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Four Gospels, One Jesus: A symbolic Reading
Richard A. Burridge

9780802829801 Retail Price: $16.00
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Format: Paperback, 198pp.
ISBN: 9780802829801
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pub. Date: 2 edition August 30, 2005

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About the Author
Table of Contents
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From The Publisher:

In this very readable book Richard Burridge depicts Jesus through the four Gospel authors' distinctive portraits of him. Without bogging down readers with technical terminology, Burridge brings to bear his research comparing the Gospels with classical biographies and offers a clear interpretation of each Gospel author's portrait. In a particularly striking move, he draws on the traditional symbols of the Gospels — the human face, lion, ox, and eagle — to represent each book's unique picture of Jesus.

This second edition incorporates recent scholarship on the historical Jesus, a new section on how the Gospels have been read throughout history, and an expanded discussion of how to teach and preach the Gospels through the lectionary. Burridge also tackles the matter of how these ancient writings bear on today's hot-button issues of unity and diversity. "Four Gospels, One Jesus?" will be appreciated by pastors, churches, and other readers keen to understand Jesus more fully.


“A rare merger of the very best of modern biblical scholarship with a readable and engaging telling of the Gospel portraits of Jesus particularly aimed at a popular audience.”
—Anglican Theological Review

“A fine introduction to the distinctive portrait of Jesus provided by each of the Gospels. . . . Should prove to be a very helpful window into Gospel scholarship for many readers.”
—Reformed Theological Review

“An engaging approach to reading each Gospel as a unique portrait of Jesus.”
—Toronto Journal of Theology


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About the Author

Richard A. Burridge is dean of King's College in London, where he is also Director of New Testament Studies.

Table of Contents

    Preface and Acknowledgements from the First Edition

    Preface to the Revised Edition

  1. Four Gospels, . . .
  2. Four portraits

    What are the gospels?

    How did the gospels come to be written?

    What sorts of material do the gospels contain?

    What about the authors?
         Redaction and composition

    Literary approaches to the texts
         Narrative and readers

    Creativity and inspiration
         Criticism of scripture

    The four living creatures
         The allocation of the symbols to the gospels

    The four symbols as visual teaching aids
         Reasons and explanations

    From Jerome to the Book of Kells
         The illuminated gospels

  3. The Roar of the Lion — Mark's Jesus
  4. The lion's appearance
         Symbolism and meaning

    The bounding lion
         Mark's style, structure, and narrative technique

    The beast of conflict
         Opposition and ministry, Mark 1–8

    The lion and his pride
         The role of the disciples

    What kind of animal is this creature?
         Identity and interlude, Mark 8–10

    Jerusalem — the lion's lair or robbers' den?
         The Temple, Mark 11–13

    In at the kill
         The Passion, Mark 14–15

    "Rose like a lion"?
         The Resurrection, Mark 16.1-8

  5. The Teacher of Israel — Matthew's Jesus
  6. The human face
         Symbolism and meaning

    Where is he who is born King of the Jews?
         Infancy narratives, Matthew 1–2

    Another Moses?
         Beginning ministry, Matthew 3–8.1

    The new teaching
         The Discourses, Matthew 5–7, 10, 13, 18, 23–25

    Conflict between the Teacher and Israel
         Matthew 8–23

    The Teacher's suffering
         The Passion, Matthew 26–27

    The Teacher's vindication
         The Resurrection, Matthew 28

  7. The Bearer of Burdens — Luke's Jesus
  8. The powerful ox
         Symbolism and meaning

    The ox in the Temple and the stall
         Infancy and beginnings, Luke 1–4.13

    The ox plods a long, slow journey
         Luke's style and structure

    The ox, the herd, and the drivers
         Luke's characterization

    Those who are burdened with heavy loads
         The ministry of the ox

    Strength to bear the burdens
         Luke's spirituality

    The sacrificial, saving victim
         The Passion, Luke 22–23

    He rides again
         The Resurrection, Luke 24

  9. The High-Flying Eagle — John's Jesus
  10. Gwaihir and Farsight the Eagles
         Symbolism and meaning

    The high-flying perspective
         Prologue and beginnings, 1.1-51

    "The way of an eagle in the sky"
         Following John's story, style and structure

    "The eagle has landed"?
         The person of Jesus

    Talons bared for conflict
         The Book of Signs and "the Jews", John 2–12

    Living under the shadow of his wings
         Discipleship and the Last Supper, John 13–17

    The hour of glory
         The Passion, John 18–19

    "Risen with healing in his wings"
         The Resurrection, John 20–21

  11. . . . One Jesus?
  12. Four portraits or four Jesuses?

    From four gospels back to one Jesus

    From four gospels forward to many Jesuses

    Plurality within limits

    Biography, faith, and worship

    Suggestions for Further Reading


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