January 22, 2009

Luke's Written Sources (2)

Continued from earlier this month...

Taking Luke 1:1 as reliable means we must place it somewhere within Luke's autobiographical details as given in Acts. If the final draft of Luke's Gospel (as he himself composed it) came from sources procured during those two years in Palestine, then the best and the simplest Synoptic Solution may have as much or more to do with reconstructing events as with purely textual issues.

For a long time, leading minds have been busy reconstructing [or deconstructing] an imaginary mother text. As long as that's kosher, I humbly, once again, suggest a competitor. In my view of early christian history, Matthew's Notes fit into these schemes with a lot more plausibility than "Q". But of course, I take the Gospels' reliability as a given.

I'm sure liberal scholars will continue using their theory of synoptic origins to undergird their unorthodox views of early christianity. So what? I mean my fellow conservatives absolutely no disrespect, but the problem with debunking Q isn't a need to falisfy it. Austin Farrer showed that was possible over 50 years ago! Evidently - according to N.T. Wright in the preface to Mark Goodacre's Questioning Q - the real problem is that there has been no impressively compelling alternative theory. Clearly, I'd like that to change.

What I'm actually proposing is that conservative scholars might best oppose liberal theories not by being oppositional, but by being their opposites. Instead of using a theory to build history with, let's boldly use the NT scriptures as history to build our source theory upon. A reasonable reconstruction of New Testament Era events should be what properly, initially, informs all considerations of who wrote what when.

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