The Past of Jesus in the Gospels

by Eugene E. Lemcio;

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The Past of Jesus in the Gospels

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The aim of this study is to show that the Evangelists, to an extent hitherto unrecognized, wrote narratives which set out to distinguish Jesus's time from their own. Such an effort, Professor Lemcio explains, went beyond their merely putting verbs in past tenses and dividing their accounts into pre- and post-resurrection periods. Rather, they took care that terminology appropriate to the Easter appearances did not appear beforehand, and that vocabulary used prior to Easter fell by the wayside afterwards. The author shows that words common to both eras bear a different nuance in each, and that the idiom used is seen to suit the time. These are not routine or incidental expressions, but reveal what Jesus the protaganist and the Evangelists as narrators believed about the Gospel, the Christ, the messianic task, and the nature of salvation. This much becomes apparent from a study of the internal evidence, and by next turning to data outside the Gospels, the author attempts to show how biographical and historical writings of the ancient world may prove useful in separate efforts to reconstruct the course of Jesus's life.
Lemcio shows how expectations for idiomatic and linguistic verisimilitude in Graeco-Roman historical and biographical writing were met and often exceeded by the Evangelists. His study thus makes a valuable contribution towards our understanding of the literary art of the Gospel narratives, and highlights a literary sensitivity on their writers' part which has failed to receive the critical attention it deserves.

The Past of Jesus in the Gospels by Eugene E. Lemcio was published by Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing) in November 2009. The ISBN for The Past of Jesus in the Gospels is 9780511554995.

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Details for The Past of Jesus in the Gospels

Author / Artist
Book FormatOnline resource
PublisherCambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing) (November 2009)
Product Code4491674
Page last updated 13th September 2017
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