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Publication Date: 22 Oct 2015
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Page Count: 300
Author: Keith Warrington
ISBN-13: 9780281064571, 9780281075492

The Miracles in the Gospels

By Keith Warrington
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ISBN: 9780281064571
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ISBN: 9780281075492
In this magisterial study, Keith Warrington paints a rounded picture of Jesus as a miracle worker by exploring each of the miracles in the Gospels in their literary and historical setting. He demonstrate that, while the miracles are historically authentic, there are several reasons for their presence in the Gospels other than simply to identify Jesus as a miracle worker. They are also intended to function as vehicles of teaching: expressing aspects of the mission and person of Jesus, providing lessons for his would-be disciples and adding theological value for each Gospel’s original audience.
About the Author
Keith Warrington is Reader in Pentecostal Studies at Regents Theological College, Malvern, UK. His recent books include Pentecostal Theology (T&T Clark 2009), The Message of the Holy Spirit (IVP 2009), Discovering Jesus in the New Testament (Hendrickson 2009) and Discovering the Holy Spirit in the New Testament (Hendrickson 2008). He is also co-editor of A Biblical Theology of the Holy Spirit (SPCK 2014).
Press Reviews

Warrington has provided a well rounded, and on many levels, practical work. It will benefit church leaders, students and believers.

- Themelios

Keith Warrington, author of The Miracles in the Gospels. What do they Teach us About Jesus? (SPCK, £19.99) is a Pentecostalist scholar. He dedicates his book to “readers who believe that the Gospels are accurate records and that the miracles therein are historical acts that were achieved by Jesus and who are interested in identifying the reasons why the authors chose to record them”

After a brief discussion of the historical context, he explores, first, the purpose of Jesus in performing miracles, before discussing, in turn, the healings and “resurrections” of the Synoptic Gospels, their stories of exorcisms and of “nature miracles”, before a final, short section on the miracles in John’s Gospel.

The author pays careful attention to the text, exploring the aims of Matthew, Mark and Luke, drawing on the insights of redaction and narrative criticism. Some of the discussions of miracle stories in all three Gospels are sometimes hard to follow, beginning as they do with a section mixing them together (“Main messages from each of the narratives”). But there are good, thoughtful observations throughout.

I was left with some questions about the author’s unquestioning historical approach. I do not doubt that Jesus performed “miracles”, “a supernatural action that transforms a previously dire and humanly insoluble situation…” (p 8). But did everything happen almost exactly as the Gospels say? Even the coin in the mouth of the fish (Matthew 17. 24-27, (pp 216-8)?

The miracles in John are surely less straightforward, historically, than those in the first three Gospels. Warrington recognises the symbolic content of the story of the Wedding at Cana (John 2.1- 11), but struggles to understand the words of Jesus to his mother: “My hour has not yet come”. The author has surely attributed these words to Jesus, thus linking this story with “the hour” of Jesus’ “glory” (ie his crucifixion (John 12. 23 onwards).

However, the author’s main interest, rightly, lies in the way in which the miracle stories are meant to lead us to faith in Jesus. And for that reason some will find this book helpful.

- The Rev Dr Neil Richardson

Everything Happens For a Reason By Kate Bowler