Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A VERY INTERESTING SUMMARY OF CHRIST'S TEACHING
I enjoyed this book and I strongly recommend it to students of christianity. It's interesting that it's taken me all these years to stumble upon it. I searched it out after I discovered that Ludwig Wittgenstein carried it with him in the trenches (WW1) and when I realized that it may have greatly influenced his life (and "The Tractatus").

The book is brief, it...
Published on 29 Dec 2009 by King Brosby

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars brief and (undivine) biblical exegsis?!
The Gospel in Brief
Leo Tolstoy, translated by Isabel Hapgood

The Bible and the Church often can hide the heart of Christ's message. The Bible seems a tool that the Church arbitrarily canonized to use for justification; eerily much like the teachers of law that Christ came to nullify. Tolstoy goes to the original Greek texts and renders a striking and...
Published on 18 Oct 2010 by J. DOUGLAS


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A VERY INTERESTING SUMMARY OF CHRIST'S TEACHING, 29 Dec 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I enjoyed this book and I strongly recommend it to students of christianity. It's interesting that it's taken me all these years to stumble upon it. I searched it out after I discovered that Ludwig Wittgenstein carried it with him in the trenches (WW1) and when I realized that it may have greatly influenced his life (and "The Tractatus").

The book is brief, it was originally published in 1893, and it is a summary of the Gospels (a portion of a wider study)... where the author has tried to peer through the enormous overburden of the church's institutional teaching and the confusion of sources. In my view that overburden must be assumed to be very difficult to clear away. What is more, when that has been done, I strongly suspect that, even if we assume Jesus was extremely astute and articulate, he must have tailored what was said to his audience. So he must have simplified his message, and couched it in terms (father and son for example) that illiterate men could fathom. That would explain why (even if Jesus was absolutely authentic as a prophet, a son of God and a seer) this book lacks depth of analysis. To see Jesus through the intervening years is "to see through a glass, darkly".

Even so, the book is startling insofar as it sets out a view sharply at variance with old testament thinking, and a view that I find very impressive (and true). For example, I agree with the view on marriage (if you marry, then don't divorce). I had not realised that Jesus lists 5 commandments (only). I had not realised that he says all men are sons of God. I had not realised that Jesus says time and space are illusions that don't exist in the spirit world.

I advise anyone who is checking out the strands of Jesus's views as expressed here to read Jane Robert's book "The Nature of Personal Reality".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest gospel no ones heard about..., 8 Jun 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An amazing work that reconciles the teaching's of Jesus with modern faith. Rather than focus on all the 'procedures' set down by the subsequent church, this goes back to the core teachings and set's down the beautiful message that Christianity had to offer before it was taken into the 'Church', which had so little to do with it.

As an example, for those who know about the miracle of the loaves and fishes, where Jesus miraculously makes more - Tolstoy explains it perfectly. It wasn't a miracle. It's a parable. It means that if we all share and share alike, we'll find we are in abundance. When one starts to give, other will too, and we'll find ourselves richer than ever before. The church's gospel just makes it seem like it was a cheap magic trick.

There are many parts like this, which re-treads old ground and reinterprets what Jesus 'really' meant. I'm not christian myself, but i do believe that Jesus was indeed a very important spiritual leader and really had nothing to do in connection with the Torah, the old Testament or the Qu'ran. He was above all that, and this book will show you why.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good News, 18 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gospel in Brief (Paperback)
People are often surprised to discover that the famous Russian writer Tolstoy wrote a book about the Christian gospels which was rather ahead of its time because it cut out everything from the story of Jesus and his teaching that could not readily be believed, including its background history and the orthodox teaching of different churches, and concentrated solely on what was believed to have been said by Jesus, and he concluded that in place of belief in an external god the God that Jesus was essentially talking about was 'the understanding of life ' which Tolstoy interpreted as meaning that man should acknowledge that the source of his inner spirit was the infinite spirit behind existence and that his true life was to be found by following this spirit rather than his bodily life. To some extent it yields a novel view of Christianity by removing the superstructure that has been built on it by the various churches, and which has led to their divisions, and makes for very interesting reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars brief and (undivine) biblical exegsis?!, 18 Oct 2010
By 
J. DOUGLAS "Johnny Douglas" (Nr London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The Gospel in Brief
Leo Tolstoy, translated by Isabel Hapgood

The Bible and the Church often can hide the heart of Christ's message. The Bible seems a tool that the Church arbitrarily canonized to use for justification; eerily much like the teachers of law that Christ came to nullify. Tolstoy goes to the original Greek texts and renders a striking and illuminating account of Christ's message from the four gospels. Tolstoy dared to explain with clarity how to live Christ's message.

Leo Tolstoy, in the thick of his spiritual journey, attempts a dangerous and potentially offensive act: re-interpret the gospels of the New Testament. Abandoning the miraculous claims of the christian doctrine (Jesus' divine birth, numerous miracles of ministry, the resurrection and more.....), Tolstoy shifts his focus onto the social message of Christ. Whereas most orthodox and modern day christian churches emphasize the authority of Christ, Tolstoy considers such blasphemy and instead, emphasizes the spirit of truth, which dwells within every man, and its power towards transformation of the individual and the societal standards. Combining the four gospels into one account, Tolstoy creates a concise and appropriate representation of the teachings originating from 1893. I do wish Darton-Longman-Todd had chosen to give the content styling within the covers a work-over. A must read for Christians and non-Christians alike. Like Tolstoy, we must search for truth first and Christianity second. Laborious but stimulating!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words don't exist to say how fine this work is, 15 Aug 2010
A work of art. This book tells you all you would ever need to know about what life on earth should comprise. A thousand stars wouldn't begin to do it justice...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars OCR, 30 July 2011
This review is from: The Gospel in Brief (Paperback)
The publishers do warn on the Amazon site that the book has been produced by OCR technology and may contain typos. But I have never come across a book so riddled with typos. It is unreadable in parts. There is an amusing note by the publishers at the front of the book. They say that if you would like them to produce the book without any misprints/typos they would be happy to do this for you as long as you are prepared to meet the costs.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars UNREADABLE, 27 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Awful - all over the place. Don't purchase under any circumstances. Try a preview to see! Truly truly awful version.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A Christ who Champions the idea of Turning the Other Cheek, 25 April 2013
By 
James Battersby (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Gospel in Brief was written roughly around 1890 by Count Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy, more known for his books War and peace and Anna Karenina, wrote The Gospel in Brief after an intense period of depression, with thoughts of death and suicide constantly being conjured up in his mind. According to the foreword, he was, from there, said to have hearkened back to the Christian teachings of his childhood in which he had found comfort, and began his attempts at understanding the real message behind the Gospels.

In my ongoing attempts at trying to unravel the mystery of Jesus Christ myself, a challenge made more difficult through the man-made traditions and half-truths of the Church, I stumbled upon the works of Tolstoy, a man it seems, that was after my own heart. I purchased The Gospel in Brief along with The Kingdom of God is Within You and headed off to Turkey during the summer of 2012. There is something to be said for sitting with a traditional paperback book under the shade of palm trees, all the while hearing the Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) in the distance.

Tolstoy's Christ figure in The Gospel in Brief championed the idea of turning the other cheek and giving away one's possessions for the greater good, with Tolstoy taking great precision in reviving the Christ figure that "churchianity" had locked away for so long.
The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, known for recounting most of the same events shared in the other gospels, are combined together in Tolstoy's book creating one continuous story. Some stories, especially those found in the Gospel of John that are not found in the others, are of course included here too, but Tolstoy's main purpose for combining all the Gospels together, was to give both himself and the reader a reasonably clear picture of what transpired. Extracting little details from one Gospel that may not have been included in another, and then piecing them into one fully detailed event brings us, finally, a more full narrative story. To be honest, it was always an idea that I hoped someone may eventually run with, and it is quite possible that many books have attempted this long before now, but to my knowledge Tolstoy, if not the only author to attempt this idea, is most certainly the grandfather of such an idea.

One humorous thing the Christian anarchist Tolstoy injected into his book is that rather than call the Pharisees by their name, he instead called them "The Orthodox", as it appears he felt that the Orthodox Church in his day was acting in the same way as the Pharisees in Christ's day.

Another thing I should point out about The Gospel in Brief is that Tolstoy is not a believer in miracles and believes that these things were added to the Gospels (and the Old Testament) to make it into a kind of "superstitious" dogma. So for example, there is no virgin birth, turning water to wine and so on. Most of it is explained away rationally. While I do respect Tolstoy's view on this, I personally, having undertaking extensive research over the past few years into alleged human abilities, cannot entirely agree on his outlook. In saying that, I am also of the impression that it is not at all necessary to believe in the miracles of Christ to understand the overall point of his teachings, since his teachings are based on giving your excess wealth to the poor and loving your enemies, thus creating peace and understanding for all (sadly perhaps a miracle in itself).

For example, if the apparently unbelievable feats performed by Christ were enough to stop someone from being inspired both by his exemplary life and his teachings of seeking peace for all men, then the miracles themselves have become a hindrance, something which Tolstoy was quite adamant about.

Each chapter begins with Tolstoy's commentary on why he has Jesus say a particular thing or react in a certain way, giving us a more full-bodied understanding of, possibly, how we were originally meant to read the original Gospels. All in all an enjoyable read.

Some of the reviews have mentioned typos. I have not noticed too terribly many, at least not enough to distract me from reading it with ease
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, 3 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The introduction to the history of the writing of this translation of the Gospels is good, but Tolstoy has been very selective. He appears to not want to experience the supernatural side of Scripture. Just wants selective moral teachings, which is only part of the story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Required text book, 15 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Riddled with typos but other than that it's fine. It's a nice succinct book to help to make the gospel more relatable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Gospel in Brief
The Gospel in Brief by Leo Tolstoy (Paperback - 2 Jan 2010)
3.98
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews