Oral gospel traditions
Modern scholarship has determined that the Gospels as we know them went through four stages during their formation. The first stage was oral, and included various stories about Jesus such as healing the sick, or debating with opponents, as well as parables and teachings. In the second stage the oral traditions began to be written down in collections (collections of miracles, collections of sayings, etc), while the oral traditions continued to circulate. In the third stage, early Christians began combining the written collections and oral traditions into what might be called "proto-Gospels" - hence Luke's reference to the existence of "many" earlier narratives about Jesus. In the fourth stage, the authors of our four Gospels drew on these proto-Gospels, collections, and still-circulating oral traditions to produce the canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Oral transmission may also be seen as a different approach to understanding the Synoptic Gospels in New Testament scholarship. Current theories attempt to link the three synoptic gospels together through a common textual tradition. However, many problems arise when linking these three texts together. This has led many scholars to theorize a fourth document from which several of the synoptic writers drew upon independently of each other (for example, the Q document). The Oral Transmission hypothesis based on the oral tradition steps away from this model, proposing instead that this common, shared tradition was transmitted orally rather than through a lost document.
Form criticism and biblical genres
Form criticism is the methodologies by which biblical scholars seek to discover the types ("forms") of literature contained in the Bible. It begins by establishing the Sitz im Leben, "situation in life", which gave rise to a particular passage. When form critics discuss oral traditions about Jesus, they theorise about particular social situations in which different kinds of stories about Jesus were thought to be told. The Sitz im Leben for Jesus and his followers was Aramaic-speaking Palestine.  This is important because the Gospels show clearly both that they were based on oral traditions (as the Gospel of Luke indicates) and that these traditions had been around since Christianity first emerged in Palestine. .
Today, there is a consensus that Jesus must be understood as being Jewish in a Jewish environment.  Indeed Jesus was so very firmly rooted in his own time and place as a first-century Palestinian Jew—with his ancient Jewish comprehension of the world, and God, — that he does not translate easily into a modern idiom.  Ehrman stress that Jesus was raised in a Jewish household in the Jewish hamlet of Nazareth. He was brought up in a Jewish culture, accepted Jewish ways and eventually became a Jewish teacher  and Jewish teachers debated the Law of Moses orally. 
- Aune, David E. (2010). "Form Criticism". In Aune, David E. The Blackwell Companion to The New Testament. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-4443-1894-4.
- Burkett, Delbert (2002). An introduction to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00720-7.
- Dunn, James D. G. (2003). Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making, Volume 1. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8028-3931-2.
- Ehrman, Bart D. (2012). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-220460-8.
- Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus outside the New Testament: an introduction to the ancient evidence Studying the Historical Jesus. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing,. ISBN 9780802843685.
- Aune, David E. (2004). "Oral Tradition in the Hellenistic World". In Wansbrough, Henry. Jesus and the Oral Gospel Tradition. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-567-04090-9.
- Bockmuehl, Markus (2004) . This Jesus: Martyr, Lord, Messiah. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-567-08296-1.
- Burkett, Delbert, ed. (2011). The Blackwell Companion to Jesus. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-9362-7.
- Casey, Maurice (2010). Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian's Account of His Life and Teaching. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-567-64517-3.
- Ehrman, Bart (2005) . Lost Christianities: The Battles For Scripture And The Faiths We Never Knew. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-518249-1.
- Hammann, Konrad (2012). Rudolf Bultmann - Eine Biographie. ISBN 978-3-16-152013-6.
- Kelber, Werner H. (1983). The oral and the written Gospel: the hermeneutics of speaking and writing in the synoptic tradition, Mark, Paul, and Q. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21097-5.
- Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus outside the New Testament: an introduction to the ancient evidence Studying the Historical Jesus. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing,. ISBN 978-0-8028-4368-5.
Read in another language
This page is available in 1 language