Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Birth of the Gospels as Biographies: With Analyses of Two Challenging Pericopae
Aletti, Jean-NoŽl
Meyer, Peggy Manning, translator

Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 2017 pp. x + 174. $28.00

Series Information
Analecta Biblica Studia, 10

Description: In the cultural context of the 1st century of our era, to write a life of Jesus--what we call a Gospel--constituted an apparently impossible challenge to overcome. For it was not simply a matter of being inspired by the biblical precedent, the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samson, Samuel and David from sacred writers. It was also necessary to confront the Greco-Roman genre of the biography, whose protagonists were exclusively great men, who enjoyed an excellent societal recognition. Yet, Jesus, rejected by his coreligionists because of his death on the cross as a blasphemer and seducer of the people, could not a priori expect a biography of this genre. The synoptic Gospels have, as a consequence, reconfigured the biographical genre of the era by originally using the phenomenon of the recognition. Behind the birth of the Gospel genre, there is thus the invention of a narrative model, whose focal point is the recognition of Christ in his Easter paradox. This model is the raison detre of the narratives attributed to Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Literature

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBLís login procedure is now synched to SBLís. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.

Email Address
SBL Password
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership

Review by Alexander Thompson
Published 8/22/2019
Citation: Alexander Thompson, review of Jean-NoŽl Aletti, The Birth of the Gospels as Biographies: With Analyses of Two Challenging Pericopae, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2019).

Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.


Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us