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A New Consensus on Oral Tradition? A Review of Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

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Bauckham's monograph is warmly welcomed for the way in which it synthesizes recent work on oral tradition and makes a fresh contribution to the debate. His proposal for giving a fuller role to eyewitnesses is assessed over against the view of D.E. Nineham. The need to demonstrate that it gives a better understanding of the actual material in the Synoptic Gospels is partly met by the detailed complementary work of J.D.G. Dunn. We need a similar treatment of the material in John to see whether Bauckham does better justice to the text than the approach of A.T. Lincoln. Nevertheless, Bauckham's thesis is well-defended and should lay to rest any lingering doubts about the way in which eyewitness testimony controlled the material recorded in the Gospels.


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