That there are four canonical versions of the one gospel story is often seen as a problem for Christian faith: for, where gospels multiply, so too do apparent tensions and contradictions that may seem to undermine their truth claims.
In Gospel Writing, Francis Watson argues that differences and tensions between canonical gospels represent opportunities for theological reflection, not problems for apologetics. In exploring this claim, he proposes nothing less than a new paradigm for gospel studies – one that engages fully with the available noncanonical gospel material so as to illuminate the historical and theological significance of the canonical.
Francis Watson is currently a professor at Durham University in the Department of Theology and Religion. He formerly held the Kirby Laing Chair of New Testament Exegesis at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. His several other books include Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith and Text and Truth: Redefining Biblical Theology.