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Four Portraits, One Jesus: A Survey of Jesus and the Gospels

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  267 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
To Christians worldwide, the man Jesus of Nazareth is the centerpiece of history, the object of faith, hope, and worship. Even those who do not follow him admit the vast influence of his life. For anyone interested in knowing more about Jesus, study of the four biblical Gospels is essential. Four Portraits, One Jesus is a thorough yet accessible introduction to these docum ...more
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Zondervan (first published April 1st 2007)
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Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book for any Christian to read. It consists of four sections. The first deals with the Gospel genre and various methods of studying them. The second deals with the historical setting of the Gospels, and this really helps to bring the Gospels alive to the reader. The third section reviews the individual Gospel accounts showing their unique perspective of Jesus. The final section seeks to evaluate the Gospels as history.
The book is conservative-evangelical, and defends the trad
Matthew Hilbert
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Strauss provides an excellent survey to the four gospels. Would recommend this book to anyone interesting in studying the gospels.
Clint Boyd
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
An accessible, helpful book for anyone wanting to learn more about the history behind the gospels, including ancient near eastern context and history of scholarship that has shaped the way churches read the gospels. Strauss covers a lot of ground in language understandable to any English reader. Words set in bold are helpful for identifying key terms (all of which are defined in the glossary at the back of the book). In that way, this reads like a high school text book. I would recommend this bo ...more
Brent McCulley
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nt-studies
Written by Strauss, published by Zondervan, 'Four Portraits, One Jesus' is an excellent survey of all four gospels, and the Christ they display. Although there is much textual criticism that is explained throughout the text, as themes, motifs, and genres are explored, Strauss does a fantastic job at preserving the integrity of the gospels by presenting an adequate picture of Jesus as displayed throughout all four gospels. I would highly recommend this book as a sound evangelical introduction to ...more
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Apart from misspelling Emperor Hadrian's name in the caption on page 516, this book was great. It is perhaps the greatest primer to the Gospels ever penned. Particularly, its handling of historical contexts, literary motifs (intercalations, triads, hebraisms, etc.), and criticisms (Jesus Seminar, New Quest, etc.) is superb. More primers should tackle the wide array of issues Strauss handles in this easy read.
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great resource for studying the Gospels. Currently using it as a supplement for teaching the Gospel of John.

Includes history on the Intertestamental Period and even the origins of different relgious groups (Pharisess, scribes, etc.).

Very clear and organized with charts and illustrations. Excellent!
dave kakish
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
I was going to write a brief review of this wonderful book, but then I saw R.T. France's endorsement on the back cover and he said it for me: "Strauss guides the nonspecialist gently through the maze of academic jargon and esoteric debate. The treatment is fair and responsible, based on sound scholarship but not overburdened with footnotes." Yeah, what he said.
Joe Marlin
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
captures the literary approaches, as well as other critical methods of each of the gospels, supper accessible, organized in an incredibly helpful way to those just starting to study the gospels. will encourage your faith, give you a fresh look at Jesus, the early church, and the purpose, application and authority of the scriptures.
John Yelverton
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I will give credit where credit is due, and say that Mark Strauss knows his stuff. What I did not like was the immense catering to the "historical" Jesus, and how even though Strauss will eventually point out how they're wrong, he has given them so much lip service that you're not entirely sure if he completely disagrees with them or not.
Ruth Baker
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent overview of the gospels and particularly the historicity of their contents. Includes some great chapters on particular elements and themes that really draw the gospel overviews together and succinctly details the for-against arguments with respect to authenticity
Doug Dunbar
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
I have used this for two semesters, starting a third, teaching Gospels at Pacific Life Bible College. Covers everything from social-historical context, overview and theological themes of each Gospel, and then pulls everything together in the last section.
Joanne Almsteadt
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for the student of Christ!

This survey of Jesus and the Gospels is informative and well written. I would recommend this study to anyone who desires to dive into the Gospels and discover the historical and divine Jesus.
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nice, simple introduction. Sepnds too much time undoing the critics though.
Nov 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bible
This is a well written, easy to understand introduction to the Four Gospels. Strauss does an excellent job of bringing the past to life.
Greta Schmidt
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was great! I loved all the history of Jesus Christ. Few things that were not theologically correct but I would definitely recommend this book.
Ian Hammond
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful. Will use this as a reference in the future.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Strauss' introduction to the historical approaches to the Gospels is very helpful. I also greatly enjoyed section that provided the historical setting that the Gospels were written in.
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school-reads
This textbook was a difficult read, and rather dull at that. Only the last two chapters were good to read in my opinion.
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. So full of incredible ideas and information that help equip readers to approach the riches and complexities of the Gospels. Easy to read and to follow, but not watered down in the least.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great RESOURCE!!!!
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read for Intro to New Testament I with Dr. Jonathan Pennington at SBTS. A great primer on issues and themes related to the Gospels. Great resource for students and pastors alike.
Mark Taylor
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: jesus, gospels
A up-to-date survey that nicely captures the consensus views in current evangelical scholarship on Jesus and the gospels. Well-written and packed with helpful pictures.
wes Goertzen
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: seminary
Conservative point of view but pretty fair, very well laid out, well written, lots of pic and graphics. Its a good primary textbook for college. it is expensive. plus i know mark's niece
Nathan Brasfield
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Apr 04, 2012
Elisha Lawrence
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Feb 18, 2017
Drdiana Brevan
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2015
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Sep 10, 2014
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May 29, 2016
Greg Miller
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Jul 17, 2013
Keith Kresge
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Apr 07, 2016
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