In 1945, Robert L. Lindsey from Norman, Oklahoma, found himself pastor of a small Baptist congregation in Jerusalem, Israel. With his Hebrew-speaking congregants in mind, he began a translation of the Greek texts of Matthew, Mark and Luke and soon concluded there must lie behind these Gospel – even if distantly – an early Hebrew story of Jesus. To his surprise, he also found that Luke almost always showed Greek texts that could easily be translated literally to Hebrew. The same was true of Matthew, wherever he was not copying Mark’s Gospel.
“It is clear,” say Lindsey and Flusser, “that our synoptic texts originated in a Hebrew biography of Jesus, probably written by the Matthew of tradition, which was translated to Greek. The texts of Matthew, Mark and Luke are too Hebraic to have descended from a Greek original, as many scholars mistakenly think today. Happily, if we use the right tools, we can still hear Jesus speak as his fellow Jews of the first century heard him.”
Lindsey tells in this book the warm, personal account of how he and Flusser struggled over many years to discover the earliest form of Jesus’ words and narrative of his life. They believe that the records, when properly analyzed and studied, show us an authentic picture of Jesus interacting with the people of Jerusalem and Galilee. Jesus clearly heads a movement, the “Kingdom of Heaven,” and is a Divine figure whose actions and words are fully Messianic.