Solutions to the Synoptic Problem 5: Johann Herder

Herder

Herder thought that Mark most exactly reproduced UrevOr. Matthew reproduced it with expansions, and Luke, aware of these expansions, “wished to create ‘an actual historical account’ after a wholly Hellenistic pattern.” Herder also hypothesized that “[s]ome forty years later John . . . wrote an ‘echo of the earlier Gospels at a higher pitch’ which undertook to set forth Jesus as the Savior of the world. . . .”

See Kümmel 79–83. Please see the symbol key for an explanation of the diagrams in this post series.


In this post:

Werner Kümmmel
Werner Kümmel

The Textual Originality of Romans 15–16: Responses

The arguments against the authenticity of Rom 15–16 that have been summarized are, however, inadequate for several reasons, which including the following:

  1. Far from a needless repetition of Rom 12:1ff, Rom 15:1–13 actually provides a necessary continuation of Paul’s argument from Rom 14:1–23 (Murray 2:263–65).
  2. When Paul speaks of ministering “from Jerusalem and around as far as Illyricum” (Rom 15:19), he does not indicate Jerusalem to be the chronological starting point and Illyricum to be the ending point of his ministry. Rather, he uses these cities to designate the geographical bounds for the region of his ministry (Murray 2:213–15).
  3. First Clement 5:7 speaks of Paul reaching “the limit of the west.” While Clement may have surmised from Rom 15:25, 28 that Paul actually did reach Spain, this text at least provides ancient testimony to the plausibility of the Spanish mission. In any case, the fact that Paul did not mention Spain in any of his other letters does not invalidate the usage here any more than the destination(s) given in a company’s first bulk marketing mailing is invalidated because that company or its employees have not previously been to that place.
  4. That Aquilla and Priscilla could not have returned to Rome and established a residence there in the interval between the composition of 1 Corinthians [ca. AD 55 (Carson, Moo, and Morris 283)] and the composition of Romans is by no means certain, especially if Romans is dated later in the period of AD 55–59 (cf. Murray 2:267–68). Moreover, Paul’s greeting so many other people in a city he had never visited does not necessarily provide evidence for non-Pauline authorship of this section of the epistle, since Paul may well have met these people elsewhere, have been introduced to them through correspondence, or have known them through others.
  5. Very little manuscript evidence exists for omitting the doxology, and the consistent testimony of the earliest manuscripts is to have the doxology present at some point (Metzger 534). Additionally, hypothesizing a Marcionite origin for the doxology seems quite strange, since Marcion’s text of Romans did not contain it (Murray 2:263).

In this post:

D. A. Carson, Douglas Moo, and Leon Morris
D. A. Carson, Douglas Moo, and Leon Morris
Michael Holmes
Michael Holmes
Bruce Metzger
Bruce Metzger
John Murray
John Murray

The Textual Originality of Romans 15–16: Objections

Perhaps the most persistently thorny issues in textual criticism of Romans are related to: (1) the placement of the doxology, which normally appears in Rom 16:25–27 in modern, printed editions and (2) the cohesion of Rom 15–16 with the rest of the epistle. While distinguishable, however, these issues cannot be completely separated from each other, since, at the very least, the doxology appears to be an ending to something.

F. C. Baur is probably the foremost scholar who has denied the authenticity of Rom 15–16 as a whole. Although his full argument for this position is quite lengthy (see Baur 1:352–65), his main reasons for rejecting these chapters authenticity are that:

  1. Romans 15:1–13 is a needless, inferior repetition of Rom 12:1ff, and Paul could hardly be expected to have written the latter section.
  2. Paul could not have considered Jerusalem the starting point for his ministry, as he would seem to do if he were the author of Rom 15:19.
  3. Paul’s mission to Spain is only mentioned here (Rom 15:24, 28) and is, therefore, probably not Pauline.
  4. The list of names in Rom 16 is too extraordinary for Paul.
  5. Priscilla and Aquilla could not have returned to Rome in the interval between what is recorded in 1 Cor 16:19 and the writing of Rom 16:3 (cf. Luther 419 n. 32)

In contrast to Baur’s perspective, Barth seems only to have taken issue with the doxology, while substantially accepting the rest of Rom 15–16 as Pauline. On Harnack’s authority, Barth speculates that the doxology was originally a Marcionite invention, intended to bring closure to a version of the epistle ending abruptly after Rom 14. Therefore, Barth rejects the doxology and accepts as the remainder of the traditional text of Rom 15–16 as original (Barth 523, n. 1).


In this post:

Karl Barth
Karl Barth
F. C. Baur
F. C. Baur
Martin Luther
Martin Luther