Connecting Gospels Beyond the Canonical/Non-Canonical Divide

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2018-05-22
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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By the late second century, early Christian gospels had been divided into two groups by a canonical boundary that assigned normative status to four of them while consigning their competitors to the margins. Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/Non-canonical Divide finds new ways to reconnect these divided texts. Starting from the assumption that, in spite of their differences, all early gospels express a common belief in the absolute significance of Jesus and his earthly career, this authoritative collection makes their interconnectedness fruitful for interpretation. The contributors have each selected a theme or topic and trace it across two or more gospels on either side of the canonical boundary, and the resulting convergences and divergences shed light not least on the canonical texts themselves as they are read from new and unfamiliar vantage points. This volume demonstrates that early gospel literature can be regarded as a single field of study, in contrast to the overwhelming predominance of the canonical four characteristic of traditional gospels scholarship.

Author Biography

Francis Watson currently holds a Chair of Biblical Interpretation at Durham University, having previously held the Kirby Laing Chair at the University of Aberdeen (1999-2007) and posts at King's College London (1984-99). His publications include Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective (2013) and The Fourfold Gospel (2016). He has served as editor of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Early Christianity, and New Testament Studies, and he holds a Professorial Fellowship at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne.

Sarah Parkhouse is Research Fellow at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. She gained her PhD from Durham University in 2017, having held a studentship on a research project entitled 'The Fourfold Gospel and its Rivals', funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Her research interests lie in the field of early Christian non-canonical literature, with a particular focus on gospels or gospel-related texts preserved in Coptic, from Nag Hammadi and elsewhere.

Table of Contents

List of contributors
Introduction, Francis Watson and Sarah Parkhouse
Part I: Beginnings
1. Praeparatio Evangelica in Early Christian Gospels, Simon Gathercole
2. Prophets, Priests, and Kings: Old Testament Figures in Marcion's Gospel and Luke, Dieter T. Roth
3. The Protevangelium of James and the Creative Rewriting of Matthew and Luke, Mark Goodacre
4. Jesus' Body: Christology and Soteriology in the Body-Metaphors of the Gospel of Philip, Christine Jacobi
Part II: Ministry
5. Rejection at Nazareth in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke--and Tatian, Matthew R. Crawford
6. Jesus and Judaism: Inside or Outside? The Gospel of John, the Egerton Gospel, and the Spectrum of Ancient Christian Voices, Tobias Nicklas
7. Women in the Gospels of Mark and Mary, Christopher Tuckett
Part III: Passion and Aftermath
8. 'My Power, Power, you have left me': Christology in and beyond the Gospel of Peter, Heike Omerzu
9. A Gospel of the Eleven: the Epistula Apostolorum and the Johannine Tradition, Francis Watson
10. Matter and the Soul: the Bipartite Eschatology of the Gospel of Mary, Sarah Parkhouse
11. Jesus and Early Christian Identity Formation: Reflections on the Significance of the Jesus Figure in Early Christian Gospels, Jens Schroter

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