Book Review: Christ’s 40 Commandments

Christ’s 40 Commandments, compiled by Renee Valverde Wagenblatt

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/WestBow Press in exchange for an honest review.]

In many ways, this book is a compelling and worthwhile reference book, and it should be properly noted that the book was made by a compiler rather than an author. This is not a bad thing, nor does it speak badly about the book’s creator at all.  Indeed, there are many areas where this book is very useful, particularly in showing the attitude of Jesus Christ to the law and the way that He gave His disciples commandments that mirror the commandments of the Law in many profound ways.  This book’s content is focused on providing a better understanding of the positive relationship between Christ and commandments by showing 40 of them in various ways, from a listing of the commandments to a full compendium of where these commandments can be found [1].  About half of the text of the book is taken up by appendixes and indices which provide a lot of detail and which end up citing most of the verses within the Gospels to make the compiler’s point that Jesus had a very high view of biblical law.

This book has a lot of value to particular readers.  For one, those readers who wish to demonstrate the pro-law view of Jesus Christ, including His high regard for the Sabbath, this book is a useful resource as it contains quite a few ready verses to discuss Jesus’ views about the Law both in general and with specific details.  For other readers, this may not be the source of ready verses to use in debates with other professed Christians but instead an eye-opening look at the obligations of believers, including such commandments as do watch and pray and don’t divorce. This particular book is a worthwhile reference material to remind oneself that Jesus came to magnify the law, to make it even more challenging, rather than to make life easier on believers.  This book is not likely to convince those who believe incorrectly on that count–if the Bible cannot, no other book is likely to do so–but for those who are at least open to a correct understanding of the relationship between Christ and the law, this book is a worthwhile aid on on those grounds alone the book must be given a high degree of praise and appreciation, and on those grounds alone it is worth getting for one’s collection.

That said, while this book certainly succeeds with the big issues that are most important in determining the wroth of a book, there are certainly some little issues that a reader can have with this book.  The main issues, are minor, though, namely the fact that this book has the sort of inconsistent formatting that one would expect from a book that is self-published and that was compiled by someone who was far more focused on getting the right information down on the page rather than making sure that the table format was the same from one page to the next. These are very minor quibbles though, and in no way hurt the excellence of this very thorough and very focused book. One may have wanted more of the author’s thoughts, but given that this book is full of biblical material of high value, even if the formatting is a bit irritating at times and makes one wish the author would have chosen to use footnotes, what the text says is well worth paying attention to and is certainly praiseworthy.  If a publisher wanted to polish up the material a little, though, I wouldn’t be bothered in the least.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/a-compendium-of-sabbath-observance-in-the-book-of-acts/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/a-compendium-of-jesus-interactions-with-outsiders-in-the-synoptic-gospels-part-one/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/a-compendium-of-jesus-interactions-with-outsiders-in-the-synoptic-gospels-part-two/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/a-compendium-of-jesus-interactions-with-outsiders-in-the-synoptic-gospels-part-three/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/a-compendium-of-passages-regarding-the-high-holy-days-in-the-new-testament/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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