Introduction, Critical Edition and Commentary
Author: Paul Foster
Since its discovery in 1886/87 there has been no full-scale English-language treatment of the Gospel of Peter. This book rectifies that gap in scholarship by discussing a range of introductory issues and debates in contemporary scholarship, providing a new critical edition of the text and a comprehensive commentary. New arguments are brought forward for the dependence of the Gospel of Peter upon the synoptic gospels. The theological perspectives of the text are seen as reflecting second-century popular Christian thought. This passion account is viewed as a highly significant window into the way later generations of Christians received and rewrote traditions concerning Jesus.
Author: Paul Foster

At the invitation of the editors, this article interacts with Stan Porter and Hughson Ong’s response to one of my previous articles that appeared in this journal. The original article critiqued the validity of three newer approaches now being applied to historical Jesus research. I am very grateful to Porter and Ong for their discussion and constructive response to that article. In large part, in this article I seek to more fully explain the reasons for the positions stated in the original article, or to clarify points where Porter and Ong have misunderstood my comments or attributed to me positions I do not hold. However, this article extends the earlier discussion by seeking to clarify the nature of the central concerns of historical Jesus research. I am delighted to have received such a detailed response that engages with my earlier work, and I thank Porter and Ong for engaging in this important conversation.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Author: Paul Foster

Abstract

Solutions to the Synoptic Problem that argue for Markan priority, but the non-existence of Q as the basis of the double tradition material continue to attract scholars. The best known of these theories, the Farrer-Goulder hypothesis arguing for Luke's direct use of Matthew, has been championed most recently by Mark Goodacre. He reworks some of the previous arguments in favour of that hypothesis as well as offering a number of new arguments. This paper assesses the validity of such arguments and the claim that it is now possible to finally dispense with Q.

In: Novum Testamentum
Author: Paul Foster

Three recent approaches to historical Jesus studies are assessed in this article. First, the use of memory studies as a means of validating the historical authenticity of Gospel traditions. Secondly, claims that Gospel traditions should be understood as primarily reaching the evangelists orally, and that this process provides greater confidence in the historicity of such traditions. Thirdly, the Fourth Gospel is seen in some quarters as an important source in historical Jesus research based upon new paradigms and radical redefinitions of historicity. Contrary to such claims, here it is argued that for a series of different reasons that none of these methods offers any significant advance in accessing the ‘historical Jesus’, as that term is usually understood. This is not to say that the methods are without value. Rather, it is the over-confident application of such approaches to the ‘historical Jesus question’ that is critiqued. This is especially the case when it is claimed that they provide a key methodological break-through, enabling reclamation of more Gospel traditions as being securely founded in the ministry of the historical Jesus.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Author: Paul Foster

Abstract

Many reconstructions of the life of the historical Jesus have tended to portray him as being born into illiterate peasant stock. By so doing, significant statements in the Gospels, both canonical and non-canonical, are ignored. While much caution is needed, since there is a tendency to valorize the young Jesus in early Christian literature and to heighten miraculous events surrounding his childhood, nonetheless there are indicators that Jesus' background did not reflect the lowest echelons of Galilean peasantry. Instead, it is suggested that internal Gospel evidence and knowledge of aspects of the social milieu of first-century Judaism give weight to seeing Jesus as a person with what would now be classified as functional on basic literacy levels.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
In: Novum Testamentum
In: 2 Peter and the Apocalypse of Peter: Towards a New Perspective
In: Studies on the Text of the New Testament and Early Christianity