Guest / Limited Access /

This article originally ran in the February 3, 1984, issue of Christianity Today

"As one of the five founders of the Evangelical Theological Society, with a heavy heart I officially request that Dr. Robert Gundry submit his resignation, unless he retracts his position on the historical trustworthiness of Matthew's Gospel."

Thus Roger Nicole, professor of theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, brought to a decisive climax a controversy that has been brewing for several years in the 35-year-old society of evangelical scholars.

Standing at a microphone in the packed dining room on the ninth floor of the Spurgeon Harris Building on the campus of the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies in Dallas, Nicole was asking for the resignation of the bald, bespectacled, erudite professor of New Testament and Greek at Santa Barbara's Westmont College.

Robert Gundry is the author of Matthew: A Commentary on His Literary and Theological Art (Eerdmans,1982), a mammoth 652-page study of the first Gospel that has stirred the opposition of conservatives everywhere because of the enthusiastic use it makes of the scholarly technique in biblical studies known as "redaction criticism." This discipline presupposes that the four Evangelists, especially Matthew and Luke, have adapted the deeds and words of Jesus to fit the life and experiences of their readers. For example, redaction critics would argue that Matthew adapted his prose to the rocky topography of Palestine and quoted Jesus as saying the wise man "built his house upon the rock" (Matt. 7:24). Luke, writing perhaps for readers in Greece, with its thick soil, felt it necessary to have Jesus specify that the man "dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock" (Luke 6;48).

Even more controversial ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Softer Face of Calvinism
The Softer Face of Calvinism
Reformed theology is more irenic and diverse than you think, says theologian Oliver Crisp.
TrendingNew Poll Finds Evangelicals’ Favorite Heresies
New Poll Finds Evangelicals’ Favorite Heresies
Survey finds many American evangelicals hold unorthodox views on the Trinity, salvation, and other doctrines.
Editor's PickMark Labberton: This Is the Best of Times for Following Jesus
Mark Labberton: This Is the Best of Times for Following Jesus
The Fuller Seminary president sees the church’s moment of cultural exile as a moment of incredible opportunity.
Comments
Christianity Today
Evangelical Scholars Remove Robert Gundry for His Views on ...
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.