Taught by God

Making Sense of the Difficult Sayings of Jesus


by Daniel Fanous


Paperback (December 2010)

ISBN: 978-1-933275-50-5

Price: $19.95 + S&H (USD)


Hardcover (December 2010)

ISBN: 978-1-933275-51-2

Price: $28.95 + S&H (USD)


Few would dispute that the sayings of Jesus were and are important. But though important, these very same sayings are difficult at best and incomprehensible at worst. Sayings like, "The kingdom of heaven suffers violence," or, "I did not come to bring peace but a sword," have confused readers of the Gospels for thousands of years. Others such as, "My Father is greater than I," and, "My God why have You forsaken Me?" have sparked theological infernos that have plagued Christianity from its beginnings. From the greatest theologians to the smallest child, the same question is always asked: What did Jesus really mean? In considering only the most difficult of the sayings of Jesus, Taught by God brings together the academic rigour of modern biblical scholarship and the profound wisdom of the early Church Fathers in a unique, lively, and dramatic synthesis.



"Taught by God is well researched and speaks clearly and informatively to many of the most difficult aspects of the biblical witness … students, clergy and lay people could all greatly benefit from a close reading of the book's arguments and the evidence provided to support them. Daniel Fanous draws a great many good and plausible conclusions regarding difficult passages, and has provided a highly useful tool for people who read Scripture in depth and find themselves troubled or perplexed by these passages."

—Very Rev. John Breck
Professor of Biblical Interpretation & Bioethics,
St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, France.


"Fascinating and informative … This book illuminates the background of Jesus' controversies with the Jewish religious leaders and makes Jesus' difficult sayings come alive for the modern reader. The author has done his homework and provides exciting insights into Jesus' ministry."

—Very Rev. Dr. Theodore Stylianopoulos
Professor of Orthodox Theology & New Testament,
Holy Cross Orthodox School of Theology, USA.


“It is heartening to see the treasures of Orthodoxy come together with modern biblical scholarship…. The encounter is fascinating and, for both Church and academy, full of promise.”

—Dale C. Allison, Jr.
Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament & Early Christianity,
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, USA


“This book really took me by surprise. It is basically a study of twelve 'difficult sayings' of Jesus. The thing that surprised me was how well the author combined a patristic approach with modern scholarship. No wonder it was endorsed by such big-name biblical scholars. It was so fluid. The sayings that are examined (as listed on the back cover) are below. This book was page-turner, which if you read much theology or New Testament studies is rare. Highly recommended!”

—Alex (reader review on Amazon.com)


“This book is very helpful in understanding the sayings of Jesus. Over many years, I would just pass over the difficult parts of Christ's sayings. After reading this book, I have understood the dialogues and have a deeper respect for the gospels. I would say this book is written at the level of entry level college studies.”

—G. Peters (reader review on Amazon.com)



Dr. Daniel Fanous is an independent scholar and is the author of the acclaimed The Person of the Christ (2008) as well as numerous articles. He has extensively studied and taught New Testament theology, as well as holding degrees in medicine and engineering.