alone without the context of his actions. "His words come as a shock," says Tickle. "Readers will get a Jesus they never saw before." He is, of course, still the warm and compassionate man who said "Father, forgive them" and "Love one another." But when it comes to his mission, Jesus doesn't mince words. "Anyone who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me," he told his apostles. Tickle believes Christians err when they "domesticate Jesus," because they lose a sense of his power and the urgency of his message. "Obviously, he has an enormous amount of love," says Tickle. "But it is the love of a parent who knows the rules and who isn't going to soften the blow." Jesus was anxious to be understood. He asked Philip, an apostle, "Have I been so long a time among you ... and still you do not know me?" It's a question that Tickle's book helps us answer today. (Newsweek, February 4, 2008)Founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly, Tickle is also the prolific author of God-Talk in America, Recovering the Sacred, and other books. This volume is a thoughtful reflection on the meaning of Jesus's words and the importance of various contexts for his followers, as well as on truth that emerges around unconsciously imposed cultural blinders. In the process, Tickle explains much of the thinking behind the Emergent Church movement. She also struggles with how to phrase certain "words" found with different nuances in more than one canonical Gospel. The book concludes with a recounting of Jesus's words from the canonical Gospels and the first chapter of Acts, dividing them into five different contexts, by delivery venue or topic: words of public teaching, of private instruction, of healing dialog, of intimate conversation, and of postresurrection encounters. For many readers, this book will fulfill Tickle's intent: to lead to a new appreciation of Jesus's words and of Jesus himself. Highly recommended for public and seminary libraries.-Carolyn M. Craft, formerly with Longwood Univ., Farmville, VA (Library Journal, February 1, 2008)Award-winning author and speaker Tickle (Rediscovering the Sacred; The Divine Hours), who is PW's former contributing editor in religion, chooses to take the "red letter" Bible one step further in this excellent study tool. The first section of this slim volume is a reflective essay on what Tickle learned from extracting the words of Jesus out of their narrative context in the Gospels. She writes of Jesus gradually becoming "the heard" rather than "the seen," stripped of the sentimental images she had grown up with. She argues that the sayings, taken on their own merit, offer a third way between biblical literalists and literary critics: "Jesus was an actualist, not a literalist or a metaphorist... [the words] don't mean; they are." As such, they must be absorbed with both heart and mind together. Tickle divides the sayings into five categories: public teaching, private instruction, healing dialogue, intimate conversation and postresurrection encounters. Each saying stands alone but has been given a brief descriptive title. Tickle used an amalgam of biblical translations and chronologies to produce a version that is accessible and vibrant. These sayings of Jesus will be a valuable tool to Christians looking for new ways to study and assimilate his core teachings and character. (Feb.) (Publishers Weekly, December 3, 2007)
What if you could encounter the words of Jesus on their own, lifted up from the surrounding narratives and presented in their full power and mystery? That's the question Phyllis Tickle-one of America's most beloved writers on Christian spirituality-asked when she set out to write what she calls a "Sayings gospel." In The Words of Jesus Tickle has compiled and arranged all the sayings of Jesus from the first four books of the New Testament and the first chapter of the Book of Acts in a way that creates an entirely new kind of encounter with the texts. And she has accompanied those sayings with her own personal reflections and commentaries not just on the words themselves but on the One who spoke them.
Meet the Author
Phyllis Tickle is an authority on religion in America and a muchý sought after lecturer on the subject. Founding editor of the Religioný Department of Publishers Weekly, she is frequently quoted by mediaý sources including USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, the New Yorký Times, PBS, NPR, the Hallmark Channel, plus innumerable blogs andý websites. In addition to lectures and numerous essays, articles, andý interviews, Tickle is the author of over two dozen books in religion andý spirituality, most recently The Great Emergence, How Christianity isý Changing and Why and The Wor