TRADITION IN THE EARLY CHURCH by R. P. C. Hanson

TRADITION IN THE EARLY CHURCH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What a blessing when a scholar can lead you to the conclusions of tedious research without forcing you to follow him step by step over the trail. Such is the glory of Dr. Hanson, presently Professor of Theology at the University of Hull, but formerly -- and when he wrote this work -- at the University of Durham. Dr. Hanson asks the question, ""Has any original and trustworthy material about Jesus survived outside the New Testament?"" He examines the oral tradition, the formation of the Creed, the various rules of faith in the patristic writings, the formation of the New Testament Canon and the development of various customs and rites. From all this extra-scriptural evidence, he concludes that there may well be some authentic teachings, and even biographical notes surviving, but that they are not different in kind or message from what has been accepted canonically, and that the process of extricating them from the non-authentic chaff in which they are imbedded is formidable. Attached to the book is a monumental apparatus which further includes a bibliography and an index of references. Anyone who seeks to follow the author through the sources that led him to his conclusions will find a well marked path. Scholarly as this book may be, it is written for clear reading by the average, clergyman, and will be of further interest to advanced Sunday School teachers as well as to scholars who are working full time at New Testament documents. This volume is the seventh in the series, The Library of History and Doctrine, edited by an international staff of scholars. It keeps pace with the acknowledged quality and relevance of the former volumes.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1963
Publisher: Westminster