In Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, Richard Bauckham argues that the four Gospels are closely based on the eyewitness testimony of those who personally knew Jesus. Drawing on internal literary evidence, the use of personal names in first-century Jewish Palestine, and cognitive psychology, Bauckham challenges the prevailing assumption that the accounts of Jesus circulated as “anonymous community traditions.” Instead, he asserts that they were transmitted in the names of the original eyewitnesses.
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Bauckham’s proposal is both path-breaking and a tour de force.
As in all of his works, Bauckham has ransacked obscure secondary literature for little-known but immensely helpful information. He has thought creatively about time-worn problems and uncovered possible interpretations of subtle features of ancient testimony—both in the Gospels and about them—with the shrewdness of a good detective.
Bauckham has delivered a remarkable and insightful volume that is sure to offer a much-needed challenge to the status quo in modern gospel studies.
—Westminster Theological Journal
Richard Bauckham is professor emeritus of New Testament studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and senior scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. A fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he has also written Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church, The Bible in Politics: How to Read the Bible Politically, and Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels.