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Jonathan T Pennington – Jesus the Great Philosopher: rediscovering the wisdom needed for the good life

Brazos Press ISBN 978 1 58743 465 5 230 pages Price £12.99

By talking about Jesus as a philosopher – and it’s a hugely interesting idea – New Testament scholar Jonathan Pennington is not seeking to reduce Jesus to less that the full New Testament picture of him as the Son of God and Saviour of the World.

Rather it is an attempt to show that only Jesus offers the heart of what the ancient philosophers seeks to offer us. Jesus is the true route to the “good life” of healthy emotions, joined up relationships and genuine happiness. The author describes this happiness as “true human flourishing”.

The latter is based on the author’s fresh translation of the word “blessed” from the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Pennington freely moves from biblical text, ancient philosophy and popular culture to argue that Jesus addresses the key concerns of philosophy and does so in a way that helps us flourish as humans.

If you want a book to stimulate a different way of thinking about life in 2021, you could do worse that spending time reading and rereading this book.

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