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!
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.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — 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.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)