The validity of the Petrine tradition in the light of modern research
Gale, Herbert Morrison
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According to Papias and other writers of the early Christian Church, the gospel of Mark embodies the reminiscences of the apostle Peter; Mark, the apostle's hearer and "interpreter," has preserved in his gospel the content of the latter's preaching. This "Petrine tradition" is now brought into question by movements which have produced alternative theories concerning the gospel's origin, theories of revision and redaction, theories of sources, theories of interpretation in the gospel, and theories resulting from the use of the formgeschichtliche method. Does the traditional explanation stand or fall before the proposed hypotheses? In order to arrive at a satisfactory verdict, there must be made a thorough and comprehensive examination of all the evidence which has any bearing upon the matter. When the results of the study of the problem's numerous aspects are taken together, the cumulative effect is thoroughly convincing. At no point has the Petrine tradition been disproved. Instead, every consideration produces possibilities and probabilities that are in complete harmony with it. Alternative theories which have been proposed are purely hypothetical. They have no traditional support whatever. Nor do they disprove the Petrine hypothesis. As matters now stand in the field of New Testament research, the Petrine tradition must be accepted as a valid explanation for the origin of Mark's gospel.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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