The Bible Jesus Read

by Philip Yancey

Hardcover, 1999





Philip Yancey has a way of confronting our most cherished -- but misguided -- notions about the Christian life. In his newest book, Yancey challenges the perception that the New Testament is more important than the Old, that the Hebrew Scriptures aren't worth the time they take to read and understand them. Writing as always with keen insight into the human condition and God's provision for it, Yancey debunks this theory once and for all. Yes, he agrees, the Old Testament can be baffling, boring, and even offensive to the modern reader. But as he personally discovered, the Old Testament is full of rewards for the one who embraces its riches. With his candid, signature style, Yancey unfolds his interactions with the Old Testament from the perspective of his own deeply personal journey. From Moses, the amazing prince of Egypt, to the psalmists' turbulent emotions and the prophets' oddball rantings, Yancey paints a picture of Israel's God -- and ours -- that fills in the blanks of a solely New Testament vision of the Almighty. As he reconnects for us the strong, sinuous chords that bind the Old and New Testaments, Yancey reclaims the Reformers' deep sense of unity between the two. Most important, he says, reading the Scriptures that Jesus so revered gives believers a profound new understanding of Christ, the Cornerstone of the new covenant. "The more we comprehend the Old Testament," Yancey writes, "the more we comprehend Jesus."… (more)


Zondervan (1999), 240 pages

Similar in this library


½ (142 ratings; 3.9)

User reviews

LibraryThing member MarieFriesen
Yancey is an astute author who challenges Christians' assumptions without alienating them. In The Bible Jesus Read, Yancey encourages readers to consider how Hebrew Scripture - what Christians call the Old Testament - is relevant to their own lives. His premise is that although many Christians
Show More
tacitly consider the New Testament more important than the Old, the New Testament was written after Jesus' earthly ministry, making the Old Testament "the Bible Jesus read." Hebrew Scripture was the greatest influence on the mind and spirit of the founder of Christianity, a fact that, in the author's estimation, obligates Christians to know it well.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jd234512
A wonderful book that gives a picture of the holy book that Jesus would have had growing up and an idea of what it meant for the people at the time. Obviously, that world was very different from ours now, but in many respects the struggles that took place then we tend to find ourselves in as well.
Show More
Yancey does a wonderful job of touching on this in a way that only he can.
Show Less
LibraryThing member rybeewoods
Yancey has a way of "communicating on my level". Very often I find that his struggles are my struggles. This book is no different. It's a very easy read, it's simple, and it's quite useful. As a negative, the book is not very in depth, almost simple minded in my opinion.
LibraryThing member debs4jc
Yancey discusses the Old Testament, focusing on the books he has wrestled with over the years such as Job, the Psalms, Eccelesiastes, and a couple of others. He discusses the questions these books raised in his mind and some of the answers he has worked through. His style is very accessable and
Show More
real and thought provoking.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Barrick
Excellent introduction to the relevancy of the Old Testament to the New Testament as well as insight into Jesus reading from the scrolls (the Old Testament) during his ministry on earth.
LibraryThing member ebnelson
“When we read the Old Testament … these are the prayers Jesus prayed, the poems he memorized, the songs he sang, the bedtime stories he heard as a child, the prophecies he pondered.”
“Old Testament is a testimonial letter of Christ, which he caused to be opened after his death and read and
Show More
proclaimed everywhere through the Gospel” Marin Luther

We often poke and prod the text so much we forget to just sit back and allow the text to read us.
That’s what Philip Yancey does in his latest book, The Bible Jesus Read (Zondervan: 1999). After spending much of his Christian walk reading and re-reading the New Testament Yancey discovers the Old. Yancey chronicles his journey with what he felt were some of the hardest books to approach, yet the most rewarding.
The wonderful simplicity of this book is that each book is approached on its own terms. Often biblical interpretations come with their own slant or bias. Within a page or two of almost every commentary readers can dismiss a book for being either too literal or too liberal.
Never claiming to be a scholar, yet at the same time obviously well-read, Yancey approaches the text much like Prof. Terry Fretheim does in his Pentateuch course. He just looks at the texts as they are found on the page. His personal theological slant is a non-issue because when the Bible is read at this most basic level the issues that divide us never come up. Instead he finds the most basic human/God relational questions and explores them.
Calling upon the most ecumenical of authors, e.g., Martin Luther, Thomas Merton, C. S. Lewis, Abraham Heschel, Jack Miles, Kathleen Norris and countless others, Yancey successfully bridges the chasm that denominationally and theologically separates American Christians.
If the Old Testament has traditionally been difficult for you there is now a two-part solution. First, to cover the narrative aspects read Walter Wangerin’s The Book of God (Zondervan: 1996) a modern, easy-to-read novelization of the Bible. Then approach the non-narrative aspects of the Scriptures–or, if you already have the basic storyline down you can skip to this step—read Yancey’s book. Yancey brings his readers through seemingly random placed Psalms and confusing oracles of God to rediscover a God so loving it is no wonder Jesus quoted often from these books.
Yancey looks at five books/areas of the Old Testament that are difficult for many Christians and in his very readable way, walks through the themes and issues he finds to be the most basic. The books he looks at are Job, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and the Prophets and claims these as his favorites.
As he dives into these books he finds that the Old Testament God is in fact the same as the New once given a chance to be known. In fact, Yancey makes it clear to his New Testament biased audience that “we cannot understand the New Testament apart from the Old.”
He winnows away at the idea that God as portrayed in the Old Testament is somehow different or harsher than the new. Amazingly he does this without making the reader feel that this is Yancey’s mission with this book. His only agenda seems to be to pass on the exciting experience he’s had with the Old Testament in recent years. In fact, his approach to the Old Testament is so enlivening that it is possible for the Old Testament to move from a non-existent topic in your sermon writing to a regular feature.
This book makes wonderful devotional reading, easy enough to be read even in the depths of the semester. It would also make a great book to use in a beginners’ or intermediate level Bible study in the parish. It approaches the Bible in the same way most non-trained parishioners would, but with a responsibility one would expect from a trusted scholar. Yancey is a popular enough author that The Bible Jesus Read is available at almost every bookstore.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ByfordBaptist
I found this a really interesting and helpful book. The Old Testament is often ignored today, but I loved reading the narratives as a child. Had much less time for the poetry and Job just confused me. This book explains the context of a number of the most confusing books in the Old Testament, and
Show More
Yancey gives suggestions that helped me understand and want to spend time rereading them.
Show Less
LibraryThing member SueinCyprus
Philip Yancey, in his usual clear style, looks at some of the books of the Old Testament. He explains why he thinks it's important for Christians to read them; he also gives an overview of what they're about. Different chapters cover Job, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and the prophets in
Show More

Interesting and well worth reading, though not particularly deep or inspiring. Recommended.
Show Less
LibraryThing member VhartPowers
pg. 192 Is the kingdom of God advancing?
Are God's people remaining faithful?
Do we believe that God reigns?
pg. 201 Do I/We Matter?
pg. 206 Does God Care?
pg. 211 Why Doesn't God Act?
Questions that most have asked or perhaps will ask at some point in their life?
Page: 0.909 seconds