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"What Would Jesus Do?" is a popular phrase in Christian circles, but answers to that question might be more on-target if we spent more time exploring, as Scott Spencer has. Spencer examines both the Synoptics and the Gospel of John as he tries to catch a wide-angled vision of Jesus' behaviour in the gospels. Rather than focus on sayings or pronouncements as an authoritative code of conduct, he studies Jesus' deeds or actions as keys to his identity and vocation. While not ignoring Jesus' teaching, this study is more interested in discovering how Jesus personally lived up to his own moral instruction - his personal conduct. Chapters are devoted to Jesus' actions with respect to his family, his friends, his body, his possessions, his work, his reputation, and the environment. Spencer suggests paths - and pitfalls - for relating Jesus' personal conduct to individual behaviour, how we might move from "what Jesus did" in the New Testament to "what we should do" today.
F. Scott Spencer is Professor of New Testament at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia and is the author of The Portrait of Philip in Acts: A Study of Roles and Relations and Acts. He is the Chair of the New Testament section for the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion.ission for the Study of Religion.