September 15, 2010

Free audiobook of Talmage's "Jesus the Christ"

James E. Talmage's classic book Jesus the Christ is available as a free mp3 download (click here) from the Church's new website,

Since Elder Talmage made substantial use of then-current Protestant scholarship on Jesus Christ, the book is pretty dated from an academic view. An interesting companion to the book is Malcolm R. Thorp's article, "James E. Talmage and the Tradition of Victorian Lives of Jesus," Sunstone 12 (January, 1988), pp. 8-13. I think the book is still well-worth reading (or hearing!). It's pretty cool that the Church is providing it as a free audio book.


BHodges said...

That particular cover of the book is in honor of my own Missionary Library paperback edition of the book, well colored in and dog-eared.

Don Kauffman said...

Great reason to link to

BHodges said...

I agree, it's always worth a link about Jesus Christ.

Brian said...

Are there any new books that would supplement Jesus the Christ? Maybe the set by Holzafpel published a few years back? I just finished Jesus the Christ recently (the third time) and while I enjoyed it, it did feel dated. Blair, what would you (or commenters) suggest to update Talmage's great work?

Love the blog, by the way. I check in often.


BHodges said...

Hey Brian (which Brian?)

I just finished Holzapfel, Wayment, Huntsman, Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament: An LDS Perspective which is a great primer for LDS audiences. It's pretty awesome that DB published this thing. And it's a beautiful book too.

I also just started a series on Jesus Christ as seen through the lens of contemporary historical methodology. I finished John P. Meier's A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus: The Roots of the Problem and the Person, Vol. 1, I believe there are 3 more volumes. I'm just waiting for vol. 2 to arrive.

Here's an interview with Meier to give you some bkgd. on the series.

In the post above I linked to a Sunstone article on Talmage and the "Victorian Jesus," it gives some really useful background to keep in mind when reading Talmage.

Brian said...

Hi Blair, I'm pretty sure we haven't met but one of these days I'm hoping we will one day, at a FAIR conference, perhaps? I've quite enjoyed the content here. I've especially enjoyed the FAIR podcasts you've done with Greg L. Smith (I think) and Terryl Givens.

I just received Jehovah and the Old Testament but haven't gotten to it yet. I'll check out _Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament_ for sure. Eventually!

Thanks for the suggestions. I thought Thorp's article was interesting but ultimately a little disappointing. Maybe that's because it was written with a more sophisticated audience in mind and I'm not part of that audience. Certainly his criticism/explanation of Talmage is worthwhile as far as it goes but I would like to have seen him direct the reader to further study beyond restatement of Pals. I did find the comparison with Farrar, Edersheim, and Geicke to be quite interesting.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking forward to exploring those links.

Brian Jeffries

BHodges said...

Cool, thanks Brian. Let me know what you think of that Meier article if you get the chance. I've enjoyed his series so far but it might reach into that technical area. But stretching is good!

Craig M. said...

I think Brian might be referring to the 3 vol. series edited by Holzapfel and Wayment, The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ. I haven't read them, but the reviews I've read on them look good:

Looking at Deseret Book's website, looks like Holzapfel and Wayment are rounding out the series this year with The Life and Teachings of the New Testament Apostles. Also, the pair are releasing a one-volume commentary called Making Sense of the New Testament, which seems from its title to be a sequel to Steven Harper's D&C volume. The expectations are high given the product description: "If you want the authoritative single-volume work on the New Testament, this is it!"

Anonymous said...

Jesus the Christ I would not consider "dated." Many academic works are actually very insightful even with Protestant influences. Saying Talmege's work is dated is like saying the Book of Mormon is "dated" because we have seen more recent archeological discoveries and greater insights into Mesoamerican culture.

Joan said...

Although the new one volume work Making Sense of the New Testament is advertised as being "authoritative," since I alreay have the 3 volume series The Life and Teachings of the New Testament Apostles, will the new volume be redundant?

BHodges said...

David, I think the book is pretty dated. I'm not saying it isn't useful anymore or that it isn't worth reading, though.

Joan, I reviewed Making Sense a little while ago. I recommend Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament: An Illustrated Reference for Latter-day Saints instead of that book.

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