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Ehrman, Bauckham and Bird on Memory and the Jesus Tradition

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Author: Alan Kirk1
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  • 1 Department of Philosophy and Religion, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, va, USA 22807 kirkak@jmu.edu
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The past twenty years have seen numerous studies applying memory research to problems in the history of the Jesus tradition and also in historical Jesus research, where it has become a point of controversy. Three recent book-length contributions to these debates are Bart Ehrman’s Jesus Before The Gospels (2016), the just-released second edition of Richard Bauckham’s 2006 volume, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (2017), and Michael Bird’s The Gospel of the Lord (2014). Respectively these authors represent quite different appropriations of memory theory. Analysis of their contributions will clarify where, twenty years on, applications of memory theory in Gospels and Christian origins scholarship stand.

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