March 8th, 2009
Beals, Timothy J., The RED Letters: The Sayings and Teachings of Jesus. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 160 pp. $16.99
Have you ever picked up a book not really expecting it to be what you thought it was going to be? Timothy J. Beals’ book is that book. The Red Letters was a delight to the soul. The concept of this book is to let Christ speak for Himself. The first half of the book takes a chronological look using J. Dwight Pentecost’s outline, at the life of Christ, in His own words, from His boyhood experience in the temple (Luke 2:49) to His Great Commission statement in Matthew 28:18-20.
The second half of the book is a systematic theology of what Christ said concerning various topics. These topics include the unity of the Father and the Son to consequences of not following Jesus. Choosing to let Christ’s words do all the talking, Beals adds no commentary other than to offer the context of what is being said in the chronological section.
At the beginning of the book, we are treated to the origin of what has become known the “red letter edition” Bibles. The only black letters in the body of the book include the parenthetical contextual notes and the referent of the verse being quoted. Beals used the English Standard Version. At the end of the book, there are ten blank pages left to write down one’s reflections if you have not already marked up your copy.
While we must always be careful when rearranging the text of Scripture, Timothy Beals offers a unique way to study the life of Jesus Christ. As I stated earlier, this book was a pleasant surprise and will be one book that I add to my annual reading list and one I will refer back to again and again as I seek to meditate on what would Jesus say. By all accounts, this is a book worth owning.