2018-09-03Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/21690
The Contribution of Non-Canonical Gospels to the Memory of Jesus
The Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Peter as Test Cases
This article argues that the social memory approach makes a significant contribution to the interpretation of the early gospel tradition. This approach helps to overcome an anachronistic distinction between ‘canonical’ and ‘non-canonical’ (or ‘apocryphal’) Gospels by highlighting the way Jesus was portrayed in various Gospels of the first and second century. Early Christian Gospels in general presuppose the post-Easter perspective on Jesus as a divine figure, but depict his activity and teaching in different ways. A closer look at the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Peter demonstrates how these Gospels take up and continue perspectives which can be observed already in the earlier Gospels in their own ways. Thereby they provide glimpses of different social and theological contexts of second-century Christianity.
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