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Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction Paperback – October 1, 2012
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From the Back Cover
--Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews; Ridley Hall, Cambridge
"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."
--Darrell Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary
"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, The Southern Baptist 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 entrée to becoming Jesus's disciple for the sake of loving God by the work of the Spirit. Few works explain more."
--Robert W. Yarbrough, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri
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Top Customer Reviews
READING THE GOSPELS WISELY by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Jonathan Pennington is an invaluable guidebook on understanding what kind of writings the gospels are, their purpose, and how to read them in a way that draws us closer to Jesus and transforms our hearts.
Pennington spends considerable time exploring the literary genre of the gospels and gives us a working definition of what the gospels are, "Our canonical gospels are the theological, historical, and aretological (virtue-forming) biographical narratives that retell the story and proclaim the significance of Jesus Christ, who through the power of the Spirit is the Restorer of God's reign." He explains why we need the gospels and why we need four of them. He also works to show that the teachings of Paul and other New Testament writers were built upon the content that would be recording in the four Gospels, so that there is no disconnect between, for example, the teaching of Jesus and the teaching of Paul.
Pennington briefly walks us through reading Scripture in general well, reading it historically, literarily, and theologically, keeping these three avenues in balance.Read more ›
In the introduction to his book, Reading the Gospels Wisely (published by the Baker Academic, a division of Baker Books in Grand Rapids, Michigan) Jonathan Pennington's doctoral supervisor, Richard Bauckham of St Andrew's University writes,
"His concern is with helping Christians read the Gospels in a way that is faithful to the sort of texts they are... He invites us to read the four Gospels as history and theology - each as a narrative whole in its own right, as the climax of the great scriptural metanarrative, and as the keystone in the archway of the whole canon of Scripture. What is perhaps most distinctive in his approach is his concern for Christian virtue and discipleship."
I believe that Pennington does a wonderful job of providing a rich and detail guide in learning how to read the four Gospels of the Christian New Testament. And I appreciate this book as both a Christ follower and a Christian minister.
In this twelve chapter book, Pennington lays out a case for calling the Christian Church to a greater study, understanding, and application of the first four books of the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And then he proceeds to make a solid case on why they need to be read well and then suggests a format of how to read them well.Read more ›
[[...] for more details on the book]
Those wishing to hear a scholarly and winsome treatment defining the "gospel" will love chapter one, not only for it's thorough research, but it's simple, orthodox interpretation of key OT and NT texts.
The discussion of genre in chapter two is also well balanced, a great supplement to books such as "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses" by Bauckham.
Chapter three begins the task of poking at implicit evangelical assumptions about the structure and importance of the NT with the fourfold gospel witness as compliment and in some ways guide/constraint to the occasional nature of the letters.
Horizontal readers and texts critics will eat up chapter four, and chapter five is the best treatment of historiography that I've ever ready (what a gem in the midst of a Gospels textbook!).
This review is already getting long, suffice it to say, chapter six will blow your hermeneutical socks off along with chapter seven, and parts two and three of the book will guide your wise reading into the necessary/difficult, life-changing task of preaching and applying the Gospels.
Pauline guys will love chewing on the purposely overstated chapter twelve, which is a fun and fitting conclusion to this work.
Understanding the testimonies about our God and Savior Jesus Christ is certainly a worthy pursuit, and Dr. Pennington's book sets the standard towards this wise end.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Purchased this as an aid in an upcoming class. Have not read yet, but at first glance it appears that it will be very helpful.Published 7 months ago by Bill Barber
This book was almost never finished. I started reading it for a class I was auditing at Harding School of Theology. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Matthew Morine
This is a thick read and took me quite a while to work my way through it.
Pennington is a helpful resource for reading and preaching the Gospels. Read more
The book was read for grad school, definitely very technical and some areas, but the analysis of how to read a pericope and how to preach them were phenomenal!Published 11 months ago by Lawrence Lartey
This book will challenge you to read the gospels in a more helpful light, and it will stretch your view of the gospel in a healthy way.Published 13 months ago by Spencer Cary
Highly recommend. Dr. Pennington breaks down the importance of understanding the Gospels in the light of the whole Bible. Good readPublished 16 months ago by kevin
Provides good insight that is needed when reading the Bible. It also provides some good insight when reading any document that was originally intended for an audience over 2000... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Steve Sparks
The four gospels should be seen as just one fourfold gospel.
This tetraeuangelium should be the basis on which we read the whole Bible. Read more