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By Frederic William Farrar / Cassell, Petter & Galpin / 1874
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Author Frederic William Farrar displays tireless research and meticulous attention to detail in The Life of Christ. Extensive background information is provided on the culture in which Christ was raised. Few modern resources can match this book’s poetic style and eloquent delivery of the gospel message.
"It has long been the desire and aim of the publishers of this work to spread as widely as possible the blessings of knowledge; and, in special furtherance of this design, they wished to place in the hands of their readers such a sketch of the Life of Christ on earth as should enable them to realise it more clearly, and to enter more thoroughly into the details and sequence of the Gospel narratives...If the following pages in any measure fulfill the objects with which such a Life ought to be written, they should fill the minds of those who read them with solemn and not ignoble thoughts; they should 'add sunlight to daylight by making the happy happier;' they should encourage the toiler; they should console the sorrowful; they should point the weak to the one true source of moral strength. But whether this book be thus blessed to high ends, or whether it be received with harshness and indifference, nothing at least can rob me of the deep and constant happiness which I have felt during almost every hour that has been spent upon it. Though, owing to serious and absorbing duties, months have often passed without my finding an opportunity to write a single line, yet, even in the midst of incessant labour at other things, nothing forbade that the subject on which I was engaged should be often in my thoughts, or that I should find in it a source of peace and happiness different, alike in kind and in degree, from any which other interests could either give or take away."
Of the great men from Cambridge's Trinity College who have made a significant contribution to the cause of Christ, F. W. Farrar (1831-1903), at one time a minister in London's famous Westminster Abbey and later Dean of Canterbury, deserves to be remembered...The value of Dr. Farrar's writings lay in his ability to combine 'an honest and robust faith with wide and accurate scholarship.' So much so that Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the out-spoken Baptist preacher, said that his study of the life of Christ was 'THE work on the subject. Fresh and full. The price [of the 1874 edition] is very high, and yet the sale has been enormous.'
...In the case of the published works of Dr. Farrar, and particularly in connection with his Life of Christ, we have such excellence of coverage, such a beautiful blending of piety and scholarship, such vividness of description, and such a dramatic portrayal of the events as they unfold in the Gospels, that few readers could ever hope to produce a work of such literary and theological excellence. Within the pages of this book we are treated to the best scholarship of the period. This discussion of Christ's life and teaching, person and work, will amply repay the reader for the time he spends reading this book.
—Cyril J. Barber, Author, The Minister's Library
… I collect books about the life of Christ. I look for the best authors, the best texts, and then make my purchase. I have been buying them for several years...This text, by Farrar, is the best I have read. All others pale in contrast...If you are looking for a doctrinal treatise, look elsewhere; for this text is a history in every sense. The people, the culture, the atmosphere, the food, the dress, everything becomes alive and clear. Farrar is a talented writer...whose perfectly clear and subtle style is fully compensated with a historian's touch. Its greatest strength is in the details and objectivity. Any person wondering 'what it was like' when Jesus lived should read this text... (more...)