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The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and JudeWhat Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha$
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David A. deSilva

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195329001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195329001.001.0001

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Recovering the Voice of Jesus

Recovering the Voice of Jesus

(p.14) 1 Recovering the Voice of Jesus
The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude

David A. deSilva

Oxford University Press

The problems associated with recovering the teachings of the historical Jesus from the written records of the same are examined. The various criteria that have been used to build a case for or against probable authenticity are individually described and evaluated, with special attention being given to the problems associated with the application of the criterion of double dissimilarity. The use of this criterion as a negative test, or the privileging of the positive results of applying this criterion, contribute to the de-Judaizing of Jesus. Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter's criterion of historical plausibility is preferred. The chapter also examines evidence for and against the general reliability of the apostolic tradition, particularly the absence of evidence of invention of Jesus sayings to answer obvious challenges arising within the early church, concluding that scholars have generally exhibited a skepticism beyond what the sources merit.

Keywords:   criterion of dissimilarity, historical Jesus research, Synoptic tradition, Jesus Seminar, authenticity criteria, orality, criterion of historical plausibility

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