THE FOUR GOSPELS THROUGH AN OUTSIDE WINDOW by Leslie Scrase
As an appreciative but critical commentary on the four Bible Gospels, this is
consequently, and most importantly, an in-depth study of the Gospel portrayals
of Jesus himself.
Although not the first commentator to conclude that Jesus was simply a human
being like the rest of us, Leslie Scrase’s analysis of the Gospels, written following many years of study, looks for the
evidence that provides proof of this. Whilst he nevertheless concludes that
Jesus was a fine teacher and faith healer, his reasoning, taken from the
different approaches to the man’s life reported within the Gospels, is stimulating and entirely free of dogma.
The final evaluation of Jesus, taken from these Gospels, written by Matthew,
Mark, Luke and John, all depicting the life of Jesus, is that, even though some
of the teachings ascribed to him are pretty awful by today’s standards, much of his teaching is timeless in its quality and remains of
universal value and application.
Following a childhood which included attending a Methodist boarding school as an
evacuee during the war years, the author spent his National Service in the
Royal Navy. He then went to a Methodist theological college, which was part of
the London University, and served as a minister for about 20 years. He had a
few years as a presbyter of the Church of South India and was also Principal of
the Medak Bible School whilst there. At this time he would read the Old
Testament once every three years and the New Testament every year, giving him a
deep knowledge of the text. Amongst his writings during this period were works
on the Eucharist (the sacrament of the Holy Communion) and the nature and
meaning of priesthood, with Leslie coming down firmly on the Biblical and
Protestant side of the ‘priesthood of all believers’.
It was in India that his pilgrimage away from Christianity began, although
another 12 years would pass before ‘that great weight’ was finally lifted from him. Since then he has written Humanism in the Ancient World; a book of Conversations between an atheist and a Christian on Matthew’s Gospel; a series of short essays called Letting off Steam, and most recently An Unbeliever’s Guide to the Bible. He has also written autobiographical fiction, ordinary fiction, stories for
adults and children, and three books of poetry.