Beliefnet
Although Griffith-Jones presents his book as an important new contributionto Bible studies, this book's thesis will be familiar to anyone who hasever read an introductory guide to the New Testament: the four Gospelspresent four basically different visions of Jesus, influenced by thetime of their writing and the sources available to Mark, Matthew, Luke andJohn. Mark wrote to inspire Jesus' followers in Rome, political rebels andoutsiders. Matthew's Jesus is a rabbinical teacher, concerned withbuilding a religious community and with explicating the laws of the newfaith. Luke "has the historian's eye for the great sweep of history andfor its most telling detail;" his Jesus is a compassionate figure, deeplyconcerned with social justice. And John, says Griffith-Jones, presentsJesus as a poet, almost a shaman. He's a rabbi in Matthew, a new-agey mystic inJohn. At times one feels rather like the lesson of "The Four Witnesses"is that Jesus can be whoever we want Him to be--as long as that's a stockB-movie type, like a rebel, doctor, or mystic. Perhaps it's no accidentthat a "television docudrama" based on "The Four Witnesses" is in the works.
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