The Red Letters

“I love Jesus, but not the church.” In recent years, a number of Christian authors have diagnosed this sentiment at work in our post-Christian culture. The following arrangement of the words of Jesus is your opportunity to encounter the real Jesus through the words He actually spoke. Today it’s not uncommon to hear somebody say: “My Jesus wouldn’t say that.” Or “My Jesus isn’t like that.” How do you know? Do you have the right to create Jesus in your own image, or is it instead our privilege, to get to know the Jesus Who actually came into this world for us? And what better way to do that than through His own words? Printing the words of Jesus in red has been a feature of Bible translations for over 100 years. It was inspired, as you might expect, from the symbolism of the blood of Christ shed for you. As others have said before, I pray that the “Red Letters” might become the “read letters.”

In the Red Letters you are going to find that Jesus makes absolutely exclusive claims. He is not content to be known as a good moral teacher or a prophet. He is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is the One Who has the authority to forgive sins and retain sins; to challenge church leaders and to redefine commandments; to lay down His life and to take it up again. You must examine His claims, the reliability of the New Testament writers who recorded His claims, how the Red Letters connect to what you experience in life and ultimately decide what to do with them.

If you are reading this on your own, I would encourage you to find somebody else to experience it with, whether with a spouse, your family or a small group. I’ve organized the Red Letters into various categories that seemed to stand out. Where we have duplicate accounts in the different gospels, I’ve attempted to choose the clearest one. Of course, many of the Red Letters could cross into multiple categories, and many would stand on their own. Some will surprise you. Some may shock you, horrify you, challenge you. Others will comfort you, strengthen you, and give you hope.

Warm up thoughts and questions will begin each session and discussion questions will be sprinkled throughout each section, as well as questions for personal and congregational evaluation. I encourage you to take the Red Letters slowly and deliberately. Jesus is speaking to you. What if He really meant the things He said? What if you decided to live your life as if He did?”


Single zip file        
Teaser video        
Bible Study Guide      
1 - Letters of Repentance  
2 - Letters of Forgiveness  
3 - Letters of Truth  
4 - Letters of Invitation    
5 - Letters of Confrontation  
6 - Letters of Relationship  
7 - Letters that Rock the Boat    
8 - Letters of Stewardship  
9 - Letters of Discipleship    
10 - Letters of Mission    
11 - Letters of Warning    
12 - Letters of Faith      
13 - Letters From God  
14 - Letters of Hope      
15 - Letter of the Kingdom    
16 - Letters of Love      
17 - Letters of Prayer  
18 - Letters of Humility    
19 - Letters of Life and Salvation