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Reflections on A Scandinavian Approach to 'The Gospel Tradition'

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the major contribution recently made to the Gospel tradition. Professor Harald Riesenfeld and Dr. Birger Gerhardsson recognize the valuable contribution of Form-Criticism but claim that the emphasis on preaching, by Dibelius, and on teaching, catechism, apologetics, polemics, discipline, organization and study of the Scriptures in the Church, by Bultmann, do not adequately account either for the origin or for the transmission of the Gospel tradition. The Scandinavian scholars include in what Riesenfeld, in the title of his monograph, calls 'The Gospel Tradition' not only the ethical teaching of Jesus, but the total Kerygmatic and didactic substance of primitive Christianity. By bringing to bear the usages of contemporary Judaism, in a fresh and comprehensive manner, on the transmission of the Gospel Tradition they have forcibly compelled the recognition of the structural parallelism between much in Primitive Christianity and Pharisaic Judaism.

Keywords: Birger Gerhardsson; Form-Criticism; Gospel tradition; Harald Riesenfeld; Jesus; Pharisaic Judaism; Primitive Christianity; Scriptures



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