The essays in this informative book were originally delivered as the Jowett Lectures for 1906. They address many critical issues regarding the historical veracity of the Gospels and represent the emerging interest in the historical Jesus that was the spirit of the times. Besides addressing the canonical Gospels, this volume also discusses Marcion and non-canonical gospels.
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Originally delivered as the Jowett Lectures for 1906, the contents of this book emerged during the first quest for the historical Jesus. Somewhat surprisingly, Burkitt discovered that historical criticism increased the historical credibility of the Synoptic Gospels for him. This series of lectures begins by addressing the literary originality and historical value of the Gospel of Mark. The composition and literary character of Luke and Matthew follow the lead of his work on Mark. The teaching of Jesus and the evangel in Matthew and Luke are given detailed consideration. The Gospel of John occupies its own chapter and leads to a discussion of the canon of the Gospels. To round out his canonical discussion, Burkitt added chapters on Marcion and the rival gospels, such as the Gospels of the Risen Christ, the Infancy, the Gospel according to the Hebrews, and the Oxyrhynchus Logia. This third edition includes a note on the Latin prologues to the Epistles of Paul.
Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935) began his academic career as a student of mathematics. While at Cambridge University he moved to Divinity, becoming the Norrisian Professor. His interest in the text of the New Testament led him to study Syriac manuscripts and to publish widely in the field. He was a fellow of the British Academy.