Gospel Media

Gospel Media December 26, 2023

Gospel Media: Reading, Writing, and Circulating Jesus Traditions is a new scholarly book by Nicholas Elder.

It’s one of the works I’m citing in my revised and expanded version of The Untold Story of the New Testament Church, which is forthcoming.

Here’s a summary:

Contextualizing the gospels in ancient Greco-Roman media practices

New Testament scholars have often relied on outdated assumptions for understanding the composition and spread of the gospels. Yet this scholarship has spread myths or misconceptions about how the ancients read, wrote, and published texts.

Nicholas Elder updates our knowledge of the gospels’ media contexts in this myth-busting academic study.  Carefully combing through Greco-Roman primary sources, he exposes what we take for granted about ancient reading cultures and offers new and better ways to understand the gospels.

These myths include claims that ancients never read silently and that the canonical gospels were all the same type of text. Elder then sheds light on how early Christian communities used the gospels in diverse ways. Scholars of the gospels and classics alike will find Gospel Media an essential companion in understanding ancient media cultures.

The book is well written and contains fascinating proposals.

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