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The Complete Gospels, 4th Edition Paperback – September 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Before it released its provocative The Five Gospels through a commercial publisher (Macmillan) last year, The Jesus Seminar in 1992 published through its own house, Polebridge Press, The Complete Gospels, a more encompassing, collaborative effort providing fresh translations of the canonical Gospels, the non-canonical Gospels and the Sayings sources. This new revised and commercially published edition of The Complete Gospels moves this prior effort out of the academy and into the hands of a general readership interested in the ancient texts that have motivated the recent quests of scholars like Meier (A Marginal Jew), Crossan (The Historical Jesus) and Sanders (The Historical Figure of Jesus). In addition to the canonical Gospels, this work contains translations of Sayings Gospels like Q, the Gospel of Mary, the infancy Gospels of Thomas and James, fragmentary Gospels like the Egerton and the Secret Gospel of Mark. Here, accompanying the lively translations of each text, are incisive introductions and notes that provide glimpses of the social, historical and literary world occupied by Jesus and the early Christian writers. The dependence of one text upon another is demonstrated through the numerous cross-references. An in-depth glossary and brief essays elaborating key issues of scholarship, e.g., synoptic puzzles, etc., round out the collection. Combining an engaging commentary, lucid and energetic translation and accessible scholarship, this Complete Gospels equips any interested reader to join Meier, Crossan and Sanders in their quest for the historical Jesus. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate --Publisher's Weekly
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 484 pages
  • Publisher: Polebridge Press; Fourth edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598150189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598150186
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE E. NEWMAN on September 1, 2010
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I understand the editor's attempt to put quotes in modern English. Since the object of the work is to get the true message across, I have no issues others have had. In fact, since on some pages, the footnotes are longer than the text; it is clear the authors to great care in deciding the most accurate translation.

IF the authors are correct, many of Jesus' words are finally translated to their true meaning. Oft quoted translations have new and make more Christian sense.

This is a tough study, but reading the introduction alone can give one a sense that the contributors know their stuff.
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All Christians are well acquainted with the four gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Roman Catholics are also familiar with the apocryphal gospels in their version of the Bible that is absent from the King James edition and most other Protestant versions of the Bible. Now in an expanded and updated fourth edition, "The Complete Gospels" as deftly compiled and knowledgeably edited by Robert J. Miller offers new translations of the four New Testament gospels; the Gospels of Thomas, Judas, and Mary; the Q Gospel; the Mystical Gospel of Mark; the Infancy Gospels of James and Thomas; the Egerton Gospel; the Gospel Oxrhynchus; the Gospels of the Hebrews, the Ebionites, and the Nazoreans. Enhanced with the inclusion of an extensive glossary, "The Complete Gospels" also offers nineteen informed and informative essays ranging from 'The Synoptic Puzzle' to 'Lost Gospels And "Non-Gospels". Of special note are eight black-and-white illustrations. An impressive work of meticulous and detailed scholarship, "The Complete Gospels" is a strongly recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Christian Studies reference collections.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve Rutherford on March 3, 2013
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The Complete Gospels gives signficant insight into the early Christian writings that led to gospels. By looking at these various gospels, it becomes more evident as to what writings were not accepted by the church at large and why four were given the role of the most authentic memory. The introduction to the various gospels that I have thus far looked at has been helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Andrew Kille on May 22, 2013
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This edition is an update of the previous versions of the Complete Gospels. Although there is some material that was omitted relative to the third edition, for the most part this one is more inclusive, better organized, and reflects the ongoing scholarship. I assign this book as one of the basic texts in a class that I teach on the Gospels, and I think it is invaluable to illustrating the breadth and diversity of gospel material that was developed in the early years of Christianity, and to setting the four Gospels that eventually wound up in the Christian Bible into their historical and literary context. The physical dimensions of the printed book have also grown since the third edition, making it easier to read and follow the annotations and commentary. The Complete Gospels is a product of the famous (or infamous, depending on your orientation) Jesus Seminar, and the perspective of the commentaries is very much from that historical viewpoint. But even if you object to the Jesus Seminar's approach, the texts themselves and the extensive cross-references are valuable in themselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bibb Underwood on October 20, 2013
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It is a complete compendium of the Gospels, including those not contained in the New Testament and sheds much light on their history and meaning.
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The Complete Gospels is a collection of the four gospels of the New Testament and other (what I would call) protognostic texts, perhaps including books with which we're so unfamiliar with their origin, composition, date etc. that we are unsure how to categorize. The editors of this work, the Jesus Seminar, would not quite define this work in those terms. In their own words they agree this book is "the first publication to include both the canonical gospels and their principal extracanonical counterparts under one cover" (3). While I think this rather begs the question, I will mention this briefly later in my critique. The works themselves met three requirements. First, the books chosen were to have dates from the first and second centuries (however, we don't know the dates of any of the writings. While estimation for some is better than others, some are almost pure guesswork and rely on certain presuppositions about what is considered a 'Jesus tradition' cf. the dating of the Gospel of Thomas). Second, the editors wanted the selected works to be "more or less independent" of the canonical gospels and also to contain much material not gotten from them. Third, works were selected which "significantly" contributes to the understanding of precanonical Jesus traditions before and after the canonical gospels.

Also included are works for which we have no empirical evidence for, including the Signs Gospel and Q. These writings also stem from Jesus Seminar presuppositions - being that rather extensive written material would have had to existed to form the canonical gospels. Of course this leads to the question of the dating of the gospels themselves and we also find that naturalistic presuppositions lie behind the dating of a gospel.
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