, Jul 1, 1996
- 415 pages
In Three Gospels, Reynolds Price returns to the central story on which he has concentrated through thirty years of study, teaching, and translation - the fourfold account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, an observant Jew who taught, healed, and died obscurely in a small province of the Roman empire during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius Caesar. Bypassing the Gospels of Matthew and Luke as secondary, Price revises his earlier translation of the breakneck and vivid Gospel of Mark (the oldest gospel); he provides a literal but startlingly eloquent translation of the Gospel of John (the gospel derived from apparent eyewitness); and he adds an entirely new gospel of his own, "An Honest Account of a Memorable Life." This new gospel, like the whole of the volume, is grounded meticulously in the earliest known historical and theological evidence; and it aims to render the highest possible contemporary justice to the acts and teachings of Jesus. To introduce his translations - closer to the original Greek than perhaps any other translations - Price has provided richly informative prefaces that probe the strategies and the inexplicable originality of the two prime gospel writers; and in a preface to his own gospel, he offers insight into his reasons for creating a modern gospel and his own restrained methods for proceeding.