thought for the day on Matthew’s Gospel

The formation of Matthew’s Gospel probably took place in the first decade of the church’s life, that is, before 44, and this not only before 1-2 Thessalonians and Galatians but probably before Paul’s second visit to Jerusalem “after fourteen years” (Gal, 2:1; cf. Acts 11:27-30; 12:25).

Dave Black’s Why Four Gospels? The Historical Origins of the Gospels (Energion, 2010), 53.

Well now, seems to me like this might seem like a highly contentious claim among some circles.  Perhaps not contentious but bold and assertive.  Makes me wonder hos he feels about Strobel’s Case for Christ book – given that he argues most of Paul’s letters come before the Gospels and that, in fact, the provide an element of historical reliability for the gospels.

I’m all messed up now!  Thanks!  lol!

Advertisements

18 responses to “thought for the day on Matthew’s Gospel

  1. Brian,

    You might want to check out John A.T. Robinson’s book: Redating the New Testament. It is in re-print now with WIPF and Stock Pub. To my mind, it is still the hammer blow to the late dating of the NT, etc. He even has support from the great C.F.D. Moule, and the great James Moffatt! Note the ball game is basically 70 AD, etc.

  2. I could not disagree more! Where does he get this from?

    Matthew, in my opinion, is perhaps the furthest removed (not date wise) from Jesus. I would put the date in and around the 70s as Christians and Jews parted ways.

    Furthermore, there is a discernible sitz im leben within the gospel – much more that either Mark or Luke.

    I wish I had more time to respond…

  3. I actually think there is great merit in thinking Matthew was earlier than Paul. I believe that apart from Luke; the 3 Gospels were originally a oral story; each told by a different specific person until they became written.

    Certainly we have knowledge that the Gospel story was told many times before Paul ever came onto the scene.

    • Craig,

      Indeed John A.T. Robinson wrote a book (his last book before he died 1983, but published in 1985)…The Priority of John. He saw the Gospel of John apart from the Synoptics, and in its own tradition. Of course he based his whole dating of the NT on the fact of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 A.D., which the NT seems to say nothing! Again his book on the Redating of the NT is simply a must read! For the most part, I follow this also.

      • That sounds like its a good book. I don’t believe in the Q source as such. I think that Matthew and Mark are two distinct stories…apart from the commonality of being witness’s to what happened.

        Dave Black recently linked to an interesting essay about the style of Mark and how it was meant to be an oral story and not one to be read.

    • Craig,

      Indeed the NT no doubt has much oral tradition, but we simply cannot say dogmatically when and where. That’s why we must see both Holy Tradition and Holy Scripture, but also the ‘One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic Church’, therein. The overseer and guardian of Holy Writ!

  4. Wow Craig (and Robert), I never thought about a time different between them being an oral (true) story and when it was written down. I just don’t think about that dwelling in my cave with my books. And I don’t remember specifically reading about it in the four gospel commentaries I read through. I certainly could have forgotten though.
    Jeff

    • SC; I’m not sure if I detect a note of sarcasm in your reply…. I have not read anything that makes me come to this conclusion regarding the time difference; apart from reading through the NT myself.

      • No, I’m being completely serious. I never account for any oral tradition. I always just think of things being written down right away. The point about the time difference is a very good one. I’m surprised I haven’t read about it. I’m not saying your point isn’t valid because I haven’t read about it.

        I may have been poking fun at myself though.
        Jeff

  5. Craig Benno :
    That sounds like its a good book. I don’t believe in the Q source as such. I think that Matthew and Mark are two distinct stories…apart from the commonality of being witness’s to what happened.
    Dave Black recently linked to an interesting essay about the style of Mark and how it was meant to be an oral story and not one to be read.

    Craig, Dave Black actually argues for Mark as recorded verbatim writing of a series of lectures given by Peter to an elite Roman audience “Caesar’s Knights” to authenticate the Lucan account (actually prompted by Paul) which was a revised version of Matthew for a Greek audience so that Mark in turn serves as a bridge between Matt and Luke – all written prior to the death of Peter and Paul – John came later in the first century after John’s exile on Patmos.

    • I agree that John’s Gospel was written later…yet! I can’t believe that it was only on the island of Patmos that John told his account of what happened…

      Therefore the point I am making is that the stories presented in the gospels are individualised eye witness accounts.

      • Well, of course they are… and note I said that John’s Gospel was written after is exile on Patmos. Patristic witness says, without question, he wrote his Gospel in Ephesus.

        additionally, Dr Black is arguing that Luke’s (and Paul’s) Gospel was based on extensive eyewitness testimony, yet, Luke was himself not an eyewitness, thus, Paul sought Peter’s approval of the account for greater acceptance in the Gentile churches – The way Peter gave his approval was through his use of both Matthew and Luke while giving his own account via five “lectures” which in turn became the Gospel of Mark.

  6. Pingback: Sunday Reflection… « Near Emmaus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s