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To Christian believers, the Gospels record the ?greatest story ever told,? the events of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah. They narrate the climax and turning point in human history, when God acted decisively to achieve salvation for people everywhere. To study the Gospels is to study the foundation of Christianity. Even to those who do not follow Jesus as their Lord, the Gospels serve as the primary source documents for the most influential life ever lived. Jesus of Nazareth has been the topic of more books, movies, discussions and debates than any person in history. But who was this man Jesus, and how did his movement begin? In this textbook we will examine the nature and content of the four Gospels, the primary source documents for the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Where did these books come from? What was their purpose? What can they tell us about Jesus? These are the questions we will seek to answer.
To Christians worldwide, the man Jesus of Nazareth is the centerpiece of history, the object of faith, hope, and worship. Even those who do not follow him admit the vast influence of his life. For anyone interested in knowing more about Jesus, study of the four biblical Gospels is essential. Four Portraits, One Jesus is a thorough yet accessible introduction to these documents and their subject, the life and person of Jesus. Like different artists rendering the same subject using different styles and points of view, the Gospels paint four highly distinctive portraits of the same remarkable Jesus. With clarity and insight, Mark Strauss illuminates these four books, first addressing their nature, origin, methods for study, and historical, religious, and cultural backgrounds. He then moves on to closer study of each narrative and its contribution to our understanding of Jesus, investigating things such as plot, characters, and theme. Finally, he pulls it all together with a detailed examination of what the Gospels teach about Jesus ministry, message, death, and resurrection, with excursions into the quest for the historical Jesus and the historical reliability of the Gospels."
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