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An Eighth Day View:
The gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John are arguably the most important and influential books in Western history. Their accounts of Jesus do not simply add up to "The Greatest Story Ever Told," but "The Four Greatest Stories Ever Told." Why do they present such strikingly different versions of the same events? As the great filmmaker Akira Kirosawa demonstrated in his epic movie Rashomon, different witnesses can quite honestly remember the same event in very different ways. Now Oxford New Testament scholar Robin Griffith-Jones shows how the four gospels testify authentically yet very distinctly to Jesus' life, death, and message.
Jesus himself asked, 'Who do you say I am?' If his question has ever intrigued you--if it has ever just caught your imagination--then this book has been written for you.
In The Four Witnesses, Robin Griffith-Jones brings the stories of Jesus to life for the contemporary reader as he revives the original power and intent of the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John as individual witnesses. He presents a lively discussion of how and why each of the four gospels was written, considering the substance and style of the testimony itself as well as the unique context of each story. Rather than entering into the current historical Jesus debates, he offers a fresh reading of the texts with new questions in mind, the same questions, often highly personal, that each Gospel writer sought to address in his own work. For them, as for us, Jesus presented a enigmatic, challenging figure. By seeking insight into the mystery of his life and work, they hoped to find a new way to see the world and to understand our relationship with God.
"Who do you say I am?" Each gospel offers its own answer to Jesus' question, influenced by the context of its writing and the personality of its writer. By examining the distinct light shed by each gospel writer on Jesus' life, work, and death, readers can discover which perspective speaks most clearly to their own needs, hopes, and fears, and decide how to respond to Jesus' challenge. Most importantly, they can encounter in all four gospels taken together what one alone could not provide: a remarkably full and compelling presentation of Jesus and his powerful message.