"JAMES E. TALMAGE'S JESUS THE CHRIST LECTURE SERIES," edited by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment, Deseret Book, $44.99, 12 hours (nf)
A hundred years ago, Elder James E. Talmage completed his work on a book that would become an LDS classic, "Jesus the Christ." In honor of this anniversary, Deseret Book has released a 10-disc set with lectures from Brigham Young University scholars on the creation of this prolific book titled "James E. Talmage's Jesus the Christ Lecture Series."
Each lecture is separated onto one of the 10 audio CDs and is given by a BYU researcher. The lectures go into specific details about the life of Elder Talmage, who was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1911, his book, the New Testament and the life of Jesus Christ. Many of the lectures contain interesting facts and new research from years of study.
In one of the presentations, BYU professor Richard Holzapfel, presenter and general editor on the lectures, explains that "Jesus the Christ" was compiled in less than a year because Elder Talmage had written several parts of it as lectures he had given in various settings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Holzapfel points out that Elder Talmage said he wrote the book from an office in the Salt Lake Temple "to be free from distractions."
Holzapfel also shares that Elder Talmage was not a trained Bible scholar. He did have the restored gospel as a resource for his work, and Holzapfel quotes Elder Talmage: "The Restoration provides more light and knowledge on the ministry of Jesus Christ."
Holzapfel shares the significance of "Jesus the Christ" as he said, "The exact number that has been sold is unknown, but it is well over a million copies."
In the lecture on the accusation and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Andrew Skinner, a professor of ancient scripture at BYU, explains to listeners that the man named Barabbas, a thief and murderer who was freed by Pontius Pilate when the crowd requested it, has a name that means bar or "son of" and Abbas or "father." An early manuscript of the book of Matthew indicates Barabbas also had a first name, Jesus. Skinner explains that Jesus, the Son of God, and Jesus, the son of the father (Barabbas), were presented to the crowd in Jerusalem, and Barabbas was selected to be freed. It's a fascinating contrast.
In addition to Holzapfel and Skinner, the presenters include Camille Fronk Olson, S. Kent Brown, Thomas A. Wayment and Matthew J. Grey, and some of them present more than once.
As various points are presented in these lectures, it's interesting to think of how this book has stood the test of time and remains a prolific book on the life of Jesus Christ.
The lecture series provides a deep and abiding look at "Jesus the Christ."