Original Jesus

What he really did and why it really matters

from 6 reviews

A funny, faithful introduction to Jesus, comparing him to other popular versions of "Jesus". Perfect for giving away.

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New (and cheap) evangelistic book by our very own Carl Laferton!

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“This is a book worth anyone’s time. I loved reading it, and I'd love my friends to read it.”
Rico Tice
Founder Christianity Explored Ministries
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Description

Good teacher… or intolerant judge… or children's story… Who is Jesus?

This is a book about Original Jesus—the one who actually lived in human history. The one who often gets hidden behind all the other versions of Jesus we're offered. The Jesus who is controversial, compassionate, sometimes uncomfortable, often unpredictable… and completely real.

This short, lively book explains how Original Jesus really matters to people today—how his life can transform peoples hopes and futures.

Short, funny, friendly and easy-to-read, Original Jesus looks at seven episodes in Jesus' life from the Gospel of Luke, and explains the central gospel message. Perfect for giving away to unbelieving family and friends, whatever their view of Jesus, and for handing out at church outreach events.

Product details

Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Good teacher
  • 2. Distant God
  • 3. Freedom fighter
  • 4. Intolerant judge
  • 5. Religious rule-keeper
  • 6. Tragic failure
  • 7. Children's story
  • What next?
  • Yes, but... isn't it all made up?
  • Yes, but... can we really believe in miracles?
  • Yes, but... surely Jesus didn't really rise?

Specification

Author Carl Laferton
ISBN 9781909559820
Format Paperback
First published 2013
Dimensions 129mm x 198mm x 5mm
Language English
Pages 64
Publisher The Good Book Company
Independent reviews

Original Jesus

Stephen Witmer, The Gospel Coalition, February 24th 2014

There is much to commend. Perhaps the most helpful feature of Original Jesus is that it focuses on the glory and worth of Jesus. Gospel tracts often focus on the mechanics of how to trust in Jesus (including which words to pray), but they don’t usually focus sustained attention on the beauty of Jesus. They’re usually too short to do so in any substantial way. Consequently, becoming a Christian can seem mainly to be about escaping from hell and gaining access to heaven, rather than entering into a relationship with a Savior and King. By focusing on Jesus, Original Jesus makes clear that becoming a Christian has everything to do with entering into a personal relationship with Christ. In that vein, it would be helpful to have an additional, concluding chapter on how we relate to the original Jesus once we’re saved; what it means to obey him and live for his glory, to fit into his grand story rather than trying to squeeze him down into all our small ones.... continue reading

Customer reviews

“Great.”

Great - straight to the point (like this review!).


04/09/2015

“An Ideal Gift”

This short and inexpensive book from the Good Book Company of approximately 60 pages is ideal to give as a present to those with no Christian commitment. I gave away a number of copies to work colleagues, neighbours and relatives this last Christmas. (Bulk discounts available.) The book may also be enjoyed by and useful for Christians. It makes no assumptions about a person’s prior knowledge of Jesus, if any. It asks the all important question ‘just who was Jesus ?’ The author acknowledges that we tend to have a view already and a view that has been adapted for our convenience. He looks at a series of brief episodes of Jesus’ life seen in the New Testament gospels. (Bible references are given.)

Each selected episode brings a challenge to any preconceptions and interacts with the type of response people might make. He begins with Jesus’ power over nature : evidence of his deity, then the healing of the Gadarene demoniac :to show his power over evil, next the raising of Jairus’ daughter :to show his power over death. In the parable of the tenants he shows God’s intolerance of rebellion. With the Pharisee and the tax collector he demonstrates the need for honesty about our unworthiness. When looking at the cross he shows the wonder of God’s promise to welcome such into his kingdom and the price he paid as a substitute to provide forgiveness - and with the resurrection validating his promise. Lastly through the way Jesus had time for children he shows how we need to be child-like in dependence upon Jesus.

There are appropriate follow-up suggestions for reading a gospel or joining Christianity Explored among others. The author also has brief sections responding to common objections such as on the trustworthiness of the Bible, miracles and the resurrection.


11/03/2015

“Excellent book”

In a very disarming way, this book looks at common understandings of who Jesus was and moves on to discuss who Jesus really is in relation to each misunderstanding. While I've been a christian for decades, I think the style of this book would be very helpful for those who aren't christians and for those who have recently become christians. I have one incredibly small criticism - I don't like the gothic type face on the front page and at the beginning of each chapter. Other than that, can't fault it.


25/02/2014

“Original Jesus”

Excellent booklet for sharing Jesus. The author gives various common views of Jesus, then presents the real Jesus. It really 'does what it says on the tin.' Easy to recommend.


21/02/2014

“Highly readable”

There are plenty of opinions out there - some people say he was a teacher, others a freedom-fighter, others still a story for kids - but which view of Jesus is correct? How can we be sure he wasn't just a religious leader or a tragic failure? This short book takes 7 different theories of who Jesus might be, dispels the myths and introduces us to the real Jesus - the Jesus of the Bible.

It's packed with biblical truth as extracts from the Gospels are explained and applied in ways that are unswervingly accessible. And it's full of illustrations that will make you smile and make you think about whether your own personal opinion of Jesus really stacks up. All in all it's a highly readable (I couldn't put it down) and faithful glimpse into the wonderful person of Christ.

It's an ideal book to give away to non-Christian friends who want an easy-to-digest introduction to who Jesus is. And a great book for churches and Christian Unions to give out at events. I'll definitely be stocking up on some for Easter!


17/02/2014

“Five stars”

Original Jesus is an excellent, short evangelistic book by Carl Laferton that can be read at one sitting. Like Carl's earlier book, Christmas Uncut, of which we, at church, sold or gave away over 100 copies when it first came out, it is doesn't beat about the bush. It is clear, accessible, punchy, humorous and squarely Bible-based.

Each chapter, like Christmas Uncut, follows the same format: a humorous incident or illustration, followed by 'What he (Jesus) really did' and 'Why this really matters'. The words of 'What he really did' are taken straight from Scripture (mainly from Luke's Gospel) and are in bold text, and Carl's brief, interspersed explanatory comments are in normal text. This reads really well, and gets the reader straight into the Bible, almost without realizing it! (The full passage reference is given, so that those interested can read it in full).

Carl looks in turn at popular misunderstandings or distortions of who Jesus really is: Good Teacher, Distant God, Freedom Fighter, Intolerant Judge, Religious Rule-Keeper, Tragic Failure and Children's Story, and then deftly contrasts them with Original Jesus, the authentic Jesus of Scripture. Having established what Jesus really did and said, in each chapter, Carl then explains 'Why this really matters'. His illustrations are extremely well-chosen, getting the reader to think that 'to act or think like that would be illogical, inconsistent or crazy', and then, like Nathan the prophet to King David, applying this directly to the reader, and uncovering their own illogical thinking and incomplete understanding of the real Jesus! This constantly challenges the reader to get back to the truth of Scripture and how it applies to them. On the way through, Carl concisely weaves in, from the texts considered, the realities of sin, judgement, death, hell, Christ's death and resurrection, and the need to respond to what God has done for us in Christ, Original Jesus.

All this is sure-footed and done in short compass, by turns witty, convicting and provocative. This is a great book to give or lend to interested non-Christians, to 'gently startle' them (if that's not a contradiction in terms!) into seriously re-thinking their preconceptions about who Jesus really is and why it really matters. And, on both counts, it really does matter.

Richard is part of the customer service team at The Good Book Company


27/01/2014

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