Monday, October 31, 2005

Birthing the New Testament

There is a new book available on the origins of the New Testament that may prompt some response and controversy.

The Birthing of the New Testament: The Intertextual Development of the New Testament Writings

Thomas L. Brodie

Many are saying that the prevailing paradigm of NT origins is going nowhere. In its place, Brodie's stunning book invites us to suspend all 'knowledge' we already have about the history of the NT's development, and to be willing to entertain the following thesis.

Everything hinges on Proto-Luke, a history of Jesus using the Elijah–Elisha narrative as its model, which survives in 10 chapters of Luke and 15 of Acts. Mark then uses Proto-Luke, transposing its Acts material back into the life of Jesus. Matthew deuteronomizes Mark, John improves on the discourses of Matthew. Luke-Acts spells out the story at length. Add the Pauline corpus, the descendant of Deuteronomy via the Matthean logia, and the NT is virtually complete.

This is a totalizing theory, an explanation of everything, and its critics will be numerous. But even they will be hugely intrigued, and have to admit that Brodie's myriads of challenging observations about literary affinities demand an answer.

It is also available for review at RBL for any interested reviewers!

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