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New in the Bookstore

February 13 2012 at 4:46 pm 3 Comments

Here are two brief reviews from Robin Boisvert on books that speak to seeing Jesus clearly in the Gospels. Look for these titles in the church bookstore.

Jesus According to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels, by Darrell L. Bock

This is a study of the life and teaching of Jesus using the actual material of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It is not a gospel harmony, however. From his introduction, Bock states that his purpose is to present “a coherent portrait of Jesus … from the canonical Gospels that is both rooted in history and yet has produced its own historical, cultural impact because of the portrait these four Gospels give of Him.” Instead of focusing on the dissimilarities among the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and their differences from John, Bock seeks to appreciate how these dissimilarities support a unified portrait of Jesus. As detectives know, absolute agreement among witnesses suggests collusion, while slightly different reports demonstrate authenticity.

What an edifying experience it was, reading through this book with an open Bible! Bock states as a premise in his introduction … “too few people, much less students of the Gospels, are familiar enough with the Gospel accounts as they stand.” I would have to agree. Having read the Gospels countless times in my forty years as a believer, I benefited much from reading this book, seeing things I had not seen before. Bock is an excellent scholar, able to communicate on a popular level. He presents the helpful perspective that these documents stand tall as historically reliable. They are the eyewitness accounts of the apostles. They are the reason why Christianity spread so rapidly in the 1st Century and why it continues to spread in a mission that will result in God’s glory filling the earth as the waters cover the sea.

Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels, by Craig A. Evans

For most of the church’s history, her views of Jesus Christ have been shaped by those documents known as the canonical gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But over the last century or so modern (and post-modern) critical scholarship has amazed us with so-called facts and theories about Jesus much at odds with the portrait given in those documents. For example, the idea that Jesus was functionally illiterate, was married to Mary Magdalene or that Judas Iscariot, far from betraying Jesus, was really the greatest of his disciples. These and other ideas have found their way into the popular mind through books, TV documentaries and movies such as The Da Vinci Code. Evans explodes the shoddy scholarship that undergirds such contentions. In doing so he supports the historical reliability of the source documents of the Christian faith—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This book is easy to follow and has an engaging style. It will be helpful for those who have faced questions like, “Why does Christianity only accept four gospels when many others were written?”

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Thank you so much for the review and recommendation of these books.  Studying God’s Word starts with studying The Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us.  It is so exciting to see how the Holy Spirit is moving the church to see, love, know and adore our Savior!!!  He is all we need!

By Gabriel Knowlton on 02/13/2012

Thanks for making us aware of JESUS ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE. We who have read the gospels so many times are tempted to not read them or skim through them quickly when we know the whole OT points to Christ, and the N’T, after the gospels, points back to Him in some way. It will be good to see Him with new eyes. I plan to read it slowly with Colassians and DUG DOWN DEEP. I hope the bookstore has plenty of copies! Thanks Robin!

By Paul Kellen on 02/13/2012

Thanks for the review. I dont recall seeing reviews before, but they are very helpful.  I also have been interested in digging deeper into the gospels. I look forward to reading these new books.

By Kevin Smith on 02/14/2012
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