A New Guide to Narrative Criticism and the Gospels
I regularly teach courses on the Gospels, so I am always on the lookout for good textbooks. This new Baker book by Jeannine Brown is an accurate and accessible introduction to reading the gospel as stories. It is detailed enough to showcase the benefits of narrative criticism; but short enough to read in a couple of sittings (~200 pp.)
After an introduction and basic overview of narrative criticism (ch 1), Brown demonstrates key features of story-telling using case studies for each gospel. Ch 2-3, for example, look at plot in the Gospel of Luke. Chapters 4-5 focus on characters and characterizing of the disciples in Matthew. Intertextuality is examined in chapters 6-7 vis-a-vis lamb imagery and creation themes in John. The last section considers “narrative theology” and Mark. The book is exquisitely produced with several really helpful charts—I am going to steal some of these to use in the classroom!
Brown is a highly respected Gospels scholar with expertise in Matthew. You can learn more about Brown at her professional website.