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What Do the Saints and Scoundrels in the Gospel Teach Us about Ourselves?

The Gospel writers introduce us to several followers of Jesus who turned out to be scoundrels and scoundrels transformed to be saints. In her book Saints and Scoundrels in the Story of Jesus, author Nancy Guthrie takes a close-up look at some of these individuals, including Caiaphas and Zacchaeus, and also several groups of people, like the Pharisees and Jesus’ own family, so that we can better understand their motives, hopes, fears, flaws, successes, and failures.

Saints and Scoundrels brings the people in the Gospels to life! The book offers a three-dimensional look at those who followed Jesus and those who turned from Him by peeling back the layers to expose their human qualities. Guthrie’s approach to breaking down the decisions and struggles of people like John the Baptist, Simon Peter, Judas Iscariot, and the apostle Paul reveals where they exhibited courage and where they succumbed to their imperfections. Nancy encourages us, however, not to be overly critical but to see our own strengths and shortcomings in these figures’ attitudes and behavior. Most importantly, she shows us how Jesus dealt with each of them individually and as a group to give us deeper insight into the heart of our Lord.

With warmth and honesty, Saints and Scoundrels encourages us to not judge so harshly but instead to learn from the human characteristics of the Gospel’s saints and scoundrels alike. She challenges us to explore ourselves in-depth—to examine our behavior and motivations so that we can better know the forgiving power of Jesus.

While Saints and Scoundrels will help you come to know the people in the Gospels from a real-life perspective, you’ll also gain a deeper appreciation for the heart of Christ and how, through Him, scoundrels can become saints.

In the back of the book, you’ll find discussion questions for each chapter that make the book a great choice for your study group to read together.

Saints and Scoundrels


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