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What the Gospels Meant

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | What the Gospels Meant.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist and Historian Garry Wills(Author Reader)

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"New York Times" bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills interprets the four Gospels
Garry Wills's recent "New York Times" bestselling books "What Jesus Meant" and "What Paul Meant" were tour-de-force interpretations of the teachings of Jesus and the Apostle Paul. Now Wills turns his remarkable gift for biblical analysis to the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Wills brilliantly examines the goals, methods, and styles of the evangelists and how these shaped the gospels? messages. The earliest book, Mark, emphasizes Jesus the sufferer; in Matthew, Jesus the teacher; in Luke, Jesus the reconciler; and in John, Jesus the mystic. Hailed as ?one of the most intellectually interesting and doctrinally heterodox Christians writing today? ("The New York Times Book Review"), Wills guides readers through the maze of meanings that have accrued around these foundational texts, revealing their essential Christian truths. "What the Gospels Meant" will prove to be a valuable source of wisdom and inspiration for all.

A "NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLERPraise for "What the Gospels Meant""Full of riches . . . Wills brings to bear the skills that have justly brought him renown as America's greatest public intellectual: encyclopedic erudition, concise prose and a polyglot's gift for ancient languages. . . . This introduces . . . biblical scholarship as a whole to a wide audience of readers hungry for a sophisticated account of those eternally curious texts." --"Chicago"" Tribune" "What readers will find here is an engaging look at the Gospels, informed by the best biblical scholarship, as well as by Wills's own faith. . . . This eminently readable volume . . . underscores the attributes of each narrative to highlight truths more crucial than whether there were four discrete Evangelists." --"The New York Times Book Review" "Wills's scholarship . . . is impeccable, placing the gospels within their original cultural and religious context . . . A book that offers profound spiritual and historical insight in an accessible and intriguing format." --"BookPage" "Poetic, penetrating, and moving. General readers and scholars alike will profit from Mr. Wills's basic contention, that reason and faith are not antinomies." --"The New York Sun " "An engrossingly concise sequel to his Paul book. Wills . . . shows that [the Gospels are] theological statements, applying Jesus to the different situations confronting each writer's community." --"The Boston Globe " "Readers willing to have their impressions about these texts challenged by an erudite scholar will find this to be fascinating and worthwhile reading." --"Publishers Weekly " "A remarkable achievement--a learned yet eminently readable and provocative exploration of the four small books that reveal most of what's known about the life and death of Jesus." --"Los Angeles"" Times"A "NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLER Praise for "What the Gospels Meant"Full of riches . . . Wills brings to bear the skills that have justly brought him renown as America s greatest public intellectual: encyclopedic erudition, concise prose and a polyglot s gift for ancient languages. . . . This introduces . . . biblical scholarship as a whole to a wide audience of readers hungry for a sophisticated account of those eternally curious texts."Chicago Tribune"What readers will find here is an engaging look at the Gospels, informed by the best biblical scholarship, as well as by Wills s own faith. . . . This eminently readable volume . . . underscores the attributes of each narrative to highlight truths more crucial than whether there were four discrete Evangelists."The New York Times Book Review"Wills s scholarship . . . is impeccable, placing the gospels within their original cultural and religious context . . . A book that offers profound spiritual and historical insight in an accessible and intriguing format."BookPage"Poetic, penetrating, and moving. General readers and scholars alike will profit from Mr. Wills s basic contention, that reason and faith are not antinomies."The New York Sun "An engrossingly concise sequel to his Paul book. Wills . . . shows that [the Gospels are] theological statements, applying Jesus to the different situations confronting each writer s community."The Boston Globe "Readers willing to have their impressions about these texts challenged by an erudite scholar will find this to be fascinating and worthwhile reading."Publishers Weekly "A remarkable achievement a learned yet eminently readable and provocative exploration of the four small books that reveal most of what s known about the life and death of Jesus."Los Angeles Times""A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Praise for What the Gospels Meant-Full of riches . . . Wills brings to bear the skills that have justly brought him renown as America's greatest public intellectual: encyclopedic erudition, concise prose and a polyglot's gift for ancient languages. . . . This introduces . . . biblical scholarship as a whole to a wide audience of readers hungry for a sophisticated account of those eternally curious texts.- --Chicago Tribune-What readers will find here is an engaging look at the Gospels, informed by the best biblical scholarship, as well as by Wills's own faith. . . . This eminently readable volume . . . underscores the attributes of each narrative to highlight truths more crucial than whether there were four discrete Evangelists.- --The New York Times Book Review-Wills's scholarship . . . is impeccable, placing the gospels within their original cultural and religious context . . . A book that offers profound spiritual and historical insight in an accessible and intriguing format.- --BookPage-Poetic, penetrating, and moving. General readers and scholars alike will profit from Mr. Wills's basic contention, that reason and faith are not antinomies.- --The New York Sun-An engrossingly concise sequel to his Paul book. Wills . . . shows that [the Gospels are] theological statements, applying Jesus to the different situations confronting each writer's community.- --The Boston Globe-Readers willing to have their impressions about these texts challenged by an erudite scholar will find this to be fascinating and worthwhile reading.- --Publishers Weekly-A remarkable achievement--a learned yet eminently readable and provocative exploration of the four small books that reveal most of what's known about the life and death of Jesus.- --Los Angeles Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review Text

  • By Brian Griffith on 26 November 2008

    Wills gives a patient, scholarly exploration of what the Gospels meant to contemporary Jews and Christians. At each turn of the story he explores the meanings people of that time drew, from associations they made with the whole Hebrew Bible. And being a Greek scholar, Wills does his own translations of the New Testament, often giving the lines fresh force. Among the Beatitudes, Wills translates "Happy those who yield", and explains "Jesus praises those who could be aggressive but refuse to be".Wills' writing is more careful than dramatic. He's devout and scrupulous at the same time. With deepest respect for the Gospel writers', he shows how variant copies of the text sometimes tried to correct its message. Some copyists deleted the lines "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do", because they assumed it wrong to promote forgiveness for such terrible deeds.Basically, the book focuses on how Hebrew heritage informed the Gospel accounts. It neglects other influences, such as how Greek culture influenced the probably Greek authors of Luke and John.--author of Correcting Jesus: 2000 Years of Changing the Story

  • By John Howard Reid on 4 February 2009

    Although many books have been written about the Gospels and their supposed authors, Professor Wills approaches the topic in a new and invigorating way. He does not see Mark, for example, as Peter's secretary or interpreter, even though Peter himself affectionately describes Mark as his adopted son in his postscript to the letter written by Sylvanus under Peter's own name, known as "1 Peter" (see my Essential Bible Wisdom: GOOD NEWS by John, the Beloved Disciple, and John, the Elder for the full text). Instead, Wills believes that Mark the evangelist actually has a poor opinion of Peter, which he disguises to some extent by putting words of self-abasement into Peter's own mouth. Although these words come across to me as examples of Peter's humility (and I have treated them as such in my own new translation of Mark's entire gospel in More Bible Wisdom for Modern Times: Selections from the Early New Testament), they could be interpreted, Wills argues, as a deliberate literary device. Therefore the Mark of the Gospel could not possibly be the same Mark whom Peter refers to as his "son". This also frees Wills to view the evangelist as a man of far greater literary artistry than the primitive Greek-speaking Mark we all know and love. Personally, I find Wills' hypothesis far-fetched, but his is nonetheless a fascinating theory, well-researched, captivatingly written and absolute must reading for all who wish to understand the depth, breadth and complexity of the Gospels.


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