The Gospels are not only the foundation of the New Testament, they are also integral to the celebration of the Eucharist. Because the Gospels embody the whole Christian tradition, every Christian seeking to be a student of Christ should be a student of the Gospels.
This work provides that opportunity for all Christians, whether in classrooms, study groups, prayer groups, or in individual study, to come to know Christ by coming to know the Gospels. The first three chapters address the literary, structural, and rhetorical principles underlying the Synoptic Gospels. The remaining chapters encourage readers to dialogue with the Gospels in three ways: 1) by explaining the structure and theology of each Synoptic Gospel, 2) by devoting attention to the four outstanding features of the Gospels parables, miracles, the passion narratives, and the resurrection accounts, and 3) by introducing the readers to the special features of John's Gospel. This flexible textbook's approach allows beginning students to encounter the Jesus of the Gospels on their own terms, to make their new knowledge personal and practical.
James M. Reese, O.S.F.S., is also the author of Experiencing the Good News: The New Testament as Communication (Good News Studies 10), 1 and 2 Thessalonians (New Testament Message 16), and The Book of Wisdom, Song of Songs (Old Testament Message 20).