Impressions from the Democratic National Convention

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 4 August 2004 0 Comments
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I am familiar with a number of claims made in "What Mel Gibson Does Not Understand About the Passion Narratives," but I had not heard the hypothesis regarding the liturgical origins of the Gospel accounts of Jesus' final hours. Where can I find this theory presented in articles, books or on the Internet?


I first came across this idea in the work of Michael Goulder of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was, I thought, a startling new insight. I played with it from every angle I could imagine. It met every test.

I developed this Goulder insight and introduced it to the American audience in my book, "Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes." The major Goulder books are: The Evangelist's Calendar, Midrash and Lection in Matthew, and Luke: A New Paradigm. These books are heavily footnoted with an abundance of Hebrew and Greek words and phrases interspersed in them, so the going is heavy. His work is to me, however, both exciting and insightful. Because of the strict academic nature of his work, these books are also quite expensive and are not generally available in bookstores outside the United Kingdom. You could, however, find them in a good library, especially a good theological library.

-- John Shelby Spong




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