Robert Gundry

Robert H. Gundry
Born 1932
Nationality United States American
Education Manchester University (England)
Occupation Biblical Scholar
Religion Evangelical Christian

Robert Horton Gundry (born 1932) is an American biblical scholar and retired professor of Koine Greek, eschatology, the Gospels, and New Testament theology. He received a B.A. and a B.D. degree from the Los Angeles Baptist College and Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Manchester University in Manchester, England in 1961[1] and has taught for several decades at Westmont College in California.[1] He became a prominent member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), and as such signed their statement affirming biblical inerrancy.

In 1973 Gundry published The Church and the Tribulation: A Biblical Examination of Posttribulationism. In 1977 he followed up with another book addressing the controversy regarding the timing of the Second Coming when he published First the Antichrist: Why Christ Won't Come Before The Antichrist Does.[2]

In 1982 he published Matthew: A Commentary on His Literary and Theological Art analyzing the Gospel of Matthew. Gundry used redaction criticism in his work. He thus argued that Matthew adapted the story of Jesus to appeal to the intended audience. Especially problematic was Gundry's assertion that Matthew made ahistorical additions to the infancy story in Matthew 1 and 2. Gundry had been asked to furnish this work on Matthew as the commentary on The Gospel according to Matthew in the Expositor's Bible Commentary, a major evangelical series of commentaries published over the course of a decade or more in the 1970s and 1980s, as each section was completed. However, when he submitted his proposed commentary to Frank Gaebelein, the editor of the series, Gaebelein determined it was not acceptable, and refused to publish it. Instead, he called upon D. A. Carson, from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, to produce a commentary on Matthew. This caused a delay of several years in the publication of the EBC's volume on the Synoptic Gospels.

Gundry contended his work did not question the inerrancy of Matthew. Rather he argued that inerrancy must be considered in light of authorial intent. Matthew, Gundry claims, "treats us to history mixed with elements that cannot be called historical in a modern sense."[3] Thus, the book of Matthew should not be measured against the standards of the genre of modern historical writing in order to be called inerrant. On the other hand, "Luke states a historical purpose along lines that run closer to modern history writing…"[4] Gundry's view was supported by a significant portion of the ETS. The Society's executive looked into the matter and at first cleared Gundry. However a campaign against Gundry was launched, spearheaded by Norman Geisler. This campaign succeeded and in December 1983 Gundry resigned from the ETS.[5]

In Fall 2001, Robert H. Gundry spoke at ETS on "Jesus the Word According to John the Sectarian. A Paleofundamentalist Manifesto For Contemporary Evangelicalism Especially its Elites in North America." In that message, Gundry questioned, "Do our present circumstances call for John's Word-Christology, for North American evangelicalism to take a sectarian turn, a return mutatis mutandis, to the fundamentalism of The Fundamentals and their authors at the very start of the twentieth century?"[6]

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