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The Fourfold Gospel presents a challenging alternative to prevailing assumptions about the creation and development of the Gospels. Interweaving historical, exegetical, and theological perspectives, Francis Watson advocates for reading the Gospels alongside one another instead of in isolation and demonstrates how these complementary yet diverse retellings of the same story bear unified witness to Jesus Christ.
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
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Francis Watson, widely regarded as one of the foremost New Testament scholars of our time, explains that the four gospels were chosen to give a portrait of Jesus. He explores the significance of the fourfold gospel's plural form for those who constructed it and for later Christian communities, showing that in its plurality it bears definitive witness to what God has done in Jesus Christ. Watson focuses on reading the gospels as a group rather than in isolation and explains that the fourfold gospel is greater than, and other than, the sum of its individual parts. Interweaving historical, exegetical, and theological perspectives, this book is accessibly written for students and pastors but is also of interest to professors and scholars.
John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5A Breath of Fresh Vibrancy and Life!!June 27, 2016John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus by Francis Watson is a similarly exciting, and yet abbreviated exploration of Watsons previous tome, Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective (Eerdmans, 2013). According to Watson, The present attempt at a theological reading focuses throughout on the texts within that boundary [previously established in Gospel Writing] and on the theological questions they put to their interpreter, both individually and in their relation to one another (p. viii). Much of this groundwork is established and revisited in the Prolegomena section that opens the book. It is here that the reader becomes thoroughly equipped for the fascinating journey ahead.
The Fourfold Gospel is divided into two major sections. The initial section seeks to establish each of the four Gospel accounts within the portrait of Jesus offered by the author. These turn out to be perspectives that are not only different in nature, but also complementary. Watsons care and attentiveness to the overall framework of each Gospel is admirable, and without losing focus of the whole, Watson is able to seamlessly equip readers with the proper lenses needed to observe the major convergences discussed in the second section. It is here that Watson applauds the formative work of Eusebius Canon Tables in the establishment of a fourfold Gospel book and further delineates his thesis by examining the shared narrative across all four Gospels.
Overall, I found Watsons work to be extremely beneficial and informative for reading and understanding the canonical gospels. I appreciated the unified approach that Watson embodied as he wrestled with their similarities and differences, as well as the challenges that have been created by a gospel harmonies reading of the narratives. As Watson rightly notes, gospel harmonies created far more problems than they solved. It seems that the fourfold gospel is not intended to provide a singular life of Jesus in which each incident and saying is assigned to its original historical context. Its relation to reality is more complexand more interestingthan that (p. 88). This observation alone helps reconcile more internal problems than most other attempts traditionally seen combined, and this is only one of many nuggets to be unearthed in this study.
The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus by Francis Watson is a significant contribution to the ongoing exploration of contemporary Gospel Studies. It is a welcome companion, and, in many ways an extended appendix to Watsons previous book Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective. Watson has invited the reader into a world that had been plagued by the displeasure of recurring academic dust and has effectively breathed within it a newfound sense of vibrancy and life. Watsons undeniable expertise and his ability to communicate to a broad readership had already position this book for success, even prior to its publication. However, what was previously expected now looks petty compared to what Watson actually delivered. The Fourfold Gospel is a book that you will want to read, and do so more than once. It comes highly recommended!!
I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.