The Four Witnesses: The Rebel, the Rabbi, the Chronicler, and the Mystic

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9780062516480: The Four Witnesses: The Rebel, the Rabbi, the Chronicler, and the Mystic

"Who Do You Say I Am?"
Four Witnesses Offer Strikingly Different Testimony to the Life and Death of Jesus

Bringing the stories of Jesus to life for the contemporary reader, Robin Griffith-Jones revives the origional power and intent of each of the four gospels. He presents a lively discussion of how and why each gospel was written, considering the substance and style of the testimony itself as well as the unique context of each story. Mark's gospel tells the rebel's story of Jesus as a failed revolutionary whose mission mysteriously succeeds. For the rabbi Matthew, Jesus is the long-awaited fulfillment of Jewish expectation. For Luke, Jesus is a heroic, compassionate social revolutionary who confidently and mercifully dies on behalf of all humanity. John's gospel is a mystic's interpretation of the divinity of Jesus told in powerful poetic language.

"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. All four gospels taken together provide what one alone could not: a remarkably full and compelling presentation of Jesus and his message.

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Review:

The Four Witnesses by Robin Griffith-Jones, Master of the (Anglican) Temple in London, attempts to clarify the distinctions among the four gospels' quite different visions of Jesus. The four witnesses, as Griffith-Jones describes them, are the rebel (Mark), the rabbi (Matthew), the chronicler (Luke), and the Mystic (John). Griffith-Jones asks, "Who were these four writers? Where did they write and when? For whom?" and proceeds to give straightforward, balanced, intelligent answers. The Four Witnesses is most intent on making the point that each gospel was first written to speak to the situation of a particular religious community. For many readers, that will come as very good news, because it will help them to hear the particular messages that the gospels hold for their own communities today. For this reason, The Four Witnesses will also be a useful resource for Christian education programs in churches of many denominations.

About the Author:

Robin Griffith-Jones taught New Testament for several years at Oxford University and is currently a visiting lecturer at King's College, London University. He serves in one of the most historic positions in the Anglican Church, that of Master of the Temple in London, the famous church of the Knights Templar (www.templechurch.com). Griffith-Jones is the author of The Four Witnesses (on the four gospels), The Gospel According to Paul, and The Da Vinci Code and the Secrets of the Temple.



Robin Griffith-Jones served as chaplain and taught New Testament for several years at Lincoln College, Oxford University. He recently was named Master of the Temple Church in London, one of the most important and influential positions in the Anglican Church. He wrote this book in John Wesley's study at Oxford.

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