I recently finished a review of Michael Bird’s recent contribution to Gospel scholarship, The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus. Overall, I found that he offered a fresh voice to some of the critical questions circulating in Gospel scholarship and highly recommend any New Testament thinker to engage such volume.
Here are a few lines from my review:
The primary value of this Bird’s contribution, although there are other competing texts, is the pedagogical value. With each turn of the page, I’m envisioning shaping lecture notes or providing a readable primer for the budding New Testament scholar.
The second value of this source is how Bird brings to bear New Testament modern scholarship into conversation with Patristic reception. Bird has an ear towards early tradition, more so than typical historical scholarship is accustomed. This mode of scholarship is imitable for a number of reasons. Along with Bockmeuhl’s concerns, I envision this being one way to enrich and vivify New Testament scholarship—bring it into conversation with Patristic traditions.
I was moved by such comment and end with one of Bird’s exhortations. “Young and ambitious theologians, especially those concerned with relating the text to the missional situation of the church in the twenty-first century, would be wise to keep exploration and exegesis of the fourfold Gospel uppermost in their studies” (p.328).