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Jesus according to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801023705
ISBN-10: 080102370X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

ìIn this book Darrell Bock has accomplished for Evangelical theology what the late Raymond Brown achieved for its Catholic counterpart: a judicious synthesis of the scholarship of his colleagues with the concerns of a canonical reading of Scripture. The result is a readable textbook that respects the exegetical diversity of the Gospels while emphasizing the unity of their underlying witness.î óBruce Chilton, Bard College ìDarrell Bock is a well-known expert in the Gospels, and in Jesus according to Scripture he provides a detailed analysis of the portrait of Jesus from each Gospel as well as a theological synthesis of Jesusí message and import as the Gospels portray him. Here we have a much more fulsome and helpful portrait of Jesus than is offered in many recent treatments of the historical Jesus. Highly recommended.î óBen Witherington III, Asbury Theological Seminary ìThis book is a wonderful illustration of the value of canonical criticism. The authorís great knowledge of historical criticism is here employed in a study that takes the final form of the biblical texts as a literary unity. Bockís work has a wonderful balance between a respect for the uniqueness of each Gospel and an appreciation of the overall unity in the portrait of Jesus provided for the church.î óC. Stephen Evans, Baylor University ìThis book drives students to the texts of the four canonical Gospels; defends their historical reliability; interpretively distinguishes the Synoptics from John in the main, but somewhat from each other as well; and harmonizes all of them as much as possible. Teachers of courses on the life of Jesus who want a textbook that blends these approaches are likely to find here just what theyíre looking for.î óRobert Gundry, Westmont College Inside Flaps Copy (294 words) ìNeither a contribution to historical-Jesus research nor a conventional textbook on the Gospels, this is a common-sense yet academically informed commentaryófirst on a synopsis of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and then on John. Laypersons, theological students, and pastors needing a review course will greatly benefit from it. In many ways, Jesus according to Scripture is a successor to Dwight Pentecostís Words and Works of Jesus, and a worthy one indeed!î óCraig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary ìRooted in outstanding scholarship and written with exceptional clarity, Bockís presentation of Jesusí life and teaching will be of great help to pastors, Christian leaders, and students of Scripture. Our students have already benefited from a pre-published version of this volume and speak with enthusiasm about it.î óClinton E. Arnold, Talbot School of Theology While noting how details of the canonical presentation of Jesus relate to first-century Palestinian culture, Jesus according to Scripture is not a historical study of Jesus. Instead, it seeks to show the coherent portrait of Jesus that emerges from the Gospels, a portrait that is rooted in history and yet has produced its own historical and cultural impact.

Bock begins with a brief overview of each Gospel, surveying its structure, themes, authorship, setting, and date. He then offers a detailed, unit-by-unit examination of Jesus as portrayed in the Synoptic Gospels, followed by an analysis of Jesusí portrayal in John. He finishes with a summary of the themes found throughout the Gospels, thus unifying them into a cohesive portrait. Darrell L. Bock (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of more than ten books, including the two-volume BECNT commentary on Luke, Blasphemy and Exaltation in Judaism, and Studying the Historical Jesus.

About the Author

Darrell L. Bock (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is research professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author or editor of more than ten books, including the two-volume BECNT commentary on Luke and Studying the Historical Jesus. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Part 1 The Four Gospels: Distinctive Voices 1. Overviews of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Part 2 Jesus according to the Synoptists 2. The Birth and Childhood of Jesus: The Hope of Promise 3. The Backdrop to Jesus' Ministry: John the Baptist, Jesus' Baptism and Temptations 4. The Initial Portrait of Jesus' Galilean Ministry: Teaching, Healing and Controversy 5. Jesus' Teaching on Relating to God and Others: The Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain 6. More Galilean Ministry: Miracles, Mission to the Outcasts, and Discipleship in the Face of Opposition 7. From Kingdom Teaching to Confession: How the Disciples Began to Understand Jesus 8. Confession and Prediction: The New Reality, Part 1 9. Toward Jerusalem: The New Reality, Part 2 10. Toward Jerusalem: Ministry in Judea and Final Lessons 11. The Passion Week: Controversy, Prediction of Judgment and Return, Trial, Death, and Resurrection Part 3 Jesus according to John 12. Introducing Jesus in John's Gospel: The Word Incarnate and the First Witnesses: John the Baptist and the Disciples 13. John's Book of Signs: Before the Hour 14. The Book of Glory: The Farewell Discourse and the Johannine Passion Account- The Hour Has Come Part 4 A Theological Portrait of Jesus 15. Major Themes in the Evangelists' Portrait of Jesus' Theology: The Kingdom and the Uniquely Authoritative One in Act and Word

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080102370X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801023705
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.9 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This scholarly, yet approachable volume on the life of Jesus will appeal to both scholars and interested laypeople alike. While not exactly dumbing down, Bock writes in a style that would allow one not familiar with the technical sources cited to breeze over that material and get to the heart of Jesus' teachings.
Bock masterfully synthesizes the Gospels into a coherent, thematic picture of the Jesus of history. Bock's methodology uses very technical synoptics to piece together the gospel accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus and present the "portrait from the Gospels." The history of the life of Christ comes alive, and Bock draws on historical and cultural data to further the reader's understanding of the texts.
Most will find the overview of the four gospels at the beginning a good introduction (or a great refresher) to the historical and form issues of each.
Most excitingly, Bock deals a devastating blow to critical scholars (i.e. John Dominic Crossan, and his minions)who seek to undermine the credibility of the gospel accounts of the life of Christ. After reading this work, it becomes very apparent that these Jesus "scholars" are far from scholarly in their treatment of the life of Christ. They are simply revisionist historians making attempts to form their own portrait of Christ and read it back into the gospels. Bock doesn't argue against these fascimiles of biblical scholars in this volume, but his portrait of Christ makes it clear that theirs are thoroughly counterfeit.
I give Bock's book two thumbs up. A refreshing alternative to the critical garbage we've all been forced to put up with for the last century. At last, a biography of Jesus that is evangelical, scholarly, intelectually stimulating, and a historically accurate picture of the life and ministry of Christ.
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Format: Hardcover
Jesus According to Scripture: Restoring The Portrait From the Gospels is an extensive and erudite account by Darrell L. Bock (Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary) that strives to piece together a thorough and accurate portrait of Jesus Christ as drawn from the synoptic gospels, as well as an analysis of Jesus' portrayal in The Book of John. No effort is spared in the scrutinizing of close detail resulting in a truly scholarly and meticulous reconstruction which presents the reader with a clear and cohesive portrait of the Christ himself. Jesus According To Scripture is a welcome and impressive contribution to Christian Theological Studies in general, and those who seek a clearer understanding of the Gospel depiction of the role and personhood of Jesus in particular.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

In this tome on the Gospels, Bock hopes "to show that the very diversity in the Gospels underscores an inherent unity in their claims that adds depth to the account of Jesus in a way that simply overlapping accounts would not. Just as a three-dimensional portrait gives depth to an image in a way that two dimensions cannot, so these four Gospels reveal a many-sided Jesus whose fundamental claims still challenge us today. Thus, such a look at Jesus according to Scripture gives us a glimpse of how unique a figure Jesus was" (17). Bock tells us that the premise of his textbook is that "too few people, much less students of the Gospels, are familiar enough with the Gospel accounts as they stand" (17).

In four parts, Bock walks his readers through a comprehensive portrait of the Gospels, starting with an overview which emphasizes the uniqueness of each Gospel. Then, Bock spills the majority of his ink over the portrait of Jesus contained in the synoptics, weaving these accounts together emphasizing the Gospels' chronology alongside of their christology. Part three deals with Jesus according to John, and Bock's final chapter is a theological summary of his first three sections and the major theological themes which emerge from the Gospels. Bock wrote Jesus according to Scripture not as a technical study, but to be a painstaking presentation of the Gospel narratives. His lack of concision is in service to the presentation of this portrait of Jesus.

What's Good

This book is written incredibly well. Often books like this read woodenly or can be difficult to move through, but Bock's style is both clear and fast paced. This is most evident in chapter 11, The Passion Week, which reads more like a action novel than a theology textbook.
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Darrel Bock has delivered a lengthy and scripturally sound portrayal of the life of our Lord and Christ. The Person and work of Christ is done biblical justice and denies the 'self' any right to claim salvation as originating in man. God-in-the-flesh condescended to His creation, His creatures, to bring them redemption through His vicarious atonement on the Cross - a life led and laid down in glory to the Father. Bock harmonizes the Synoptic Gospels, side by side, and quotes various original translations with each separate episode. He then deals with John as a separate account - as that of Christ revealed from heaven to us. So this work is a solid refutation of the many 'Jesus traditions' that have circulated in the last two centuries - namely, that of the 'origins' critical school. It is thoroughly scriptural and bases its reading upon the divine inspiration of Scripture. This is the true Son of God revealed!

'Without an appreciation of His suffering, Jesus' messianic calling is not understood. Only as the cross draws near does the full scope of divine promise and calling emerge.' p 33

'The servant Jesus is an example of how to walk with God in a world that rejects those sent by God. It is here that the pastoral demands of discipleship appear as well (Mark 10:35-45).' p 33

'Jesus' work brings intense rejection and will lead to persecution one day. This means that disciples must persevere in their walk in the face of great persecution (Luke 21:7-19). The two great obstacles to discipleship are the pressure that this persecution produces and excessive attachment to the world, especially through possessions (Luke 8: 11-15, 18:8).
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