Understanding the synoptic problem in the gospels of the bible

Farmer 1 Only once before have I undertaken to address the task of surveying the state of discussion on the Synoptic Problem. That was twenty years ago. It was also twenty years ago that Joseph Tyson along with Thomas R. Longstaff published Synoptic Abstract, which represents the first use of computer analysis in the discussion of the Synoptic Problem.

Understanding the synoptic problem in the gospels of the bible

Farmer 1 Only once before have I undertaken to address the task of surveying the state of discussion on the Synoptic Problem. That was twenty years ago.

What is the "Synoptic Problem"?

It was also twenty years ago that Joseph Tyson along with Thomas R. Longstaff published Synoptic Abstract, which represents the first use of computer analysis in the discussion of the Synoptic Problem. But I do wish to share my opinion with the reader that Professor Tyson has made a major contribution to the shaping of the discussion of the Synoptic Problem in the United States by the role he has played in Lucan studies since the publication of his book The Death of Jesus in Luke-Acts in In the place of studying Luke from the perspective of the Two Source Hypothesis utilizing redaction criticism as Conzelmann and his followers were then doing, Tyson and others, including Charles Talbert and David Moessner, quietly under the aegis of the annual program meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, carried through a revolution in Lucan studies.

Now Luke was to be studied on its own terms without any particular reference to Mark, and with increasing attention to its companion volume, the Acts of the Apostles.

Meanwhile, such redaction critical work on Luke as has been done within the program structures of SBL has proceeded on the assumption of the Neo-Griesbach Two Gospel Hypothesis where Mark is viewed as third with Luke making use of Matthew. This brings us directly to our topic: The present state of the Synoptic Problem can best be gauged in the light of brief observations on five important publications appearing in the period To verify this conclusion requires a somewhat more detailed discussion of the work of scholars published in three additional books appearing in the years It is a report written for the eyes of my colleagues, Joseph Tyson and his friends.

Understanding the synoptic problem in the gospels of the bible

I think especially of Thomas R. Longstaff and William O.

Understanding the synoptic problem in the gospels of the bible

Needless to say, it is a report that is made from my own point of view, that of an adherent of the hypothesis that the Gospels were probably composed in the sequence Matthew, Luke, Mark, with Luke having made use of Matthew, and Mark of both Matthew and Luke.

This theory is now generally known as the Two Gospel Hypothesis, formerly referred to as the "Griesbach Hypothesis". The first of the five books on which I wish to make brief observations is the volume The Interrelations of the Gospels, edited by David L. Dungan, and published in This is a report on a Symposium on the Gospels held in Jerusalem in Among the participants were F.

Readers are referred to the volume itself for the detailed defense given of all three of these hypotheses. In an "Agenda for Future Research" set forth at the end of this volume, it was unanimously agreed upon: But these experts were being advised to undertake a far more comprehensive approach to the problem.

Slowly but surely during the intervening years this dictum of the Jerusalem Symposium has come to be the prevailing criterion in contemporary study of the Synoptic Problem. The second book on which I wish to comment briefly is the volume: Once again the reader is referred to the volume itself for the detailed defenses made in behalf of rival hypotheses.

We note only that in this volume, for the first time, a serious break with traditional methodology was made in studying the "minor agreements". Instead of considering the "minor agreements" in relative isolation from their compositional contexts, a proposal emerged that an effort be made to see these agreements within their widest possible compositional contexts.

In other respects, much of the argumentation was in the traditional mode of atomistic analysis. This volume contains "General Articles on the New Testament". That on "Jesus and the Gospels" is by Christopher M.

Tuckett notes that the contemporary debate has highlighted the "weak and inconclusive nature" of some of the arguments in the past that have been used to promote the Two-Source Theory.

This applies especially to some of the more "formal" arguments. For example, in arguing for Marcan priority Tuckett observes that some scholars appeal to the fact that "nearly all of Mark is paralleled in Matthew or Luke or both". Yet all this shows is that some literary relationship exists; it does not prove that the only possibility is that Mark's Gospel was the source of Matthew and Luke.

Similarly, the much discussed appeal to the failure of Matthew and Luke ever or hardly ever to agree against Mark in order and wording does not prove that Matthew and Luke independently used Mark as a source; it only shows that Mark is some kind of "middle term" between the other two in any pattern of relationships.

On the basis of this observation in a commentary that represents main line scholarship we can say that the present state of the Synoptic Problem is one where it is now openly acknowledged that the standard arguments for the priority of Mark popularized by Streeter seventy-four years ago have at long last come to be recognized in a "flagship" publication as "weak and inconclusive".

Yet, in another publication appearing in the same yearit was possible for highly regarded specialists in Gospel studies to state that the research of the team of scholars who were responsible for the conclusions in the publication concerned, rested in part on the two pillars of Marcan priority and the existence of 'Q'.

The fact is that the ongoing discussion of the Synoptic Problem has reached a "critical mass" where a "consensus" among experts on the Synoptic Problem that the Streeterian arguments for Marcan priority are no longer to be relied upon serves to raise questions about work based upon that hypothesis.

We have already noted the way in which this has led some of the most creative Lucan scholars in the United States to prescind from use of the Two Source Paradigm. Our fourth book to be considered is Allan J. McNicol's monograph on Jesus' Directions for the Future, McNicol was a participant in the Jerusalem Symposium.

Since that conference called for "a literary, historical and theological explanation of the evangelists' compositional activity, giving a coherent and reasonable picture of the whole of each Gospel Beginning with the Pauline parallels and then proceeding to the text of Matthew, Luke and Mark in that order, he set forth a "literary, historical and theological explanation of the evangelists' compositional activity" in composing this part of their respective Gospels.The Synoptic Problem A Way Through the Maze Mark Goodacre Understanding the Bible and Its World London & New York: T & T Clark, Arguably the greatest literary enigma in history, the Synoptic Problem has fascinated generations of scholars who have puzzled over the agreements, the disagreements, the variations, and the peculiarities of the relationship between the first three of our.

Questions about the Bible What is the Bible? Is the Bible truly God's Word? Why should I believe the Bible? Who wrote the Bible? Is the Bible true? The Present State Of The Synoptic Problem William R.

Farmer (1) Only once before have I undertaken to address the task of surveying the state of discussion on the Synoptic Problem.

A “harmony of the Gospels” is a compilation in which the events of the four gospel accounts are presented as a compete record with all the details. Rethinking the Synoptic Problem [David Alan Black, David R.

The Present State Of The Synoptic Problem

Beck] on ashio-midori.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The problematic literary relationship among the Synoptic Gospels has given rise to numerous theories of authorship and priority.

The primary objective of Rethinking the Synoptic Problem is to familiarize students with . The critical problem of the remarkable parallelism between the synoptic gospels gives us insight into who wrote the first three Gospels.

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