Posted by Stephen Venable

Setting out on the journey of studying the Life of Christ in the Gospels in a very focused way can be exhilarating but also a bit daunting. I am by no means an “expert”, nor do I have the definitive opinion on helpful resources, but this is intended to offer some suggestions that I believe will be very beneficial. Before giving specific titles, I must preface this list with three very important qualifiers: 1) Always, as much as possible, move from the text of the Bible to an external resource and not the other way around. In other words, make Scripture primary and books secondary. 2) In recommending these books, I am not endorsing all of the content found within them. You need to exercise discernment and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth. 3) Perhaps above all, let your motivation be love and your chief method be prayer for pursuing the knowledge of the glory of Jesus as revealed through the Gospels.

TOP TWO BOOKS ON THE LIFE OF CHRIST

Books on the Life of Christ are very different than commentaries on the individual gospels themselves. While the latter are valuable, for reasons I cannot enumerate here I would strongly recommend beginning with books that approach the Gospels in this way (i.e. with the person of Jesus and His story as the starting point):

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah – Alfred Edersheim
The Life of Christ – F.W. Farrar

TOP TWO BOOKS ON AN INTRODUCTION TO GOSPEL STUDIES

Jesus and the Gospels – Craig Blomberg
Four Portraits One Jesus – Mark Strauss

TOP TWO BOOKS ON GOSPEL STUDIES

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses – Richard Bauckham
The Gospels for All Christians – Richard Bauckham (Editor)

TOP TWO BOOKS ON APPROACHING THE LIFE OF CHRIST DEVOTIONALLY

Prayer – Hans Urs Von Balthasar
Christian Meditation – Hans Urs Von Balthasar


One Response to Resources for Studying the Gospels

  1. John Ogden says:

    These are very helpful comments and resource lists. I have read the 2 von Balthasars before, but the others are new to me. Thanks for the advice. It sounds like a timely hint about what the next teaching series should be in our church here in Manchester UK. We are in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. Thanks again.

    PS. Saw you preach at One Thing 11 and really appreciated it

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