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

Tuomas Havukainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)49–63
JournalIESUS ABOENSIS: Åbo Akademi Journal for Historical Jesus Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Early Christianity
  • Historical Jesus Research
  • Jesus tradition
  • Oral tradition

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