- Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Format: Hardback | 252 pages
- Dimensions: 135mm x 216mm x 20mm | 363g
- Publication date: 9 August 2004
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 0521810329
- ISBN 13: 9780521810326
- Edition statement: New.
'Gospel' initially referred to oral proclamation concerning Jesus Christ, but was later used to refer to four written accounts of the life of Jesus. How did this happen? Here, distinguished scholar Graham Stanton uses new evidence and fresh perspectives to tackle this controversial question. He insists that in the early post-Easter period, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was heard against the backdrop of a rival set of 'gospels' concerning the Roman emperors. In later chapters Stanton examines the earliest criticisms of Jesus and of claims concerning his resurrection. Finally, he discusses the early Christian addiction to the codex (book) format as opposed to the ubiquitous roll, and undermines the view that early copies of the Gospels were viewed as downmarket handbooks of an inward looking sect. With half the material previously unpublished and the rest carefully gathered from sources difficult to access, this is a timely study with broad appeal.
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Graham Stanton is Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College. His publications include Gospel Truth? New Light on Jesus and the Gospels (1995), A Gospel for a New People: Studies in Matthew (1992), The Gospels and Jesus (1989: revised and expanded 2002) and Jesus of Nazareth in New Testament Preaching (1974).
'... deserves attention and applause ...'. The Times Literary Supplement 'Though an important academic book written primarily for scholars and students, its range of interest and theological concerns make it an important resource for a wider readership in the church.' The Church of England Newspaper '... interesting and challenging.' Methodist Recorder 'Stanton is clear, concise and generally conservative as he engages with historical, theological and literary questions. The book is readable and will be of use to students, in particular.' Foundations 'Stanton has written a volume that is eminently readable, informative at every point and accessible to scholar, student and avid reader of Christian origins alike. This book deserves wide attention, since it both breaks new ground and summarises recent research into the development of the gospel canon.' Expository Times 'This is an up-to-the-minute study, drawing on a wide range of recent scholarship'. Theology 'It makes you think; and it is a great virtue in a book that it does that.' Church Times '... highly competent pieces of journeywork giving a conspectus of the scholarly discussion of a topic. Stanton's virtues are critical readings of the texts, up-to-dateness with recent publications, and a sure sense of the subtle shifts of the consensus.' The Glass 'This book is a good collection of articles and will no doubt form an important element of scholarly discussion on its topics.' Journal for the Study of the New Testament ' ... it has all the hallmarks of Stanton's previous books: careful scholarship, readability and fresh insights ... This book both breaks new ground and summarises recent research into the development of the gospel canon. It is New Testament scholarship at its best.' Ministry Today 'The beauty of [Stanton's] book is that he takes what look like trivial questions (What is a Gospel? How is the word used in non-Christian writings of the period? Why are there four Gosepls? Why was Jesus called a magician, and by whom? What were the objections put by sceptics to the resurrection of Jesus?) and opens them out to disclose important issues you might never have though about.' Church Times 'Stanton's explanation of the origins of 'Gospel' and his theories on the emergence of the codex are fascinating. ... the author exhibits a fine knowledge of early gospel papyri. ... This book would interest all students of earliest Christianity.' Themelios Jesus and Gospel has all the hallmarks of Stanton's previous books: Stanton has written a volume that is eminently readable , informative at every point and accessible to scholar, student and ardent reader of Christian origins alike. The style of this remarkable piece of scholarship is simple, clear and attractive. Stanton has presented a brilliant book that hopefully has already found its way not only into university libraries but also onto the bookcases of many exegetes. This short, readable book by Stanton makes an important contribution to the study of Christian origins. It is New Testament scholarship at it's best and deserves attention and applause.' Neotestamentica
Table of contents
1. Introduction; Part I. Jesus and Gospel: 2. Jesus and gospel; 3. The fourfold gospel; 4. Jesus traditions and gospels in Justin martyr and Irenaeus; 5. The law of Christ and the gospel; Part II. Jesus: 6. Jesus of Nazareth: a magician and a false prophet who deceived God's people?; 7. Early objections to the resurrection of Jesus; Part III. The Gospels and Papyri Codices: 8. Why were the early Christians addicted to the Codex?; 9. What are the gospels? New evidence from papyri?