NONFICTION

The Lost Way: How Two Forgotten Gospels Are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins

HarperOne. Oct. 2014. 272p. index. ISBN 9780062330482. $6.99. REL
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Patterson (religious and ethical studies, Williamette Univ.; The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Origins) is a leading scholar of the Jesus Seminar and the Gospel of Thomas, an early manuscript containing sayings of Jesus. In his latest work, he introduces Thomas, the "Gospel of Q," and wisdom literature to a lay audience and gives a clear overview of the synoptic problem and the argument for "Q." He states, "We will never be able to transport ourselves back in time to experience in fullness the rich conversation that was going on about Jesus in the first 20 years after his death. But from the gospels we can get a sense of the gist…." Patterson argues that these sources in particular reveal a different, fuller version of the historical Jesus and the way of "Wisdom." Although evangelicals will disagree with the author's conclusions, the details of both sources and their impact on scholarship are clearly presented. Each chapter includes suggestions for further research.
VERDICT This fascinating account will appeal to readers of John Dominic Crossan and Bart Ehrman. Recommended for both academic and public libraries with readers interested in theology or church history.

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