Fortress Press

Behind the Gospels: Understanding the Oral Tradition

Behind the Gospels

Understanding the Oral Tradition

Eric Eve (Author)


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New Testament scholars often talk about “oral tradition” as a means by which material about Jesus reached the writers of the Gospels; but despite the recent flowering of interest in oral tradition, the study of memory, and the role of eye-witnesses, the latest scholarly advances have yet to fully penetrate the mainstream of academic Gospels scholarship, let alone the wider public. There is no convenient book-length treatment that can be used by students, or indeed by anyone else wishing to be informed about this crucial topic.
Behind the Gospels fills this gap, both by offering a general theoretical discussion of the nature of oral tradition and the formation of ancient texts, and by providing a critical survey of the field, from classical form-criticism down to the present day.
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451469400
  • eBook ISBN 9781451487534
  • Pages 224
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Publication Date July 1, 2014


“Eve surveys the major proposals, offers critical and constructive commentary, and makes appropriately nuanced suggestions of his own. On this topic, his work is now the place to start.”
—Dale C. Allison Jr.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
“Eric Eve has written a magnificent guide to one of the most exciting areas in Gospels studies today—oral tradition and memory theory.”
Chris Keith
St. Mary’s University College
“This is a foundational book both for Jesus research and for our understanding of the literary history of the New Testament.”
Gerd Theissen, Professor Emeritus of New Testament
University of Heidelberg


Review on Freedom In Orthodoxy

Review on Book Notice

Review in Neotestamentica