An unforgettable story of two courageous couples who risk everything for Truth.
For two millennia, the last page of the Gospel of Mark, the story of Christ’s Resurrection, has been missing. Or has it?
Amid a revolution, archaeologist Christopher Jordan and ancient manuscript expert Kathryn Ferguson travel to Syria in search of the original scroll. Paralleling their quest is the story of the evangelist’s escape with the scroll from the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., his struggles to complete the manuscript and his journeys and efforts with the daughter of Peter the Apostle to protect and save it for the ages. With both couples time is running out and enemies are closing in.
Richly evocative and fiercely moving, this literary thriller explores the hard questions: Did Mark intentionally omit the resurrection story, leaving it shrouded in mystery? Or did it become detached and lost forever?
Discover the answer in The Last Page.
We want to follow the teachings of Jesus, but what are we supposed to do when those teachings seem too hard or too easy? Even worse, what are we supposed to do when they contradict each other?
The hard lessons of Jesus scar and scorch, challenge and demand. They call us to accountability, responsibility, and action. These words refuse to let us off the hook.
The easy sayings seem to contradict and counter the hard messages. These teachings are easily ripped from context, manipulated and distored to allow excuses for behavior Jesus denounces at other times.
Ten Things I Wished Jesus Hadn’t Said focuses on ten of these sayings; five that make it hard to be a Christian; five in seeming contradiction, that make it easy – all re-scripted in Present tense narrative and reframed for contemporary readers.
” Jesus did say some things that are hard to hear and thus ignore them, but to our loss. Joe E. Morris unwraps the tough stuff we find embedded in those jewels, treasures that excite and educate. The writing, the format – these are so well done that the reader is encouraged to look for time alone to spend with thei excellent book.”
-KENT ALLAN PHILLPOTT, Baptist minister and author of Are You Really Born Again?
Ten Things I Wish Jesus Hadn’t Said
· Joe Edd Morris has offered a gift to each of us in this honest engagement in the difficult teachings of Jesus. These teachings are hard to hear because we know they are hard to live; yet they are the source of joy and peace and power in the Christian life. I commend this book to you, to your class or group, to your church. Read it, grapple with it, embrace it, and be blessed. – Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, North Carolina Conference, United Methodist Church.
Address: Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
North Carolina Conference
United Methodist Church
700 Waterfield Ridge Place
Garner, NC 27529
· In an examination of ten of Jesus’ sayings Morris gives us a careful exploration of the texts, filled with valuable teaching moments and insights from the language and culture of Jesus’ time. He also gives us numerous insights from theology and psychology, and in discussion questions at the end of each chapter there is rich opportunity to apply the texts to our own lives. The book deals with issues that are of critical importance to our world, such as: judgment and forgiveness, wealth and poverty, greed and generosity, love and enemies, marriage and faithfulness, self-actualization and self-sacrifice, failure and recovery, war and peace, giving and receiving, and answered and unanswered prayer. Important appendices point out parallel scriptures to those explored and components of just war theory.
This is an excellent resource for preachers, Bible study teachers, study groups, and individuals who are serious about the challenges involved in contemporary discipleship.
Bishop (Retired) J. Lawrence McCleskey
The United Methodist Church
P. O. Box 164
Lake Junaluska, NC 28745
• “Jesus did say some things that are hard to hear and thus we ignore them, but to our loss. Joe Edd Morris unwraps the tough stuff we find embedded in those jewels, treasures that
excite and educate.The writing, the format – these are so well done that the reader is
encouraged to look for time alone to spend with this excellent book.
Kent Allan Phillpott, noted Baptist minister and author of
Are You Really Born Again
Address: Rev. Kent Allan Philpott
1777 Mitchell #82
Tustin, CA 92780
• “Morris offers a thorough exposition and application of challenging sayings of Jesus that make this book a helpful resource for any serious student of the Bible.”
Dr. John Armistead, noted author, artist and Baptist pastor
Address: Dr. John G. Armistead
5148 Woodlake Cove
Tupelo, MS 38801-7974
· A brilliant scholarly work that also touches the deep places of the soul. I highly recommend this book by Dr. Morris.
Peggy Webb, Award-winning author
Peggy Elaine Webb
P. O. Box 605
Mooreville, MS 38857
· Already the title arouses your curiosity. What is it that the author wishes Jesus had not said? More exciting is the uncanny way he often turns the sayings upside down to demonstrate what Jesus was really getting at. New insights emerge that give us a richer understanding of familiar gospel stories.
Theodore Runyon, Professor Emeritus, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Dr. Ted Runyon
1800 Clairmont Lake #628
Decatur, GA 30033
· The organization of the book is simple but extremely effective. After each of the sayings, Morris provides information on the text, explains the context, elaborates on the message, and lists questions for reflection. He also gives helpful parallel scriptures for each of the sayings used. The book provides helpful insight to questions raised in the minds of all who ponder the sayings of Jesus.
Gerald Walton, an emeritus professor of English at the University of Mississippi, is the author of journal articles on language and literature and the book The University of Mississippi: a Pictorial History.
Dr. Gerald Walton
177 N. Highland #608
Memphis, TN 38111
Following the success of our first joint effort, Old Testament Stories: What Do They Say Today?, several of our readers suggested a follow up. We gave the idea some thought. We decided not to reinvent the wheel. The New Testament developed from the Old Testament. Many stories, themes and ideas in the Old Testament have their counterparts in the New Testament. Our follow-up was an easy decision. We continued with the theme of relevancy and attached it to the Old Testament’s companion: New Testament Stories: What Do They Say Today?
To ensure some objectivity in our choice of stories, from the hundred plus stories we each picked our top fifteen, then shared our list. We picked eight stories in common. From the remaining fourteen, we agreed upon six, rounding out our number to fourteen. Eleven chapters involve events surrounding Jesus and the last three chapters focus on Paul: his conversion, his letter to Philemon, and the Jerusalem Conference. With two exceptions, each chapter focuses on a single event. Chapter 4, “Jesus and Nicodemus,” covers three different events in the life of Nicodemus and Chapter 6, “Jesus the Doctor,” incorporates four different healing stories. Of the chapters about Jesus, two, 1 and 6, involve healings.
“In setting these old stories about “ordinary people” in new contexts, Morris and Ryan offer readers ways to discover again the extraordinary in ordinary lives. Their book works well not only for private devotion, but as an excellent guide for discernment with groups”
T.W. Lewis, Ph.D, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, Millsaps College.
“The authors, examining the New Testament stories in the light of the 21st century, challenge the reader to rethink the teachings of Jesus in today’s world. The stories are presented in such a way as to make the old new and the familiar unexpected for readers. A good book for good friends to examine together!”
Cathy Grace, Former Director of Early Childhood Policy, The Children’s Defense
“Roy Ryan and Joe Edd Morris have put together a work that combines scholarly commentary with life affirming
application for Christian readers. This book explores the deeper meaning of New Testament stories, but is accessible to the lay reader and is perfectly suited for small group studies.”
Tom Wicker, United Methodist Church Lay Leader