The four Christian Gospels distilled into a single tale.
Mebane has edited a version of the New Testament Gospels which tells the story of Jesus as a unified whole. In a work that echoes popular chronological retellings of the Bible, this work rearranges the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—chronologically and thematically, providing a single story of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. In creating this unified gospel, Mebane hopes to aid readers who are troubled by the Bible’s traditional presentation of the life of Jesus. “To many well-intentioned readers,” he explains, “the Gospels seem all tangled up, and it is a genuine struggle to unravel the threads.” The book begins with the birth narrative of Jesus and relies on Scripture to add information about his youth, followed by his baptism by John and his temptation in the desert. Mebane then presents the story of Jesus more thematically—Jesus’ teachings in Galilee, his visits to Jerusalem, expressions of his divine power, etc. Finally, he returns to the chronological story of Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem, his crucifixion, and his resurrection. To further aid the reader, Mebane employs “a modern English update of the American Standard Version” of the Bible. Lengthy quotes by Jesus are in bold, and passages are visually divided to make the text more appealing and easier to follow. Many could argue that the nuances of each of the four Gospels are a necessary part of comprehending the story of Jesus in all its fullness, and indeed, a student of the Scriptures would want to eventually read the Gospels in their original forms. For readers who would like a simpler version of Jesus’ story, however, Mebane’s offering will be useful and helpful.
A unified, well-considered Jesus story for the beginning student of Christianity.