Having covered Spong’s arguments for most of the Gospel narratives being “midrashic literature” (with one or two more posts to come) it is time to toss in some qualifiers and state my own views. I’ll anchor my thoughts around Mark Allan Powell’s review of Spong’s arguments. (The review is less securely but more cheaply accessed from here.)
There can be very little doubt that the Gospel authors did create their narrative details out of Old Testament texts.
What critics object to is the idea that entire narratives and most narrative details found in the Gospels are fabricated this way.
Spong himself insists (without argument, only by assertion) that there was some historical underlay to the Gospels. Jesus really was crucified, for example. But his silence before Pilate and his words on the cross are artfully woven by the author into the narrative from Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. Continue reading “The rights and wrongs of Spong on the Gospels”