Re: LXX and gospels

From: Nichael Cramer (
Date: Mon Mar 23 1998 - 16:58:49 EST

Eric Weiss wrote:

> Randel Helms, in his GOSPEL FICTIONS (Prometheus 1988), proposes that
> the gospels, rather than being historical documents, are actually
> reworkings of LXX accounts of Elijah, etc. Assuming Marcan priority, he
> writes that the other gospel writers took Mark's basic gospel and
> reworked the incidents for their theological purposes, again using LXX
> events, psalms, etc. Verbal correspondences between the specific gospel
> incidents he cites and the LXX event(s) he proposes that the author used
> for his "story" form much of the basis of his argument.
> Have other authors done this, i.e., listed or catalogued or shown
> striking verbal/linguistic/events parallels between the Greek gospels
> and the LXX that might lend credence to what Helms proposes - or,
> contrariwise, use the same "evidence" to argue for another explanation
> for the correspondences?

The very quick answer is, yes; _any_ book on modern NT scholarship will
explore this issue --i.e. parallels in the Gospels to the LXX and other
ancient texts-- in _great_ detail.

More to the point, the only people who shocked by this suggestion --that
the Evangelists may not have been writing strict, rigorous historical
accounts-- are 1] extreme biblical literals and 2] extreme biblical
anti-literalists like Helms above. I think everybody else recognizes that
"history", in real sense of the term, had next to nothing to do with what
the Evanglists were trying to do.


(There's another book published by Prometheus --I forget the exact title,
something like "Creating the Messiah-- the author of which Robert
Shaeffer[sp?] used to hang around on various usenet groups.

He had come upon this Great Discovery --i.e. that the Gospels probably
didn't contain literal fact. He shouted this from the highest peaks of the
'net, taking on any and all comers with a fervent conviction, the match of
any born-again, ex-alcoholic street-corner preacher.

I tried, on a couple of occassions, to point out to him that this was not
exactly new stuff; in point of fact, any respectable modern survey of the
Gospels would probably agree with 90% of his book. But he would have none
of it. He had discovered The Truth; and --by gum-- he was gone to present
it for all the world to see.)

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