Christopher Skinner Recommends the Gospel on the Margins

June 22, 2015

I appreciate the latest shout out for my book The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century over at the blog Crux Sola. Christopher Skinner, an expert on the Gospels of Thomas and John as well as literary characterization in the Gospels, writes, “I must recommend it to those with interests in the Gospel of Mark, the formation of the NT canon, and reception history.” I will look forward to responding when he posts his full review and keeping the conversation going. Thanks Chris!

Introducing the Synoptic Problem to the Person in the Pews

June 9, 2015

At the blog Bible Study and the Christian Life, I have started a series on the Synoptic Problem (the literary relationship of Matthew, Mark and Luke as well as their sources) primarily for a lay audience. Instead of going through every technical argument for/against Markan priority and the debate over the existence of Q, my purpose is to give a broad overview of the subject with links to do further research and examples that will show how it might be relevant to their everyday Bible reading. Please let me know if my explanations are clear for those who may have no prior knowledge of the subject and if they are pastorally sensitive to those who may have a difficult time accepting that one Gospel writer would edit another.

  • Post 1: Introducing why there must be a literary connection between the Synoptic Gospels.
  • Post 2: An overview of the three major theories.
  • Post 3: A specific example of triple tradition, double tradition and unique material in the account of John’s baptism of Jesus.
  • Post 4: A specific example of double tradition in the beatitudes.
  • Post 5: A discussion of the relevance of the Synoptic Problem to historical, literary and theologically minded readers.

My Review of Tony Burke’s “Ancient Gospel or Modern Forgery”

June 8, 2015

My review of Tony Burke’s Ancient Gospel or Modern Forgery? The Secret Gospel of Mark in Debate: Proceedings from the 2011 York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium has been published for The Expository Times 126 (2015): 452-453. The journal publishes shorter reviews around 400 words and I tried to be fairly neutral in representing the different positions in the volume in the limited space. I did note that the defenses of Brown, Hendrick and Pantuck may be enough to instill reasonable doubt in the jury that the Letter to Theodore is a modern forgery, an opinion I share with James McGrath’s RBL review. If you are interested further in my views on this controversial issue, check out the section on Clement of Alexandria in chapter 5 and the appendix of The Gospel on the Margins: the Reception of Mark in the Second Century.