Burridge begins this book with a discussion of the origin of the four gospels. Along with the normal sorts of things you would expect in an introductory chapter (source and redaction criticism, literary approaches), Burridge includes the symbolism associated with each Gospel writer in the early church, including the four creatures of Revelation 4. He has an interesting discussion of how that imagery was used by Jerome and (later) the Book of Kells to “illuminate” the Gospels. Burridge takes these symbols as a kind of “hermenutical key” (33). Since each symbol was recognized by the early church as the way the Gospel writer presented Jesus, Burridge attempts to take that “reception” seriously as he unpacks the main themes of each Gospel.
The book was first published in 1994 and is often called a “classic” book for Gospels studies. Eerdmans published the second edition in in America in 2005. In the preface to the revised edition, Burridge says that the new edition takes into account growing interest in “reception history” and makes used of the Revised Common Lectionary. In addition, he makes reference to the The Lord of the Rings films. A new third edition is due in August from Eerdmans. This will include a new introduction by Burridge but retains the second edition’s text and page numbering.
The price of 99 cents will not last long, so get on over to Logos and pick up this book soon.