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What Are the Gospels?

What Are the Gospels?
A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography

Out of Print

Part of Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series

  • Date Published: May 1995
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print September 2004
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521483636

Out of Print

Unavailable - out of print September 2004
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About the Authors
  • In this work Dr Burridge contends that scholarly study of the genre of the Gospels has gone full circle over the last century of critical scholarship. The question of how the Gospels should be categorised is still a vexed one and - surprisingly - there is still no consensus. This book analyses and evaluates the debate over the course of the last century. It shows that while the nineteenth-century assumption that the Gospels could be likened to biographies has been denied by the mainstream scholarship of this century, in recent years a biographical genre has begun to be assumed once more. Dr Burridge provides a good foundation for the re-introduction of this biographical view of the Gospels by comparing the work of the Evangelists to the development of biography in the Graeco-Roman world, and by drawing on insights from literary theory. The author shows that the view that the Gospels are unique, which is still widespread among biblical scholars, is false: a first-century reader would have seen the Gospels as biographies, or 'Lives' of Jesus, and they must therefore be interpreted in this light.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1995
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521483636
    • length: 306 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 139 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.445kg
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print September 2004
  • Table of Contents

    Part 1. The Problem:
    1. Historical survey
    2. Genre criticism and literary theory
    3. Genre criticism and Graeco-Roman biography
    4. Evaluation of recent debate
    Part 2. The Proposed Solution:
    5. Generic features
    6. The generic features of early Graeco-Roman biography
    7. The generic features of later Graeco-Roman biography
    8. The Synoptic Gospels
    9. The Fourth Gospel
    10. Conclusions and implications
    Verbal analysis charts

  • Author

    Richard A. Burridge, King's College London

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