Reading The Gospels Wisely Analysis

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In “Reading the Gospels Wisely”, Jonathan Pennington offers many ideas and thoughts on how to read the Gospels in a beneficial way. He outlines good habits as well as points out where problems can arise. Although, Pennington makes several important arguments; hindsight, open-mindedness, and vertical reading are three aspects that ought to guide Christians while reading the Gospels. Hindsight is a broad term that encompasses a major point Pennington was arguing. Pennington talks about the genre of the Gospels as a major player in how the Gospels are read. If the genre of the Gospel is known, then reading it is exponentially easier. Once the genre is known, reader know what to look for and what to pick out because of association with that genre. Pennington describes the genre as a “bioi”, but goes on further to label it as “bioi plus” (25). In other words, it is a biography, but still more than a biography. This is where hindsight comes in to play. Since current day readers of the Gospels exist in the now, they have the gift or use of hindsight. They are able to read a Gospel and apply different literary approaches from …show more content…
As discussed in class as well as the book, vertical reading is the reading of one Gospel as a whole rather than reading across the four (Pennington 149). When you read across the four you begin to compare and lose sight on what each author is trying to portray. Vertical reading allows for one Gospel to be read, thought about, perceived and reflected upon without rushing to comparisons and questioning the Gospels before one can even understand it. Vertical reading ties in having an open mind and hindsight. When you read vertically you are able to understand that the Gospel was written for a different audience by people who perceived it different ways, and through understanding that readers are able to grasp a fuller contextual understanding of the Gospel and apply it to

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