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Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Bible Study & Reference > Bible Study > New Testament > B00JFD1BHY
  1. The Gospel in Brief (Eastern Philosophy and Religion)
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  2. The Gospel in Brief (Eastern Philosophy and Religion)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This is specifically a review of the February 2011 version of the book translated by Dustin Condren. There was one reviewer that said the Isabel Hapgood didn't do a great job with the translation. In the Foreword of the 2011 edition, Condren notes that Hapgood's translation was based on a version of the book compiled and edited by one of Tolstoy's students, Vladimir Chertkov. He also pointed out that Chertkov had made many editorial changes and had omitted the conclusion in Tolstoy's original work. Condren, however, only referred to the original texts written by Tolstoy when writing this translation.

Now, let's talk about the book. Nobody in their right mind can read this book and say that it is heresy. If anyone says that it is wrong, then he/she has some growing up to do. If you are a devout Christian, prepare for your beliefs to be challenged. If you are an Atheist, you might want to reconsider your vehement rejection of anything religious because the main message of the... Read more
For someone like myself raised in secular culture, but interested in the teachings and message of Jesus, the Bible can be hard to digest. Tolstoy provides a far more approachable version of the Gospel. Tolstoy pulls it all together into a readable, engrossing and even exciting story.

On the negative side, this edition would benefit from additional copy-editing and cross-references to the original verses. The cross-references are important, because Tolstoy has pieced together verses from all 4 gospels into a single flow, heavily de-emphasized the bits about prophecies and miracles, and introduced his own distinctive interpretation of Jesus' teaching.

In working through another edition that did have the cross-references, I was actually re-assured by how often the text in Tolstoy's gospel turned out to refer directly back to Biblical verse, but at times the flavor of the original and Tolstoy's feel quite different.
For the most part I have greatly enjoyed Tolstoy's rendering of the four gospels into one narrative. Tolstoy also removes the passages about Jesus' young life, miracles, and the resurrection while focusing entirely on His moral teachings and religious philosophy. This presents Christ in a new light for someone who had only read the traditional Bible. One can see Him as a sage or wisdom teacher, not just theological savior. When I read this book, I felt it was easier to apply its principles (all from the NT) to my life directly than if I had read the Bible. Tolstoy's project also seems to have much in common with Thomas Jefferson's Bible, and hence it doesn't support any Christian dogmas or creeds. It points back to the original words of Jesus and his spiritual wisdom beyond the church's Christianity.

The only complaint I would have is about the translation. The Gospel in Brief lacks some of the poetry and accuracy found in the KJV or English Standard Versions of the... Read more
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