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.
Richard Bauckham is professor emeritus of New Testament studies at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and senior scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. A fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he has also written Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World.
'Bauckhams proposal is both path-breaking and a tour de force.'
- First Things
'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.'
- Trinity 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.'
- Westminster Theological Journal