“The Complete Story of the Lord Jesus”
I have long been a proponent of reading the Bible chronologically. We all know that the “chapter and verse” designations were only added onto the texts long after the books were gathered together, and it must also be noted that the original organization of the books is also not inspired. The Hebrew OT was organized by theme, so a straight cover-to-cover read through the books only adds to the confusion most people have when they try to understand it. Personally for my OT reading, I like to use the “Chronological Bible Reading Plan” app by Puritan Soft, which helps me track my way through biblical history, properly mixing history with poetry and prophecy in an understandable, start-to-finish method.
In One Perfect Life, John MacArthur does the same with the four Gospels and other particular passages from both the Old and New Testaments in a thorough re-organization of the Word of God. The result is a truly inspired biography of the Lord Jesus Christ that is beyond compare. Now, because this is the very Word of God simply re-ordered into a more flowing way, John MacArthur can only be thanked for this work so far as his biblical knowledge and exposition abilities (which are both immense) are concerned. But alongside these abilities, MacArthur also shares a great number of his own footnotes which help the reader understand more fully the backgrounds of the texts and to answer questions that invariably pop up.
I have returned to this book lately, because over the holidays MacArthur’s ministry site (gty.org) posted two wonderful Christmas specials based off the text of One Perfect Life, the Christmas story from Elizabeth to Jesus’ birth, and then portions of the life of Christ from birth to the cross. These specials dramatize key passages from the Gospels, while MacArthur himself helps explains the account with his own notes. They were a wonderful review of Christ’s advent and a hopeful reminder of why He even came.
I plan to return to One Perfect Life regularly from now on, especially as I try to work through the Bible chronologically each year. John MacArthur is a fantastic Bible teacher, and each of his books is worth reading. But this one in particular goes far beyond the others. It’s definitely worth not simply owning but cherishing and reading regularly.