We chose our cover picture, “The Four Evangelists” by Flemish artist Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678), to illustrate David E. Aunes’s article, “The Gospels—Biography or Theology?” But then we learned that the title of this painting and who is represented in it is disputed.
Some art histroians point out that the adolescent is too young to be one of the evangelists. Also, the young man wears what seems to be a prayer shawl similar to what Jesus—in the typical fashion of a Jewish man—may be thought to have worn in the Temple. These observations support the identification of the painting as “Jesus Among the Sages,” a depiction of the twelve-year-old Jesus conversing with the teachers in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:46–47). (Jesus had been brought to Jerusalem by his parents for the Passover festival, and he lingered on for three days to listen to the teachers and to ask questions in the Temple.) Further support for this identification of the painting comes from a record of a Jordaens painting, with the same dimensions as “The Four Evangelists,” sold in Rotterdam in 1730. It was entitled “Jesus Giving the Law to the Pharisees.”—Ed.