This book's primary goal is to familiarize students with the main positions held by New Testament scholars in this much-debated area of research. The contributors to this volume, all leading biblical scholars, highlight current academic trends within New Testament scholarship and update evangelical understandings of the Synoptic Problem.
Reviews (from Amazon):
Why Four Gospels?“The different views expressed in this volume are indispensable when analyzing the synoptic problem. . . . Black and Beck provide perhaps the best evangelical analysis of the major views along with sufficient examples from each proposed solution.”
“If a person wants to complete deep research into who wrote and what order the Synoptic Gospels were written, this is just what you need.”
In this succinct treatment of the Synoptic Problem, I have attempted to provide a new look at the Markan priority debate regarding the historical origins of the gospel writings and offer in its place the "fourfold gospel hypothesis." By taking into account data within the gospels themselves and evidence from the early church fathers, I affirm the traditional view that Matthew was the first gospel written and suggest that Luke was written as its Gentile counterpart. Peter, whose recollections form the basis of Mark, provided the apostolic stamp of approval for Luke's gospel by drawing from both prior sources and bridging the gap between the two books. This book is also available in Google Play and iBooks formats.
Reviews (from Amazon):
Here is a video review by Dima Kotik:“Dr. Black's book brings to light the holes and weaknesses within the Markan priority thesis. It would seem, at the outset, that so many people for the past two centuries have considered this thesis to be truth. When, in actuality, they are making the origin of the Gospels much more complex than need be. . . . Dr. Black's book brings a refreshing look at the Synoptic problem, which in turn, is not a problem at all. When faced with the evidence of literature, history, the patristic fathers, and the incredible amount of material from the earliest times of church history, his conclusion about the order of Matthew, Luke, then Mark makes sense. This is an incredible book, can be used and read by people of all backgrounds, although pastors, teachers, and Bible students will probably find it the most useful. This should become the normal textbook when discussing and introducing the origin of the Gospels.”
“I applaud Professor Black's work. This is a book written for a lay audience but welcome to professional scholars and theologians who have not felt comfortable with the tenuous theories put forth among academia since the Enlightenment eschewed the supernatural and ignored church Fathers and tradition as being irrelevant.”
Perspectives on the Ending of Mark
Because it is conspicuously absent from more than one early Greek manuscript, the final section of the gospel of Mark (16:9-20) that details Christ’s resurrection remains a constant source of debate among serious students of the New Testament. This book presents in counterpoint form the split opinions about this difficult passage with a goal of determining which is more likely. Maurice Robinson and I argue for the verses’ authenticity. Keith Elliott and Daniel Wallace contend that they are not original to Mark’s gospel. Darrell Bock responds to each view and summarizes the state of current research on the entire issue.
Reviews (from Amazon):
The Pericope of the Adulteress in Contemporary Research“If you would like to get current on the state of scholarship on the long ending of Mark, this is the introduction you want. Highly readable, this volume does not bolster your presuppositions, but alerts you to the important arguments on all sides of the debate regarding Mark's long ending (and the intermediate ending). This book is a great introduction for those just jumping into the debate and a good review and update for those who have previously studied the textual issue of Mark's long ending.”
“The four essays and one response contained in this volume were informative, concise, edifying and accessible. As a pastor who aims to preach every verse and word of scripture, it is vital to understand the nature of the text you preach or teach. The strengths of this book were fourfold. First, the contributors believed that the chief purpose of textual criticism is to gain access to the wording and order of the original manuscripts. Secondly, all five contributors represented the entire spectrum of scholarly opinion on this subject, thus making for a stronger and more interesting read. Thirdly, the closing essay by Dr. Darrell Bock summarized the four contributing essays with precision and accessible insight. Then fourthly, the vast end notes at the end of each essay enables the reader to dig further and get a sample of the relevant findings of scholarship on this issue.”
This is an exciting new book edited by myself and my former assistant, Jacob Cerone. The chapters are from a conference held at the campus of SEBTS in the spring of 2014 (Jacob blogged about it here). Here is a description from the publisher's website: "The contributors to this volume (J.D. Punch, Jennifer Knust, Tommy Wasserman, Chris Keith, Maurice Robinson, and Larry Hurtado) re-examine the Pericope Adulterae (John 7.53-8.11) asking afresh the question of the paragraph's authenticity. Each contributor not only presents the reader with arguments for or against the pericope's authenticity but also with viable theories on how and why the earliest extant manuscripts omit the passage."