This book has probably the most opaque and inappropriate title and subtitle combination in the history of mankind.
Basically the title is opaque and the subtitle is completely inaccurate.
I am sorry to have to say this, but I really need to get this off my chest so that I can review the actual contents of the book. Having read the book I think that Two Gospels From One means that two gospels, i.e. Matthew and Luke, are derived in some fundamental and literary way from one other gospel, i.e. Mark. There have been other ways to talk about this (‘Markan Priority’, ‘the two source hypothesis’ spring to mind), but for some unexplained reason the title attempts a new and obscure way to suggest this.
But my utter astonishment must be reserved for the subtitle, A Comprehensive Text-Critical Analysis of the Synoptic Gospels. Now let's think about this for just a moment:
- ‘comprehensive’ normally means ‘complete; including all or nearly all elements’;
- ‘analysis’ normally means ‘a detailed examination of the elements or structure of a substance, etc.’;
- ‘text-critical’ normally means pertaining to ‘the process of attempting to ascertain the correct reading of a text’; and
- ‘the Synoptic Gospels’ normally mean Matthew, Mark and Luke (the quotations come from the Concise Oxford Dictionary, but I have been assured that they also work in American).
So I was disappointed to find that this book actually contains an examination of the Nestle-Aland apparatus to 173 verses of Mark, which yields results that are then applied to the relationship between Matthew and Mark in these same 173 verses, with a view to making a contribution to the study of the synoptic problem, specifically the question as to whether Mark or Matthew should be regarded as having literary priority in relation to the other.
So, just to get this off my chest, it is not ‘comprehensive’, it is not a ‘text-critical analysis’ and it doesn’t deal with ‘the synoptic Gospels’.
Perhaps I am out of line here. After all, I wrote a book entitled Christology and the Synoptic Problem: An argument for Markan Priority, because the subject of the book was the use of christological data in the synoptic problem and I constructed an argument for Markan priority. I write articles with titles ranging from ‘On the Christology of the Gospel of Peter’, through ‘Singular Readings in the Early Fragmentary Papyri of John: Some Observations on the Habits of New Testament Copyists’, to ‘The Gospel of Judas and the Qarara Codices: Some Preliminary Observations’. I may veer to the functional extreme, I don’t know. But this title is patently out of line, it is false advertising. Even more shocking that it comes from an evangelical Christian publisher whose primary mission ‘is to develop and distribute—with integrity and excellence—trusted, biblically based resources that lead individuals to know and serve Jesus Christ.’ So where is the ‘integrity’ here? How does this invite ‘trust’? Just not good enough I’m afraid.