The Contribution of Dr. John Henry Ludlum, Jr. Refuting the Marcan Priority Hypothesis and the Fabled “Q” Gospel
One of the theologians mentioned in The Real Jesus is a little known linguistics prodigy named John Henry Ludlum, Jr.
Ludlum is known today for a groundbreaking article that was published in four parts in Christianity Today.
“New Light On The Synoptic Problem,” Vol. III, Nos. 3 and 4, 1958
“Are We Sure of Mark’s Priority?” Vol. III, Nos. 24 and 25, 1959
The article is cited in lots of places, but isn’t on the WWW at this point. I am currently trying to locate copies of the article and if you know quick and easy way I can get them, let me know.
One book that cites the articles is The Jesus Crisis: The Inroads of Historical Criticism into Evangelical Scholarship by Robert L.Thomas and F. David Farnell, which is on my reading list. You can read a limited version here:
If you are like me, you can’t get your hands on nearly enough articles and books on textual criticism for your reading pleasure, so I’ve pointed you to this paper by John Henry Ludlum. Sorry that it’s 260 pages of tiff files and hence the size.
You can download the PDF file from the following link:
John Henry Ludlum, Jr. was the only doctoral candidate at Yale University to receive honors in all seven of his oral examinations. He was a linguistics expert and textual criticism prodigy. His first assignment after graduating gave him enough free time to read many of the German Higher Critics including Bruno Bauer, who has only one theological work translated into English.
He was shocked as a liberal to find out how flimsy the arguments of the historical criticism — so widely accepted as iron-clad among liberals — really were. They were so bad in fact, that Ludlum did his own Synoptic harmony of the Gospels and found many errors on the part of the liberal critics. He spent the rest of his career lambasting the liberals and he was blacklisted in his own denomination — eventually founding a Bible College in Maine.
Today, there is very little published by Ludlum. His most notable work is the series of articles published in Christianity Today in the 1950s debunking the Marcan Priority Hypothesis. Many at the time thought his argument — in embryonic form in the attached paper — was irrefutable. I am not committed to any Synoptic hypothesis — Matthean, Marcan or Independence — at this point, but I am concerned that so many evangelicals accept the Marcan Hypothesis without understanding the liberal presuppositions that gave rise to its popularity.
Anyway, if you skim through the paper, I am sure you’ll find a few fascinating insights even if you don’t have time to read all of it carefully.
A Short Bio
Dr. John H. Ludlum, Jr. is one of those Bible scholars whose experience was the mirror image of other liberal theologians. Too often conservatives are corrupted by seminary education. Ludlum was one who began as a liberal, but as his education was steeped in skepticism, it made him question the foundation of such skepticism.
David Lutzweiler has written the following biography of Ludlum:
Back in 1951, Dr. Ludlum received his Ph.D. from Yale University and received on his orals in seven fields at the Department. of Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature the highest scores that anyone ever had received as far as they had records going back for the department at the time. (I have a copy of the department’s report on his rating). At that time, of course, he was a liberal. He studied under Marvin Pope and that crowd.
Then he got a job that was more or less a sinecure, an office which requires or involves little or no responsibility, in NYC at a Reformed Church, and had a lot of time to pursue his own studies independently. He read the whole German higher criticism in the original language, and a lot of other stuff; and the more he read, the more he saw that the whole liberal position was just plain silly, not to mention dishonest. In a few years, he moved out of liberalism (or “Up From Liberalism,” as William F. Buckley put it) and into evangelicalism.
This created problems. The RCA liberals could not stand up to him, because he was too good. He knew the scholarship inside out and backwards. Thus, the word went around that under no circumstances was Ludlum going to be permitted ever to teach at New Brunswick, etc.
They shunted him off to pastor a small church in Englewood, NJ.It was a bad decision on their part. That only gave him more time to study, write, and fight, which he did. I came to know him when he was in Englewood, in the middle of his prime, and that was one of the most enriching contacts in my life.
Your comments are welcome!
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)