Sunday, June 04, 2006

Purpose and Preservation of the Jesus Tradition

Thanks to Eisenbrauns, IBR, and the Apollos website, my 2005 article: Michael F. Bird, “The Purpose and Preservation of the Jesus Tradition: Moderate Evidence for a Conserving Force in its Transmission.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 15.2 (2005): 161-85 is now available online.

Here's the blurb:

An important preface to historical Jesus research involves formulating a theory of the transmission of the traditions underlying the Gospels. Scholarship frequently exhibits either an inherent skepticism towards trying to uncover how this tradition was handled or else is saturated with multiple proposals concerning the means of its formation. In any event, important questions to be asked include what purpose the Jesus tradition had in early Christian circles and what factors or controls may have enabled that tradition to be effectively preserved. This study addresses such questions and, with careful qualification, contends that the Jesus tradition probably had a variety of functions in the early church and there were several reasons why the words and deeds of Jesus may have been consciously preserved.

3 comments:

Sven said...

That's excellent Michael, it was (is) a top quality article that I learned an awful lot from when I first read it.

Do you have any plans to write more in this area?

Michael F. Bird said...

Sven, sorry for the late reply; but no. In my BBR and WTJ articles I say everything I have to say on the topic. I might try to defend or strengthen my arguments sometime in the future, but I have no immediate plans.

Volker said...

A new book on the same topic has just come out:
Detlef Hausser, Christusbekenntnis und Jesusüberlieferung bei Paulus (WUNT II/210; Tuebingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006).