Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels

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In this book respected New Testament scholar Pheme Perkins delivers a clear, fresh, informed introduction to the earliest written accounts of Jesus — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — situating those canonical Gospels within the wider world of oral storytelling and literary production of the first and second centuries. Cutting through the media confusion over new Gospel finds, Perkins's Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels presents a balanced, responsible look at how the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke came to be and what they mean.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802865533
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 488,721
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Pheme Perkins is professor of New Testament in the Theology Department at Boston College. Among her many published books are Reading the New Testament, Gnosticism and the New Testament, Galatians and the Politics of Faith and Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church.
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations     ix
General Bibliography     xi
Introduction     xiii
what Is a Gospel?     1
Ancient Biography     2
Gospels and Apostles-A Key Combination     11
Mark's Innovation: Framing the Ministry and the Passion     17
Matthew and Luke Improve on the Model     18
Note: Alternate Suggestions for Genre     23
Note: The Four-Gospel Canon     26
Books and Believers in Early Christianity     31
Early Christianity as an Explosion of Texts     32
How Books Were Written     37
How the Gospel Texts Have Come Down to Us     41
When Texts Differ; What the Text Critic Contributes     43
The Septuagint: Scripture Cited in the Gospels     47
Marcion and the Idea of a Second-Century "Canon"     51
The Quest for Sources     54
From a Synopsis: Comparing the Synoptic Gospels     56
From Q and the Gospel of Thomas to Sayings Gospels     67
Q     85
Is It a Gospel?     85
Strata in Q     90
The Community Responsible for Q     92
Form Criticism     96
The Shape and Function of Sayings and Stories     96
Sayings Material     98
Parables and Similitudes     105
Miracle Stories     114
The Passion Narrative     119
The Gospel of Peter and the Development of the Passion Narrative     121
Reading Mark's Gospel     126
From Beginning to End: Mark's Narrative Shape     127
Literary Features of Marks Narrative     133
Characters in the Gospel     142
Jesus in Mark's Gospel     149
The Community Implied in Mark's Narrative     153
Endings Added to the Gospel of Mark     156
A Secret Version of Mark?     158
Reading Matthew's Gospel     164
From Beginning to End: Matthew's Narrative Shape     166
Literary Features in Matthew's Narrative     176
Characters in the Gospel     181
Jesus in Matthew's Gospel     189
The Community Implied in Matthew's Narrative     193
Jewish Christian Gospel Traditions     197
Reading Luke's Gospel     202
From Beginning to End: Luke's Narrative Shape     204
Literary Features of Luke's Narrative     213
Characters in the Gospel     221
Jesus in Luke's Gospel      232
The Community Implied in Luke's Narrative     240
Mary Traditions and Other Infancy Gospels     244
The Reception and Revision of the Gospel of Luke     250
Gospels from the Second and Third Centuries     254
A Mixture of Traditions: Oral and Written     256
Apocryphal Gospels and Reading the Synoptics     262
Gnostic "Gospels" from the Second and Third Centuries     268
The Gospel of Judas     278
P. Berol. 22220: The "Gospel of the Savior"     281
The Question of Genre Revisited     287
Index of Modern Authors     294
Index of Subjects     296
Index of Ancient Sources     300
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