By the late second century, early Christian gospels had been divided into two groups by a canonical boundary that assigned normative status to four of them while consigning their competitors to the margins. Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/Non-canonical Divide finds new ways to reconnect these divided texts. Starting from the assumption that, in spite of their differences, all early gospels express a common belief in the absolute significance of
Jesus and his earthly career, this authoritative collection makes their interconnectedness fruitful for interpretation. The contributors have each selected a theme or topic and trace it across two or more gospels on either side of the canonical boundary, and the resulting convergences and divergences shed light
not least on the canonical texts themselves as they are read from new and unfamiliar vantage points. This volume demonstrates that early gospel literature can be regarded as a single field of study, in contrast to the overwhelming predominance of the canonical four characteristic of traditional gospels scholarship.
Francis Watson currently holds a Chair of Biblical Interpretation at Durham University, having previously held the Kirby Laing Chair at the University of Aberdeen (1999-2007) and posts at King's College London (1984-99). His publications include Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective (2013) and The Fourfold Gospel (2016). He has served as editor of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Early Christianity, and New Testament Studies, and he holds a Professorial Fellowship at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. Sarah Parkhouse is Research Fellow at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. She gained her PhD from Durham University in 2017, having held a studentship on a research project entitled 'The Fourfold Gospel and its Rivals', funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Her research interests lie in the field of early Christian non-canonical literature, with a particular focus on gospels or gospel-related texts preserved in Coptic, from Nag Hammadi and elsewhere.