Series: Cambridge Companions to Religion Edited by Stephen C. Barton
The four gospels are a central part of the Christian canon of scripture. In the faith of Christians, this canon constitutes a life-giving witness to who God is and what it means to be truly human. This volume treats the gospels not just as historical sources, but also as crucial testimony to the life of God made known in Jesus Christ. This approach helps to overcome the sometimes damaging split between critical gospel study and questions of theology, ethics and the life of faith. The essays are by acknowledged experts in a range of theological disciplines. The first section considers what are appropriate ways of reading the gospels given the kinds of texts they are. The second, central section covers the contents of the gospels. The third section looks at the impact of the gospels in church and society across history and up to the present day.
- The contributors include not only New Testament specialists, but also theologians and ethicists
- The essays address subjects not usually covered in standard introductions to the gospels, including their impact on Christian lives, spirituality and worship
- Interdisciplinary and international, the book will be of interest to an unusually wide audience, including theology students, religious professionals, academics, and theologically literate lay people
Contents Introduction Stephen C. Barton;
Part I. Approaching the Gospels - Context and Method: 1. What is a gospel? Loveday Alexander; 2. The fourfold gospel Francis Watson; 3. The canonical matrix of the gospels Richard B. Hays; 4. The gospels and ‘the historical Jesus’ Stephen E. Fowl; 5. The gospels and the reader Sandra M. Schneiders;
Part II. The Gospels as Witnesses to Christ - Content and Interpretation: 6. The Gospel according to Matthew Stephen C. Barton; 7. The Gospel according to Mark Joel B. Green; 8. The Gospel according to Luke John T. Squires; 9. The Gospel according to John Marianne Meye Thompson;
Part III. The Afterlife of the Gospels - Impact on Church and Society: 10. The gospels and the development of doctrine Frances Young; 11. The gospels embodied: the lives of saints and martyrs David Matzko McCarthy; 12. Praying the gospels: spirituality and worship Gordon Mursell; 13. Living the gospels: morality and politics Scott Bader-Saye.