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The original lectures represented in The Evidence for Jesus by James D G Dunn was written in response to a television series aired by London Weekend Television entitled Jesus The Evidence The series aimed to present the effect of modern New Testament scholarship on the traditional understandings of the identity of Jesus Although the series began with well-documented and generally accepted opinions it quickly progressed to more radical unrepresentative ideas In response to the great distress and confusion that this series caused among its Christian viewers the need for an alternative explanation became great This need spurred the creation of a series of lectures to interchurch audiences by James Dunn Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham The purposes of Dunns lectures entitled The Evidence for Jesus was to clarify and present the true findings of scholars in regards to the life of Jesus and the early church and to stimulate a continuing adult Christian education In Chapter 1 of the book Dunn addresses the issue of the veracity of the Gospels Dunn particularly seeks to answer the question of whether the gospels are based on accurate historical fact One of the main focuses of this chapter is the comparison and contrast of the wording and styles of the stories of the synoptic Gospels Dunns explanation for the similarities of the Gospels is that Matthew Mark and Luke are writing based on the very same material This material is explained to be the well-known accepted form of the stories of Jesus life which had been established by the time thirty or forty years after the death of Jesus when the Gospels were written The fact that the evangelists were not merely recording but also editing the history of Jesus forms the basis for Dunns discussion of the dissimilarities of the synoptics Each of the evangelists drew from the same sources of information but presented this information in the order and form that best
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