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This critically-acclaimed work argues that the four Gospels are based on the eyewitness testimony of those who personally knew Jesus. New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham challenges the prevailing assumption that the stories about Jesus circulated as "anonymous community traditions" - asserting instead that they were transmitted in the names of the original eyewitnesses.
To drive home this point, Bauckham draws on internal literary evidence, the use of personal names in first-century Jewish Palestine, and recent developments in the understanding of oral tradition. He also taps into the rich resources of modern study of memory, especially in cognitive psychology. In this expanded edition, Bauckham has added a new preface, three substantial new chapters that respond to critics, and a comprehensive new bibliography.
"Fascinating!... This book ought to be read by all theologians and historians working in the field of early Christianity. Further, Bauckham's convincing historical method and broad learning will also help pastors and students to overcome widespread modern Jesus fantasies."
- Martin Hengel (1926-2009), Former Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism at the University of Tübingen