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Chapter Three: The Question Of Historicity

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Chapter Summary

As an introduction to the problem of historicity as it relates to OT quotations, this chapter gives a brief critique of the form-critical method. As manifest in historical scepticism regarding one's ability to know very much about the historical Jesus, form-criticism minimizes the personality and the ministry of Jesus and can hardly explain the origin of the Church. The chapter addresses the question, to what extent the fulfilment-motif exercised a formative, or even creative influence on the evangelic tradition. Since the intended readers Mt's conforming Marcan material to the OT does not necessarily represent later accretion of unhistorical tradition. The unbridged interval between Jesus' birth and his baptism certainly favors the historicity of Mt 1 and 2; for apocryphal tradition about the childhood would surely have been spun out at the same time to meet the conditions of supposed prophecies, were this being done to produce the nativity narrative.

Keywords: apocryphal tradition; evangelic tradition; fulfilment-motif; gospel tradition; historical Jesus; Marcan material; Matthew's gospel; Old Testament (OT) quotation; sceptical form-criticism



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