Take a guided tour on how to interpret the Gospels. Leland Ryken shows pastors and students and teachers of the Bible how to appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of the four Gospels. In Jesus the Hero, he explores the intersection of the Bible and narrative. And he goes one step further than merely explaining the genre of gospel story—he includes exercises to help students of the Bible master it.
In the Reading the Bible as Literature series, Leland Ryken explores the intersection of the Bible and literature. In the series preface he writes, “It is my belief that a literary approach to the Bible is the common reader’s friend, in contrast to the more specialized types of scholarship on the Bible.”
Leland Ryken has been a pacesetter in the literary study of the Bible, especially within the evangelical community. Those of us who find this approach to Scripture especially enriching are always ready to listen when Ryken speaks. Readers who master Ryken’s principles will find the Bible open up to them in new, exciting ways.
—Robert B. Chisholm Jr., Chair and Professor of Old Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
“The primary form of the Gospels is story, or narrative.” (Page 14)
“The Gospels do not follow a strict chronological format” (Page 14)
“First, the Gospels have a unifying central character and hero. Everything revolves around Jesus.” (Page 16)
“The Gospels are not structured as a smooth narrative flow” (Page 14)
“There is not a unity of action, but there is a unity of hero. Furthermore, because Jesus acts and speaks in such a way as to encounter people and demand that they make a choice for or against him, something like a unified plot conflict emerges as the Gospels unfold. It is a conflict between belief and unbelief, following Jesus and rejecting him, being saved and being lost.” (Page 16)
Leland Ryken (Ph.D., University of Oregon) is Professor of English Emeritus at Wheaton College, where he has taught since 1968. He is the author of more than 50 books, including How to Read the Bible as Literature, Words of Delight: A Literary Introduction to the Bible, Windows to the World: Literature in Christian Perspective, and A Complete Handbook of Literary Forms in the Bible.