Dave's Reviews > Jesus the Christ

Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage
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Dec 01, 11


I would normally give this book a higher score, but the preponderance of glowing reviews leaves me with an overpowering urge to temper the average. A well-known anecdote in the LDS world claims that a visiting general authority piled a table with popular scriptural commentaries, discussing their different merits, before abruptly flinging them all to the ground with a sweep of his arm and replacing them with the Standard Works...and Talmage.

In popular Mormon culture this book straddles the line that separates the canon from other books. Written in a room within the Salt Lake Temple, ratified by all of the Brethren, and containing a serious amount of citations and references for it's time, JTC is considered by many to be near-scripture. My apologies for the elitism here, but the average rank-and-file Mormon considers reading JTC in its entirety as the pinnacle of acceptable LDS scholarship.

My only contention with the book is its well-noted reliance on the works of Farrar, Geikie, and Edersheim, three Protestant writers from the Victorian era. A lot of time has passed since Talmage, and many lifetimes of serious -- but accessible -- scholarship have taken place since then (and I'm not talking about McConkie's stilted derivatives of nearly every Talmage work). Look up just about anything coming out of BYU in the last 20 years for an updated, albeit orthodox treatment of the life of Christ.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Jaclyn (new)

Jaclyn I love your honesty Dave. Thanks for not being like everyone else.


Dave I love that you love my honesty.


message 3: by Jaclyn (new)

Jaclyn I am resisting the urge to say that "I love that you love that I love your honesty" and instead am saying that I miss MPA hang outs. We were lucky.


message 4: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Milliman I'm not a scholar so I can't speak with authority, but this book has helped me so much to understand the Savior, his life and times and his sometimes puzzling interactions with people if you don't get a some help with history and context. I think it is a wonderful book. There is a natural tendency in many of us to dislike or find fault with something just because it is so popular, which can hinder our enjoyment of some really great things. (I know because I can be like that and some of my children are even worse!)


Dave Ann wrote: "I'm not a scholar so I can't speak with authority, but this book has helped me so much to understand the Savior, his life and times and his sometimes puzzling interactions with people if you don't ..."

You're right, it's a very uplifting book. I neglected to comment on its virtues. I guess my reason was that so many others have universally remarked on it being a great book.


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