Jesus: His Words and Deeds is a follow-up to Alexander Anteyi’s spiritual autobiography, The Word of Life (2012). Here the author discusses how the statements and actions of Jesus, as recorded in the New Testament, reflect his unchanging character.
Parts 5 and 6 form the core of the book and answer basic questions about Jesus, taking readers step by step through the Sermon on the Mount and various New Testament parables to pinpoint central themes of Christ’s teachings. The book pays special attention to claims Jesus made about himself, such as the “I am” declarations. Even times when Jesus remained silent are significant in Anteyi’s view, in that they prove that verbal retaliation is generally futile.
However, other sections of the book are not nearly as relevant or as successful. For example, it’s not clear what purpose the very brief Part 3, an account of the Creation and the world’s fauna, is meant to serve. Part 4 decries ideologies ranging from atheism to polytheism and attempts to refute them all with a blanket statement: “The objective reality is that God is God.” Such subjective, circular argumentation is unconvincing.
Moreover, the dismissal of most extra-biblical sources, even those supported by scholars (e.g. the “Q” gospel), weakens the book. Research into the historical Jesus could only enhance a narrative with this remit, but the reluctance to consult external, academic-level texts sets up a blinkered viewpoint. Furthermore, the author seems to discourage independent thought: “[Y]our opinions on this statement of fact do not matter,” he writes. “The reality is that God…exists regardless of what your views or philosophies might be.”
With its overlong scripture quotations and lack of engagement with secondary sources, this book doesn’t offer much beyond what one would get from reading the Bible alone; aside from Parts 5 and 6, the commentary is not particularly helpful. Still, some Christians may find useful nuggets sprinkled throughout these pages.
Also available as an ebook.