CTR 13/2 (Spring 2016): Studies in the Synoptic Gospels

ctr cover spring 2016The theme for our Spring 2016 edition of CTR pertains to studies on the Synoptic Gospels. Each article is written by a New Testament scholar who engages an assortment of exegetical and theological issues that are part of the vast spectrum of scholarship on Synoptic studies. We hope that this volume will be an aid to students of the New Testament as well as edify God’s people, the church.

Our lead article is by Nicholas Perrin who serves as the Franklin S. Dyrness Professor of Biblical Studies and Dean of the Graduate School at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. Perrin tackles the textual debate in Mark 1:40-45 as to whether Jesus was moved by “anger” or “compassion” to heal a leper. He contends that lexical data in Mark’s gospel as well as the strong emphasis on Jesus’ ushering in a new Exodus helps substantiate the reading that Jesus performed this miracle out of compassion.

Our second article is by Craig A. Evans who is the new Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins and Dean of the School of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University in Houston, TX. Evans defends the historical reliability of the gospels by surveying several strands of support in recent New Testament scholarship. Likewise, he offers some corrective measures to help readers avoid the pitfall of imposing modern views of history on to the ways in which the gospel accounts describe the life of Jesus.

The third article is written by Dane C. Ortlund who is Executive Vice President of Bible publishing and Bible publisher at Crossway publishers in Wheaton, IL. In his article, Ortlund contends that Mark’s gospel is riddled with subtle uses of “rising” language for the purpose of guiding the reader to the climactic resurrection of Jesus. He concludes that this literary technique fosters an eschatological expectation in the overall narrative and also lends credence to the shorter ending being the original form of this gospel.

The fourth article is provided by Peter H. Davids who is Professor of Christianity at Houston Baptist University in Houston, TX. Davids addresses some of the ways in which certain New Testament writers integrated and cited various Jesus traditions in their letters. He deals with a chosen number of instances where this is most likely the case in some of Paul’s writings as well as some of the traditional Catholic epistles including 1 and 2 Peter and James.

The fifth entry is offered by Craig L. Blomberg who is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Denver, CO. Blomberg examines pertinent sections of the Synoptic gospels that discuss Jesus’ stringent views of singleness, sexual purity, and marriage. The reason for providing this survey is to show how Jesus’ teachings on these matters sometimes exceed the level of commitment that many mainline Western evangelicals are willing to practice.

Our sixth article is written by Andrew Streett who is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Redeemer Seminary in Austin, TX. Streett contends that a piece of the exegetical puzzle regarding Jesus’ self-description as the Son of Man can be found in certain connections between this title and the original role that Adam had to rule over creation. Streett surveys a collection of scholars who are currently embracing this idea in various ways because of studies being done on Mark’s gospel. He then concludes that Psalm 80 is a neglected source that deserves more attention because it also has some significant contributions to offer to this conversation.

And finally, our last article is provided by Patrick Schreiner who is Assistant Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary in Portland, OR. Schreiner provides an analysis of the famous passage in Matthew 16 where Jesus speaks of the rock upon which he will build his church. He argues that it is highly probable that the rock spoken of in Daniel 2, which crushes all earthly kingdoms, is part of the background to this text.

Following these articles are nineteen book reviews which can inform readers about works that can improve their theological libraries. And also remember that past issues of CTR can be accessed online at ATLA. Your local university or seminary can provide you with a password.

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