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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Brilliant! Well researched, well-reasoned, and well written.

I encourage all serious students of the New Testament (particularly students of the gospels) to read this fine work.

Professor Koester carefully examines how the canonical New Testament gospels developed and took their final form, and he carefully examines the relationship between the...
Published 12 months ago by Barry C. Gaynor

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Collection of Published Articles
Although top notch and readable scholarship, this volume is a collection of previously published articles or individually written essays. That's fine, but it's title and subtitle would never lead you to realize that. The title "From Jesus to the Gospels," suggests, to me at least, an in-depth look at the process of how the Gospels developed from the life and teachings of...
Published on May 13, 2008 by Searching the Stars


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Collection of Published Articles, May 13, 2008
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This review is from: From Jesus to the Gospels: Interpreting the New Testament in Its Context (Hardcover)
Although top notch and readable scholarship, this volume is a collection of previously published articles or individually written essays. That's fine, but it's title and subtitle would never lead you to realize that. The title "From Jesus to the Gospels," suggests, to me at least, an in-depth look at the process of how the Gospels developed from the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Even Koester writes in the preface, "The title ... may be misleading." It's not the comprehensive discussion it was marketed as.

The articles stand more as individual studies in their own right than as parts of a generalized picture of Jesus. For example, the first chapter, on the apocrypha, was very informative. It seems that some of the NT (New Testament) apocrypha are considered as early (i.e. closer to Jesus) as some of the material in the canonical Gospels. Learning this for me was worth the price of the book, and each chapter offers insights. But articles, by their very nature, usually have an extremely narrow focus, and that narrow focus is going to surprise many readers who pick up this text.

Chapters in part three deal with Jesus: historical Jesus, Q, etc.

Koestler is a great NT scholar. His prior two-volume work may be a better "intro" to the NT than this.

Although good scholarship, only three stars were given because of the misleading marketing. However, if you are a scholar, member of the clergy, historian, or a non-specialist generally knowledgeable about NT scholarship, this is a great collection of essays.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, too technical and somewhat erroneous articles, December 31, 2009
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This review is from: From Jesus to the Gospels: Interpreting the New Testament in Its Context (Hardcover)
I bought it with high expectations, because of the author and because of the title. But, when I started reading, I rapidly came to a deception. The reasons are these:
1- Is not a monographic study, but just a recollection of previous conferences, some of them going back 15 or 20 years.
2- Some of the conferences are very technical. The author spends pages in discussing details that may be of some interest to specialists, but that say nothing to others.
3- The prose is very difficult, academic, or technical.
4- Some focal points, as the discussion of Q or the priority of apocryphal literature, are just, as Meier demonstrates, not correct in the way Kostler uses them.

It would have been much better, in my opinion, not such a technical approach, but a general monograph challenging Meier views, written in a more engaging prose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, January 29, 2014
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This review is from: From Jesus to the Gospels: Interpreting the New Testament in Its Context (Hardcover)
Brilliant! Well researched, well-reasoned, and well written.

I encourage all serious students of the New Testament (particularly students of the gospels) to read this fine work.

Professor Koester carefully examines how the canonical New Testament gospels developed and took their final form, and he carefully examines the relationship between the canonical and non-canonical gospels--thereby calling attention to the influence the latter had on the former.

I've pondered these matters, since I began my studies at seminary (1982); and, I've continued to ponder these matters, over the successive years. Professor Koester's book answers many of the questions I've had, and his book has provided me with a greater understanding and appreciation for the rich process, which brought us the New Testament gospels.

Of course Professor Koester's book provides a greater unerstanding for the context of the gospels; and, a greater understanding of this context will, undoubtedly, enable me to preach and teach more effectively and with greater soundness.

Well done, Professor Koester!

--Barry C. Gaynor, M.Div., M.S.W.
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From Jesus to the Gospels: Interpreting the New Testament in Its Context
From Jesus to the Gospels: Interpreting the New Testament in Its Context by Helmut Koester (Hardcover - October 1, 2007)
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