Stereo Speakers and the Four Gospels

The quotation below is from How God Became King, Chapter 4, “The Story of Israel”, p. 61, by N. T. Wright:

“Imagine, if you will, that you have set up a new sound system in your living room. You have installed a quadra-phonic set of speakers,

one in each corner. But you haven’t figured out how to adjust them individually, and the sound is strange and distorted. Each of the four needs to be sorted out. Otherwise, when you’re listening to orchestral music, you’ll get too much violin or perhaps woodwind and no cello or brass.

“Now, one of the reasons the gospels are such a challenge to read is that there are four strands, four dimensions, that contribute to what they are saying, which in much modern reading have become distorted in something like the same way. Some of them have been turned way down or even silenced altogether. Others have been turned up too loud, so that they are shrill and crackly. One way or another, the music is out of balance. Some parts are almost inaudible,and other parts are all too audible, blasting out at top volume, distorted in themselves and drowning out everything else. Of course, this isn’t the same in all readings of the gospels. Different Christian traditions have twiddled the knobs on these four speakers, making this or that one louder or softer. But the point i want to make in this part of the book is that we only get the correct sound when all four are properly adjusted.”

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