Birger Gerhardsson on the transmission of Jesus traditions – how did the Rabbinic model advance a scholarly discourse?

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Tuomas Havukainen
Publisher: Åbo Akademi Historical Jesus Research Group
Publication year: 2015
Journal: IESUS ABOENSIS: Åbo Akademi Journal for Historical Jesus Research
Journal acronym: IA
Volume number: 1
Issue number: 1
Start page: 49
End page: 63
eISSN: 2342-7698


In this article, Birger Gerhardsson's view on the transmission of the Jesus traditions is critically discussed. Gerhardsson's basic thesis was that the pre-Gospel oral tradition was formally controlled and handed down in manners reminiscent of rabbinic teaching and mnemonic techniques. This paper argues that his work, which was initially rejected, enabled later scholars to recognize that there were authoritative individuals exercising control over the transmission process, as opposed to the form-critical notions of anonymous community.


Early Christianity, Historical Jesus Research, Jesus tradition, Oral tradition

Last updated on 2019-13-11 at 04:59