Funny How Traditions Change

Rod Decker said of Dave Black:

Dave is an unrepentant “Pauline authorship of Hebrews”-ist, Matthean prioritist, and “Mark 16:9-20 is originalist,” but I like him nonetheless! :) He would be glad to tell you of other nontraditional positions that he espouses.

Funnily enough, every one of those positions is quite traditional, except of course among modern academics. Funny how traditions change, huh?

BTW, I’m with Dave on Paul being the author of Hebrews (although in truth, I’m agnostic, but I think Paul is the best guess), and I’m coming around to Matthean priority, but I don’t know about Mark’s ending, which is a pretty important passage for most Pentecostals.



6 thoughts on “Funny How Traditions Change

  1. Nick,

    I’d be glad to send you some very thorough information about Mark 16:9-20, as well as a critique of some recent scholarly treatments of the passage. Just request these materials in an e-mail to james (dot) snapp [at] gmail {dot} com.

    (Also, you may want to change that “in” to “is” (between “positions” and “quite traditional”).

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  2. “except of course among modern academics.”

    Origen (ca. 185—254 CE) wrote “Who wrote the letter is known to God alone” and Martin Luther suggested Apollos wrote Hebrews. The idea of Non-Pauline authorship has been around for a long time, and it is not just those liberal ‘academics’ who have noticed that non-Pauline authorship makes good sense of the textual data (note: this does not mean contra-Pauline). These observations concerning the book of Hebrews are built on solid textual, linguistic, conceptual, and grammatical conclusions after extensively studying the book using a variety of methodological means.

    Still though on the one hand you are correct: based on these observations “The idea of Pauline authorship of Hebrews is now almost universally abandoned.” Paul Ellingworth, The Epistle to the Hebrews : A Commentary on the Greek Text, 2-3 (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Carlisle [England: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1993), 2.

    However, it is an old idea that has been suggested outside of, and before academia. “In antiquity, the names of Paul, Barnabas, Luke, and Clement of Rome were mentioned in certain church centers as the author of Hebrews. In current scholarship, Apollos, Silvanus, the deacon Philip, Priscilla and Aquila, Jude, Aristion.” William L. Lane, vol. 47A, Word Biblical Commentary : Hebrews 1-8, Word Biblical Commentary, xlix (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), xlix.

  3. James: Thanks. I think you actually sent it to me a while back. I’ll have to find it on my hard drive and give it a look.

    Scott: Two things: (1) I’m not indicting “liberal” academics; just academics in general. The majority of modern conservative scholars I’ve read deny Pauline authorship of Hebrews; deny the originality of Mark 16:9-20; and deny Matthean priority. And of course they all have their reasons; doesn’t mean that they’re all equally convincing. (2) No one is denying that there has always been a diversity of views on any of these subjects. Something needn’t be universally accepted to be traditional. But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

  4. Nick, I’ve been reading through Burgon’s work on Mark 16. The book I’m reading is ‘Counterfeit or Genuine” edited by David Otis Fuller….I was a bit skeptical at first but after three quarters of the way through the book I now believe that there is ample evidence to consider for its authenticity. I would recommend reading it for yourself.

  5. Drew: I’m with you on thinking there’s plenty of evidence. I just don’t know how convincing it all is in the end. But I’ll say this: Mark 16:9-20 has been in every Bible I’ve ever owned so I’m willing to accept it as Scripture, whether Mark wrote it originally or a redactor added it later. That said, I’ll keep the book you mention in mind, thanks for the recommendation.

  6. Nick,
    I think a redactor added (added, not composed) it, alright, but that this happened before any copies of the Gospel of Mark were made — that is, the passage was added during the production-stage. In which case, using the normal definition of “original text,” Mark 16:9-20 is part of the original text.

    Even if you can find an older form of my research-book, Authentic: The Case for Mark 16:9-20, I recommend the new one because it has a little more information about some patristic references.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

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