General Gospels

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    Bauckham, Richard J.

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    For Whom Were Gospels Written?

    "[I]n view of all this evidence that the early Christian movement was a network of communities in constant communication with each other, by messengers, letters, and movements of leaders and teachers - moreover a network around which Christian literature circulated easily, quickly and widely - surely the idea of writing a Gospel purely for the members of one's own church or even for a few neighbouring churches is unlikely to have occurred to anyone. The burden of proof must lie with those who claim it did."
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    Blomberg, Craig L.

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    Form Criticism

    "This method of analysis focuses on the individual, self-contained units of material into which the Gospels may be subdivided. It identifies different forms or subgenres of literature which appear, and it attempts to describe the ways in which these forms developed during the period of time in which they were passed along by word of mouth prior to the writing of the Gospels themselves."
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    Decker, Rodney J.

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    Realistic or Historical Narrative?: The Question of Historicity in the Context of Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation

    "What has happened in biblical studies in recent centuries? Why the proliferation of disciplines necessary to understand the Bible? Numerous books have been written to answer such questions. This brief paper will not attempt to resolve the larger issues, but will content itself with considering one narrow topic in this churning hermeneutical milieu. Specifically, what are some of the implications of a literary or narrative approach to biblical interpretation -- 'the most radical challenge to traditional hermeneutical models which has yet arisen'?"
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    Guelich, Robert A.

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    The Gospels: Portraits of Jesus and His Ministry

    "The changes in gospel studies during the past thirty years have been very subtle and remain far from pervasive within evangelical circles. The goal of this paper is twofold: to highlight the change in perspective regarding the gospels, and to underscore the significant implications of this change for three specific areas of Biblical theology vital to evangelical concerns."
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    Herzog II, William R.

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    Sociological Approaches to the Gospel

    "Since 1970 the use of the social sciences has played an increasingly prominent role in Gospel studies. Early efforts concentrated on applying specific sociological theories to biblical studies, but more recent research has drawn from a wider range of social-scientific disciplines and sub-disciplines, including anthropology, peasant studies, political science, economics and Mediterranean sociology. Assessing this movement requires tracing its evolution and identifying its relationship to the disciplines of the historical-critical method before analyzing two pioneering works illustrating its use on a Gospel text and evaluating its contributions."
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    McKnight, Edgar V.

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    Literary Criticism

    "Literary criticism of the Gospels is concerned with literary conventions and the significance of such conventions for meaning. The rationale for such an approach is twofold: (1) the Gospels are, in part, literary; and (2) a reading or hearing of the Gospels involves literary appreciation. The Gospels are also theological, of course, and historical. Theological and historical preunderstandings of Christians will influence their use of literary criticism. Literary criticism and appreciation also impinge on theological and historical considerations."
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    Morosco, Robert E.

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    Redaction Criticism and the Evangelical: Matthew 10 a Test Case

    "This paper is not a history of redaction criticism, nor is it an analysis of any of the redactional studies that have played such a large role in recent Biblical interpretations. Rather, it is a humble attempt to explore and set down in basic terms what the writer sees as the possible or potential value of redaction criticism for evangelical interpretations of the bible, especially the synoptic gopsels...We will approach our query into RC using the Commissioning Story (CS) of Matthew 10 as a test case."
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    Osborne, Grant R.

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    The Evangelical and Redaction Criticism: Critique and Methodology

    "...[W]e have attempted to show that redaction study is not a divisive tool that dichotomizes the logia Jesu into authentic and inauthentic categories. that only accrues when one accepts the negative presuppositions of the radical critics. It is not only possible but necessary to separate the tools from the a priori of certain scholars, for the one does not depend on the other. In fact, the denotation of the positive value of the tools illustrates its place in the scholar's arsenal of exegetical weaponry."
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    Osborne, Grant R.

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    Redaction Criticism

    "Redaction criticism is a historical and literary discipline which studies both the ways the redactors/ editors/authors changed their sources and the seams or transitions they utilized to link those traditions into a unified whole. The purpose of this approach is to recover the author's theology and setting. Redaction criticism is the third of four schools of criticism developed in this century to study the Gospels and other biblical narratives...Redaction criticism originally developed as a corrective to areas of neglect in form and tradition criticism, but it functions also as a corrective to excesses in literary criticism."
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    Osborne, Grant R.

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    The Evangelical and Traditionsgeschichte

    "Traditionsgeschichte is one of the two important stepchildren of form criticism, the other being Redaktionsgeschichte...The method itself seeks to determine the growth of a particular concept or tradition within the history of the early Church...We may distinguish a positive and a negative pole within this approach. Positively, it helps to clarify the meaning of a concept or the use of a tradition at each stage of its development...Negatively, it makes judgements on the authenticity of gospel pericopae. For example, it tries to determine how far back the particular tradition goes."
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    Tan, Randall K.J.

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    Recent Developments in Redaction Criticism: From Investigation of Textual Prehistory Back to Historical-Grammatical Exegesis

    "From 'scissors and paste' collectors to individual composers or theologians— thus has been the shift in scholars’ perception of the role of the evangelists in the composition of the Synoptic Gospels. Whereas source criticism fragments the Gospels into diverse hypothetical sources and form criticism delves into the oral period behind the text, redaction criticism investigates the theological emphases of the evangelists. Yet, is the transition complete? Has the evangelists’ role in composition ever been sufficiently defined, so that vigorous differentiation of redaction from tradition is possible? Or has the notion that such criticism of the text is possible been no more than an illusion?"
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    Travis, Stephen H.

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    Form Criticism

    "Form criticism of the New Testament has two aims―to classify the various New Testament books according to their literary genre (German Gattungsgeschichte), and to analyse the smaller units of traditional material according to the 'form' or 'shape' they have assumed during the oral, preliterary period. The German word Formgeschichte ('form-history') is often used in a broader sense with reference to attempts to trace the development of units of tradition during the oral period and thus to make historical value-judgments on the material. But this is, strictly speaking, the function of 'tradition criticism', which is treated elsewhere in this volume. My contribution will be confined to the more purely analytical aspect of form criticism, and to units of tradition in the Gospels."