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The Gospel of the Lord
How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus
PAPERBACK; Published: 8/22/2014
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6776-6
408 Pages
Buy the ebook: Kindle
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Balanced, comprehensive survey of the critical questions involved in studying the four Gospels

In this book, through a distinctive evangelical and critical approach, Michael Bird explores the historical development of the four canonical Gospels. He shows how the memories and faith of the earliest believers formed the Gospel accounts of Jesus that got written and, in turn, how these accounts further shaped the early church.

Bird's study clarifies the often confusing debates over the origins of the canonical Gospels. Bird navigates recent concerns and research as he builds an informed case for how the early Christ followers wrote and spread the story of Jesus — the story by which they believed they were called to live. The Gospel of the Lord is ideal for students or anyone who wants to know the story behind the four Gospels.

Read more from the author of this book on EerdWord.

Watch an interview with Michael Bird from our Eerdmans Author Interview Series:

Christianity Today 2015 Book Award for Biblical Studies
N. T. Wright
— St. Andrews University
"Studying the Gospels is daunting for the beginner and difficult even for the seasoned scholar. Mike Bird here slices a path through the tangled mess of older hypotheses and offers clear guidelines for the way forward. . . . Everyone will profit enormously from wrestling with the issues presented here in a fresh and compelling manner."
Craig A. Evans
— Acadia Divinity College
"Carefully researched and engagingly written. . . . Michael Bird asks all the right questions about the New Testament Gospels - what they really are, why they even exist, why these four Gospels and not others - and then provides very sensible answers. Bird shows that the Evangelists tell the stories of Jesus' life, teaching, and deeds because Christian faith ultimately is about following Jesus. Scholars and students alike will find new and refreshing ideas in this instructive book."
Robert H. Gundry
— Westmont College
"In The Gospel of the Lord Michael Bird treats with acute perception not only the ways in which the early church wrote the story of Jesus but also the ways in which modern scholars have reconstructed those earlier ways. The treatment is wide-ranging, thoroughly documented, evangelical, and eminently fair in its presentation of opposing points of view. Ideal as a required textbook for seminarians and as a compendium for all others engaged in the academic study of Jesus' life!"
Jonathan T. Pennington
— Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Well-researched and well-written, this book is a delightful read from beginning to end. It contains both a state-of-the-art discussion of many complex Gospel issues and several creative suggestions for new ways forward. A great resource for studying the Gospels."
Library Journal (STARRED review)
"Bird is one of the younger leading scholars in New Testament studies, and this volume is one of the outstanding literary achievements of the year. With care, clarity, and thorough scholarship, the author discusses possibilities for the origins, the genre, and the goals of the four Gospels. . . . This work is scholarly but remarkably free of academese; it should be a perfect fit for seminary libraries, religious leaders, and scholars."
"[Bird] is more than capable of guiding readers through the tangled scholarly history of textual-critical hypotheses and methodologies that have made Gospel studies challenging for even the most seasoned students of these books. . . . Recommended."
Church Times
"A lively and fresh view of the evidence, backed up by scholarly detail. . . . This agenda covers virtually the full range of Gospel studies (no mean achievement in fewer than 350 pages plus bibliography and indices)."
"If you haven't started following Michael Bird's scholarship, you need to as soon as possible. Bird's latest book, The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus, is a tour-de-force of scholarship concerning the formation of the Gospels. His writing is engaging, witty, and incredibly thorough. The book is an explanation of the historical processes which took place from the time of Jesus' Kingdom announcement to the circulation of a collection of books describing Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection. The result is a `must-read' work by all who are interested in the `what, why, how, and where of the Gospels."
Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
"Bird masterfully brings to bear New Testament scholarship into conversation with first and second century traditions. . . . I highly encourage New Testament professors (undergraduate and graduate), all New Testament students, and the inquisitive pastor to consult this volume."