Original Research

Challenging Biblical Fundamentalism by Seeking the Influence of the Synagogue in the Formation of the Synoptic Gospels

J.S. Spong
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 30, No 1 | a72 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v30i1.72 | © 2009 J.S. Spong | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 July 2009 | Published: 17 July 2009

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J.S. Spong, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Taking cues from Michael Goulder’s book Midrash and Lection in Matthew the author argues a case for taking the context of the synagogue seriously as the place were the story about Jesus was recalled and passed on for a minimum of forty years. By using primarily the gospel Mark as frame of reference he illustrates how this context left its mark not only on the gospel of Mark but on the other two synoptic gospels as well. In the synagogue the Hebrew Scriptures were “wrapped around” the story of Jesus. Readers should therefore not read the gospels as historical accounts of his life but as interpretations of his life and acts. A historical-literal reading of the synoptic gospels distorts the message which the authors tried to convey about Jesus.


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