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Jesus the God-Man

The Unity and Diversity of the Gospel Portrayals

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Why four Gospels rather than one? What should we do with the different emphases they present? Given the different ways they present Jesus, how can we put together all that Jesus taught and appreciate how the Gospels show us who Jesus is?

This clear, compact introduction surveys what the Gospels tell us about who Jesus is by exploring his teachings and actions in their contexts. Darrell Bock and Benjamin Simpson treat the Gospels as reliable sources for a plausible portrait of Jesus. They open up fresh ways to appreciate how the Gospels work, explaining that the four Gospels, when taken together, help us to see Jesus with depth. Major Gospel themes are treated as are the distinct emphases in each Gospel, thus demonstrating why four Gospels about Jesus are better than one combined account.

Condensing years of extensive study on the topic, this handy, readable textbook presents fresh ways to understand the Gospels, especially the Synoptics in comparison with John. Professors and students in courses on Jesus and the Gospels as well as pastors and church leaders will value this work.

1. Preparation: Birth, John the Baptist, and the Temptations
2. Jesus's Central Message: The Kingdom of God
3. The Nature of the Kingdom: Presence, Realm, Ethics, Messiah, and the Father
4. Jesus's Titles: Who Is Jesus?
5. Jesus's Teaching and Actions: Showing Who He Is
6. Jesus's Community of the New Era: The Calling of Those Who Respond
7. The Vindication to Come: Warning to Israel, Gentile Inclusion, and the Son of Man's Return to Judge
8. Jesus's Final Week: A Dispute over Authority


"In this book with Ben Simpson, Darrell Bock, one of evangelicalism's leading historical Jesus scholars, takes the fruit of decades of technical scholarship on every major phase of Jesus's life, death, and resurrection and offers it concisely at a very readable level. Particularly helpful is the view that the Synoptics present Jesus from the earth up, whereas John depicts him from heaven down. An excellent resource that deserves widespread use."

Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

"Jesus the God-Man provides readers with an excellent entry into the ins and outs of critical study of the historical Jesus. Darrell Bock and Benjamin Simpson cover all the major points of importance and debate. They do so judiciously, fairly, and with clarity and precision. I am pleased to recommend it."

Craig A. Evans, John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins and dean of the School of Christian Thought, Houston Baptist University

"From his lengthy experience researching Jesus and the Gospels, Darrell Bock has provided a substantive overview of the ministry and identity of Jesus. This book is packed with information, giving insight into the issues of Jesus research and offering a balanced and meaningful portrayal of Jesus. It will serve the church well."

Klyne Snodgrass, Paul W. Brandel Professor of New Testament Studies, North Park Theological Seminary

"Every student of the Gospels must come to terms with the different yet complementary ways in which the evangelists present Jesus. This excellent study of key themes in Jesus's life and ministry will greatly aid readers in arriving at a historically accurate and theologically satisfying understanding of the greatest person who ever lived."

Andreas Kӧstenberger, founder of Biblical Foundations™, senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Authors

  1. Darrell L. Bock

    Darrell L. Bock

    Darrell L. Bock (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is executive director for cultural engagement at the Hendricks Center at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas, where he also serves as senior research professor of New Testament studies. He is the author or...

    Continue reading about Darrell L. Bock

  2. Benjamin I. Simpson

    Benjamin I. Simpson

    Benjamin I. Simpson (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is associate professor of New Testament studies at the Washington, DC, campus of Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author of Recent Research on the Historical Jesus.

    Continue reading about Benjamin I. Simpson


"[Bock] undertakes a finely-grained reading of the four Gospels, interweaving their materials to offer a picture of Jesus as a 'God-Man': human, more than ordinary, and also a divine being who assumed human flesh. . . . Bock knows his material, citing parallel gospel passages and key scholarly interpreters, including himself. The attention he pays to text is formidable and best appreciated by advanced students of biblical studies. New Testament scholars will gain much wisdom from Bock's sensitivity to textual detail and challenge to received distinctions between the synoptic and Johannine gospel accounts. . . . Those who want to argue with his reading of scripture as God's self-revelation will need to do their hermeneutical homework."

Publishers Weekly

"In this excellent overview of Jesus' life and ministry, one of the most experienced scholars in the field, Darrell Bock, succeeds in presenting years of high-quality research on Jesus and the Gospels in new creative ways. . . . Bock (with Benjamin Simpson) here takes on board newly won insights from historical Jesus research . . . and combine[s] these with more traditional methods. . . . [This book is] well-suited for any reader interested in the Jesus of history seen through the lens of the four Gospels. . . . I hope this information-packed, accessible volume will be widely read and discussed in church and academy alike."

Tomas Bokedal,

Expository Times

"The authors offer a real sense of the working out and realization of Jesus' uniqueness by some monotheistic Jewish people in a small fringe area of the Roman Empire and how it is presented in the gospels. Bock and Simpson are extremely successful in highlighting the logical and cohesive pattern in Jesus' self-perception, teaching and actions portrayed in the synoptic gospels. This is a thought-provoking read for both church and scholarship."

Diana Woodcock,

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

"Do the four gospels give us trustworthy insight into the person and work of Jesus, or must we apply qualifications here? Two New Testament scholars who from an academic perspective have made their reputations in the quest for the historical Jesus and who definitely do not want to make such qualifications are Darrell L. Bock and Benjamin J. Simpson. . . . Frequently the portrait of Jesus in the synoptic gospels is thought to be irreconcilable with that in John and vice-versa. The authors of [this book] demonstrate that there is no basis for such a conclusion."

Pieter de Vries,