Phillip Yancey's "The Jesus I Never Knew"

Essay by ateyfourCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2003

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The Jesus I Never Knew -by Philip Yancey

Through a very modern perspective, Philip Yancey explores and exposes the "real" Jesus, as few know him to be. From the very beginning, Yancey states his purpose--to piece together Jesus' life, and to portray the fact that anyone who is to follow in the ways of Jesus will have to make very large changes. He uses three sections to organize The Jesus I Never Knew: "Who he was," "Why he came," and "What he left behind." Yancey strives to show Jesus, as he really was, not as the Sunday school stereotype of a tall, handsome man with long flowing hair. In The Jesus I Never Knew, Jesus is represented through the words of the Bible. The idea of the title is that most people have been brought up with a picture book image, and have been hidden from the actual truths.

Yancey was introduced to Jesus through the Sunday school image himself. Even after his Bible college years, Yancey admits that he did not know Jesus as he really was. Most people would not even realize the false images or ideals they have been brought into, but The Jesus I Never Knew could very easily change the ways that people view Jesus, and even the ways that they live.

In most instances, books with a religious connotation would tend to be on the lackluster side. It becomes hard to keep such a topic interesting. However, Yancey manages to keep the reader from being able to put the book down. The book has a very unique and original perspective, where Yancey even compares with thoughts from other religions. His personal stories create environments that his readers can relate to. In the first section, "Who he was," I found myself very interested,