Cake or Death #13
In light of 19th Century German “Higher Criticism” as it was known and Q theory the Catholic Church is really rather alone when it comes to claiming Matthew was first; an overwhelming majority of contemporary scholars believe Mark was written first and the writers of Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source for creating their Gospels (John being a considerably later arrival).
Of course the Catholic Church is alone in teaching the fullness of Truth – the Christ gave no other person or body that unique distinction of His only pathway for that fullness – “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.”
Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament (1997) offers the evidence behind the claim rather succinctly, although there are more detailed expositions of the theory drawing from a wider range of sources
See post #7.
“Fr Brown never fully nor objectively reports the content or portent of Vatican documents. A good case in point is his frequent use of the 1964 Instruction of the Pontifical Biblical Commission *The Historical Truth of the Gospels *to ‘prove’ that Rome endorses modern exegesis without qualification.”
In counseling exegetes and teachers of biblical studies the Commission states: “Let him always obey the Magisterium of the Church.” Brown omits this and much else from his summary of the Instruction in his *Crises Facing the Church *(1975).
[Refer: *The New Biblical Theorists, Msgr George A Kelly, Servant Books, 1983, p 134-5, 141].
On being challenged to square his theories with Catholic teaching, these are typical responses of Fr Raymond Brown:
When he was asked at lecture about statements from Fr John Hardon’s Catholic Catechism, Fr Brown’s reply was: “That book is a disaster, his is pre-1910 theology.” The questioner persisted: “But Father, Cardinal Wright has written a preface for the book”. His answer was: “His is a pre-1910 theology, too.” (National Catholic Register, Nov 30, 1975, p4).
When asked in a letter about his assertion that when Matthew wrote the “Thou art Peter” passage it was really an interpolation of a redactor and not a real saying of Jesus, as against Pius XII’s proclamation of the validity of all four Gospels, Brown’s answer was that Pius XII had lived long before Vatican II. But, get this, Pius XII’s encyclical *Divino Afflante Spiritu *is used frequently by Brown to justify his own “freedom” in exegesis! (Julia Grimes of Pennsylvania, July 6, 1980, p 4, National Catholic Register).