Jesus Didn’t Write a Book

Jesus Didn’t Write a Book October 10, 2014

Think about this for a moment. Jesus didn’t write a book. And yet many of Jesus’ followers believe that the production of a book was one of the most important results of his coming, and the only way to get at who Jesus was, what he stood for, and much else. Supposedly, from the perspective of many in our time, one of the most important aspects of Jesus coming was the creation of the Bible. And yet Jesus neither wrote some or all of it, nor compiled writings into a collection.

Does this perhaps suggest that the book is not the point?

Eddie Arthur wrote about this in a recent blog post:

Bible translators, quite rightly get excited about the Bible. However, we need to constantly remember that Jesus did not write a book, he called a community. The purpose of the Bible is to equip and shape that community to be the people that God wants them to be. The community is the purpose, not the Bible.

David Hayward drew a cartoon on this subject, with an accompanying short story:


Danut Manastireanu shared some thoughts from Peter Bradford Martin about why the Gospel of much modern conservative Evangelicalism is actually the “Gospel of the Magic Book.”

Of related interest, a possibly 4th century image depicting Christ holding a book (while the Father and Spirit hold scrolls) was recently found:

Beardless Jesus reconstruction

Most commentators on the image have been paying more attention to Jesus’ beardlessness than his bookishness. And at least one person said it looks to them as though Jesus is holding a couple of iPads rather than a book.

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  • Doug

    Or even Eddie Arthur of!!

    • That’s the one! 🙂 Thanks for pointing out the typo. I will fix it!

  • Tim

    And the ironic thing is; even Jesus blasted the religious leaders on this point. “You search the scriptures, thinking that in them you have eternal life, but you will not come to me.”

  • Sean Garrigan

    Try getting at who Jesus was without reference to any of the writings about him. Oh, wait, without those writings you wouldn’t know he existed. Nevermind.

    • L’Dex

      Your post is a giant assumption. Certain spiritual practices have lineages that extend back in ancient time, and they remember their founding fathers. In addition, writing a manual or book has been prohibited. An incarnation of God will never fall into obscurity.

  • arcseconds

    I think it’s a backgammon set…

  • joriss

    In the past at many times I wrote books about my dad. Because I love my dad I wrote many books, so that, after publishing the entire collection, people could read about my dad and know who he is. He is great! I always have listened carefully to my dad and always have been very close with him, so all that I have written originates from that close relationship. You could say we are one. So if you read this book with an open mind and great respect and follow the advices written in it, you will experience that you learn to know my father and me, because he speaks to you, guides you, admonishes you, says that he loves you and puts joy into your heart that will never end. The value of this book will last as long as heaven and earth will exist. So always reading my book and not hearing my dad’s voice is impossible, unless you are not believing in what I wrote about him and not surrendering your life to me and my dad – as you should do according to my book. In that case you should ask me to to open up your mind so that you may understand my book and get to know me and my dad. We long to come and live with you! And share ourselves with all those who will open their hearts and receive us.