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by J.W. Wenham
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Bible Study & Reference
  • Author:
    J.W. Wenham
  • ISBN:
    034055228X
  • ISBN13:
    978-0340552285
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Hodder & Stoughton Religious; 1st Ed. edition (March 21, 1991)
  • Pages:
    356 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Bible Study & Reference
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    4.4
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Matthew, Mark and Luke are often referred to as the synoptic Gospels in. .

Matthew, Mark and Luke are often referred to as the synoptic Gospels in light of their strong similarity in genre, material and phraseology. 2. Luke does not use Matthew, except for two cases concerning John the Baptist. Wenham's book is a masterful critique of the present paradigm reigning in Gospels scholarship, and it provides a highly reasonable alternative fitting both external and internal evidence. I highly recommend it for those interested in unraveling the synoptic problem. 5 people found this helpful.

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Mark and Luke : A Fresh Assault on the Synoptic Problem.

Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke : A Fresh Assault on the Synoptic Problem.

Wenham presents his views on how the Gospels were written, the oral transmission of the Jesus tradition, and when the Gospels were written. Placing the written Gospels in the second decade of Christianity is a radical proposal.

In 1992 John Wenham published Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke which discusses the dating of these . Wenham accepted the church father evidence of authorship, and inferred a very early date for each of the synoptic gospels.

In 1992 John Wenham published Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke which discusses the dating of these gospels and the relationship of the gospels to one another (prior to Wenham's work, John . Robinson, a liberal theologian, had written a widely known book titled Redating the New Testament which advocated an early date of the gospels).

Looking at the problem of building a synoptic theory for the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, the author also discusses Peter's arrival in Rome and how and when the gospels were written. Indexes of Bible references, of ancient/modern writers and of subjects are provided.

Proposing that Matthew, not Mark, was the first Gospel written, John Wenham offers a fresh look at an intractable problem as well as an interesting perspective on the inner workings of the early Christian church. Pages: 319 Publisher: InterVarsity Press Published: 1992 ISBN-10: 0830817603 ISBN-13: 9780830817603. Find at a Library Find at Google Books.

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Mark & Luke(A Fresh Assault on the SynopticProblem); "14 volumes, (Complete &Unabridged), rep-1872/John Wesley.

Publication: Downers Grove : InterVarsity Press, 1992Description: 319 . SBN: 0-8308-1760-3. Dewey: 226 W46Subject: Синоптические Евангелия, Synoptic Gospels Синоптическая проблема, Synoptic problem. Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Mark & Luke(A Fresh Assault on the SynopticProblem); "14 volumes, (Complete &Unabridged), rep-1872/John Wesley.

Looking at the problem of building a synoptic theory for the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, the author also discusses Peter's arrival in Rome and how and when the gospels were written. Indexes of Bible references, of ancient/modern writers and of subjects are provided.

Road.to sliver
John Wenham's "Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke" weights in on some of the most enduring and vexing questions in literary history - the composition and dating of the synoptic Gospels.

Matthew, Mark and Luke are often referred to as the synoptic Gospels in light of their strong similarity in genre, material and phraseology. Over the centuries many different theories have been formulated to account for these similarities. For instance, in the Nineteenth Century it was widely assumed that access to a common and well developed oral tradition accounted for much of this similarity. The advent of modern literary critical techniques in the Twentieth Century contributed to a shift in opinion, and, currently the majority view of New Testaments scholars support what is known as the Two-Document hypothesis, according to which Mark and Q are posited as primary sources for the authors of Luke and Matthew. Combined with other assumptions, this view results in a rough compositional chronology of Mark (70) Matthew and Luke (75-85).

Wenham challenges the Two-Document hypothesis, arguing for what is known as the Augustinian view - Matthew first, followed by Mark then finally Luke. In making this claim Wenham adopts a holistic approach that combines both internal (literary critical techniques) and external (historic tradition and testimony) evidence. Once his compositional argument is complete Wenham works backwards from Acts (early-mid 60s prior to death of Paul) to posit a radically revised synoptic chronology of Luke (55), Mark (45) and Matthew (40).

Whether or not his theory is ultimately correct, Wenham does valuable work identifying and challenging many of the assumptions that underlie the current New Testament scholarship and positing a credible counter argument. While the book has much strength the examination of historical testimony pertaining to Gospel authorship is particularly worthwhile and illuminating. It has often struck me that contemporary scholarship has been a bit too quick to dismiss ancient testimony in favour of modern literary techniques (as valuable as they are). A balanced view that weights internal and external evidence does indeed seem warranted.

With regard to weaknesses, while overall the text is of a high standard, it is occasionally awkward (font and layout). Additionally, the relatively detailed comparison (for a popular text) of Greek texts, in the early chapters, while necessary may be a bit off-setting for some non-Greek readers. The good news is that these textual comparisons can be skimmed with little loss. And, finally, from a physical standpoint the paperback is a bit stiff - one has the sense it would not hold up well with heavy usage, i.e. as a reference text or library copy.

Overall, this is a provocative, interesting and well researched work which warrants serious consideration. I highly recommend it for all students of New Testament history. Readers that enjoy this book may find J.A.T. Robinson's "Redating the New Testament" which takes a similar argument applied to the New Testament in general worth a read.
Kiaile
It is an excellent book. I recommend this book especially to those who are in the Reformed and Evanglical group.
Lightwind
I purchased it for a friend mom. I believe it served its purpose as I did not get any complains.
What is worth mentioning is I did not receive the first book due to shipment issues. The seller sent another one to me. This I call service.
Obong
I have bee. Reading and rereading this book for o er ten years. I just bought a copy for someone else. Itis rich!
Rev RichRd Cantrell, SSC
Kuve
John Wenham's "Redating Matthew, Mark, and Luke" attempts to essentially "start over" when it comes to the literary relationship of the Synoptic Gospels and their date of writing. This is sorely needed in a time when many views, simply because they have been held for so long, are assumed to be inarguable. Wenham shows the opposite: many of the assumptions which underpin contemporary scholarship on the relationship of the Gospels are based on ideas that are false or very tenuous. I should note in advance that when Wenham compares the texts of the Gospels, he uses untranslated Greek. Even so, one can easily follow the argument even if one is not able to read Greek, as he provides verse numbers and explains why the variations are significant. Essentially, the argument proceeds in five steps:

1. Luke quite apparently depends on Mark's Gospel, in that he follows its order and the corresponding pericopes display a close literary relationship. This demonstrates that when Luke is using a source, he keeps fairly close to the sense of his sources.

2. Luke does not use Matthew, except for two cases concerning John the Baptist. The case for a literary relationship between these Gospels is tenuous because: First, the so-called "Q material" is in a completely different order in the two gospels. If one believes Matthew used Mark, then it is apparent that he, like Luke, keeps close to the sense of his sources. Second, the correspondences in words is usually very vague, and the divergences very sharp. Third, there is no reason in most cases to suppose that Luke and Matthew are telling the same story or recording the same teaching. Jesus preached for three years, and would undoubtedly tell the same stories in different forms over and over again. The Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain are two different sermons, and their relationship might be compared to how a presidential candidate gives roughly the same "stump speech" over and over again. Luke knows both Matthew and Mark, and his intent is to fill out Jesus' ministry with his own unique material. He chooses Mark rather than Matthew because: First, Mark is shorter, and therefore provides more space on Luke's scroll. Second, Matthew's Gospel is arranged for literary and theological purposes, while Mark, relying on Peter's testimony, is given in proper chronological sequence. These arguments together refute the idea of either literary dependence on Matthew by Luke (held by scholars such as Mark Goodacre) or literary dependence of both Evangelists on a lost source known as "Q" (held by most contemporary scholars).

3. Mark's aim was to abridge Matthew's order, usually not depending directly on Matthew's text, but on Peter's testimony. His further goal was to give a gospel for Gentile use which explained Jewish customs. Wenham marshals powerful evidence that Mark is intentionally abridging Matthew. Two examples are particularly striking. First, in Mark 4, which uses three parables given in Matthew, explicitly says that Jesus taught them many other parables at the same time. Mark is aware that there is more material than he is providing. Second, in Mark 12, we are told that "in his teaching" Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees. Mark has abridged the woes of Matthew 23 but given indication that there is much more material than he provides.

4. This connects with virtually all the external evidence, apart from one ambiguous statement by Clement of Alexandria suggesting that Matthew and Luke wrote before Mark. Given the universality and geographic distribution of the patristic evidence, it ought to be given weight rather than ignored. At this point, I felt that Wenham did not adequately address the relationship of Hebrew Matthew to Greek Matthew. All of the Fathers say that Matthew published his gospel in Hebrew rather than Greek. Papias says that there were many gospels based on Matthew's Gospel circulating. Wenham shows some evidence that Matthew was based on a Semitic original, but he does not prove the identity of our Greek Matthew with Hebrew Matthew. Some scholars have argued that other Matthean gospels, such as the Gospel of the Hebrews or the Gospel of the Nazarenes, may actually be the original Gospel of Matthew. In my view, Matthew himself reconstructed his Hebrew text in Greek, just as Josephus reconstructed his "Jewish War" in Greek. It therefore does display Hebraisms, but not as deeply as one would expect from a strict translation. The Hebrew and Greek texts had precisely the same content, however. The evidence for this is primarily the uncontested supremacy of Matthew's Greek gospel in the early church. Were there a variety of Greek gospels loosely based on Hebrew Matthew, one would expect more dispute in the early church as to which one would be in the canon. Second, there is some evidence that Hebrew Matthew is extent in a thirteenth century manuscript used by Jewish critics of Christianity as the basis for their quotations of Jesus. Most scholars have held this to be a back-translation from Greek or Latin, but there is a pervasive presence of puns and word-plays that would only work in Hebrew. This gospel is essentially identical in form and content with our Greek Matthew.

5. Acts closes its history in AD 62, and there is no conceivable reason for this unless Luke was writing in AD 62. This means that Luke must predate 62. Wenham, following a strong tradition of the ancient church, identified the brother whose fame in the gospel is in all the churches of 2 Corinthians 8 as Luke, who is famous for his production of a Gospel. Given the date of 2 Corinthians, Luke is written in 55 at the latest. This means that Mark and Matthew must be earlier. Wenham argues that the tradition of Peter being in Rome with Mark from 42-44 is very well evidenced, and thus that the tradition of Mark writing his Gospel after Peter left makes perfect sense. He uses this to place Mark at 45. In terms of Matthew's Gospel, Wenham places Matthew at 41 AD, following the tradition attested by Eusebius. He notes that Matthew looks early and Jewish, and reflects conflict between the nascent church and the Pharisees rather than conflict between the Church and Synagogue after AD 70. Wenham's arguments are very good, but I would place Matthew in AD 30. When one reads the chronology of Galatians together with the history of Acts, it is apparent that the scattering from Jerusalem occurred in AD 30. James quotes Matthew's Gospel, and James writes about endurance through suffering to the "twelve tribes in dispersion." This makes sense as a letter circulated to those who had just been scattered. Since James quotes Matthew, Matthew must predate James, which dates it at AD 30. I believe that Matthew reconstructed his text in Greek in AD 33, when the gospel first went to the Gentiles, and when Antioch held special importance. There are several signs in Greek Matthew that it was composed in Antioch, Greek Matthew uses a technical financial term where Mark and Luke use the common term (as would be expected from a tax collector), and its rich use of the Old Testament fits with some sort of Levitical training, as would be expected of Matthew Levi- Matthew the Levite. There is also patristic tradition weighing in favor of composition at the scattering from Jerusalem.

Wenham's book is a masterful critique of the present paradigm reigning in Gospels scholarship, and it provides a highly reasonable alternative fitting both external and internal evidence. I highly recommend it for those interested in unraveling the synoptic problem.
thrust
That is how Frederick Danker described John Wenham. He was talking about his Wenham's Greek primer, but in this book the Synoptic issue receives thoughtfulness and care from Wenham. He is one of those for whom the Mark plus Q Two Source idea did not meet with acceptance. He does not propose that the writers of the Gospels did not know of each others work, nor does he propose t hat an oral tradition answers all of the similarities.

If you want to read a book on this subject of the Synoptic Gospels, that takes you through the issues and gives you a different view of things than the dominant Two Source thesis, I recommend that you get hold of a copy of Wenhams' book. It is very easy to read, but he covers his topic in a good full way.

I think this book is more thorough than David Black's book("Why Four Gospels"), which I also like. Black was influenced by Orchard, who wrote a thorough book "Order of the Synoptics". Black's book is more introductory. These two, Black and Orchard, as well as Dungan, are more for the Griesbach hypothesis, from a literary dependance point of view.

All of these are worthwhile books, but you will get more of the oral tradition idea from Wenham.