Raising the Dead: Finding History in the Gospel Accounts of Jesus's Resurrection Miracles Part One: The Synoptic Tradition

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Title: Raising the Dead: Finding History in the Gospel Accounts of Jesus's Resurrection Miracles Part One: The Synoptic Tradition
Authors: Scott, Steven Richard
Date: 2010
Abstract: This thesis is an historical analysis of Jesus's resurrection miracles in the synoptic tradition, namely, the stories of the raising of Jairus's daughter (Mark 5:21--43 and par.) and the widow of Nain's son (Luke 7: 11--17), and the story of the exorcism of a possessed boy (Mark 9:14--29 and par.), which can be considered a raising-of-the-dead story only in the Gospel of Mark. The analysis done in this thesis differs from other analyses in that it takes seriously both the oral and written nature of the gospels and the traditions behind them. The analysis also differs in that it uses a different historical framework: it works from a position of a very high Christology, frequent communication between Christian centres, and a definite authority structure within the early Christian community from its beginning. These items all affect how one will view the control of the oral tradition, which in turn will affect how one will analyse the differences between the synoptic versions of the stories of Jairus's daughter and the possessed boy, and how one will judge the fact that the story of the widow of Nain's son is found only in Luke. In regards to the written nature of the gospels, it is argued that the primary structuring device used by the gospel authors is chiastic (concentric) in nature. To demonstrate this a new statistical method for judging chiasms has been developed. A large section of Mark (1: 12--6:46) is divided into both longer and shorter units, and then the parallels---both word and conceptual--- between each unit and all the other units are noted. This data is then not only used to judge the level of parallelism between units, but also to perform probability calculations on found chiastic structures. The demonstration of chiastic structures is useful in analysing possible redactional changes the gospel authors may have made to the Jesus tradition in order to create their chiasms. Also, because chiastic structures can impart meaning, elements that may have been added for theological reasons are also highlighted. The result of both the oral and chiastic analyses is a completely new methodology for judging the historicity of the Jesus tradition.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/30132
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-13305
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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