Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony  -     By: Richard Bauckham
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Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

Challenging prevailing views, Bauckham asserts that the accounts of Jesus' life were transmitted in the name of original eyewitnesses, not as "anonymous community traditions." Effecively rebutting form critics, he taps into internal literary evidence, recent developments in the understanding of oral tradition, and cognitive psychology to highlight the "Jesus of testimony" as presented by the Gospels.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 552
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 9¼ X 6¼ (inches)
ISBN: 0802863906
ISBN-13: 9780802863904
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Noted New Testament scholar Bauckham challenges the prevailing assumption the accounts of Jesus circulated as "anonymous community traditions," instead asserting that they were transmitted in the name of the original eyewitness.

Endorsements

First Things “Bauckham’s proposal is both path-breaking and a tour de force.”

Trinity Journal “As in all of his works, Bauckham has ransacked obscure secondary literature for little-known but immensely helpful information. He has thought creatively about time-worn problems and uncovered possible interpretations of subtle features of ancient testimony — both in the Gospels and about them — with the shrewdness of a good detective.”

Westminster Theological Journal “Bauckham has delivered a remarkable and insightful volume that is sure to offer a much-needed challenge to the status quo in modern gospel studies.”

N. T. Wright — Bishop of Durham “The question of whether the Gospels are based on eyewitness accounts has long been controversial. Now Richard Bauckham, in a characteristic tour de force, draws on his unparalleled knowledge of the world of the first Christians to argue not only that the Gospels do indeed contain eyewitness testimony but that their first readers would certainly have recognized them as such. This book is a remarkable piece of detective work, resulting in a fresh and vivid approach to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of well-known problems and passages.”

Graham Stanton — University of Cambridge “Richard Bauckham’s latest book shakes the foundations of a century of scholarly study of the Gospels. There are surprises on every page. A wealth of new insights will provoke lively discussion for a long time to come. Readers at all levels will be grateful for detective work that uncovers clues missed by so many.”

James D. G. Dunn — University of Durham “Another blockbuster from the productive pen of Richard Bauckham. Stimulated particularly by Samuel Byrskog’s Story as History — History as Story, Bauckham builds an impressive case for recognition of the controlling influence of eyewitness testimony on the formulation and use of the Jesus tradition, which resulted in the Evangelists’ ‘Jesus of testimony.’ Not to be missed!”

Martin Hengel — University of Tübingen “A fascinating book! I have not read such a stimulating monograph about Jesus research in a long time. With its high scholarly standards and astute arguments, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses shows new insights and ways of investigation. It will therefore become a pioneer work refuting old and new errors. 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.”

Associated Press “A blockbuster…Bauckham asserts that the Gospels stemmed from colleagues who walked alongside Jesus and from those with whom they shared their recollections.”

Craig Blomberg in Denver Journal “This is the last academic year that Richard Bauckham teaches full-time in his post as professor of New Testament studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland before his retirement. We can only hope that Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is far from the last major monograph that he composes. This work might just be the most important one that he has ever written.”

Roanoke Times "Buackham’s final chapter ‘The Jesus of Testimony’ is worth the price of the book for those who want a better understanding of what we mean and don’t mean when we talk about what history, any history, really is. "

Chronicle of Higher Education “Uses new understandings of oral literature and memory to argue that the four canonical Gospels were closely based on the eyewitness testimony of people who knew Jesus.”

Times Literary Supplement "Bauckham's careful and eloquent presentation of his argument, supported not just by careful scholarship but by admirable common sense, deserves earnest consideration by all."

Choice "It will be hard to take seriously future works on the origin of the Gospels that have not interacted with Bauckham. Recommended."

Publisher Description

This momentous book argues that the four Gospels are closely based on the eyewitness testimony of those who personally knew Jesus. Noted New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham challenges the prevailing assumption that the accounts of Jesus circulated as “anonymous community traditions,” asserting instead that they were transmitted in the names of the original eyewitnesses.

To drive home this controversial 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. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses also taps into the rich resources of modern study of memory, especially in cognitive psychology, refuting the conclusions of the form critics and calling New Testament scholarship to make a clean break with this long-dominant tradition. Finally, Bauckham challenges readers to end the classic division between the “historical Jesus” and the “Christ of faith,” proposing instead the “Jesus of testimony” as presented by the Gospels.

Sure to ignite heated debate on the precise character of the testimony about Jesus, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is a groundbreaking work that will be valued by scholars, students, and all who seek to understand the origins of the Gospels.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 19, 2010
    Ellis Mcbride
    Excellent shape and shipping. Content is relatively easy reading and the author makes some very relevant points in the first chapter. This is a goldmine resource just waiting for the next generation of theologian scholars to discover.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 11, 2009
    Rick Ritchie
    I wish everyone owned a copy of this book. The early sections on the testimony of Papias paint a picture of the early environment of the New Testament that supports his idea that the inclusion or exclusion of names from the historical accounts is linked to whether or not the person was a living eyewitness at the time the account was written. This argument is worth consideration.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 9, 2008
    James Quiggle
    The chief value of this book is that it methodically, meticulously and exhaustively evaluates the Gospels in relation to what might be called the rules of evidence in the first century cultural milieu of Jesus and his contemporaries. Bauckham convincingly demonstrates from a wide selection of historical evidence and well-reasoned argument that the Gospels were composed in the first century using eyewitness testimony. The reader need not be completely familiar with the arguments of the scholarly community, as Bauckham gives these briefly but accurately. I gave the book four and one-half stars versus five because, 1) the arguments and proofs are completely secular. God is not invited to the discussion until the last page (although Bauckham's faith is evident), and I don't remember meeting the Holy Spirit anywhere in the book. 2) The argument that the Author of John's Gospel was a Jerusalem disciple of Jesus but not the son of Zebedee is compelling but not entirely convincing. These issues do not in any way detract from the value of the work. Any person wanting to understand and defend the view that the Jesus of the Gospels IS the historical Jesus should read this work. The book is a living breath of faith that attempts to resuscitate the deadness of modern academic biblical studies. The reader who wonders if the Gospels present the real Jesus will find they do. The reader who believes in the Gospels as God's testimony will find his or her faith affirmed, and gain new insights for the defense of the faith.
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