One Perfect Life by John MacArthur (Initial Book Review)

One Perfect Life

[Update: I have now received my copy of the book and written a full review.]

Have you ever used one of those harmonies of the Gospels? You know, where Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all arranged chronologically and placed together in parallel columns? A Gospel harmony is a great resource for studying the life of Christ. But it’s not all that great if you just want to read straight through it.

But what if all four Gospels were actually woven together in a single narrative? What if we could see every detail the Four Evangelists included without all of the duplicated information? What if we could read the complete account of Christ Jesus in one flowing narrative from start to finish?

It sounds like a great idea to me! This is something I’ve been wanting for a long time. In fact, I actually did find something similar that already exists.

Jesus Christ: The Greatest Life

Jesus Christ: The Greatest Life, compiled and translated by Johnston M. Cheney and Stanley Ellisen, is the best attempt at this that I’ve been able to find thus far. It is an excellent resource, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It’s a brand new translation from the Greek, and it includes a number of explanatory notes in addition to the compiled text. The only problem is that it never became very popular. I believe it is now out of print, and you’re not likely to come across it unless someone (like me) points it out to you.

But I’m really hoping that obscurity won’t be a problem for a similar project recently compiled by John MacArthur. One Perfect Life: The Complete Story of the Lord Jesus combines the text of the four Gospels from the New King James translation, and it includes notes which I believe have been taken from MacArthur’s study Bible.

Given that John MacArthur is already a very popular Christian author plus the fact that this is being carried by Thomas Nelson, I think the book has great potential to become a resource used by Christians everywhere. And if it’s anywhere near as good as Cheney and Ellisen’s effort, I think it should be used by Christians everywhere.

One Perfect Life will not be released until February 19, but you can pre-order a copy now. I don’t have my copy yet either, thus this is just an initial review based on my expectations. I plan to do another post with my thoughts once I receive the book.