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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

A Common Written Greek Source for Mark and Thomas
Horman, John

Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011 pp. viii + 256. $85.00

Series Information
Studies in Christianity and Judaism, 20


Description: This book uncovers an early collection of sayings, called N, that are ascribed to Jesus and are similar to those found in the Gospel of Thomas and in Q, a document believed to be a common source, with Mark, for Matthew and Luke. In the process, the book sheds light on the literary methods of Mark and Thomas. A literary comparison of the texts of the sayings of Jesus that appear in both Mark and Thomas shows that each adapted an earlier collection for his own purpose. Neither Mark nor Thomas consistently gives the original or earliest form of the shared sayings; hence, Horman states, each used and adapted an earlier source. Close verbal parallels between the versions in Mark and Thomas show that the source was written in Greek. Hormanís conclusion is that this common source is N. This proposal is new, and has implications for life of Jesus research. Previous research on sayings attributed to Jesus has treated Thomas in one of two ways: either as an independent stream of Jesus sayings written without knowledge of the New Testament Gospels and or as a later piece of pseudo-Scripture that uses the New Testament as source. This book rejects both views.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Mark, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, New Testament Apocrypha, Gospels, Literature, The Gospel of Thomas


Review by Simon Gathercole
Read the Review
Published 7/2/2012
Citation: Simon Gathercole, review of John Horman, A Common Written Greek Source for Mark and Thomas, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).


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