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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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Eye Witnesses

Eye Witnesses

(p.194) Chapter Fifteen Eye Witnesses
How the Gospels Became History

M. David Litwa

Yale University Press

This chapter introduces the idea of an eyewitness as a literary device of authentication. It compares the use of such an eyewitness in the fourth gospel and other contemporary literature (namely the Life of Apollonius by Philostratus and the Diary of the Trojan War by Dictys of Crete). It is argued that the literary convention of presenting a fictional eyewitness authority is a well-attested device of authentication, and satisfactorily explains why and how the author of John employed it.

Keywords:   John, gospel of, Philostratus, Damis, Dictys of Crete, Eyewitnesses, Beloved disciple, Vividness, Objectivity, Raymond Brown, Deceit

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