The Bible by Jesus Gospels Edition Elmer Towns and Lee Fredrickson, Co-editors – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Jesus’ First Person Account of His Life and Ministry on Earth

“The Bible by Jesus Gospels Edition” is a paraphrase of the Gospels written as a first-person account – Jesus Himself, the Son of God, sharing His story of His walk on earth as a man.

Jesus’ sermons, His miracles, and His example take on new meaning and become personal as step by step, day by day Jesus relates his story in such a personal way that the reader is transported back to the day and locale of Jesus’ walk on earth. A flawless selection of well-chosen, well-placed, photos, enhance the message of the text and strengthen the remarkable word pictures and action of the narrative.

A unique format feature is the inclusion of brief highlight, commentary statements, which refer directly to Biblical truths found in other passages of the scriptures. These are depicted as quoted by Jesus to reinforce a promise, to challenge a specific action, or to provide additional insight.

An example of this is found in chapter thirteen of Matthew. Immediately following the miracle of feeding the 5,000, reference is made to Jesus as the Bread of Life. He reminds the reader of His promise to provide his followers physical food when they are hungry and with the Bread of Life when they are weak spiritually. These short intimate, asides, become messages which can be readily adapted into a personal application.

Elmer Towns, Vice President of Liberty University and Gold Medallion Award-winning author has collaborated with Dr. Lee Frederickson, career publisher and founder of 21st Century Press, in co-editing this paraphrase of the Gospels. Endorsements by well-known pastors and Christian educators describe the book with words and phrases including: “heart-stirring,” “life-changing,” and “amazing.”

“The Bible by Jesus” is a reading experience I will not soon forget. I identified with the disciples as one by one they responded to the call to “drop what you’re doing,” and follow Him.

I plan to incorporate reading “The Bible by Jesus” through again and again in my Scripture reading plan for 2018.

Destiny Image Publishers, P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA 17257,
978-0768419894, $ 19.99, 2017, 350 pages


Choose Wisely, Live Fully – Lessons from Wisdom and Folly, By Donna Gaines – A Book Review

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake

Lessons from the Proverbs – A Transforming Journey of Faithfulness

Author, speaker, and founder of Arise2Read, Donna Gaines is known for her two passions, discipleship and literature. Donna’s new book “Choose Wisely, Live Fully – Lessons from Wisdom and Folly” is a balance of the profound life-changing truth of the scriptures and practical applications.

As a discipleship tool, the book will equip the reader to:

  • Discern the voice of god
  • Experience the joy of wholehearted obedience
  • Allow God to help mentor other lives
  • Choose the path that leads to life

The appendices provide additional unique practical pointers and suggestions for:

  • Discipleship training
  • Discipling teen
  • Discipling women
  • Creating a Spiritual Legacy Journal
  • Creating a prayer notebook
  • Instilling Christian values in the home

The book includes important thought-provoking questions and helpful exercises that can be adapted for use as an individual study, as a study guide for small groups, or in a mentoring relationship.

Donna invites the reader to experience abundant life by embracing Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength; hearts captured by Jesus, captivated in awe and worship.Although Donna writes primarily from a woman’s viewpoint, “Choose Wisely, Live Fully – Lessons from Wisdom and Folly” can be readily adapted for family night devotions, as a resource book for a Bible study on the book of Proverbs, or for dads sharing Biblical principles with their daughters.

Abingdon, United Methodist Publishing House, 2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. P. O. Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228, 978-1501834240, $16.99, 2017, 194 pages

A copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.