The Progressive Publication of Matthew
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About "The Progressive Publication of Matthew"
Scholars have long debated the "Synoptic Problem"--questions about why and how the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke share so much common material. Entering this important discussion that involves the trustworthiness of the Gospels, B. Ward Powers writes: "I am suggesting that the key to the Synoptic Problem lies in the recognition that one of the Gospels--Matthew--was written and published in stages. That is, the Gospel of Matthew had its beginning in a series of separate documents authored by the apostle Matthew over a period of some years, which thereafter were circulating independently in the churches, before being edited and expanded by this same apostle Matthew into the Gospel we now have." In "The Progressive Publication of Matthew," Powers fleshes out his proposal, measuring it against other theories with due diligence and respect.
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The research underpinning this volume was submitted by Dr Ward Powers (who is currently the Director Emeritus of Tyndale College, Sydney) to the South African Theological Seminary for the degree of ThD (his second doctoral degree, his earlier PhD being awarded by the University of London). An acknowledged expert in NT Greek grammar (his 'Learn to Read the Greek New Testament' is also available through Koorong), Dr Powers turned his attention to reconsidering one of the 'assured results' of contemporary NT text critical studies: that the Gospel According to Mark was the first NT bios produced, and that it provided the material basis for the other two Synoptic Gospels, those According to Matthew and Luke respectively. Treading a more ancient path, Dr Powers contends that the early Church was correct in believing that Matthew wrote first, publishing the Gospel that bears his name progressively. Whilst it may prove that many will not be convinced by his thesis, they will have to adequately grapple with Dr Powers' marshalling of the evidence (both textual and historical), and his logical and tightly-argued reasoning before dismissing his conclusions. Recommended.