Dwight Pentecost was a distinguished professor emeritus of Bible exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary. He was a well-respected Biblical scholar who wrote many books, mostly for the average Christian reader. The Words and Works of Jesus Christ is a master-work filled with the kind of detail that brings the events to life. Along with his own careful analysis, Pentecost includes many long passages written by other Biblical scholars that serve as corroboration and add texture to the overall narrative.
Working chronologically, Pentecost takes the reader from the announcement of the conception of Jesus to his final days after the resurrection. Absolutely no stone is left unturned in this deeply thoughtful examination of the life of Jesus. I have never read anything as complete as The Words and Works of Jesus Christ. Understand that this kind of meticulous attention to detail makes for a density of words and concepts that will require careful reading. Regardless of the need to slow down, there is never a boring moment. After all, the topic being considered is of the uttermost importance to each and every one of us. I was not bothered at all by the density of this material, in fact, I was thrilled to be given so much to consider and digest.
There is a companion work that goes along with this book that I would highly recommend: A Harmony of the Words and Works of Jesus Christ: From the New International Version. This is simply the NIV text composed in the same chronological order, and following the same topic outline as Words and Works of Jesus Christ. If you are not already completely familiar with the four gospels, I would suggest reading this harmony volume first before you dig into Pentecost’s analysis. On the other hand, if you are already completely familiar with the four gospels, I would recommend you read the analysis volume first followed by the NIV harmony which will be a quick and enjoyable read after being filled with all of the background and theological detail from the analysis.
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