The Messy World of Second Century Gospels

This thread has taken several detours (never mind the mixed metaphor), and I want to end it where I had planned to take it all along.   What’s been going on in my mind has been an issue that I raised in one of the posts, about how we are to conceptualize the situation of first and early second century when it comes to our Gospels.   I’ll talk about it with reference to Papyrus Egerton 2, about which I’ve only said a few things – lots more there to talk about.  (But I’ll be moving on after this.)  Before doing so let me recap the situation: Scholars have traditionally thought of the four canonical Gospels as THE Gospels that were available, so that when a new Gospel like the Unknown Gospel in Papyrus Egerton 2 appeared the question always was: WHICH of the canonical Gospels was the author familiar with (and which did he use).   I challenged that view in my earlier post.   We shouldn’t think that there were basically FOUR, and everything else was dependent [...]