Reading the Gospel's Wisely

A Narrative and Theological Introduction

Jonathan Pennington

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Pennington has a wide knowledge of the specialist literature, and he skillfully distills what matters most for the task of reading the Gospels wisely. What comes across is a powerful sense that the Gospels are not only historical but also life-changing.--Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews; Ridley Hall, CambridgennIn this work, Jonathan Pennington examines the theological and ethical aims of the Gospel narratives, helping students see the fruit of historical and literary study. He contends that we can learn to read the Gospels well from various vantage points, including those of premodern, modern, and postmodern habits and postures.

This textbook can stand on its own as a guide to reading the Gospels as Scripture. It is also ideally suited to supplement conventional textbooks that discuss each Gospel systematically. Most textbooks tend to introduce students to historical-critical concerns but may be less adequate for showing how the Gospel narratives, read as Scripture within the canonical framework of the entire New Testament and the whole Bible, yield material for theological reflection and faithful practice. Pennington neither dismisses nor duplicates the results of current historical-critical work on the Gospels as historical sources. Rather, he offers critically aware and hermeneutically intelligent instruction in reading the Gospels in order to hear their witness to Christ in a way that supports Christian application and proclamation. This text will appeal to professors and students in Gospels, New Testament survey, and New Testament interpretation courses.

Reading the Gospel's Wisely