Jesus: The First 10,000 days
Release Date: 1 April 2019
Jesus – The First 10,000 Days explores the secret or hidden years of Christ’s life, the time before he began his ministry.
By steering clear of the excesses of the imagination — be they modern movies or early gnostic gospels — this study takes us on a journey closer to factual evidence. It is borne from the conviction that more can be known than is initially apparent as we examine the pointers within God’s word.
Since the time of the early church, people have been naturally curious to know more about the life of Jesus before he began his three-year ministry. Jesus – The First 10,000 Days speaks to that longing. The starting point for our quest is the four Gospels, moving on to the rest of the New Testament. We also delve into Old Testament passages that point to Jesus, and consider extra-biblical sources from a variety of disciplines.
Drawing extensively upon the scriptures Jesus loved, knowledge of ﬁrst century Judaism and life in Israel at the time, we can piece together what it might have been like for Jesus growing up. How might he have come to appreciate his unique identity as Messiah, his message, and his mission? And what are the implications of this for each of us?
…a fascinating insight into the culture and scriptures that shaped the life of Jesus prior to his public ministry.Nick McKinnel
About the Author
Christopher Halls has taught biblical studies on four continents in a variety of settings. He has served as a high school teacher and pastor in England, a theology lecturer in Nairobi, Kenya, and a principal of Christian schools in Canada. He is based in Exeter, Devon where he lectures in theology and has served as a chaplain at the University of Exeter.
Endorsements and Reviews
Mike Beaumont, Taking Ground Apostolic Team, Salt & Light
If ever a book will make you think again, it’s this one. “Oh no, not another gnostic account of Jesus’ silent years, speculating on his early life,” I thought initially, but this book is anything but ‘gnostic’. It’s not based on vivid imagination or doubtful texts, rather on what is ‘hidden in plain sight’ in Scripture. Rooted firmly in the evidence of the four canonical gospels, the author draws on Old Testament texts to illuminate the spiritual and historical context in which Jesus grew up. He shows us how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament’s prophecies; what, as a faithful Jew, he would have believed and practised; and how all this prepared him for the three years of ministry with which we are so familiar. As you see new things among old material, you will time and again find yourself saying ‘I never knew that!’ or ’That makes sense!’ and find yourself, not just educated, but challenged about how you are living today.
Taking Ground Apostolic Team, Salt & Light
Steve Thomas, International Team Leader, Salt & Light Ministries
When you consider that we only know about 10% of the life-story of the man whose birth, life, death and resurrection has changed the history of this world and nations in it, it is unsurprising that much speculation and many genuine questions surround the rest of Jesus’ life. How did he spend the first thirty years of his life? was he naughty like other children? Who did he think he was? How did he come to the conclusion that he was the “son of God”? and so on! Chris Halls, whom I have known for over 25 years, tackles these and many other questions about the early life of Jesus with consummate theological insight and literary skill, quoting the Bible, early church historians, Christian thinkers and poets over the years, and gives us a penetrating insight into how Jesus thought about himself, and how others have thought about his early life. This is a great read, which expands wonder and understanding, and I highly commend it.
International Team Leader, Salt & Light Ministries
Nick McKinnel, Bishop of Plymouth
Often childhood and youth are described as someone’s ‘formative years’. Here Chris Halls brings together scholarship, faith, and imagination to offer a fascinating insight into the culture and scriptures that shaped the life of Jesus prior to his public ministry. This is a book for anyone who wants to understand and know Jesus better.
Bishop of Plymouth
Christopher Southgate, Professor of Christian Theodicy, Dept. of Theology and Religion, University of Exeter
Chris Halls tackles a much-overlooked question, that of the growth of Jesus’ self-understanding. For the contemporary Christian this is a vital aspect of engaging with the real humanity of Christ, and Chris Halls addresses it with care and lucidity as well as a patent love of the Scriptures. Warmly recommended.
Professor of Christian Theodicy, Dept. of Theology and Religion, University of Exeter
Keith Gerner, Audio-Visual Ministries, N. Ireland
A balanced and well researched book on the hidden years of Christ’s life … a solid Scriptural approach and … very honest in separating truth and fiction.
Audio-Visual Ministries, N. Ireland
Dan Yarnell, National Co-ordinator, The Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Great Britain and Ireland; Senior Lecturer at ForMission College
To attempt to write about the so-called hidden years of the life of Jesus is both ingenious and quite challenging. The tendency toward speculation as well as artistic and creative licence have filled numerous works from the earliest centuries to the current day as authors have grappled to explore and reveal that which is concealed. Chris Halls manages to steer his way through these potential cul-de-sacs to provide the reader with a biblical, historical, and culturally informed work which provides a balanced and engaging [study], reflecting on the 10,000 days leading up to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Drawing from a wide range of scholarship and spiritual writing over many centuries, the reader is led through various reflections and approaches which help to provide a lucid and highly satisfying work as he considers the identity, calling, and destiny of Jesus. One of the great strengths of Halls’ writing is in striking a balance of being informative and reflective as well as being devotional and spiritually engaging. New believers will therefore benefit from exploring what it would have been like for the human Jesus to grow up in his own cultural context; teachers and preachers will appreciate many of the links to history and the various comparative lists that inform good solid biblical study. All readers will find gems of understanding and delight as they consider the congruence found in the life of Jesus. It is therefore a pleasure to commend this work to all who seek to understand Jesus through his human and spiritual development, thereby providing an authentic human example which may assist us in developing our own human and spiritual centre for expressing authentic discipleship and mission in the 21st century.
National Co-ordinator, The Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Great Britain and Ireland; Senior Lecturer at ForMission College
A balanced and well researched book on the hidden years of Christ’s life … a solid Scriptural approach and … very honest in separating truth and fiction.Keith Gerner