loss by Adam. When it is considered that a highly intelligent and competent churchman with such views would be an influential bishop until 1885, it is easy to see how hard biblical criticism had to battle in order to gain any headway.
So far, nothing has been said in this chapter about the New Testament, and this must now be remedied. At the beginning of the nineteenth century New Testament scholarship had recognised the so-called synoptic problem -the striking similarities between the first three Gospels - and had solved it by adopting the so-called Griesbach hypothesis, after J. J. Griesbach (1745-1812). This supposed that Mark's Gospel was an abbreviation of Matthew (in fact a view that went back at least to Augustine) but had also drawn on Luke. For the purposes of reconstructing the life of Jesus, the two primary sources were the 'eye-witness' Gospels of Matthew and John. As mentioned above, Strauss's Life ofJesus (1835) contained a sustained attack on the credibility of John's Gospel as a source for the life of Jesus and the same year saw the publication of an article by Karl Lachmann which argued for the priority of Mark, and that there must also have been another source for the synoptic gospels. Lachmann's work began a line of research which ended with the publication in 1863 of H. J. Holtzmann's The Synoptic Gospels which put the classic case for the priority of Mark and for the existence of another source.34 However, a radical alternative for the origins of the New Testament had been proposed by F. C. Baur, in a series of articles and books beginning in 1831 and culminating in Christianity and the Christian church of the first three centuries (1853).35 Baur believed that early Christianity was formed out of a conflict between Paul on the one hand, who accurately understood the implications of the teaching of Jesus, and Peter on the other, who represented a Jewish understanding of Christianity. This division, which split the church grievously, was healed only in the second century when writings such as Acts and the Epistles (with the exception of the four genuine Pauline letters, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians) were composed, with the process culminating in John's Gospel, which was dated by Baur to ad 170. The earliest Gospel was that of Matthew.36
Such a radical challenge to the dating of the New Testament was bound to provoke opposition, and it has become almost legendary to write of how
34 H. J. Holtzmann, Die synoptischen Evangelien, ihr Ursprung und geschichtliche Charakter (Leipzig, W Engelmann, 1863). See Kümmel, New Testament, pp. 146-55.
35 F. C. Baur, Das Christentum und die christliche Kirche der drei ersten Jahrhunderte (Tübingen: Fues, 1853).
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