"This book is concerned with the words rather than the deeds of Jesus. But even the words are limited to sayings, that is, units which could or did exist in the tradition as isolated segments passed on in different contexts. This leaves out, for example, those short, terse commands or comments of Jesus uttered during cures or exorcisms and inextricably linked to some such situation. . . . "Sayings Parallels is a workbook for the study of the Jesus tradition. Its existence and structure derives from one basic postulate: the exact same unit often appears in different sources, genres, and versions within the Jesus tradition. This is what is meant by parallel sayings. And this phenomenon and its explanation will have implications even for those cases where there are no parallels and the unit appears in only one instance. That basic postulate is taken as a factual statement although, of course, its implication and interpretation, its importance and significance are open to very different visions. But, granted that preliminary postulate, an attempt was made in this book to present the data as neutrally as possible. The work is to facilitate descussion of that factual diversity rather than to promote a set understanding of its presence." --from the Introduction
Endorsements & Reviews-
"For the first time in the hstory of biblical scholarship the apocryphal texts will have a fair chance to present their versions of what Jesus said. Ninety percent of professors don't go to the trouble--much less expect it of their students--to look up apocryphal texts. Our prejudices against the apocrypha have been aided and abetted by their relative inaccessibility. Now they are equally accessible--and all we have to cope with are our prejudices!" --James M. Robinson, Professor of Religion Emeritus at Claremont Graduate University.
John Dominic Crossan
John Dominic Crossan is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at DePaul University, Chicago. He has written twenty books on the historical Jesus in the last thirty years, four of which have become national religious bestsellers: The Historical Jesus (1991), Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (1994), Who Killed Jesus? (1995), and The Birth of Christianity (1998). He is a former cochair of the Jesus Seminar and a former chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature.