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Three Gospels

Three Gospels

  • reading group guide
In Three Gospels, the esteemed novelist, dramatist, scholar, essayist, and poet, Reynolds Price turned his attention back to a literary love he had discovered earlier in his career: translation. But for Reynolds that didn’t mean abandoning his passion for writing original work; powerful and imaginative, Three Gospels offers eloquent translations of the Gospels of Mark and John as well as a gospel never before seen—an original one written by Price himself. These stunning triumphs of imagination tell and retell some of the most iconic ancient stories in Price’s unparalleled literary voice.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451603149 | 
  • June 2010
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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Discussion Points

  1. One of the prime purposes of the gospels, obviously, is to induce belief in the reader -- belief that the man Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, the only Son of God. If you resist that purpose (as millions of people do) what changes might you have made in the manuscripts of Mark and John -- changes that would have made their central contentions more convincing to you?
  2. Though Mark and John do not set out to give you a detailed, intimate biography of the birth, career, and death of Jesus of Nazareth, deduce from your study of their central figure whatever you can honestly find of biographical and/or physical distinctiveness. Does the fact that Jesus could cover large distances on foot in rocky landscapes suggest that he was an especially robust man, for instance; or does the fact that he died on a cross in about three hours suggest the opposite -- that he was frail and quickly succumbed to torture? Deduce, as well, any mental and emotional traits you find implicit in what the gospels tell you about their main figure.
  3. Given the immensely broad effects of Christianity (for good and for havoc) on the planet and on the lives of all living creatures, what changes do you think Mark and John might make in their works if they could return now and see the result of their efforts some two thousand years ago?
  4. Is there any convincing evidence in either Mark or John that Jesus of Nazareth intended to f
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More Books from this Author

About the Author

Reynolds Price
Photo Credit: Sara Barrett

Reynolds Price

Reynolds Price (1933-2011) was born in Macon, North Carolina. Educated at Duke University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Merton College, Oxford University, he taught at Duke beginning in 1958 and was the James B. Duke Professor of English at the time of his death. His first short stories, and many later ones, are published in his Collected Stories. A Long and Happy Life was published in 1962 and won the William Faulkner Award for a best first novel. Kate Vaiden was published in 1986 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Good Priest's Son in 2005 was his fourteenth novel. Among his thirty-seven volumes are further collections of fiction, poetry, plays, essays, and translations. Price is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and his work has been translated into seventeen languages.

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