Gospel Perspectives VI: The Miracles of JesusWritten by David Wenham and Craig Blomberg (eds) Reviewed By Paul Beasley-Murray
A warm welcome to this sixth and final volume in the Gospel Perspectives series. As readers of Themelios will know, this series has sought to provide a detailed evangelical apologia for the historicity of the Gospels. In this particular volume attention is given to the controversial area of miracle—controversial in the sense that though ‘the historical evidence for such miracles may be no weaker than for Jesus’ parables … they seem improbable because they are unparalleled in our experience and because they are difficult to square with the secular world view that is dominant at least in the West today’ (from the Preface).
This apologia consists of a miscellany of articles of varying lengths looking at individual miracle stories, particular types of miracle, and miracles in general. All in all there are thirteen essays, including the brief ‘Concluding Reflections on Miracles and Gospel Perspectives’ by Craig Blomberg. The lengthiest essay—96 pages and almost a quarter of the book—is a detailed investigation by Edwin Yamauchi on ‘Magic or Miracle? Diseases, Demons and Exorcisms’. Three other substantial essays are by William Lane Caraigon ‘The Problem of Miracles: a historical and philosophical perspective’; Gerhard Maier, ‘Zur neutestamentlichen Wunderexegese im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert’ (this is the only foreign language contribution) and Graham H. Twelftree, ‘Ei de … ego ekballo ta daimonia’. In a review of this kind it is impossible to enter into any detailed argument with the various contributors. Suffice it to say, these essays form a notable evangelical contribution to the debate on miracle. My one negative comment is that the book lacks an index.