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Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels Hardcover – October 26, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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John: The Gospel of Light and Life (John series) by Adam Hamilton
Adam Hamilton Explores the Major Themes of The Gospel of John
Join Adam Hamilton this Lent and Easter, as he explains the context of some of the best-known verses in the New Testament while teaching abouth the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus through the Gospel of John. Learn more | See author page

Editorial Reviews

Review

John P. Meier
University of Notre Dame
"Pheme Perkins has dedicated her career to communicating her professional expertise in both the New Testament and the Gnostic Gospels to her students in the classroom and to a wider audience of interested clergy and educated laity. Now she distills both her vast knowledge and her teaching skills in this book on the Synoptic Gospels. But the scope of this volume is much broader than the standard introduction to the Synoptics. Perkins situates the Synoptics within the wider contexts of the composition and function of books in the ancient Greco-Roman world, the development of the idea of a New Testament canon, and the continuation of the Gospel genre in the Gospels of the second and third centuries. College and university professors will welcome this volume as a valuable teaching tool."
Adela Yarbro Collins
Yale University
"This book not only provides a much-needed general introduction to the Synoptic Gospels but also introduces its audience to the apocryphal Gospels, including the Gospel of Judas. Perkins's treatment is fair and balanced, and her analogies to contemporary culture are inspired and illuminating."
Margaret M. Mitchell
University of Chicago Divinity School
"Pheme Perkins provides an accessibly written, evenhanded, and carefully reasoned guide to major issues in Gospel studies. In economical fashion she enables the reader to gain a sure understanding of the place of Synoptic and apocryphal Gospels in ancient literary culture and in the development of early Christianity. Highly recommended."
Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.
Weston Jesuit School of Theology
"Pheme Perkins provides a comprehensive and up-to-date discussion of each Synoptic Gospel and a balanced analysis of all the apocryphal and Gnostic Gospels that have attracted so much attention recently. Her knowledge of the ancient texts, long experience as a teacher, sound judgment, and clarity of expression make this book a reliable guide for college and seminary students and for all who are perplexed about the Gospels and the development of early Christianity."
Church of England Newspaper
"Perkins' book is an excellent resource that deserves to be read widely. . . It should be on the reading list for undergraduates and ordinands, and would make an excellent (and affordable) refresher for clergy wanting to reacquaint themselves with recent developments in the academic study of the synoptic gospels."
"Choice"
"Perkins undertakes the challenge of explaining the what and why of the methods scholars use in gospel study. Although this text is not for scholars, it focuses on broad-scale scholarly consensus. Highly recommended."
"America"
"The author's long experience as a teacher, her knowledge and love of the ancient texts, sound judgment and clarity of thought and expression make this introduction to the Synoptic Gospels a trustworthy guide for all who are perplexed about Christian origins. It can serve as a fine textbook for college and seminary courses, as well as a reliable survey for all those who want to know where Gospel studies are today."" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Pheme Perkins is professor of New Testament in the Theology Department at Boston College. Among her many published books are

and

. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (October 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080281770X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802817709
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We used this book for one of my seminary classes. It has a ton of content but seems to be a little wordy and poorly organized. It was a bit of a chore to get through each chapter. However there is a ton of content. Ironically the author projects this book as a "basic read" for non-experts. Even as a seminary student I found it pretty deep and not sure it is too accessible to the general church-going audience. Otherwise it is a pretty good study of the synoptics.
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By K on November 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pheme Perkins approaches the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) from the standpoint of hard research and scholarship and not evangelism. Whether or not you believe Jesus to be divine, you will be quite fascinated with the portrait she has painted of Him. To me it seems somehow cogent. This book is the assigned text for my 300 level theology class at a Catholic university and it has opened my eyes to an historical Gospel much more real than the one I thought I knew from all my years of church-going and King James reading. It is easy to read, thorough, and the Kindel experience gives me the ability to highlight a passage or term from the text and find research on it with a key stroke. This book immerses the reader in what amounts to a well-investigated mystery and invites one to draw one's own informed conclusions based on what is known rather than what has been carelessly supposed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I collected several books on the Synoptic Gospels to use one as a single teaching tool for lay people. This one is not it. Early Christianity was based on the Easter event, to which various stories began to be added. Different communities had different stories. As one collection of stories arrived at a new community, the need arose to issue another collection of stories that conformed to the oral stories that were in use. This book is good, but there are too many charts and arrows for any but seminary students.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The content of this book is great. Perkins does a thorough job of introducing the synoptic gospels in a manageable presentation. It is sometimes too in-depth on "rabbit tracks" that seem to wander away from the main focus, but all in all, the material presented is superb.

Unfortunately, the kindle version of this book does not contain real page numbers, as it advertises. This needs to be fixed, and soon! Page numbers are vital when writing papers, citing and such. It is also not available for the Kindle Cloud Reader. I find that odd. It all just seems a bit glitchy. It is sad when the formatting issues get in the way of an otherwise quality book.

Update: Amazon has since updated the listing to no longer specify "contains real page numbers" as is appropriate.
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Format: Paperback
It might be an "introduction" in a sense of introduction to graduate students
Not the first choice for undergraduates
Lot of contents but connections between sentences are regularly dropped so the assumption is you can make them on your own. I am new to the subject so I can't or at least it takes too much precious time to struggle through disjunctive parts
Many other introductions are much more 'introductions' for this purpose
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
just started using it in my college class and enjoy it
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