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Jesus in the records, by Henry Burton…

Jesus in the records,

by Henry Burton Sharman

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Jesus in the Records" (published 1918) was Sharman's first wholly original book. Like his first book, 'Studies in the Life of Christ', it is a book of questions. Unlike his first book, there is no appeal to any authority except scripture. It is designed for individual and group study, and for portability during a summer conference or retreat. The "studies are based on "Records of the Life of Jesus" "(Sharman) but each section reprints at least one of the gospel's versions of an event; the "Records" book would only allow one to easily compare it with the each other gospels' take on the event.

What this book attempts is an understanding of the "Life" of Jesus, rather than his "teaching", although the two cannot entirely be separated. There are 23 weeks of study, and each day, the answers to all questions are to be written out in full. Neither the weekly 'Problems' nor 'Findings' section provide any answers for the various questions. That is entirely up to the individual. Do I have to tell anyone how refreshing this is, even today, in religious study? I really think that this kind of question book is a unique genre in Christian literature. It refuses to be catechismic.

When it was first printed, a reviewer of the book wrote, "Jesus in the Records" is not a book to be read, but a course of study to be followed (by individuals or groups)....No attempt is made to "draw lessons" from the Life of Jesus; no one interpretation of His life or any incident in His life is attempted, in fact many different interpretations may be held by different members of the same group; but no one can follow even the first few chapters of "Jesus in the Records" without getting to know Jesus of Nazareth and to know Him in a new way, in a way which makes Him vividly real. It is the testimony of those who have used this book that it produces in students an enthusiasm for Bible Study, and then an enthusiasm for Jesus, Himself."

I remember it took me about 45 minutes to answer the questions, the first day. Depending on my mood or the time available, that was about average.
This book by Sharman is a fascinating glimpse into the character of Jesus who we think we already know. Despite his influence on history, we know virtually nothing of his life. After really working through this book, you will have a greater understanding of Jesus' life, and perhaps even have an answer for those who state that knowing the historical Jesus is not possible. ( )
  rob_miller_cellarguy | Feb 23, 2007 |
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