Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Cover Art

2017.03.07 | Francis Watson, The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016. ISBN: 9780801095450

Review by Jeremiah Coogan, University of Notre Dame.

What modes of reading does the fourfold gospel imply? To answer this question, Francis Watson (Durham University) presents “a theological reading of the New Testament portraits of Jesus.” As the indefinite article makes clear, Watson does not assert a prescriptive reading; rather, the specific readings demonstrate the fruitfulness of reading the fourfold gospel as a complex literary and canonical unity. He invites the reader to experience a different mode of reading, guided by a number of “pre-critical” exegetical insights. Both Watson’s reading and his argument about reading succeed, although this reviewer found the latter more abundantly fruitful than the former. Watson displays his erudition with a light hand, lucidly gesturing toward intricate debates without oversimplification or distraction. Streamlined…

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