Friday 21 February 2020

The Four Evangelists An Introduction - J.B. Midgley

The Four Evangelists:
An Introduction
J.B. Midgley 
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860824357
CTS Booklet SC86

I have now tracked down and read over a dozen books by J.B. Midgley. I love his books, and to be honest have benefited greatly from most of the books I have read from the Catholic Truth Society. I have read over 100 books and booklets from CTS over the last few years. There are many great series and lots of excellent resources. I believe that J.B. Midgley wrote 28 books and that 26 of them were for the Catholic Truth Society. This book is out-of-print but well worth tracking down. It serves as an introduction to the four gospels. It does an excellent job of highlighting similarities, differences and difference in focus of each of the gospels and has a brief section on devotion to the specific evangelists. The description on the back of the book is:

“This booklet offers digestible end attractive summaries of the life and work of each of the four Gospel writers, Matthew, mark, Luke, and John. It provides an excellent overview and introduction to the structure, themes and emphasis of each of the four gospels texts, and in the case of Luke and John, their other writings (Acts, Letters and Revelation) are also explored. The devotions that have grown up around the four writers over the centuries are also mentioned.”

The chapters in the volume are:

Unable to live on bread alone
The Good News
Saint Matthew
Saint Mark
Saint Luke
Saint John 

In the introduction Midgley quoting Pope Benedict XVI’s first Encyclical, ‘God is Love’, and emphasises:

“the lives of the saints are not limited to their earthly biographies, but continue being and working in God after death. They do not withdraw from men, but rather become truly close to them.”

And he states that the goal of this booklet is to help us to connect to the four evangelists. And it does an excellent job of that. I have a Religious Studies University degree, with a focus on Roman Catholic Thought. I would have loved to have had this booklet as a resource for several of the essays I wrote during my undergraduate career. 

Midgley writes in a clear and concise style. And het the book is well researched and presents a wealth of information in the small booklet format. In the section on Matthew’s gospel he states:

“His main theme is that Chris brings the reign and Kingdom of God that, in Him and through Him, remains with His Church until the end of time. He begins with the story of the Infancy and concludes with the Passion, the account of which is similar to mark’s but adds some miraculous occurrences that demonstrate the reality and extraordinary nature of the resurrection and Ascension.”

Each of the four gospels and the evangelists who wrote them are brought to life in a new way through the reading of this book. It is another excellent offering from both J.B. Midgley and from the Catholic Truth Society. I highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by J.B. Midgley:

Advent & Christmastide with the Saints
Antonio Rosmini
Benedict - Patron of Europe
Bernard of Clairvaux – CTS Great Saints
Charles Borromeo  - CTS Great Saints
Companion to St. Joseph
Companion to the Feasts of Mary
Companion to Saint Peter
Companion to Saint Paul
Companion to the Angels
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord
Dominic - CTS Great Saints
George: Patron of England - CTS Great Saints
Dewi Sant: St David Patron of Wales
Francis de Sales – CTS Great Saints
John Baptist de La Salle – CTS Great Saints
John Vianney – CTS Great Saints
Lent with the Saints
Nurturing the Young
Robert Bellarmine
Saint John the Baptist 
Stations of the Cross and Resurrection with the Saints
The Eucharist with the Saints
The Four Evangelists
Thomas Becket – CTS Saints of the Isles
Vincent de Paul – CTS Great Saints
Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic

Contributed to:
First Fridays and First Saturdays The Devotions Explained 

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