The bible and its influence
- "The bible and its influence" is a newly published text designed to
be able to be used in American public high schools to study the
bible's impact on culture. It is meant to respect but not promote
faith traditions, and has an extensive list of reviewers from many
viewpoints. (Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox, evangelical, mainline
protestant, and I noted one Unitarian-Universalist reviewer). While
it goes light on scholarly points, and focuses on the main points of
the narratives, I was curious to see what if anything it would say
about the synoptic problem. As far as I can tell it gets two
sentences. Mark is presented first in covering the gospels, and
there is a brief discussion about why this is. They say, "Mark was
probably compiled first", and "contains source material for Matthew
This is interesting for what it does not say. Q is not mentioned.
Nor do they specifically claim Matthew and Luke used Mark. They
report the majority scholarly opinion that Mark was first, qualified
with a "probably", and leave open the possibility that Matthew and
Luke might have gotten the source material in Mark, without directly
using our Mark.
I suppose this would be the "probably Mark, with or without Q"
In any case I thought the book was very well done, and suitable for
its intended purpose.