Hard Sayings of Jesus (Jesus Library)

by F. F. Bruce

Paperback, 1983



Call number



IVP Academic (1983), Paperback, 266 pages


Like his original hearers many people today find Jesus' sayings hard. Some sayings are hard because they are difficult to understand, others because the demands they make on us are only too clear. F. F. Bruce examines seventy of the hard sayings of Jesus to clear away the cultural and historical difficulties which keep us from grappling with the real challenge of Jesus' message. Evident in each chapter is Bruce's keen evangelical scholarship and pastoral insight.

User reviews

LibraryThing member gdill
Many of those who listened to Jesus during His earthly ministry and those who read His words in the Gospels today find many of His teachings hard to understand and difficult to live by. Jesus taught many things that ran against the grain of society and were counter to the culture of His day. His teachings truly were radical. He made no provisions in offending those who were in authority, and was often found praising those who were considered the trash heap of society. All of His teachings make both the hearer and reader think, not only about their own lives, but how they are to live amongst and interact with others. In his book, "The Hard Sayings of Jesus" F.F. Bruce explores many of these difficult teachings and exposits them in a way which allows the student of the Bible to better understand what Jesus taught on these more difficult subjects.

The reading of, "The Hard Sayings of Jesus" by F.F. Bruce was instrumental in helping me gain a better understanding to some of the more challenging passages found throughout the Gospels, particularly certain teachings of Christ. Jesus often used spiritual allegory, parables, and symbolic illustrations to help teach certain truths to His disciples. However, Jesus also employed the use of literal teachings absent of any illustrations or allegory, proclaiming truths for all of us to live by that are pertinent to us today. How does the student of the Bible distinguish between spiritual allegory and literal interpretation? I believe Bruce clearly differentiated the two throughout his book and clearly articulated what is to be taken as symbolic versus literal.

From a personal level, this book helped me understand some of the teachings of Christ that I myself struggled with. For example, in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), Jesus explains that certain things will occur within "this generation". Was He speaking to the generation of the disciples, or was He speaking of a future generation? I believe Bruce cleared up this matter very clearly. I also struggled with the passage concerning Jesus' instructions for His disciples to purchase two swords (see Luke 22:36). Why would Jesus who taught peace and non-violence contradict himself and do such a thing? Again, Bruce cleared up this matter very well in that the swords are not literal, but a figurative understanding of what the disciples will soon experience.

Lastly, understanding some of these more difficult passages will better equip me, as a missionary, to communicate the true meaning of Jesus' teachings to a people group who do not yet know Him. As a part of my ministry serving amongst the Roma people of Albania, I will be conducting Bible studies to non-believers as a tool for evangelism. Furthermore, I will be conducting Bible studies to new believers and will help disciple them into mature and faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Imparting the truth behind some of these more difficult teachings of Christ to both the non-believers and believers alike will certainly help them truly understand who Jesus is.
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LibraryThing member exinanition
Great book. Goes a long way in explaining teachings which sound foreign to today's hearers due to differences in culture and speech. This book will help the bible student to gain new confidence in his understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Original publication date


Physical description

266 p.; 5.5 inches


0877849277 / 9780877849278
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