Gospels Today: Challenging Readings of John, Mark, Luke & Matthew (Essential Inquiries)

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9781561012978: Gospels Today: Challenging Readings of John, Mark, Luke & Matthew (Essential Inquiries)

The Gospels Today discusses and challenges popular interpretations of familiar gospel texts and themes and quickly presents overviews of important controversies and debates. Does it matter whether Jesus was born in Bethlehem, or that he is understood as a prophet? What do the expressions "Son of Man" and "Son of God" really mean? Is there more to Jesus' words about the Bread of Life than meets the eye? How differently might we understand the stilling of the storm if we considered it as having to do with ancient near eastern creation myths rather than an account of a miracle? Throughout, we are invited by Need to join scholars in the stimulating and constructive work of learning how to critique familiar interpretations of the Bible.

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About the Author:

Stephen W. Need is dean of St. George's College in Jerusalem, Israel.

Review:

Anyone with faith coming to study the New Testament critically may do so with understandable apprehension. Will this not undermine my belief? Stephen Need's thoughtful engagement with the Gospels indicates how critical study can do just the opposite. His work here has quickened my faith. These essays bridge a gap that ought no longer to exist-that between the Christian community of faith and the wider community of scholarship. They are exhilarating and I hope they will be read widely. (Rt. Rev. Stephen Platten, Bishop of Wakefield, chair of the Church of England Liturgical Commission)

Stephen Need's book is a delightful, lucid introduction to the critical study of the gospels. In a series of well-chosen case-studies, Need captures the pleasure of coming to understand the gospels at a deeper level. (Stephen C. Barton, professor of New Testament, Durham University)

Dr. Need chooses ten essential, indeed most challenging, passages in the Gospels to tackle some of the most popular but theologically debatable interpretations concerning Jesus Christ―such as Logos, miracle, parable, transfiguration and resurrection―that every inquiring mind wants to sort out. As an experienced tour guide, he leads the reader through the highlights of the Gospel texts and brilliantly demonstrates how critical methods in biblical studies may reward a careful reader with a deeper and richer understanding of the complicated issues at the heart of Christian faith. His knowledge of biblical archaeology and expertise in Patristic theology, in particular, remarkably broaden the already engaging discussion that is always based on a perceptive reading of the text.This insightful and riveting book is a must-have for any serious reader, preacher, and church library. It is a marvelous choice for every Bible study group that wishes to learn about Jesus and the Gospels in an intelligent and faithful way. It also makes an invaluable complementary reading for New Testament courses offered in college or seminary. I highly recommend it. (John Yieh, professor of New Testament, Virginia Theological Seminary)

Challenging views of Gospel passages are presented here in concise fashion. (Religious Studies Review, September 2008)

These books are not heavy, but they are erudite scholarship. . . . Recommended for college and university libraries. (Catholic Library World, September 2009)

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