My Forthcoming Fortress Press Book Project: “Saint Bartholomew the Apostle: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions”

Posted: August 27, 2017 in General

Bartholomew Picture

This monograph is the first study of the Bartholomew Traditions in the East from an interdisciplinary perspective. The focal question is as follows: Are the Bartholomew traditions in the New Testament, in the apocryphal Bartholomew compositions, and the early Bartholomew traditions in India purely legendary (as biblical scholars have assumed) or do they preserve unexamined historical traditions intermittently? The general tendency of studying the character of Bartholomew from the New Testament, Apocrypha, and historical traditions, independently from one another, led the interpreters far from a broader understanding of the character. The dichotomy of studying the character of independently from the limits of canonical, apocryphal, and historical disciplines created a lot of gaps within the area of Bartholomew studies. This situation persuades us to look at the Bartholomew literature comprehensively to understand the character from a broader perspective. The current study is also intended to address the following subsidiary questions: Did we understand Bartholomew comprehensively by bridging the New Testament, Apocrypha, and historical traditions together? Or did we understand him only through disciplinary perspectives? Are Bartholomew and Nathanael in the gospel traditions one and same personality or are they different characters? How can an interdisciplinary perspective help us to understand the character comprehensively? How was Bartholomew connected to the Eastern Christianity and how does the Bartholomew literature support/not support this connectivity? Can we understand the Bartholomew traditions related to diverse geographical locations with the help of canonical, extra-canonical, and traditio-historical documents? These questions will be adequately dealt with in the process of exploring the Bartholomew literature. The task of the study is threefold: investigate the development of the Bartholomew literature right from the beginning, understand the peculiar approaches and methodologies of interpreting Bartholomew documents, and analyze the Bartholomew literature integratively to understand the character and his mission involvements.

By Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

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