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The Fourfold Gospel, Lecture 1 The Making of a Fourfold Gospel FRANCIS WATSON, Durham University, U.K. 25 September, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "The Fourfold Gospel, Lecture 1 The Making of a Fourfold Gospel FRANCIS WATSON, Durham University, U.K. 25 September, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Fourfold Gospel, Lecture 1 The Making of a Fourfold Gospel FRANCIS WATSON, Durham University, U.K. 25 September, 2014

2 The Making of a Fourfold Gospel (1) INTRODUCING THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL (2) FROM ONE GOSPEL TO MANY (3) RECOVERING LOST GOSPELS (4) WHY FOUR?

3 The Making of a Fourfold Gospel (1) INTRODUCING THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL (2) FROM ONE GOSPEL TO MANY (3) RECOVERING LOST GOSPELS (4) WHY FOUR?

4 Durham Cathedral (N. E. England)

5 Lindisfarne Gospels (8 th century)

6 Lindisfarne (“Holy Island”): ruins of the Norman era monastery on the site of the Anglo-Saxon monastery where the Lindisfarne Gospels were produced.

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8 Matthew and Mark (Lindisfarne Gospels)

9 Luke and John (Lindisfarne Gospels)

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11 The Making of a Fourfold Gospel (1) INTRODUCING THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL (2) FROM ONE GOSPEL TO MANY (3) RECOVERING LOST GOSPELS (4) WHY FOUR?

12 Just one gospel: (1) Paul Galatians 1.6-7: “I am astonished that you have so quickly turned from the one who called you in the grace of Christ to another gospel – not that there is another, but there are some who trouble you and who wish to overturn the gospel of Christ.”

13 Just one gospel (2): Mark Mark 1.1-2: The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God: as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold I send my messenger before your face. The voice of one who cries in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”

14 Just one gospel (3): Matthew Didache 8.2 (early 2 nd century): Do not pray like the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in the gospel: “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name...” Matthew 6.5, 9: And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites... Pray then like this: “Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name...”

15 Many gospels (1): Luke and his predecessors Luke 1.1-3: “Since many have attempted to compose an account of the events that have taken place among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for a long time, to write an orderly account...”

16 Many gospels (2): John and the infinite possible gospels John 21.25: “There are many other things that Jesus did. If they were written one by one, I suppose that the world itself would not be able to contain the books that would be written.”

17 The Making of a Fourfold Gospel (1) INTRODUCING THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL (2) FROM ONE GOSPEL TO MANY (3) RECOVERING LOST GOSPELS (4) WHY FOUR?

18 Recovering Lost Gospels: Oxyrhynchus

19 Grenfell and Hunt at Oxyrhynchus, 1896

20 Recovering Lost Gospel Fragments Gospel of Peter ms. 6 th century; Akhmim, /1892 P. Oxy. 1ms. 2 nd / 3 rd century, 1897 P. Oxy. 654, 655 ms. 3 rd century, 1904 P. Oxy. 840 ms. 3 rd /4 th century, 1905 Egerton Gospelms. 2 nd century, 1935 Gospel of Thomas ms. 4 th /5 th century (Coptic), 1945/1957

21 Recovering Lost Gospel Fragments Gospel of Peter ms. 6 th century; Akhmim, /1892 P. Oxy. 1ms. 2 nd / 3 rd century, 1897 P. Oxy. 654, 655 ms. 3 rd century, 1904 P. Oxy. 840 ms. 3 rd /4 th century, 1905 Egerton Gospelms. 2 nd century, 1935 Gospel of Thomas ms. 4 th /5 th century (Coptic), 1945/1957

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23 P. Oxy. 840: Unknown gospel fragment (Gospel of the Egyptians?) (1) The challenge: And taking [the disciples] with him he entered the place of purification and walked around in the Temple. And a certain Pharisee, a high priest named Levi, came and met them and said to the Saviour: “Who gave you permission to tread in this place of purification and to view the holy vessels, when you have not washed and your disciples have not bathed their feet? But, though you are defiled, you tread in this Temple, a place of purity in which only those who have washed and changed their clothes tread or dare to view these holy vessels!”

24 (2) Counter-attack: Then the Saviour stood with his disciples and answered him: “You too are here in the Temple, but are you yourself clean?” (3) Defence He said to him, “I am indeed clean! I washed in the Pool of David, going down by one staircase and coming up by another. I put on clean white garments, and only then did I come and look upon the holy vessels.”

25 Ancient Jewish Mikveh: “I washed in the Pool of David, going down by one staircase and coming up by another.”

26 (4) Denunciation: The Saviour answered him and said, “Woe to the blind who do not see! You wash in these natural waters where dogs and pigs lie night and day. And after washing you wipe the outward skin, which prostitutes and flute-girls also anoint and wash and wipe and beautify to satisfy men’s lusts while inwardly they are full of scorpions and every kind of evil! But I and my disciples – whom you say have not bathed – have bathed in the living waters from heaven which come from the Father above.”

27 Matthew : Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first of all cleanse the inside of the cup, so that the outside too may be clean.

28 The Making of a Fourfold Gospel (1) INTRODUCING THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL (2) FROM ONE GOSPEL TO MANY (3) RECOVERING LOST GOSPELS (4) WHY FOUR?

29 Why four gospels? why these four? 1)Mark/Matthew/Luke and John are closely related to each other. 2)They were written relatively early ( CE?) 3)They were used in a wide range of churches throughout the eastern and western Mediterranean area. 4)Their use was promoted by prominent church leaders: e.g. Irenaeus, bishop of Lugdunum/Lyons, southern France. 5)The “four living creatures” tradition (Revelation )

30 The “Evangelist Symbols” Revelation 4.6-8: “And in the middle of the throne and around the throne [I saw] four living creatures full of eyes before and behind, and the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature was like a calf, and the third creature had the face of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four creatures, each of them, have six wings, and are full of eyes around and within, and they take no rest day or night as they say: “Holy, holy, holy is God the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

31 Matthew (man) and Mark (lion)

32 Luke (calf) and John (eagle)


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