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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Oral Gospel Tradition
Dunn, James D. G.

Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013 pp. x + 390. $45.00



Description: A collection of James Dunn's essays on the oral tradition of Jesus' teachings

The traditions about Jesus and his teaching circulated in oral form for many years, continuing to do so for decades following the writing of the New Testament Gospels. James Dunn is one of the major voices urging that more consideration needs to be given to the oral use and transmission of the Jesus tradition as a major factor in giving the Synoptic tradition its enduring character. In fifteen scholarly essays Dunn discusses such issues as the role of eyewitnesses and of memory, how the Jesus tradition was shaped by oral usage, and the importance of seeing the biblical materials not so much as frozen writing but as living tradition, today almost as much as in the beginnings of the Gospel tradition.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Johannine Literature, John, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches

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Review by David B. Sloan
Published 5/1/2015
Citation: David B. Sloan, review of James D. G. Dunn, The Oral Gospel Tradition, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


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