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James D. G. Dunn is Lightfoot Professor Emeritus of Divinity at the University of Durham in England and a New Testament scholar. He is widely regarded as one of the foremost scholars in the world today on the thought and writings of St. Paul.
In this interview he talks about his latest book The Oral Gospel Tradition. When we read about the life of Jesus, we forget that the gospels were written down many decades after Jesus’ life and during that gap between his life and the written gospels there was a rich oral tradition about Jesus that the gospel writers were dependent upon.
The process of canonization of the biblical text or the Bible that we have now, is long and complex.
Most people think that the 66 books that comprise the Bible have been set in stone and that they are a settled (and eternal) issue, but it really depends in most part what Christian tradition or denomination you’re affiliated with.
I can only imagine how (radically) different Christianity would have been like if such books were included and other current ones, like the Book of Revelation, had been omitted.
Very interesting article about a new book coming out soon.