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 as well to Mark Goodacre, who could resist dealing with an intriguing thesis that sits comfortably in his wheelhouse.
I have told Evan and Alan Garrow himself that I would be happy to post a reply to Mark’s post.
Mark Goodacre’s most popular books are The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem, and The Synoptic Problem: A Way through the Maze.
In a recent comment on this blog, “Evan” suggested that Alan Garrow’s arguments are so compelling that he effectively “proves beyond any doubt that Matthew used both Mark and Luke”. He says that it is “virtually impossible to believe in the Q theory once you’ve seen this data”. The same commenter goes on to offer $1,000 for the charities on the blog in return for an assessment of Garrow’s case, asking in particular for “holes in his arguments.” As a self-confessed synoptic nerd, and as one who has spent some time with Garrow’s work, I thought I would offer this critique by way of response. Since “Evan” is particularly interested in holes in Garrow’s case, I thought I would focus on one particular flaw that places a major question mark over this model.
I should point out that while Bart and I are on different sides on the Synoptic Problem, he a staunch supporter of the Two-Source Theory and I an advocate of the Farrer Theory, we are both agreed that Matthew did not know Luke, which is what is under discussion here. I have enjoyed reading Bart’s recent blog entries (and the multiple comments!) on these issues, and I hope to find a moment to respond, even if just to provide an excerpt from something I have written. But back to the immediately pressing issue.
Alan Garrow has made his case …
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