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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

#REVIEW: The Complete Gospels edited by Robert Miller

Title: The Complete Gospels, 4th edition
Series: none
Author:  Robert Miller, editor
Published Date: Jan 1, 1995
Publisher: Polebridge Press
Format: paperback
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780944344491
Genre: biblical scholarship
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis: The Complete Gospels is the first publication ever to collect the canonical gospels and their extracanonical counterpoints under one cover. The selected extracanonical gospels date from the first and second centuries, are independent of the canonical gospels, and significantly contribute to our understanding of the developments in the Jesus tradition leading up to and surrounding the New Testament gospels. Two additional texts, the Gospel of Judas and the Gospel of the Savior, and a new text of Q are found in this fourth edition. Each gospel begins with an introduction that sets the text in its ancient and historical contexts and discusses the overall structure and central themes. Cross references point out the numerous parallel passages, intratextual indicators, and thematic parallels so the reader can see how the individual passages of a gospel fit into the rich tapestry of Jewish and early Christian texts. Notes explain important translation issues, supply necessary background information, offer guidance to difficult passages, and honestly indicate problems in the text or in our understanding of them. This volume is the premier publication of the Scholars Version translation of the gospels a fresh translation from the original languages into living American English that is entirely free of ecclesiastical control. The Scholars Version intentionally drops the pretense that academics have all the answers. It strives to avoid both talking down, and over the heads of readers. The goal is to make these fascinating texts intelligible and inviting to all who want to study them.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A long time ago in a far away land, a bunch of men got together and determined which gospels would go into the Bible…and which wouldn’t. And that has been a problem for me lately, as I wonder what we are missing. Surely the others weren’t completely trash, surely there was something in it that fleshed Jesus and his teachings out more. Then I found this book.
The Christian geek in me really enjoyed getting and reading this book. It has all of the known gospels together, from the accepted 4 gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, to the lesser accepted, but still very interesting gospels, like the two Infancy Gospels of Thomas and James, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Judas, the text of Q, etc. I love reading the outside gospels because they give me more, more insight into Jesus, more insight into the characters surrounding him. The best part is that it is all in one place.
The gospels in this book are translated into the Scholar’s Version which is introduced as a “a fresh translation from the original languages into living American English that is entirely free of ecclesiastical control”. I will say right now that I wish we had more than just this translated into this version because it was so easy to read and comprehend. This is really what you need when you are intellectually trying to delve deeply into the gospels. You don’t need to be caught up in the flowery languages, the thee’s and thou’s. You need to focus on the best, most understandable translation from the original text.

This is exactly what this book gives, all in one place. So if the Christian geek in you, is like the Christian geek in me, and wants to delve more into ALL the gospels, you need to check this book out.

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