This is a book that could transform many people's reading of the Gospels. Jonathan Pennington has a wide knowledge of the specialist literature, and he skillfully distills what matters most for the task of reading the Gospels wisely. He is especially concerned that we read the Gospels in ways that are appropriate to the sort of texts they are. What comes across is a powerful sense that the Gospels are not only historical but also life-changing.
University of St. Andrews; Ridley Hall, Cambridge
Many books on the Gospels slog through source criticism, form criticism, and redaction criticism--important topics to be sure. How refreshing it is, however, to find a book with a new approach, one that reads the Gospels as literature and sees their importance theologically. This book is like a cool drink of water in what is too often the desert of Gospel studies. While I don't agree with everything Pennington says, his arguments must be reckoned with, and they further the conversation in productive and stimulating ways. I believe this is the best introductory book on the Gospels. Both students and professors will find it to be invaluable.
-Thomas R. Schreiner,
James Buchanan Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Reading the Gospels can be tricky, but it is important to read them with a full appreciation of their theology. Jonathan Pennington's study helps you get there--and get there well, as well as wisely.
research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
Few academic enterprises of recent generations have been as chaotic and contradictory as the study of Jesus and the Gospels. Bultmann, Bornkamm, Borg, Burridge, Blomberg, Bauckham--and those are just some Bs--whom to believe? This learned yet lively volume attempts to transcend past miscues and cash in on lasting insights going back to patristic times. Pennington shows how the fourfold canonical Gospel ought to be read: as the proper entree to becoming Jesus's disciple for the sake of loving God by the work of the Spirit. Few works explain more.
-Robert W. Yarbrough,
professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri