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Jesus in Memory

Traditions in Oral and Scribal Perspectives

Werner H. Kelber

Publication Year: 2009

Few scholars have influenced New Testament scholarship in the areas of orality, memory, and tradition more profoundly than Birger Gerhardsson. Today, as these topics have again become important in biblical scholarship, his pioneering work takes on a new light. Though the esteemed contributors may differ on issues in the burgeoning study, they have all enthusiastically taken on the dual task of evaluating Gerhardsson’s contribution anew and bringing his insights up to date within the current debate.

Additional contributors are Loveday Alexander (University of Sheffield), David E. Aune (University of Notre Dame), Martin S. Jaffee (University of Washington), Alan Kirk (James Madison University), Terence Mournet (North American Baptist Seminary), and Christopher Tuckett (University of Oxford/Pembroke College).

Published by: Baylor University Press

Kelber front cover

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p. v

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pp. 1-20

The present book is about memory and tradition, and a host of related issues. The relationship between the two is far from evident. Modern society venerates various sites of artificial memory that distance traditional knowledge and information from human memory while turning our minds into a blur of diverging ...

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1-Form Criticism

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pp. 21-38

Birger Gerhardsson is well known throughout the international New Testament scholarly world as a scholar of the highest repute. He has been accorded many honors, including being elected president of the international Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas in 1990.1 His major scholarly work, Memory and Manuscript, ...

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2-The Jesus Tradition as Oral Tradition

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pp. 39-62

Birger Gerhardsson has made an inestimable impact on the field of New Testament studies. Our collective knowledge and understanding of the shape and texture of the Jesus tradition has been forever changed by his groundbreaking work which has deeply influenced countless colleagues through his forty-plus ...

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3-Jesus Tradition and the Pauline Letters

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pp. 63-86

This essay is written in honor of my friend and colleague, Birger Gerhardsson, a pioneer in the study of oral tradition in early Judaism and early Christianity. After reviewing the major contribution that Gerhardsson has made to New Testament scholarship, the essay will survey and critique some of the ...

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4-Honi the Circler in Manuscript and Memory: An Experiment in “Re-Oralizing” the Talmudic Text

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pp. 87-112

Birger Gerhardsson’s classic, Memory and Manuscript: Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity, has inspired and shaped my work since I first encountered it in graduate school in the late 1970s. I have dipped into it repeatedly since then, as my own thinking about rabbinic ...

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5-Memory and Tradition in the Hellenistic Schools

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pp. 113-154

Critical attention on Birger Gerhardsson’s Memory and Manuscript has focused largely on the parallels between early Christian practice and the practice of the rabbinic academies. But Gerhardsson points out that the appeal to tradition is also a feature deeply rooted in the Hellenistic world, “in schools for philosophers, ...

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pp. 155-172

It was because Birger Gerhardsson was concerned for a history of the gospel tradition grounded in historically attested cultural practices that he came to assign to memory the crucial operational role in the origins and transmission of tradition. In so doing, moreover, he anticipated important contemporary developments ...

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Conclusion: The Work of Birger Gerhardsson in Perspective

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pp. 173-206

Half a century after Birger Gerhardsson wrote his signature piece, Memory and Manuscript, the contributors to this volume, along with the editors, are offering a reassessment of his scholarly accomplishments. No doubt the status of New Testament studies at the outset of the twenty-first century is impressively different ...


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pp. 207-260


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pp. 261-278

List of Contributors

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pp. 279-280

Index of Ancient Sources

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pp. 281-287

Index of Modern Authors

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pp. 288-291

Kelber back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781602585225
E-ISBN-10: 1602585229
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602582354
Print-ISBN-10: 1602582351

Page Count: 350
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 707079036
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Jesus in Memory

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Subject Headings

  • Bible. N.T. Gospels -- Criticism, Form.
  • Literature, Ancient -- History and criticism.
  • Gerhardsson, Birger. Memory and manuscript.
  • Oral tradition.
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