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Gospel dates

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 Contents - Aug 2004AD2000 August 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: New challenges for Catholic education - Peter Westmore
Pope's representative reminds Australian religious leaders on liturgy abuses - Archbishop Francesco Canalini
News: The Church Around the World
Getting serious about orthodoxy: an American bishop shows how - Michael Gilchrist
Catholic politicians and informed conscience - Bishop Michael Sheridan
Bioethics: Embryo stem-cell research: time for a moral benchmark - Christopher Pyne MP
The morning after pill - Bishop Anthony Fisher
History: Catholic education: triumph over adversity - Cardinal George Pell
Carnivale Christi: Whatever happened to beauty in art? - Paul Fitzgerald
The Catholic Church and the Greens: why? - Tony Kearney
Letters: Missal translation - Pastor David Buck
Letters: Hymn parody - Peter Hannigan
Letters: Casual trend - Gina Voskulen
Letters: Parish revitalised - Br Con Moloney CFC
Letters: Threats to family - Gordon Southern
Letters: Abortion - Anne Boyce
Letters: Relearning needed - Anne Lastman
Letters: Gospel dates - Jack R. Nyman
Books: DANIEL MANNIX: Wit and Wisdom, by Michael Gilchrist - Hermann Kelly (reviewer)
Books: A Guide To The Passion Of The Christ : 100 Questions - Fr Scot Armstrong STL (reviewer)
Books: Interview with the author of 'The Da Vinci Hoax' - Carl E. Olsen
Books: More new titles for 2004 from AD Books
Reflection: Why teaching in a Catholic school is far more than a profession - Fr Dennis Byrnes

I wish that I could rejoice with Fr Duggan (Letters, July) that the tide of opinion concerning the dating of the Gospels has begun to turn. Some scholars have seen the truth but most still advocate the Higher Critical opinions. Fr. Duggan probably knows of Ita Linnemann (Is there a Synoptic Problem?). She was an advocate of Higher Criticism until she, like I.A.T. Robinson, examined the bases of Higher Criticism and found them to be false.

About two years ago I heard an academic from a Catholic institution tell an audience that all of the New Testament had been written after AD 70 and that, since this was at least forty years after the death of Jesus, nobody would remember what Jesus had said and done and that we could not be sure of the sense in which He was divine.

As well, we were told that Mary had been raped by a Roman soldier and that Jesus, the product of the union, did not die on the cross but had revived and later had married.

The Higher Critical position was begun by Samuel Reimarius (1694-1768) and his avowed intention was to deny that people could trust the Gospels and therefore no one could have reliable contact with Jesus. I agree with the late Eric Mascall who blamed New Testament scholars for the damage that has been done to Christianity.

I have a small difference with Fr Duggan. Robinson's book, The Priority of John, asserts that Matthew and John were contemporaries and wrote about 33AD. My conclusion is that they wrote their Gospels in response to requests from those who were converted to the faith at or after Peter's preaching at Pentecost and wanted information about the Lord.

Wallsend, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 7 (August 2004), p. 16

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