10501RE: [GTh] Authorship and Dating GTh
- Feb 6, 2013To: GThos
In Comment on: a remark of Rick Hubbard
I recently posted a comment on methodology with texts, not much at variance
with much of what Rick says in his most recent post. At one point, however,
I think a correction might be in order.
Tom Reynolds: . . . So, scholars conclude that Matthew/Luke is dependent on
Mark (and a Q document) . . .
Rick [Addressing Tom]: Have you heard of the Farrer theory? How about the
Griesbach hypothesis? What do you make of Mark Goodacre's book, The Case
Bruce: I, for one, have heard of these and other theories. But if we fairly
survey the recent NT scene, I cannot think that it is objectionable to
describe the consensus as Markan Priority Plus Q.
Other stuff is certainly out there, but at the fringes. It is true that the
fringes have been getting a lot of play at recent SBL meetings. Matthean
Priority (Griesbach), Johannine Priority, the 2nd century Luke; you name it,
and SBL 2013 has a panel devoted to it. That is a fact with its own
historical basis, a basis which it would perhaps be indiscreet to examine
As for Farrer (or Farrer-Goulder) in particular, I suggest looking at
Michael Goulder's last writings. In them he speaks of convincing his
colleagues as a matter in the possible future tense. He does not speak of
that theory as having conquered the world of NT scholarship, or even as
having a secure position of acceptance within a substantial part of it. That
other persons since Michael died (2010) have continued to explore it, and
even advocate it, is true. But that truth probably does not overturn
Michael's own sense of how far FG had progressed, in the academy of his day.
If MkG, who is present, has a different sense of the state of the balance of
present-day NT opinion, he is perhaps the right person to give it. Pending
which, Mk/Q strikes me as a fair description of what most NT persons who
think about the matter at all, actually think.
Not that the majority, or even the consensus (presumably a supermajority)
need be correct. My 7th grade civics teacher used to surprise the class by
saying, The majority are always wrong. But that is a different question than
what the majority opinion IS.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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