"The object of this book is to place before English readers this Common Tradition, as being a tradition earlier than any of our existing Gospels, and consequently exhibiting the closest approximation we possess to some parts of the original narrative from which our Gospels are derived. . . . "It is possible that for some time the Evangelistic records were handed down not in writing, but by means of oral tradition, like the Mishna of the Jews; which is said to have been editorially arranged about the end of the second century, but not committed to writing till afterwards. A tradition intended to be handed down orally might naturally aim at brevity; and the following extract from a condensed and interesting essay on the Mishna will shew that, at all events in Jewish tradition, brevity was occasionally accompanied by its proverbial danger, obscurity." --from the Introduction
Edwin A. Abbott W. G. Rushbrooke
Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926) took first class honors in classics, mathematics, and theology at St. John's College, University of Cambridge. The diversity of his academic interests was manifested in his publications. In addition to works in biblical studies, he also published works on Shakespeare, historical theology, a biography of Francis Bacon, and a satirical novel (Flatland).He is also the author 'The Fourfold Gospel,' 'Johannine Vocabulary,' and 'Johannine Grammar.'
W. G. Rushbrooke (1849-1926) also authored 'Synopticon: An Exposition of the Common Matter of the Synoptic Gospels.'