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The Oral Gospel Tradition
James D. G. Dunn
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POD; Published: 10/3/2013
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6782-7
Price: $ 46.50
400 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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A collection of James Dunn's essays on the oral tradition of Jesus' teachings

The traditions about Jesus and his teaching circulated in oral form for many years, continuing to do so for decades following the writing of the New Testament Gospels. James Dunn is one of the major voices urging that more consideration needs to be given to the oral use and transmission of the Jesus tradition as a major factor in giving the Synoptic tradition its enduring character.

In fifteen scholarly essays Dunn discusses such issues as the role of eyewitnesses and of memory, how the Jesus tradition was shaped by oral usage, and the importance of seeing the biblical materials not so much as frozen writing but as living tradition, today almost as much as in the beginnings of the Gospel tradition.

Read more about the book in a blog post by Dunn on EerdWord.

Christopher Tuckett
-- University of Oxford
"Over many years Jimmy Dunn has alerted us all to the importance of taking seriously the presence of oral tradition in and behind our present Gospels. This volume provides many of his key essays on that broad topic, including a number of responses to critiques by others. As with all of Dunn's work, the argument is invariably readable, persuasive, and compelling. This will be an invaluable resource for all those engaged in study of the Gospels, their sources, and their witness to the person of Jesus."
Tom Thatcher
-- Cincinnati Christian University
"This book helpfully brings together a number of significant essays by a leading voice in the study of Jesus, the Gospels, and early Christian tradition. As indicated by the new and very helpful introduction, the collection not only surveys Dunn's own voluminous work on the topic but also serves, in many respects, as a recent history of research, tracing trends in the evolution of study on the media history of early Christianity."
Mark Allan Powell
-- Trinity Lutheran Seminary
"For more than thirty-five years, James Dunn has been a leading voice in New Testament studies regarding the role of oral tradition in the formation of Gospel narratives. This volume affords Dunn the opportunity to respond to criticisms of his various proposals and so to present time-honored ideas afresh for a new generation. Anyone who seeks to understand the Gospels as a living tradition will appreciate this book and benefit from Dunn's rich contributions to the field."
Samuel Byrskog
-- Lund University
"Dunn is no doubt one of the most influential New Testament scholars of our time. These collected essays of his build up an impressive view of the oral Gospel tradition. Reading them one after the other in a single volume reveals the broader corollaries of Dunn's famous call for the altering of the default setting and makes evident its background in his lifelong research going back to his early interest in the Holy Spirit and Christian prophecy."
Journal of Theological Studies
"What is important about this collection of essays is that it sends us back to the Gospels and the traditions upon which they are based with a new set of intelligently considered and clearly expressed ideas with which to examine them. In a much over-studied discipline, to stimulate a few new thoughts, and to do so with a happy balance between detailed exegesis reflection and more general reflection, is an achievement."
Church Times (UK)
"A splendid and welcome opportunity to follow the evolution of Dunn's thinking."
Review of Biblical Literature
"Throughout this book Dunn is brilliant. There are essays here that I would recommend to every student of the gospels (ch. 2), of Q (ch. 3), of the historical Jesus (chs. 1-2, 12), and of the nature of scripture (chs. 14-15). . . . No longer can we work from the same paradigm for understanding the gospel traditions. Dunn has exposed faulty assumptions, laid a new foundation, given a greater appreciation for the traditions recorded in the gospels, and clarified the nature of scripture. . . . Highly recommended."
Southwestern Journal of Theology
"A one-stop collection of scholarly articles that help explain and clarify Dunn's unique position on the oral transmission of the gospel message. . . . A welcome addition to the scholarly debate."