“The experience of many readers will be, as was mine, that of scales falling from one’s eyes. So that’s the message of Matthew, of Mark, of Luke-Acts, of John!….Why didn’t someone write Written to Be Heard long ago?” [more]

(From the Foreword, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Prof. Emeritus, Yale University)

In the world of literary criticism, Borgman and Clark’s Written to Be Heard: Recovering the Messages of the Gospel provides a practical guide for “reading” the Gospels as they were originally intended: to be heard. [more]

(From the Journal of Reformed Theology, Brianne Christiansen pc(usa) , Candidate for Ministry, Arkansas, USA)

This well-conceived volume is recommended to any who have an interest in the practice of reading with care in order to hear what the Gospels say. [more]

(Reviewed by Holly Hearon of Christian Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota)

What Messages were Recovered?

For one-page overviews of key messages recovered from each gospel, click on Matthew,   Mark, or Luke-Acts , or John.


“Borgman and Clark have co-authored a book that is wonderfully written, theologically alert, and practically purposeful….Highly recommended!” –Robert Wall, Paul T. Walls Professor of Scripture & Wesleyan Studies, Seattle Pacific University and Seminary


Gordon College Honor:
The Paul Borgman Critical Loyalty and Biblical Narrative Award,
an annual scholarship for a deserving Bible major student chosen by Gordon College’s Bible department.

“Positing convincingly that the four gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke-Acts, and John—were written to be heard, not read, Borgman [and] Clark analyze how themes embedded in each text resonate when listened to. The authors contend that the gospel writers constructed their texts as ‘oral performances’ with ‘hearing cues’, narrative patterns, repetition, rhythm, and other literary constructions that helped original listeners comprehend key ideas, and contemporary readers (lacking this awareness) misinterpret fundamental themes…. In excavating the gospel narratives’ intricate structure, this perceptive work of scholarship reveals thematic nuances long overlooked by Christian readers.”
Publisher’s Weekly, January 15, 2019

“…convincingly exposes a web of narrative-literary connections….Magnificently accomplishes what Borgman set out to do, namely, to identify the macro-message of Genesis.” Roy Gane, RBL, 2003

“Borgman lays out, in an astute way, the patterns that shape the narrative he in quite intentional ways. His scholarship opens new ways of seeing and reading, and is a welcome contribution.” Walter Brueggemann

“…a splendid example of what literary critics have to teach exegetes….Read this book for the breath of fresh air that it brings” Nicholas King, Oxford, Scripture Bulletin, Jan.,2007