The Life and Teaching of Jesus Explained and Applied
self-published, 2022 (ISBN: 978-1-9998563-8-0, 477pp, £12)
This is an original gospel harmony with the tone of biography. As the author’s logo promises, the subject springs from scripture as lion and lamb.
The gospel accounts are ever-fresh in and of themselves; full of fresh wonders to return readers and listeners to Christ. However many times they are read, we plumb new depths of the Lord’s heart and nature on each new enquiry. Nonetheless, alternative means of digesting the material can also be helpful. Crossley presents us with one such means in this extensive work, the fruit of many years’ Bible-reading and study.
This volume goes beyond mere harmonisation however, also providing analysis of the individual contributions of each evangelist. This is reminiscent of recent publications from Richard Burridge, though no reference is made to his work. Indeed, the glancing references which are included tend to be to rather less contemporary books. As such, the value, and indeed the intended benefit of the work, is principally pastoral rather than academic.
The bulk of the tome, walking through Jesus’ earthly ministry, is both the easiest and the most profitable reading. The author helpfully contextualises many incidents, both with reference to the four gospels themselves, but also with Old Testament and historic background. There is abundant evidence of deeply considered thought and consideration in arranging the events, though the flow of the biopic is thankfully uninterrupted by analysis thereof.
It is wonderful to see new iterations of this type of literature, albeit self-published.
Edward Keene, Little Shelford