One Perfect Life: The Complete Story of the Lord Jesus
by John MacArthur
As a church girl, born and raised, I spent many a Sunday morning in front of a flannel board, which means I’ve heard and read some of the same Gospel accounts over and over and over again. So, I’m always on the lookout for ways to make the Gospels fresh, and John MacArthur’s One Perfect Life certainly did that for me.
It is essentially a “composite harmony” of the New Testament Gospels, with text taken straight from the New King James Version of the Bible. The accounts of all four Gospel writers are blended together and progress through Christ’s life and ministry chronologically. This is a spectacular tool for old and new believers, theology students and lay persons alike.
For one thing, we have so many misconceptions and really so much misinformation within even our church communities. We often mis-tell the Gospel accounts, combining them, mistaking one for another, and even teaching falsities such as Mary Magdalene was the prostitute who anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume and wiped it with her hair. Scripture doesn’t tell us that was Mary Magdalene at all and doesn’t indicate that she was a prostitute. It’s a mistake someone made and then propagated over time, ultimately perpetuating biblical illiteracy. Seeing the Gospels blended together, though, corrects many of these false teachings.
MacArthur’s book is meant to be read as a smooth narrative, starting with Creation itself, progressing through the fall of man and the prophecies of the Old Testament before moving on to the Gospel accounts. This, again, provided so much information, helping the reader to see how all of Scripture points to Christ and how Jesus specifically fulfilled prophecies all the way back to Genesis.
I confess, though, that I didn’t really move through the book quickly and didn’t treat it as a narrative in the beginning sections. I was too intrigued by the way MacArthur layered passages from the epistles, the Gospels, the prophets, and the Pentateuch, interweaving them line after line. I wanted to see where each verse came from and how it connected up with the other verses MacArthur used surrounding it.
I also stopped very frequently to read the great quantity of notes at the bottom of each page, mostly from the MacArthur Study Bible. Those who want to read this straight-through as a simple narrative could do so and still benefit and learn. Others, like me, who work through it slowly, note by note, passage by passage, will benefit so much from the teaching and insight MacArthur provides. This is one book I’ll be keeping close at hand to enhance my personal study and understanding of the Bible.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”