Jesus the Hero: A Guided Literary Study of the Gospels

Reviewed by: G. Connor Salter, a professional writing major at Taylor University, Upland, IN



Title: : Jesus the Hero: A Guided Literary Study of the Gospel

(Book 4 of Reading the Bible as Literature series)

Author: Leland Ryken

Publisher: Weaver Book Company

Publication Date: August 1, 2016

Format: Paperback

Length: 136 pages


Is it all right to see the Bible as literature? If so, what does that mean?

Wheaton professor Leland Ryken addresses those questions in his 6-book series “Reading the Bible as Literature.” In this volume, Ryken explains how the New Testament writers used literary techniques to compose the Gospels, helping readers appreciate their amazing depth and complexity of the Gospel story.

As with many writers who are also public speakers, the author restates key phrases and concepts in each chapter, which can be distracting at first. However, once readers move past that, they will discover many excellent insights on literature and the Gospels. Ryken explains literary elements in language anyone can understand, and then draws clear connections to Scripture passage. He also successfully shows readers that “literature” does not always mean “fiction,” giving them freedom to appreciate the Gospels’ literary elements (parables, anecdotes, illustrations, similes, metaphors) and still view them as truth. This book will help readers realize that the Gospels are more than just theological guidebooks: they are moving stories by or about Christ.


Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians struggling to understand the Gospels; storytellers and church leaders seeking to learn about the Bible’s literary elements as a way of improving sermons or lessons.

Christian Impact

Each chapter quotes or references Scripture, discusses literary principles readers can apply when studying Scripture, and outlines practice activities whereby readers can make immediate use of those principles. This structure makes the book ideal for personal Bible studies.

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Jesus the Hero: A Guided Literary Study of the Gospels

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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