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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Early Christians found many ways to proclaim their ‘good news’, prominently including the kind of popular biography represented by the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke. The relationship of the Fourth Gospel to those texts has long intrigued readers. The patristic claim that John supplemented the Synoptics gave way in the twentieth century to the opinion that John was independent. Opinion has recently shifted. While the compositional process complicates the picture, the Fourth Evangelist probably did draw on the Synoptics. He did so creatively, shaping his account to make distinctive theological and Christological points. He also drew from a broad tradition of Jesus’ teaching, evident in such texts as the Gospel of Thomas. Yet the Gospel also works creatively with elements of Synoptic teaching. The Fourth Gospel subsequently attained a wide acceptance and numerous echoes in the second century, including the unknown Gospel on Papyrus Egerton 2.

Keywords: Gospel of Thomas, compositional technique, P. Egerton 2, Signs Source, Son of Man, Synoptic Gospels, John and the Synoptics

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