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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion

Profiles

Publication details for Professor Francis Watson

Watson, Francis & Parkhouse, Sarah (2018). Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/Non-canonical Divide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

By the late second century, early Christian gospels had been divided into two groups by a canonical boundary that assigned normative status to four of them while consigning their competitors to the margins. Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/Non-canonical Divide finds new ways to reconnect these divided texts. Starting from the assumption that, in spite of their differences, all early gospels express a common belief in the absolute significance of Jesus and his earthly career, this authoritative collection makes their interconnectedness fruitful for interpretation. The contributors have each selected a theme or topic and trace it across two or more gospels on either side of the canonical boundary, and the resulting convergences and divergences shed light not least on the canonical texts themselves as they are read from new and unfamiliar vantage points. This volume demonstrates that early gospel literature can be regarded as a single field of study, in contrast to the overwhelming predominance of the canonical four characteristic of traditional gospels scholarship.