Goulder and the Gospels : an examination of a new paradigm
The value of Michael Goulder's contribution to Gospel studies is underlined by uncovering both strengths and weaknesses in his work. Goulder's theories are divisible into three major areas and are analysed in the three parts of this thesis, Part One on Luke's knowledge of Matthew, Part Two on the creativity of the evangelists and Part Three on the lectionary theory. A screening of 'QC' Words discovers Matthean and Lucan vocabulary in roughly equal proportions, a conclusion detrimental to Goulder's theory that Matthew composed the Q material and that Luke copied it from him. Goulder argues strongly on the Minor Agreements that Matthean, un-Lucan language could indicate Luke's knowledge of Matthew. At least six Minor Agreements satisfy these criteria but one or two satisfy the reverse criteria. Goulder's arguments over the Minor Agreements require revision but still provide problems for a 'hardline' Two-Source Theory. Goulder's case that the L material is the substantial handiwork of the evangelist is plausible given the distinctiveness of many of the features he lists, but the data also suggests that Luke interacted with oral traditions. There is much to commend in Goulder's lectionary theory, particularly the strengths of the correspondences adduced, but there are difficulties which may be insurmountable.