Now we must ask: Is it possible to accept the Mark-hypothesis and maintain nonetheless that Matthew is to be considered a genuine and authentic work of the Apostle Matthew? The writer of the essay, “More Light on the Synoptics,” thinks so. He holds that it is not necessary to regard Matthew as unauthentic, even if we accept the theory of Mark’s priority. We heartily sympathize with his desire to defend the genuineness of our first Gospel. But to take his position is not so easy as he seems to think.
He accepts the Mark-theory. He asks, then, if that theory forces him to abandon belief in the authenticity of Matthew. He sees no compelling reason for doing so. And so he affirms both that the Mark-theory is true and also that Matthew is genuine. He thinks this position is unassailable, and implies that to hold that Matthew is unauthentic would be to draw an illogical and unnecessary conclusion.
But when we study the history of the development and triumph of the Mark-theory, we find that leading advocates originally proved it by assuming, as already proved, and as part of their proof of it, that Matthew was unauthentic and unapostolic. And even their opponents, who assumed Matthew had been written first, regarded it as unauthentic and non-apostolic. So that it is, ordinarily, not a question of whether now we are willing to abandon ship. The ship was abandoned long ago. In fact, it was abandoned before the grandfather of the writer of “More Light” was born. And therefore, unless someone comes up with a new and convincing proof of the Mark-hypothesis, a proof differing from the ordinary and the historical one, has he a right to presume that the Mark-theory does not compel him to deny the genuineness of Matthew? For the fact of the ...1
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