Hannah Ruthie's Reviews > Jesus: The Image of Humanity: Luke's Account

Jesus by Anselm Grün
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's review
Jan 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: christian, theology, owned
Recommended for: People of all backgrounds wanting to understand the Gospel

This is a beautiful book. Grun, a German Benedictine Monk, writes in a manner that is both simplistic and wise. The books is deliberately written to be accessible to all, without a multitude of references and esoterical language.

The main sections of Luke that he focuses on are: Authorship (including Luke as Physician, and as Painter), the stories of Jesus' Childhood, Sickness & Healing, Parables, Jesus & Prayer, Jesus & Travel, the Passion, the Resurrection, Our Response and Luke as the Evangelist. Each of these general areas are further subdivided, so that a wide range of topics are covered. Although the language is very readable, it is not without understanding, with many subtle hints as to his knowledge of the history of theological debate and Luke's meaning within appropriate contexts.

As Grun commends Luke, so I would commend him - his art is in painting with words. He moved me as I read the book into really thinking about the passages, and applying them to my life. Although I may not agree with everything as he says it, and find him too metaphorical at times, this was one of my favourite theological books in recent times. He is passionate about what he reads, and so I am made passionate too.

He takes into consideration Luke's Greek audience and demonstrates Luke's use of Greek style, mixed with Semitic relgious elements to provide a sacred history. He looks at Luke's careful dualism and balance, and focuses on specific words so show why Luke chose them and how the audience would have grasped the meaning. I like Grun's modern examples - he shows that when we use the phrase "once upon a time", we automatically understand the following section to be a fairytale - explaining that so too would Luke's audience have gained the subtle meanings in his phraseology. He gives several meanings for select parables.

Grun weaves together theology, philosophy, psychology and history with master strokes. I currently have a pile of books on Luke to get through, but this was an absolute joy to read and remind myself of why I study. I managed to get through the whole book in the car on the way to take the kids to a local canyon, making notes in the margins there and back. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn more about the third Gospel.

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