UK Christian Bookshops Directory: Christian Book Reviews: Jesus and The Gospels
Jesus and The Gospels Jesus and The Gospels
An Introduction and Survey

Craig Blomberg
ISBN 9780851117706 (0851117708)
IVP, 1997

Category: Biblical Studies

Professor Blomberg sets out to provide a textbook for theological training courses — a systematic and consistent treatment of what he sees as the five main introductory sub-sections of a thorough Introduction to Jesus and The Gospels.

These are:

  1. A brief history of the period between the Old and New Testaments
  2. An introduction to the various 'critical methods' currently used by scholars
  3. A treatment of questions of the origins and backgrounds of each of the Gospels
  4. A survey of the life of Christ, highlighting the major themes and motifs
  5. A discussion of the main controversies surrounding the historicity and theology of Jesus.

Readers will find that he has succeeded in this goal and perhaps only too well. While the composition is readable and clear, the book has the feel of a densely packed textbook. The full-page simple diagrams and charts clash with the tightly-set blocks of text. Despite the helpful inclusion of 'Questions for Review' at the end of each chapter, it's very easy to plough through the chapters taking in huge masses of information and lists of the four indexes of reliability or five additional themes from Jesus' teaching, but without emerging with the One Big Idea.

Again, this is probably very good for a book that accompanies a taught course. The book is certainly up-to-date, well informed and written. But I would recommend it mainly for group- or lecture-course study and only to be read with a highlighter pen in one hand. In those circumstances, this book is a masterpiece. I'll be using it for my classes.

Conrad Gempf, January 1998

Dr Conrad Gempf teaches New Testament at London School of Theology. He is the author of Jesus Asked (Zondervan, 2003), Mealtime Habits of the Messiah (Zondervan, 2005) and Christian Life & The Bible (LST, 2006). He writes extensively for various books, journals, magazines and websites; here's his blog: Not Quite Art; Not Quite Living.

Previously published by London School of Theology. Reused here by kind permission.


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