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"The Jesus I Never Knew" Book Review

Updated on September 19, 2017
Part One - Who was Jesus?
Part Two - Why He Came
Part Three - What He Left Behind
The Jesus I Thought I Knew
Beatitudes: Luck Are the Unlucky
Ascension: A Blank Blue Sky
Birth: The Visited Planet
Message: A Sermon of Offense
Kingdom: Wheat Among the Weeds
Background: Jewish Roots and Soil
Mission: A revolution of Grace
The Difference He Made
Temptation: Showdown in the Desert
Miracles: Snapshots of the Supernatural
About the Author
Profile: What Would I Have Noticed?
Death: The Final Week

Who is Jesus?

  • Author: Phillip Yancey
  • Published: 1995
  • Genre: Theology/Christian

When a friend of mine at Church recommended this book, I popped on over to Amazon to buy this book. A few days later when it landed on my door mat, the paperback book was soon in my hands and I started to read it. I've read the Gospels many times over the years, and have followed the sermons at Church. But I've never really studied Jesus as a person properly. So I was interested to see Phillip Yancey's perspective on him. Of course, everyone has heard of Jesus Christ. He was the son of God, but ultimately, he was also a human being. Who was Jesus? What was he like as a person? He had the feelings we all have - love, guilt, anger, rage, sadness and happiness. This book explores Jesus' time on earth and his ultimate betrayal and death on the cross.

As a child Phillip went to Sunday School on a regular basis, and it is here where he is first taught about Jesus. When we are taught about Jesus' parables and miracles on earth, we tend to build up a picture of his life in our minds, and even his image and how he may of looked as a man. Not only that, but how the people around him at the time thought of him and how they worshipped him. But as Phillip grew up, he started to look deeper into the life of Jesus. And, more so, looking deeper into the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. As you can see from the picture below, this is how Jesus is typically portrayed across the spectrum. But of course, no one will never know what Jesus really looked like. The book takes a deeper look into the life of Jesus and the reasons he came to earth and the legacy he left behind.

The book goes into great detail into the beatitudes and the sermon on the mount. What is interesting throughout the book is how he breaks down the life of Jesus into easy to read chapters and sections. As you read through the book, we see how Philip talks in great deal about Jesus as a person. We all have preconceptions about Jesus and his life, but he writes in such a manner that makes you take a step back and think about who Jesus really was. Philip discusses about the teachings he has been to in the past, and how the media portrays Jesus in different films he has seen. It is interesting to read his perspective on Jesus and how he comes across in the modern world.

As you can see from the table above, the book is in 3 parts with chapters in each part. This I found ideal as you get to read different aspects of Jesus, on a personal level, the work he did on earth and his death and resurrection.

My personal thoughts and opinion

This book is both interesting and thought-provoking. As I read the book, I found myself questioning my own views on how I saw Jesus and the work he did whilst on earth. Phillip Yancey wrote the book in an easy-to-read manner and I like how he broke the book up into the 3 sections with chapters in each section. I found this book to be enlightening and a breath of fresh air. It makes you look at Jesus from a different perspective and on a more personal level. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it if you want to find out more about Jesus Christ. Phillip quotes any Bible passages he makes and films he has saw about Jesus, and at the end of the book, the notes I found to be a handy tool.


© 2017 Louise Powles


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    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 3 days ago from Norfolk, England

      Yes, I enjoyed it. I've not read any of his other books, but I'll definitely have to. He's a great writer.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 4 days ago from Richmond, VA

      This is a great review of Yancy's book. I also like your personal thoughts and opinion on the subject. I look forward to reading more from you. :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 weeks ago from sunny Florida

      This is a great review. I know now I will be purchasing this to see just what is said. I am always searching for answers and even for more questions if that makes sense. Well done Angels are on the way this morning ps

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      My favorite sections of the bible are the Beatitudes and The Sermon on the Mount. I'd also like to learn more about the personal life of Jesus Christ. Thanks for this review. Will buy the book.

    • profile image

      phanuruch 3 months ago

      It is a very interesting yet provocative book.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting review.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 months ago from The Caribbean

      Phillip Yancy is known for his provocative book titles. This one is interesting too, and thanks to you, I'd like to read it. Good job!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Your book review is done in an interesting manner , makes me more curious to read the book!

      Thanks for sharing this book review! Well done!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      I just wonder how the author knew all of this in order to write about it. Thanks for reviewing the book for us.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 4 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      I find Yancey's book titles so intriguing. From the ones I've read he seems to have a no-traditional perspective, because he goes deeper. I will try to read this book. Thanks for the book report. I say you get an A.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 4 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      If the books purports to cover the life of Jesus on earth, why does it not include the Coptic stories of Jesus as a child in Egypt?

      Why does it not cover the sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas?

      The book seems selective in its authority.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 4 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Hi Jay. No, the book doesn't cover any of them. What it covers mainly is the Sermon on the Mount, his miracles and life on Earth. It doesn't cover the Book of Enoch or the other topics you mentioned. Thanks for the comment. =)

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 4 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      Does the book consider the Coptic (oral) traditions about young Jesus in Egypt?

      Does the book address the sayings in the Gospel of Thomas (from the dead sea scrolls)?

      Does the book consider the Book of Enoch?

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Does sound like an interesting book. I may check it out.