Reading the Gospels

Biblical Interpretation in the Catholic Tradition

Course instructors considering a book for adoption will be provided a complimentary copy.
$23.95
Digital Books

““Reading the Gospels is written in clear and engaging prose. The preliminary discussion of method, historical background, the historical Jesus, and the formation of the Gospel tradition are clear and concise and open up access to the Gospels. “The overall tone of the work is inviting. It does not talk down to students or make biblical study seem like an arcane province of specialists, but invites readers into the activity of reading and thinking about the Gospels in conversation with others. The text articulates a Christian and Catholic understanding of the Gospels in ways that allow both Christians and non-Christians to participate in the conversation.””

David A. Bosworth
Assistant Professor of Old Testament
The Catholic University of America

“McMahon’’s explanation of the origins of the historical-critical method and the ways that contemporary scholars use it in their work with the Gospels is clear and concise. Similarly, his treatment of the historical Jesus gives students a connection to the world in which Jesus and the evangelists lived so that they can understand the text as it is written and interpret it for our own times. An abundance of sidebars and summary boxes provide students with essential tools for their study without cluttering the main text. Reading the Gospels is an excellent introduction to the study of the Gospels for undergraduate students.”

Linda S. Harrington
Assistant Professor of Theology
Briar Cliff University

“Here is an excellent and thorough introduction to the four Gospels that Catholic professors teaching at the college and seminary level should consider. McMahon, professor of theology at Saint Vincent College, writes from an explicitly Catholic perspective. He begins with an insightful discussion of what the “historical-critical” method is and how it has developed in a Catholic context. Subsequent chapters take up the historical background of the New Testament, the quest for the historical Jesus, and the formation of the gospel tradition. He then turns to a detailed analysis of the context, structure, and theological perspective of each Gospel. This is a first-rate, lucid textbook.”

Donald Senior, Bible Today

About This Book

Overview

Shows students how to examine and engage with the text of the Gospels.

In Reading the Gospels, Christopher McMahon provides teachers and students with the tools to bring the study of the Gospels to life. McMahon’s approach—the historical-critical method—is considered by the Pontifical Biblical Commission to be “the indispensable method for the scientific study of the meaning of ancient texts.”

Reading the Gospels is full of pedagogical tools that will aid the professor and help students to proactively engage in scriptural analysis themselves. Beginning with introductory historical chapters that contextualize the circumstances in which the Gospels came to be, the book includes:

  • Detailed analyses of Gospel passages, from a historical and literary perspective
  • Alternative interpretations of the Gospel texts for students to consider
  • “Questions for Understanding” and “Questions for Reflection” at the end of each chapter, useful for student review
  • Ample endnotes for orientation, and brief bibliographies for further research

A basic introduction to the canonical Gospels and the issues related to their interpretation, Reading the Gospels will engage students in the kind of detailed analysis necessary for the success of their future research and scholarly work.

Details

Weight 0.8 lbs
Dimensions 7.25 x 1.5 x 9.125 in
Format

Softcover

ISBN

978-1-59982-007-1

Pages

225

Item # 7038

Customer Reviews

““Reading the Gospels is written in clear and engaging prose. The preliminary discussion of method, historical background, the historical Jesus, and the formation of the Gospel tradition are clear and concise and open up access to the Gospels. “The overall tone of the work is inviting. It does not talk down to students or make biblical study seem like an arcane province of specialists, but invites readers into the activity of reading and thinking about the Gospels in conversation with others. The text articulates a Christian and Catholic understanding of the Gospels in ways that allow both Christians and non-Christians to participate in the conversation.””

David A. Bosworth
Assistant Professor of Old Testament
The Catholic University of America

“McMahon’’s explanation of the origins of the historical-critical method and the ways that contemporary scholars use it in their work with the Gospels is clear and concise. Similarly, his treatment of the historical Jesus gives students a connection to the world in which Jesus and the evangelists lived so that they can understand the text as it is written and interpret it for our own times. An abundance of sidebars and summary boxes provide students with essential tools for their study without cluttering the main text. Reading the Gospels is an excellent introduction to the study of the Gospels for undergraduate students.”

Linda S. Harrington
Assistant Professor of Theology
Briar Cliff University

“Here is an excellent and thorough introduction to the four Gospels that Catholic professors teaching at the college and seminary level should consider. McMahon, professor of theology at Saint Vincent College, writes from an explicitly Catholic perspective. He begins with an insightful discussion of what the “historical-critical” method is and how it has developed in a Catholic context. Subsequent chapters take up the historical background of the New Testament, the quest for the historical Jesus, and the formation of the gospel tradition. He then turns to a detailed analysis of the context, structure, and theological perspective of each Gospel. This is a first-rate, lucid textbook.”

Donald Senior, Bible Today

About the Author

Christopher McMahon

Christopher McMahon holds a PhD in theology from the Catholic University of America. His areas of interest include Christology and Scripture. Dr. McMahon is a contributor to the Saint Mary’s Press College Study Bible and The New Catholic Encyclopedia. He has also contributed essays to Patristic and Byzantine Review, New Blackfriars, American Benedictine Review, and The Journal of Religion and Film. Dr. McMahon currently teaches theology at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Modern Catholic Biblical Studies and the Historical-Critical Method
Biblical Interpretation in Crisis
The Plan for What Follows

  1. The Historical Background of First-Century Palestine
    Greek Influences on First-Century Judaism
    The Roman Presence in Palestine
    The Social System of First-Century Palestine
    Theological Developments within Judaism
    Conclusion
  2. The Historical Jesus
    Questing for the Historical Jesus
    Applying the Criteria: A Tentative Sketch of the Historical Jesus
    Conclusion
  3. The Formation of the Gospel Tradition
    The Gospel Tradition in Broad Terms
    New Testament Christology: Titles, Roles, and Patterns
    The Synoptic Tradition
    Conclusion
  4. The Gospel According to Mark
    Introduction: Historical and Theological Background
    Mark’s Account of the Gospel
    Conclusion
  5. The Gospel According to Matthew
    Introduction: Historical and Theological Background
    Matthew’s Account of the Gospel
    Conclusion
  6. The Gospel According to Luke
    Introduction: Historical and Theological Background
    Luke’s Account of the Gospel
    Conclusion
  7. The Gospel According to John
    Introduction: Historical and Theological Background
    John’s Account of the Gospel
    Conclusion

Glossary

Index

 

 

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