Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gospel According to Jesus: A New Translation and Guide to His Essential Teachings for Believers and Unbelievers” as Want to Read:
The Gospel According to Jesus: A New Translation and Guide to His Essential Teachings for Believers and Unbelievers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Gospel According to Jesus: A New Translation and Guide to His Essential Teachings for Believers and Unbelievers

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  293 ratings  ·  26 reviews
As it examines the real man behind the New Testament image of Jesus, this book presents an immensely provocative and attractive portrait of Jesus as a real person and a great spiritual teacher--an image acceptable to readers of any religion or of no religion. Mitchell is the acclaimed author of Parables and Portraits and has translated the Tao Te Ching and The Book of Job.
ebook, 320 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1900)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Gospel According to Jesus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Gospel According to Jesus

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 511)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Austin Kleon
Reminded me how much I love the teachings of Jesus and how much I hate contemporary Christianity. A lovely book.

My map:

I feel a kind of wistful envy toward people who have a clear image of Jesus. The images differ--wiry prophet of social justice; Son of God Incarnate, feet barely touching the dust he walked on; witty wandering sage; Buddha of the Mediterranean.

Mitchell has done his homework, reviewing what is known or conjectured about the provenance of each passage in the Gospels we have received. Scholarship informs his views, and helped his image of Jesus to develop. In the end, his image allows him to say o
If you have a Christian background, you may have noticed that while Jesus is an extraordinarily wise, kind, patient, and tolerant character most of the time, he will occasionally break out with some crazy stuff about people being damned to hell. That never made sense to me, and this book explains why: many of the sections that struck me as odd are actually written in a different style of Greek -- probably added at a later time by the founders of the Christian religion.

Mitchell's project is one
Randy Cauthen
OK, generally I really like Mitchell. I like the Gilgamesh, I like the Job, I like the Rilke. And to really do a decent job critiquing this, I'd have to go back and figure out exactly what his editing of the canon actually is.
But. He has a tendency here to say, regarding his own selection and translation, "Well what Jesus really means here is this," and this drives me nuts. Why not either re-edit to eliminate the supposedly problematic passages, or simply engage in dialogue? And the idea of a f
Phil Reed
Its reassuring to realise that I'm not alone in thinking how inconsistant and confusing the gospels are - and how much easier it would be if we knew for sure what the historical Jesus actually said and did, rather than having to wade through others' embellishments.

Well, Stephen Mitchell certainly makes headway for me, with this fascinating book - where I actually wanty to read every footnote. His writing has managed to bring back my childhood love of many of the stories and parables; cutting thr
With the benefit of 200 years of additional biblical scholarship Stephen Mitchel recapitulates an experiment that Thomas Jefferson began while president and finished shortly thereafter - the result was known in the Jefferson family as "The Jefferson Bible." It now resides in the Library of Congress.
Mitchell is a bible scholar of note, and translates from the Greek and Hebrew texts, to create his own 'Jefferson Bible' so to speak.
This is brilliant, fearless book, that makes sense of the often contradictory verbage appearing in the Gospels, clearing away the garbage left by evangelists with an angenda, to reveal the shining truth of Jesus' ministry. Jesus was probably the first person on this planet to "get it" that the spirit of God lives within us. All you need is love - "good news" indeed!
One of the most insightful and profound looks into Jesus anywhere. The footnotes are just as interesting as the text. This is not a look at some historical Jesus in some long-ago past, but at a living, breathing believable human being. You'll find as much of yourself in this book as you will of Jesus.
Ryan Haczynski
Excellent book chock full of exquisite scholarship. The edition I read is the full version, not the shorter one listed here on GoodReads. As a Religious Studies major who has always been fascinated with Formative Christianity, I found Mitchell's work to be informative and in line with many of my own thoughts on the subject. Additionally, the cross-cultural comparisons to other wisdom literature was enlightening and truly illustrate that Christianity's spiritual wisdom is not so different from ot ...more
Jackie Kashian
It's now going into re reads.
Well worth reading. Downgrade one star for the title. There is no "gospel according to Jesus" as he wrote nothing we know of. All gospels reveal the prejudice of their authors. This version is Stephen Mitchell's and he relies on many others, especially eastern mystics, to inform his presentation. Still, well worth the read and contemplation.
i'm only halfway through this, and it's been a handful of years since i left off. i'm not sure why. this is really informative, and i'd like to finish it. i don't know that i can really rate it yet, but i do like it.
while i don't consider myself a "christian" in the usual sense, i'm a big jesus fan. i like to learn about what was real and what wasn't, and what it would be prudent to take from the whole mess.
Favorite quotes:

"The kingdom of God will not come if you watch for it. Nor will anyone be able to say, 'It is here' or 'It is there.' For the kingdom of God is within you."

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to suffering, and those who go through it are many. But the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to true life, and those who find it are few."
I just finished this book. I thought that is was a clear, accessible, not-too-preachy book that allowed me to understand what Jesus stood for. I find that his beliefs and mine overlap in quite a few areas, with the exception of the "geneology" to his "father." The analysis was a little dry, but there were some gems of wisdom in there.
Years ago, I got this book anonymously in the mail and was fascinated with it. There were little folded papers with notes and ideas on them tucked in the pages. The text itself was beautiful. Finally, it turned out that my brother had sent it through a used book company.
The introduction was a fascinating portrayal of what Jesus's world was really like and why his message of forgiveness is so central to his teachings. I'd like to go back to this one again, but since it was an interlibrary loan, I had to return it.
Willa Grant
This is one of those I wish I could highlight it, I must buy it, kind of books. I will refer to this many times, I'm sure. This book explains much about the sayings in the four gospels & dispels some myths. Loved it.
The introduction is worth the whole book. You don't have to agree with it to find it thoughtful, provocative and really a very fresh view of a very old story.
Thomax Green
I love Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching so I had high standards for this book. I was kind of let down. I expected more.
read it. whether you believe or don't believe. if you're a thinking human, you will probably think this book rocks.
Realistic, believable, & rings true. "You shall know the truth ... " This book holds Yeshua's teachings.
This is one of my favorite spirituality books.
read it when you're ready. it will be worth it.
A superb introduction to the Gospels...
I really like buddhist jesus
John is currently reading it
Dec 15, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17 18 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Coming of the Cosmic Christ
  • The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good about the Good News?
  • Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics: Lifestyles for Self-discovery
  • Mystics and Zen Masters
  • Genesis: A Living Conversation (PBS Series)
  • The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant
  • Original Self: Living with Paradox and Originality
  • Womanspirit Rising: A Feminist Reader in Religion
  • From Jesus to Christianity: How Four Generations of Visionaries and Storytellers Created the New Testament and Christian Faith
  • Sadhana
  • The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks
  • Jesus for the Non-Religious
  • The Other Bible
  • The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins
  • A Woman's Journey to God
  • The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholar's Version
  • Present Moment Wonderful Moment: Mindfulness Verses for Daily Living
  • Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith
Stephen Mitchell was educated at Amherst College, the Sorbonne, and Yale University, and de-educated through intensive Zen practice. He is widely known for his ability to make old classics thrillingly new, to step in where many have tried before and to create versions that are definitive for our time. His many books include The Gospel According to Jesus, The Second Book of the Tao, two books of fi ...more
More about Stephen Mitchell...
The Enlightened Heart Dropping Ashes on the Buddha: The Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn The Enlightened Mind: An Anthology of Sacred Prose The Second Book of the Tao The Frog Prince: A Fairy Tale for Consenting Adults

Share This Book