The Gospels in Brief (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

The Gospels in Brief (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

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This edition includes a modern introduction and a list of suggested further reading. Leo Tolstoy's The Gospels in Brief (1881) is a daring attempt by Russia's greatest novelist to rewrite "the greatest story ever told." This book appeared soon after the writer experienced a period of deep despair that led to a conversion in his personal life. Following what might best be described as a mid-life crisis, Tolstoy devoted himself to a rational religion for the masses based on the moral teachings of Jesus Christ. He rejected all the mystery and miracles in Christianity and focused instead on the powerful truth in Jesus' words - a truth he believed that the church's emphasis on mystery, miracles, and the divinity of Jesus had long obscured.

In order to show the true essence of what Jesus taught, Tolstoy resolved to make a new translation of the four Gospels from Greek into Russian. He rejected anything that he considered not part of Jesus' original teaching, including all references to the Resurrection, and then rearranged these teachings in a way that highlighted Tolstoy's own understanding about the divine purpose for human existence. His ideas became the foundation for a new religious movement bearing his name (Tolstoyism) and influenced such political activists as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781411468184
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 03/13/2012
Series: Barnes & Noble Digital Library
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 317 KB
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 at his family’s estate in Yasnaya Polyana, located approximately 130 miles south of Moscow.  By the age of thirty-three, Tolstoy had squandered a large portion of his inheritance through gambling and partying.  He also had served as an officer in the army and seen the horrors of combat during the Crimean War (1853-56).  While in the artillery corps, Tolstoy began writing a series of semi-autobiographical works. He is best known, however, for the works Anna Karenina and War and Peace.

Date of Birth:

September 9, 1828

Date of Death:

November 20, 1910

Place of Birth:

Tula Province, Russia

Place of Death:

Astapovo, Russia


Privately educated by French and German tutors; attended the University of Kazan, 1844-47

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