- The authors are directly involved in work on the NLT. Phil Comfort is the NT Coordinating Editor for the NLT and has been involved with the translation from the beginning, and Jason Driesbach is intimately involved with the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series as an editor and author.
- Over half of this book is actually the text of the four canonical Gospels in the NLT.
So why should you be interested in this book?
In addition to the four canonical Gospels, Comfort and Driesbach have offered new translations of 17 other ancient Jesus texts, all in a style similar to the accessible New Living Translation. Some of them are long, some short. Some are well known (such as the Gospel of Thomas and the infamous Gospel of Judas), some have not received any attention outside of small scholarly circles. Some are seemingly orthodox, some are quite fanciful. But all of them are there, ready to be read for what they are by anybody who is interested. In addition, 18 more gospels are described and summarized for readers. In all, thirty-five noncanonical Jesus texts are covered, giving readers a comprehensive, accessible look at many ancient Jesus traditions alongside the four Gospels.
Do you know anybody who is interested in the “secret” gospels they’ve heard about on the Discovery Channel or through reading Dan Brown or Bart Ehrman? Maybe they are convinced that the church covered up the “truth” about Jesus. With this book, they can read those other gospels for themselves–right alongside the four canonical Gospels–and see what they really say. In such juxtaposition, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John stand up pretty well.
Check out the book, and give it to a friend who might be interested in Jesus but would never pick up a Bible. They’ll get the chance to meet him through the text of Scripture and some other early Christian documents. And they’ll also see that some of the gospels that are extolled as shedding more light on “who Jesus really was” are not really all that illuminating.
Phil and Jason have also offered some great essays to introduce the collection, and Phil has included his own story of discovering Jesus in the Preface (don’t skip it–trust me, you won’t be bored).