Unification of the Palestinian Jesus Groups: in the years after 70 AD the Jesus Groups separated from their original movements


and the confessional churches merged with the Gentile Christian church. The rebels were branded traitors (Judas’ betrayal in the Gospels, not yet mentioned by Paul) and were excluded from the united church. Judaism, the Baptist movement and the Gnostics went their separate ways.

The traditions of the Jesus Groups are reflected in the Gospels that were written at this time and later gathered in the New Testament. The religious authority shifted from the spiritually gifted Apostles to the local churches and the Christian tradition as it was handed down.

The end of the traditions handed down by individual churches: after 135 AD the writings of the individual churches were gathered together in the New Testament canon, each church being represented in proportion. The texts handed down by the Jesus Groups finally merged in the tradition of the whole church.

In place of the friction between the old Jesus Groups, new conflicts arose.


The traditional master narrative about the origin of the New Testament Gospels states that the Apostles and other Christians

Cairo, Mohammed Ali Mosque
Cairo, Mohammed Ali Mosque

passed on their memories of Jesus and his words and actions. As the generation of Jesus’ direct disciples aged, the evangelists collected the most important of Jesus’ words and actions in Galilee, and the narratives about the events in Jerusalem leading up to the crucifixion, and wrote them down to preserve them for Christian teaching and mission.

In my opinion, the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles should be evaluated like historical novels about Jesus and the Apostles. They include much historical material, but are designed according to literary criteria in which the beauty of the narrative is an important factor.