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A gospel (from Old English, gōd spell "good news") is a writing that describes the life of Jesus. The word is primarily used to refer to the four canonical gospels: the Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Luke and Gospel of John, probably written between AD 65 and 80. [1][2] They appear to have been originally untitled; they were quoted anonymously in the first half of the second century (i.e. 100–150) but the names by which they are currently known appear suddenly around the year 180.[3]

The First Gospels

The first canonical gospel written is thought by most scholars to be Mark (c 65-70), which was according to the majority used as a source for the gospels of Matthew and Luke.[2] In modern source criticism, Matthew and Luke are generally thought to have used a common source, the Q document,[2] These first three gospels are called the synoptic gospels because they share similar incidents, teachings, and even much language.[2]

However scholar James R. Edwards has put forward the possibility that the Gospel of the Hebrews was the first gospel to be written. It is further argued that this gospel was the basis for the canonical gospels. [4]

Later Gospels

The fourth gospel, the Gospel of John, presents a very different picture of Jesus and his ministry from the synoptics.[2] In differentiating history from invention, historians interpret the gospel accounts skeptically[5] but generally regard the synoptic gospels as including significant amounts of historically reliable information about Jesus.[5] Scholars[who?] maintain that the gospels and all the books of the New Testament were written in Greek, which is known as Greek primacy.

The synoptic gospels are the source of many popular stories, parables, and sermons, such as Jesus' humble birth in Bethlehem, the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the Last Supper, and the Great Commission. John provides a theological description of Jesus as the eternal Word, the unique savior of humanity. All four attest to his Sonship, miraculous power, crucifixion, and resurrection. Portions of the gospels are traditionally read aloud during church services as a formal part of the liturgy.

More generally, gospels compose a genre of early Christian literature.[6] Gospels that did not become canonical likely also circulated in early Christianity. Some, such as the Gospel of Thomas, lack the narrative framework typical of a gospel.[7] These gospels appeared later than the canonical gospels, and in the case of Thomas, after the Bible was officially canonized.

Etymology

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The word gospel derives from the Old English god-spell [8] (rarely godspel), meaning "good tidings" or "glad tidings". It is a calque (word-for-word translation) of the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, euangelion (eu- "good", -angelion "message"). The Greek word "euangelion" is also the source of the term "evangelist" in English. The authors of the four canonical Christian gospels are known as the four evangelists.

Originally, the gospel was the glad tidings of redemption through the expiatory offering of Jesus Christ for one's sins, the central Christian message. Note: John 3:16. [9] Before the first gospel was written (Mark, c 65-70)[2], Paul the Apostle used the term εὐαγγέλιον gospel when he reminded the people of the church at Corinth "of the gospel I preached to you" (1 Corinthians 15.1). Paul averred that they were being saved by the gospel, and he characterized it in the simplest terms, emphasizing Christ's appearances after the Resurrection (15.3 – 8):

...that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried; and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; And that he was seen of Cephas; then of the Twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once: of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some have fallen asleep. After that he was seen of James, then of all the apostles. Last of all, he was seen of me also, as one born out of due time.

The earliest extant use of εὐαγγέλιον gospel to denote a particular genre of writing dates to the 2nd century. Justin Martyr (c 155) in 1 Apology 66 wrote: "...the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels".

Henry Barclay Swete's Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, pages 456-457 states:

Εὐαγγέλιον in the LXX occurs only in the plural, and perhaps only in the classical sense of 'a reward for good tidings' (2 Sam 4:10 [also 18:20, 18:22, 18:25-27, 2 Kings 7:9]); in the N.T. it is from the first appropriated to the Messianic good tidings (Mark 1:1, 1:14), probably deriving this new meaning from the use of εὐαγγελίζεσθαι in Isa 40:9, 52:7, 60:6, 61:1.

In the New Testament, evangelism meant the proclamation of God's saving activity in Jesus of Nazareth, or the agape message proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth. This is the original New Testament usage (for example Mark 1:14-15 or 1 Corinthians 15:1-9; see also Strong's G2098). The peculiar situation in the English language of an obsolete translation persisting into current usage harks back to John Wycliffe who already had gospel, and whose usage was adopted into the King James Version. The short o in the modern word gospel is due to mistaken association with the word god. Old English gōd-spell had a long vowel and would have become good-spell in Modern English.

Canonical Gospels

Of the many gospels written in antiquity, only four gospels came to be accepted as part of the New Testament, or canonical. An insistence upon there being a canon of four gospels, and no others, was a central theme of Irenaeus of Lyons, c. 185. In his central work, Adversus Haereses Irenaeus denounced various early Christian groups that used only one gospel, such as Marcionism which used only Marcion's version of Luke, or the Ebionites which seem to have used an Aramaic version of Matthew as well as groups that embraced the texts of newer revelations, such as the Valentinians (A.H. 1.11). Irenaeus declared that the four he espoused were the four "Pillars of the Church": "it is not possible that there can be either more or fewer than four" he stated, presenting as logic the analogy of the four corners of the earth and the four winds (3.11.8). His image, taken from Ezekiel 1, or Revelation 4:6-10, of God's throne borne by four creatures with four faces—"the four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and the four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle"—equivalent to the "four-formed" gospel, is the origin of the conventional symbols of the Evangelists: lion, bull, eagle, man. Irenaeus was ultimately successful in declaring that the four gospels collectively, and exclusively these four, contained the truth. By reading each gospel in light of the others, Irenaeus made of John a lens through which to read Matthew, Mark and Luke.

By the turn of the 5th century, the Catholic Church in the west, under Pope Innocent I, recognized a biblical canon including the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which had been previously established at a number of regional Synods, namely the Council of Rome (382), the Synod of Hippo (393), and two Synods of Carthage (397 and 419).[10] This canon, which corresponds to the modern Catholic canon, was used in the Vulgate, an early 5th century translation of the Bible made by Jerome[11] under the commission of Pope Damasus I in 382.

There was also another order, the "western order of the Gospels", so called because it is typical for the manuscripts which are usually a representative of the Western text-type.

This order is found in the following manuscripts: Bezae, Monacensis, Washingtonianus, Tischendorfianus IV, Uncial 0234.

Medieval copies of the four canonical gospels are known as Gospel Books or also simply as Gospels (in Greek as Tetraevangelia). Notable examples include the Lindisfarne Gospels (c 700), the Barberini Gospels, Lichfield Gospels and the Vienna Coronation Gospels (8th century), the Book of Kells and the Ada Gospels (ca. 800) or the Ebbo Gospels (9th century).

Origin of the canonical gospels

The dominant view today is that Mark is the first Gospel, with Matthew and Luke borrowing passages both from that Gospel and from at least one other common source, lost to history, termed by scholars 'Q' (from German: Quelle, meaning "source"). This view is known as the "Two-Source Hypothesis". [12].John was written last and shares little with the synoptic gospels.

The gospels were apparently composed in stages. Mark's traditional ending (Mark 16:9-20) was most likely composed early in the second century and appended to Mark in the middle of that century.[13] The birth and infancy narratives apparently developed late in the tradition.[14] Luke and Matthew may have originally appeared without their first two chapters.[14]

The general consensus among biblical scholars is that all four canonical gospels were originally written in Greek, the lingua franca of the Roman Orient.

Dating

Estimates for the dates when the canonical gospel accounts were written vary significantly; and the evidence for any of the dates is scanty. Because the earliest surviving complete copies of the gospels date to the 4th century and because only fragments and quotations exist before that, scholars use higher criticism to propose likely ranges of dates for the original gospel autographs. Scholars variously assess the consensus or majority view as follows:

  • Mark: c. 68–73,[15] c 65-70[2]
  • Matthew: c. 70–100.[15] c 80-85.[2] Some conservative scholars argue for a pre-70 date, particularly those that do not accept Mark as the first gospel written.
  • Luke: c. 80–100, with most arguing for somewhere around 85,[15], c 80-85[2]
  • John: c 90-100,[2] c. 90–110,[16] The majority view is that it was written in stages, so there was no one date of composition.

Traditional Christian scholarship has generally preferred to assign earlier dates. Some historians interpret the end of the book of Acts as indicative, or at least suggestive, of its date; as Acts does not mention the death of Paul, generally accepted as the author of many of the Epistles, who was later put to death by the Romans c. 65. Acts is attributed to the author of the Gospel of Luke, and therefore would shift the chronology of authorship back, putting Mark as early as the mid 50s. Here are the dates given in the modern NIV Study Bible (for a fuller discussion see Augustinian hypothesis):

  • Mark: c. 50s to early 60s, or late 60s
  • Matthew: c. 50 to 70s
  • Luke: c. 59 to 63, or 70s to 80s
  • John: c. 85 to near 100, or 50s to 70

Such early dates are not limited to conservative scholars. In Redating the New Testament John A. T. Robinson, a prominent liberal theologian and bishop, makes a case for composition dates before the fall of Jerusalem.

Location

Matthew was probably written in Syria, perhaps in Antioch,[2] an ancient Christian center. Mark has traditionally been associated with Peter's preaching in Rome, and it is well-suited to a Roman audience.[2] Various cities have been proposed for the origin of Luke, but there is no consensus on the matter. Ephesus is a popular scholarly choice for the place of origin for the Gospel of John.[2]

Following Raymond Brown's postulation of a Johannine community having been responsible for John's gospel and letters[17], other scholars have identified localized communities behind each of the other gospels and Q. This assumes the relative isolation of early Christian communities in which distinctive traditions concerning Jesus thrived. Other scholars have questioned this hypothesis and have stressed the constant communication between early Christian communities.[18]

Oral tradition

The oral traditions that the evangelists drew on were transmitted by word of mouth for decades. (However, it should be noted that traditionally both Matthew and John were eyewitnesses of the events recorded.) This oral tradition consisted of several distinct components. Parables and aphorisms are the "bedrock of the tradition." Pronouncement stories, scenes that culminate with a saying of Jesus, are more plausible historically than other kinds of stories about Jesus. Other sorts of stories include controversy stories, in which Jesus is in conflict with religious authorities; miracles stories, including healings, exorcisms, and nature wonders; call and commissioning stories; and legends.

One of the most important concerns in accurately accounting for the oral Jesus tradition is the model of transmission used. Form criticism (Formgeschichte) was developed primarily by the German scholars Karl Ludwig Schmidt, Martin Dibelius, and Rudolf Bultmann.[19][20][21] The oral model developed by the form critics drew heavily on contemporary theory of folkloric transmission of oral material, and partly as a result of this form criticism posited that the Jesus tradition was transmitted informally, added to freely, and was uncontrolled[22]. However, "Today it is no exaggeration to claim that a whole spectrum of main assumptions underlying Bultmann's Synoptic Tradition must be considered suspect.[23]" A number of other models have been proposed which posit greater control over the tradition, to varying degrees. For example, largely in response to form critical scholarship, Professor Birger Gerhardsson examined oral transmission in early rabbinic circles, and proposed that such a model (controlled and formal) would more accurately reflect the transmission of the Jesus tradition in early Christian circles, and as a consequence the oral traditions present in the gospels have been fairly reliably and faithfully transmitted[24]. Professor Kenneth Bailey, after spending a great deal of time in remote and illiterate villages in the Middle East, used his experience of orality in such places to formulate a similar model of controlled transmission within the early Christian communities, but posited an informal mechanism of control.[25] Controlled models of the Jesus tradition, and with them an evaluation of the gospels as possessing greater historical reliability, have been accepted by several scholars in recent years.[26][27][28]

Content of the gospels

The four gospels present different narratives, reflecting different intents on the parts of their authors.[29]

All four gospels portray Jesus as leading a group of disciples, performing miracles, preaching in Jerusalem, being crucified, and rising from the dead.

The synoptic gospels represent Jesus as an exorcist and healer who preached in parables about the coming Kingdom of God. He preached first in Galilee and later in Jerusalem, where he cleansed the temple. He states that he offers no sign as proof (Mark) or only the sign of Jonah (Matthew and Luke).[30] In Mark, apparently written with a Roman audience in mind, Jesus is a heroic man of action, given to powerful emotions, including agony.[2] In Matthew, apparently written for a Jewish audience, Jesus is repeatedly called out as the fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy.[2] In Luke, apparently written for gentiles, Jesus is especially concerned with the poor.[2] Luke emphasizes the importance of prayer and the action of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' life and in the Christian community.[31] Jesus appears as a stoic supernatural being, unmoved even by his own crucifixion.[29] Like Matthew, Luke insists that salvation offered by Christ is for all, and not the Jews only.[31][32]

The Gospel of John represents Jesus as an incarnation of the eternal Word (Logos), who spoke no parables, talked extensively about himself, and did not explicitly refer to a Second Coming.[2] Jesus preaches in Jerusalem, launching his ministry with the cleansing of the temple.[2] He performs several miracles as signs, most of them not found in the synoptics.

Gospel Genre

One important aspect of the study of the Gospels is the genre under which they fall. Genre "is a key convention guiding both the composition and the interpretation of writings.[33]" Whether the Gospel authors set out to write novels, myths, histories, or biographies has a tremendous impact on how they ought to be interpreted. If, for example, Rudolf Bultmann was correct, and the Gospel authors had no interest in history or in a historical Jesus[34], then the Gospels must be read and interpreted in this light. However, many recent studies suggest that the genre of the Gospels ought to be situated within the realm of ancient biography[35][36][37][38][39]. Although not without critics[40], the position that the Gospels are a type of ancient biography is the consensus among scholars today[41].

Non-canonical gospels

In addition to the four canonical gospels, early Christians wrote other gospels that were not accepted into the canon.


Gospel of the Hebrews

Origen said the first[42] Gospel was written by Matthew.[43] This Gospel was composed in Hebrew near Jerusalem for Hebrew Christians and translated into Greek, but the Greek copy was lost. The Hebrew original was kept at the Library of Caesarea. The Nazarene Community transcribed a copy for Jerome which he used in his work.[44] Matthew's Gospel was called the Gospel according to the Hebrews or sometimes the Gospel of the Apostles [45][46]

Recent studies of the external evidence, shows that there existed among the Nazarene and Ebionite Communities, a gospel commonly referred to as the Gospel of the Hebrews. It was written in Aramaic and its authorship was attributed to St. Matthew. Indeed the Fathers of the Church, while the Gospel of the Hebrews was still being circulated and read, referred to it always with respect, often with reverence. The Early Church Fathers (Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus Origen, Jerome etc) all made reference to this gospel of Matthew.

Professor of Theology, James Edwards in his latest work, claims that the Apostle Matthew wrote the Gospel of the Hebrews, an eye witness account in the Hebrew of the life of Jesus long before any of the Canonical Gospels. He argues that it was considered authentic, held in very high regard by Early Church leaders and the basis for future gospels including the Gospel of Matthew found in the Bible. Edwards said he won’t get feedback from scholarly reviews until 2011 at the earliest, but it most probably will spark scholarly debate.[47] [48][49] [1] [2]

Gospel of Thomas

Like Q, the gospel attributed to Thomas is mostly wisdom without narrating Jesus's life. A few scholars argue that its first edition was written c 50-60, but that the surviving edition was written in the first half of the second century.[50] This would mean that its first edition was contemporary with the earliest letters of Paul the Apostle. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says that the original may date from c. 150.[51] It may represent a tradition independent from the canonical gospels, but that developed over a long time and was influenced by Matthew and Luke.[51] While it can be understood in Gnostic terms, it lacks the characteristic features of Gnostic doctrine.[51] The Jesus Seminar identified two of its unique parables, the parable of the empty jug and the parable of the assassin.[52] It had been lost but was discovered, in a Coptic version dating from c. 350, at Nag Hammadi in 1945-6, and three papyri, dated to c. 200, which contain fragments of a Greek text similar to but not identical with that in the Coptic language, have also been found.[51]

Gospel of Peter

The gospel of Peter was likely written in the first half of the second century.[53][54] It seems to be largely legendary, hostile toward Jews, and including Docetic elements.[55] It had been lost but was rediscovered in the 19th century.[56]

Gospel of Judas

The Gospel of Judas is another controversial and ancient text that purports to tell the story of the gospel from the perspective of Judas, the disciple who is usually said to have betrayed Jesus in most versions of the Bible. It paints an unusual picture of the relationship between Jesus and Judas. The text was recovered from a cave in Egypt by a thief and thereafter sold on the black market until it was finally discovered by a collector who, with the help of academics from Yale and Princeton, was able to verify its authenticity. The document itself does not claim to have been authored by Judas (it is, rather, a Gospel about Judas), and dates no earlier than the second century.

The sayings gospel Q

The hypothetical gospel Q comprised mostly sayings of Jesus with little narrative. It is presumably the source for many of Jesus' sayings in Matthew and Luke, and accordingly must have preceded these gospels. Its first edition was written c 50-60.[50] Mark Goodacre and other scholars have questioned this hypothetical document.

Infancy gospels

A genre of "Infancy gospels" (Greek: protoevangelion) arose in the 2nd century, such as the Gospel of James, which introduces the concept of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (not to be confused with the absolutely different sayings Gospel of Thomas), both of which related many miraculous incidents from the life of Mary and the childhood of Jesus that are not included in the canonical gospels.

Harmonies

Another genre is that of gospel harmonies, in which the four canonical gospels were selectively recast as a single narrative to present a consistent text. Very few fragments of harmonies have survived. The Diatessaron was such a harmonization, compiled by Tatian around 175. It was popular for at least two centuries in Syria, but eventually it fell into disuse.

Marcion's gospel of Luke

Marcion of Sinope, c. 150, had a version of the gospel of Luke which differed substantially from that which has now become the standard text. Marcion's version was far less Jewish than the now canonical text, and his critics alleged that he had edited out the portions he didn't like from the canonical version, though Marcion argued that his text was the more genuinely original one. Marcion also rejected all the other gospels, including Matthew, Mark and especially John, which he alleged had been forged by Irenaeus.


See also


References

  1. Marcus J. Borg, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally, (HarperSanFrancisco, 2002) page 189.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
  3. E P Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, (Penguin, 1995) page 63 - 64.
  4. James R. Edwards, The Hebrew Gospel & the Development of the Synoptic Tradition, (2009), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.pp. 1-376
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993.
  6. Peter Stuhlmacher, ed., Das Evangelium und die Evangelien, Tübingen 1983, also in English: The Gospel and the Gospels
  7. Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005, unspecified article
  8. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Gospel
  9. "Gospel." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  10. Pogorzelski, Frederick (2006). "Protestantism: A Historical and Spiritual Wrong Way Turn". Bible Dates. CatholicEvangelism.com. pp. 1. http://www.catholicevangelism.org/bible-dates1.shtml. Retrieved 2006-07-11. 
  11. "Canon of the New Testament". Catholic Encyclopedia. NewAdvent.com. 1908. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03274a.htm. Retrieved 2006-07-11. 
  12. For a dissenting view, seeMark Goodacre.
  13. May, Herbert G. and Bruce M. Metzger. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. 1977. "Mark" p. 1213-1239
  14. 14.0 14.1 Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Birth & Infancy Stories" p. 497-526.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Raymond E. Brown. An Introduction to the New Testament.
  16. C K Barrett, among others.
  17. R. Brown, The Gospel According to John The Anchor Bible. (Garden City: Doubleday, 1966)
  18. J. Dunn, "Jesus in Oral Memory": the Initial Stages of the Jesus Tradition" Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers, 39 (2000) p. 325; "Altering the Default Setting: Re-envisaging the Early Transmission of the Jesus Tradition" New Testament Studies 49 (2003) pp. 139-175; R. Bauckham, "For Who Were the Gospels Written?" The Gospels for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), pp. 13-22; B. A. Pearason, "A Q Community in Galilee?" New Testament Studies, 50 (2004) p. 489
  19. Schmidt, K. L. (1919). Der Rahmen der Geschichte Jesu. Berlin: Paternoster.
  20. Dibelius, M. (1919). Die Formgeschichte des Evangelium 3d Ed. Günter Bornkamm (ed). Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr.
  21. Bultmann, R. (1921). Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.
  22. http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_tradition_bailey.html
  23. Kelber, W. H. (1997). The Oral and Written Gospel: The Hermeneutics of Speaking and Writing in the Synoptic Tradition, Mark, Paul, and Q. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 8.
  24. Gerhadsson, B. (1998). Memory and Manuscript: Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity with Tradition aand Transmission in Early Christianity Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
  25. http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/article_tradition_bailey.html
  26. Wansbrough, H. (Ed). Jesus and the Oral Gospel Tradition London: Sheffield Academic Press
  27. .Dunn, J. D. G. (2003). Jesus Remembered Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
  28. Funk, Robert W. and the [Jesus Seminar]]. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. Introduction, p. 1-40
  29. 29.0 29.1 Ehrman. Misquoting Jesus.
  30. Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005, article Luke, Gospel of St
  32. St. Matthew , "The Thompson Chain-Reference Study Bible New King James Version", (B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co. Inc., 1997) p. 1258 verse 12:21, p.1274, verse 21:43.
  33. Burridge, R. A. (2006). Gospels. In J. W. Rogerson & Judith M. Lieu (Eds) The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 433
  34. Bultmann, R. (1921). Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.
  35. Stanton, G. N. (1974). Jesus of Nazareth in New Testament Preaching Society of New Testament Studies Monograph Series 27. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  36. Talbert, C. H. (1977). What is a Gospel? The Genre of the Canonical Gospels. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
  37. Aune, D. E. (1987). The New Testament in Its Literary Environment. Philadelphia: Westminster.
  38. Frickenschmidt, D. (1997). Evangelium als Biographie: Die vier Evanelien im Rahmen antiker Erzählkunst. Tübingen: Francke Verlag.
  39. Burridge, R. A. (2004). What are the Gospels? A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography, rev. updated edn. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.
  40. e.g. Vines, M. E. (2002). The Prleblem of the Markan Genre: The Gospel of Mark and the Jewish Novel. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature
  41. Burridge, R. A. (2006). Gospels. In J. W. Rogerson & Judith M. Lieu (Eds) The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 437
  42. Eusebius, Church History 6.25.4
  43. Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 2.12
  44. Jerome, On Illustrious Men 3
  45. John Bovee Dods, The Gospel of Jesus, G. Smith Pub., 1858 pp. iv - vi
  46. Jerome, Against Pelagius 3.2
  47. Nicholson (2009) The Gospel According to the Hebrews, BiblioBazaar, LLC, pp 25 - 26 & 82
  48. Bernhard Pick, The Gospel According to the Hebrews, (2005) Kessinger Publishing. pp. 1-28
  49. James R. Edwards, The Hebrew Gospel & the Development of the Synoptic Tradition, (2009), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.pp. 1-376
  50. 50.0 50.1 Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. "Stages in the Development of Early Christian Tradition" p. 128
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 "Thomas, Gospel of." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  52. Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. "The Gospel of Thomas," p 471-532.
  53. "Peter, Gospel of St.." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  54. Ehrman, Bart (2003). The Lost Christianities. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. xi. ISBN 9780195141832. 
  55. "Peter, Gospel of St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  56. "Peter, Gospel of St." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005

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