Gary Greenberg's blog on biblical studies and related matters

The Case for a Proto-Gospel

My new book, The Case for a Proto-Gospel: recovering the common written source behind Mark and John, should be going to press sometime in December and be available shortly thereafter. There’s an Amazon link to the book in the right sidebar (somewhere else in Mobile displays).

Barrie Wilson,  Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Religious Studies, York University, Toronto, had this to say about the book.

Gary Greenberg is a superb intellectual detective, following up on tantalizing clues in ancient texts to uncover sources and insights that others have missed. In this latest work, Gary traces similarities between the Gospel of John and the earlier Gospel of Mark. In so doing, he makes a remarkable discovery — lurking behind both gospels is an earlier document that each has used, independently of the other. Here is a new source document that sheds important light on the crucial decades following Jesus’ death.


Carefully crafted, well written, based on historical and literary analysis, Gary’s book enhances our understanding not only of the Gospels of John and Mark but the process whereby the gospels themselves came to be.


Reader Comments

  1. Interesting topic. I’ve read some of Dr. Paul Anderson’s thoughts on the oral connection between Mark and John and found them satisfying. What do you think a literary connection to a proto-gospel explains better than an oral connection?

    1. An oral connection only indicates some familiarity with Mark’s gospel. I argue that John knew Mark’s primary source and engaged in a wide-ranging theological critique of Mark (by engaging Mark’s primary source.) The presence of a proto-gospel reduces the amount of independent attestation available from the gospels, while also moving the story of Jesus earlier in time.

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