Everyone should read this. Why do so many people have difficulty accepting the reliability of the past and the core texts of Christianity? This book should answer their concerns. I was so excited hearing the lives of the first christians explored.
This is an interesting book, one I can recommend to all serious students of the New Testament. Dr Mosse writes well and argues cogently for a reassessment of 'Q' and thus of New Testament dating. Drawing on a wide number of sources he encourages the reader to look at the subject anew and his book is a breath of fresh air in a much-studied area. His argument might sometimes be seen as contentious but it is always backed up by logical argument and thorough examination. It made me think. It still does.
Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, calls this book `a real achievement'. I would say it was a lot more than that. I found it breathtaking.
You would expect a scholarly book on `the three Gospels' to deal with the `synoptic problem', i.e. the relationship between Matthew, Mark and Luke. It sorts that out in the first 100 pages, giving strong evidence that Mark wrote first, Matthew used Mark, and Luke used Matthew as well as Mark. There is no need for the imaginary Q. It then provides equally strong evidence to support traditional authorship and early dates: Mark by 45AD, Matthew late 40s or 50s, Luke 60-61 and Acts 62. And there is still time to verify authorship and dates of the New Testament letters as well!
What is Martin Mosse's distinctive and his secret? He has studied all previous writings on these topics, but he is not a career theologian. He is a mathematician; and he has applied strict mathematical logic to these questions. This helps him cut through over a century of speculation and doubt to a convincing defence of traditional understandings. I just wish I had read his book before attempting to write any of my own.
This is a carefully researched book, with many tables and appendices. It argues cogently for early dating of the synoptic gospels. The ancient sources are discussed with the assurance of an ancient historian. It is particularly strong on the case against Q. Mosse relies heavily on "sequence" arguments when asserting Marcan priority. He writes clearly and with passion, making this an exciting contribution to NT studies.