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For the study of the Gospels, we need to reconstruct the original texts of the Gospels. For this purpose, "the criteria for originality" are required, but a convincing methodology for textual criticism has not yet been attained by scholars. E.J. Epp declared that "the crisis of the criteria is real" ('Decision Points in Past, Present, and Future New Testament Textual Criticism,' in Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism, eds. E.J. Epp & G.D. Fee Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1993, 41).

In Gospel Studies, we need to investigate the Synoptic Problem and the relationship between John and the Synoptics. For this aim, "the criteria for priority" are demanded, but, as J.B. Tyson pointed out, "Scholars have not yet agreed on what constitutes relevant evidence, what valid criteria may be applied, or what kinds of arguments carry conviction" ('The Two-Source Hypothesis,' in The Two-Source Hypothesis, ed. A.J. Bellinzoni, Jr., Mercer:Univ. Press 1985, p.451).

One of the final goals of Gospel Studies may be the reconstruction of the historical Jesus. For this task, we need "the criteria for authenticity," but in the quest of the historical Jesus, "too may hypotheses have been regarded as proved, and have become accepted dogmans," even though "these are only hypotheses" (M.D. Hooker, "On Using the Wrong Tool," in Theology 75, 1972, p.581).

To overcome the lack of methodological control or the dogmatism in methodology, this group aims to investigate the criteria used in Gospel Studies

Group Information

  • 12
  • Theology
  • May 12, 2001
  • English

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