Evangelicals, Redaction Criticism, and Inerrancy: The Debate Continues -- By: David L. Turner

Journal: Grace Theological Journal
Volume: GTJ 05:1 (Spring 1984)
Article: Evangelicals, Redaction Criticism, and Inerrancy: The Debate Continues
Author: David L. Turner


Evangelicals, Redaction Criticism,
and Inerrancy:
The Debate Continues

David L. Turner

This article continues the summary and evaluation of evangelicals and redaction criticism which began in an earlier essay (see GTJ 4 [1983] 263-88). Recent studies are surveyed, as are recent events in the Evangelical Theological Society. The need for careful articulation of biblical inerrancy in the light of the synoptic phenomena continues to exist. The hermeneutics statement of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (1982) is a step in the right direction. However, further clarification and refinement are needed if evangelicals are to avoid doctrinal deviation, on the one hand, and unnecessary division on the other.

* * *

Introduction

A study in the last issue of GTJ surveyed and evaluated important aspects of evangelical redaction criticism since N. B. Stonehouse.1 The present essay is essentially a brief update on recent developments in evangelicalism, many of which center in the Evangelical Theological Society and the commentary of R. H. Gundry on Matthew.2 Three topics will be surveyed: (1) the recently published third volume of Gospel Perspectives, (2) the dialogue between Gundry and two critics in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (26:1, 1983), and (3) the developments at the 1983 Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting.

Midrash and the Gospels:
Gospel Perspectives, Volume III

The Tyndale House (Cambridge, England) Gospels Research Project has now produced its third volume of studies in the gospels.3 In view of Gundry’s position that Matthew is midrashic, this volume is especially timely and noteworthy. In general, the various contributors to this book believe that midrash is a very complex matter, poorly understood by many NT scholars. The essays in the volume serve to introduce the various nuances of this word as used to describe the historiography of extra-biblical Jewish literature. Further, several of the contributors come to specific conclusions especially relevant to the questions of historicity and inerrancy in the gospels.

R. Bauckham’s study of Pseudo-Philo4 has convinced him that there is no creatio ex nihilo of narrative involved. Bauckham states, “Pseudo-Philo’s ingenuity in this field of exegesis is displayed not in creating events to fit prophecies, but in finding prophecies to fit events.”5 Gundry seems to...

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