The Gospel and Gospel Traditions in Early Christianity

Arland J. Hultgren

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 1/1/1991

Issue: Death and Resurrection (Vol. 11, No 1, Winter, 1991)

Since the rise of modern historical criticism, it has been customary to speak of several known gospel traditions. Moreover, it has become commonly accepted that these gospel traditions are diverse in their portraits of Jesus of Nazareth and his significance. Nevertheless, even though it is readily granted that there are variegated gospel traditions in early Christianity, it is routinely assumed that there is only one gospel. That there can be only one gospel may be due to Paul’s insistence that there is no other than the one that he preaches (Gal 1:6-9). In any case, the question is worth raising: If there were different gospel traditions, each having its own particular message, can one speak of the gospel in the singular?

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