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Jesus research is a difficult task because of the number of primary source materials and their complexities. These complexities involve problems that arise from imperfect preservation of sources, uncertain literary relationships among the documents themselves, and even less certain knowledge of their respective provenances. Jesus research inevitably involves reaching behind the extant sources, inferring from what lies before us the nature of the material upon which the evangelists drew. This volume reviews the criteria, assumptions, and methods involved in critical Jesus research. Its purpose is to clarify the procedures necessary to distinguish tradition that stems from Jesus from tradition and interpretation that stem from later tradents and evangelists, and to inquire into the various forces and situations that led to the emergence of the tradition as we have it.
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