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Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?Four Cases from the Acts of the Apostles$
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Dennis R. MacDonald

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300097702

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300097702.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Does the New Testament Imitate Homer?

Dennis R. MacDonald

Yale University Press

This book describes how most modern treatments of the Gospels and Acts view their authors as redactors, or editors, of preexisting traditions and written sources. These practitioners of form criticism divide texts into constituent units and categorize them by genre, such as parables, proverbs, prayers, prophecies, or legends of various types, like miracle stories and epiphanies. They then seek to reconstruct the geographical, linguistic, or theological environments that created and transmitted them before their articulation in the text. Many scholars would go so far as to ascribe nearly all narratives in the Gospels and Acts to historical memory or at least to tradition. Others would grant more originality to these works, but few consider literary imitation as a dominating compositional activity.

Keywords:   modern treatments, Gospels, Acts, historical memory, tradition, literary imitation

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