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How the Gospels Became HistoryJesus and Mediterranean Myths$
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M. D Litwa

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300242638

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300242638.001.0001

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A Theory of Comparison

A Theory of Comparison

(p.46) Chapter Two A Theory of Comparison
How the Gospels Became History

M. David Litwa

Yale University Press

This chapter presents a positive program of comparison. In doing so, it criticizes the method and presuppositions of mimesis criticism (spearheaded by Dennis Ronald McDonald). Mimesis criticism compares texts on the basis of assuming direct genetic causations. A better theory vouches for polymorphous influence based on dynamic cultural interaction. Also treated is the notion of gospel genre, the identity of the evangelists, the themes of their gospels, and brief biographies of five contemporary Greco-Roman historians who serve as major sources of data: Diodorus of Sicily, Plutarch, Suetonius, Philostratus, and Iamblichus.

Keywords:   Diodorus, Plutarch, Suetonius, Philostratus, Iamblichus, Dennis Ronald McDonald, Comparison, Mimesis criticism, Gospel genre, J. Z. Smith

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