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Synopsis

Jesus of Nazareth and the four New Testament gospels continue to fascinate people from many cultural and religious backgrounds. Who was Jesus? Are Christian claims about him supported by solid historical evidence? How reliable are the evangelists' portraits of Jesus which were written some fifty years after his crucifixion? These questions can be explored only on the basis of a sound grasp of the intentions and methods of the four evangelists. Professor Stanton insists that the evangelists are concerned with both the story and the significance of Jesus of Nazareth. Part I of this book examines the distinctive emphases of all four evangelists and discusses the apocryphal gospels, with special reference to the Gospel of Thomas. Part II deals with the ways of assessing the evidence for Jesus and explores his teaching, intentions, and the reasons for his downfall. This book pays particular attention to appropriate methods for careful study of the gospels and the historical Jesus to provide an excellent textbook and a penetrating study for the general reader. NEW TO THIS EDITION: - Every chapter updated to take account of recent scholarly developments - Fuller discussion of literary criticism (chapter 2); the Gospel of Thomas (chapter 7); archaeological evidence (chapter 8); and methods for reconstructing the teaching of Jesus (chapter 9) - Bibliography is extended, updated, and partly annotated - New cross-references added to increase usability - Map now included - Material within some chapters and sub-sections has been reorganised to increase accessibility - Biblical quotations are now taken from the NRSV text - New larger format and text design

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