“Christ’s 40 Commandments” is a topical listing from the teachings of Jesus in the four Gospels. The “40 Commandments,” as the topical listing is designated, is given variously in three sections: an alphabetical listing, a listing with one verse for each of the “Commandments” from Matthew, and a listing of the “Commandments” with a compilation of verses from the four Gospels. The bulk of the book is taken up with this third presentation. There is also a listing of the “Commandments” with associated keywords. Seven, of eight, appendices also present helpful topical listings from Jesus’ teaching. For example, appendix “E” is “Woes,” with a listing of the “woes” pronounced by Jesus in His earthly ministry.
The title “Christ’s 40 Commandments” may be a bit misleading in that it can give the impression that Jesus only taught on these 40 things. It would be hard to “limit” Jesus teaching in such a way. But, for the sake of a topical listing, Wagenblatt has taken an interesting approach. She explains how the listing came to be, in the preface, “Every time Jesus gave an instruction or commandment within the Gospels, I recorded it. By my count [sic] there are forty of these commandments.” She also uses the term “Sacraments” for number 33 of the “40 Commandments,” listing things like the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:15) and Peter being told that he would be given “the keys of the kingdom” (Matt. 16:19). The word “Sacraments” means, “a religious ceremony or act of the Christian Church that is regarded as an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual divine grace” (The New Oxford American Dictionary), and is not a biblical concept.
Aside from the unscriptural designation to “Sacraments” mentioned above, I can see where this topical listing could be a valuable resource for study in lesson and sermon preparation. I could easily see myself using it as the basis for an extended sermon series on the teaching of Jesus or for a lectureship program. However, as with any topical reference, care needs to be taken to study each reference in connection to the header topic to see if it truly does fit with that topic. The final say on the correctness, or incorrectness, of how any passage is used is the Bible itself, not Mrs. Waganblatt’s opinion. Do your own study! (cf. Acts 17:11).
Where to Buy:
ChristianBooks.com: Christ’s 40 Commandments
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