Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Agraphon means “unwritten.” So the reference is to the “unwritten” sayings of Jesus. This should immediately put us in an impossible position. Since all our knowledge of Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity depend on what was written down or transcribed, more or less by definition we have no access to, and therefore no knowledge, of unwritten tradition. Consequently, the common definition of Jesus’ agrapha has been sayings attributed to Jesus, which were not recorded in the New Test…

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Dunn, James D.G., “Agraphon”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 20 April 2019 <>
First published online: 2018
First print edition: 20180827

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