How do we reach into the Gospels today, and how do the Gospels reach back out to us? In the light of all that has been written over the ages, is there a fresh approach that speaks to the 21st century Christian? Francis J Moloney offers his experience and scholarship to lead the layperson through such a guide. The reader is brought up to date about how a Gospel is read as a theological narrative today, a markedly different understanding from the past.
Each Gospel is reviewed as a whole, followed by a focused study of a particular section in which Moloney demonstrates how each Gospel author works the text to his own theological purposes. The final chapter outlines the general intellectual and academic history which forms the background to this position before Moloney makes his own case about the nature of Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man and the role of our discipleship today.
Francis J. Moloney
Francis J Moloney is the Provincial Superior of the Salesians of Don Bosco. A member of the Order of Australia, ha has held major academic positions in several universities, most recently Professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of America. He is author of numerous scholarly and popular books on the New Testament
The Christian life is based upon the acceptance of the person and teaching that come to us from the Gospels, declares Frarncis J. Molony SDB in The Living Voice of the Gospel an updated study of his previous work. Over ten chapters the author then goes on to present each of the four gospels in turn taking into account the most recent interpretations of the texts and explaining them in the lucid and often illuminating manner which has made his NT works so accessible and popular. Beginning by exploring the contexts and links between the four gospels he then devotes two chapters to each of them demonstrating the background and purposes of the different evangelists while attempting to bridge the gaps between them. The key point is also made that behind the four gospels lies an early oral tradition mentioned by St.Paul as early as 50-64AD For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received,(1 Cor 15:3) and this oral tradition remains central to his gospel analysis. The different theological agendas of the evangelical authors resonate very closely with these traditions, and in his examination of the texts Dr Moloney makes it clear for his intended primarily lay audience that the Evangelists never intended to write 21st century style biographies, as casual readers today might expect. He also imaginatively draws us into the life of those early Christians allowing the reader to develop a feel for the ways in which the gospel accounts were drawn together and used in the fledgling and widely scattered Christian communities. In an early noted comment the author laments (re The Da Vinci Code) that unfortunately, fiction often determines public opinion. Publications such as this one however thankfully offers the reader an authenticity that perennially challenges the frequent efforts to exploit for commercial gain the greatest story ever told.
- Fr Paul Clayton-Lea, Intercom
Francis Molony is now the Provincial Superior of the Salesians in Australia. This is a completely revised and much changed edition of a book issued originally in 1986. His aim is to bring the benefits of the vast range of sober scholarly insights into the Gospels in their original language to a wider audience. This is a valuable book not only for those who might be taking scriptural courses, but for all readers concerned to understand the true origins of their faith in the birth of Jesus.
- The Irish Catholic November 2006
The Provincial Superior of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Australia provides a detailed study and comparison of the gospels, with intellectual and academic background history and his own interpretation of the nature of Jesus and of our discipleship. The book is intended for serious study by laymen.
- Books Ireland December 2006