Shelf Life Book Review: Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels

James R. Hamrick

James, Paul, and the Gospels
Eerdmans, 2011

In this work, James D.G. Dunn explores the origins of Christianity. Beginning with Jesus and the Gospels, he discusses characteristics of the historical Jesus, the reliability of the Gospels, the oral nature of early traditions about Jesus, and the emphases of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Dunn also dedicates a chapter to the relationship between the teachings of Jesus and Paul.

Discussions in the final section of the book focus on Paul’s understanding of himself and his mission, the nature of his conversion, his relationship to Judaism and his understanding of the body of Christ.

Dunn argues that the similarities and differences between the Gospels are the result of oral tradition. He holds that the inclusion of the Gentiles among God’s people is the driving factor in Paul’s mission and theology. This book is an excellent resource for anyone who is curious about the beginnings of Christianity.

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Faithlife Corporation. Originally published in print, Vol. 4 No. 1