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Crossan uses three simple symbols to indicate whether the complex in question derives from the historical Jesus or from the later Jesus tradition.
+ indicates that "the core of the complex derives from Jesus himself."
- indicates that the tradition is not derived from Jesus.
± is used for incidents that did not occur as an event at one moment in time or at a specific place, but are best understood as a "dramatic historicization" of something that took place over a much longer period.
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