The Virgin Birth and the Gospel of John: A Blast from the Past

As I’ve indicated on the Blog before, I tend to go to a Christmas Eve Midnight service with my wife Sarah (usually my one time in church during the year), and this year was no exception.  We were in Suffolk, England, in the town of Woodbridge, and attended the Anglican church there for a very nice service.  The Gospel reading was from John (1:1-14), a standard reading.  But I wondered whether anyone in the congregation realized that this passage in ...

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A Final Statement on a Different Approach to the Synoptic Problem: Evan Powell

OK, this will be the last post in this current thread involving the Synoptic Problem.  Some of you will be glad to know that this one is written not at the scholarly but for normal human beings (as opposed to abnormal academics….).   It should be very accessible.   It is written by the blog-member who started this whole thing off with a challenge, Evan Powell.  Thanks to all the participants in the back and forth – Evan, Allan Garrow, and Mark ...

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Brief Reply to Garrow

I’m taking the day off from the blog (a vacation day!), but received this comment from Mark Goodacre and didn’t want it to be lost in the comment section, as I think it is important.  (And for balance, I will indeed be posting, later,  blog-member Evan’s assessment of the whole thing, since he started it!).  Here is Mark’s response to what Alan Garrow’s post.

 

Many thanks to Dr Garrow for his interesting response. I should point out, though, that ...

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Back Again: Did Matthew Use Luke? Alan Garrow’s Reply to Mark Goodacre

As you know, I agreed to allow Mark Goodacre to respond to Alan Garrow’s unusual view of how to explain the “Synoptic Problem,” as part of the $1000 challenge by blog-participant Evan.  Some of you enjoyed going down into the weeds yesterday with Mark; today I post Alan Garrow’s reply to Mark’s Response, and if you like the weeds, here are some more!  If nothing else, these posts show why it is hard to make scholarship simple and accessible to ...

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Did Matthew Copy Luke? Mark Goodacre’s Rebuttal

Here now is Mark Goodacre’s response to Alan Garrow’s attempt to show that the author of Matthew had access to and used the Gospel of Luke in constructing his own account of Jesus’ life.   This kind of argument, to carry any weight, has to get down into the weeds a bit.  So brace yourself!   I consider it a compelling response.

Many thanks to Evan for issuing this challenge and for making such a generous donation to the blog.   And many thanks ...

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A $1000 Challenge to Me: Did the Author of Matthew Use Luke?

As some of you know, a member of the blog, Evan, recently offered a $1000 donation to the blog if I would respond to the claims of New Testament scholar, Alan Garrow, that in studying the Synoptic Gospels, a completely compelling case can be made that the author of Matthew knew and used the Gospel of Luke.  This is a view that almost no one in the academy holds.

After a bit of back and forth – which I give below ...

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Could Q Have Been Lost? Readers’ Mailbag December 3, 2017

I have received a lot of questions about Q this week.  If you’re wondering about why blog members are interested in a figure from Star Trek, you may want to review this week’s posts.  Here is a question that I find particularly intriguing.

 

QUESTION:

It is hard to believe that Q, if it existed, circulated enough to be used by both but then dropped off the face of the Earth without so much as a mention by an early church father, while ...

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Redaction Criticism of the Gospels

 

In a previous post I explained why scholars have long held to “Markan Priority,” the view that Mark was the first Gospel written and that Matthew and Luke both used it for constructing their own narratives.   One great pay-off for this conclusion (it really is significant) is that it is possible, given this result, to see how Matthew and Luke have each *modified* Mark in the stories they received from him.  This approach is called “redaction criticism.”  A “redactor” is ...

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And Then There Was Q

After my post yesterday about the “priority of Mark” (the view almost universally held among scholars that Mark was the first Gospel written and that Matthew and Luke used it for many of their own stories) I received a number of queries from readers about the “Q” source.   So I better address that as well.

Matthew and Luke obviously share a number of stories with Mark, but they also share with each other a number of passages not found in Mark.  ...

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Arguments for Markan Priority (that Mark was the first Gospel written)

For reasons related to an unusually convoluted thread (I’d be surprised if anyone can even detect the thread!  I myself barely can – it has to do with Jesus’ view of the afterlife) I need to answer a reader’s question about why scholars think the Gospel of Mark was the first to be written (once I do that, I can show how Luke often changed Mark, which will get me back to Luke’s treatment of Jesus’ rejection in Nazareth, which ...

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