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Rethinking the Synoptic Problem Paperback – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801022819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801022814
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The problematic literary relationship among the Synoptic Gospels has given rise to numerous theories of authorship and priority. Rethinking the Synoptic Problem familiarizes readers with the main positions held by New Testament scholars and updates evangelical understandings of this much-debated area of research.

Contributors
Craig L. Blomberg
Darrell L. Bock
William R. Farmer
Scot McKnight
Grant R. Osborne

"An exciting and readable overview of the present state of the Synoptic problem. The entries are balanced, probing, and incisive, making the volume a valuable introduction for all who would learn more about the knotty but inescapable enigma at the heart of the Gospels."
-David Dungan, University of Tennessee

"This set of essays by first-class conservative New Testament scholars constitutes a fine case study of competing views on the Synoptic debate. This volume is eminently fair and helps the reader sort out complex evidence in the study of Gospel parallels. A commendable attitude of humility attends the discussion."
-Royce G. Gruenler, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary



David Alan Black
(D.Theol., University of Basel) is professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. David R. Beck (Ph.D., Duke University) is associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

About the Author

David Alan Black (D.Theol., University of Basel) is professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. David R. Beck (Ph.D., Duke University) is associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Virgil Brown VINE VOICE on February 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a presentation of papers delivered at Wake Forest in April of 2000. Craig Blomberg introduces "the synoptic problem." He writes that "up front" none of the "major solutions to the Synoptic problem is inherently more or less compatible with historical Christian views on inspiration." Blomberg then goes on to line out the major positions of the synoptic problem.

In the second essay, Darrell Bock writes that there was a Q. Positing that there was one is the best way to explain the 225 verses shared by Matthew and Luke. However its compositional history must remain a mystery due to the fact that Jesus probably said the same thing at different times in slightly different ways. Yet for Bock the verbal agreement between Matthew and Luke "should be evaluated as part of a tradition that had solid roots in the early church and as reflective of Jesus' teaching."

Scot McKnight begins the third essay by writing about the unfortunate happenstance that students of modern scholarship do learn modern scholarship but so often fail to learn the scholarship of the previous generation; it's as if B. H. Streeter et al are obsolete. McKnight then goes on to reaffirm that the priority of Mark is correct. "Matthew sometimes was a scribe using Mark." McKnight concludes with a warning that if Markan prioritists don't get busy, deconstructionists will win the day.

William Farmer writes a case for the two gospel hypothesis. Mark was limited in that he drew his material from Matthew and Luke. Quite often Mark either follows Matthew or Luke in its order of events. Farmer writes that this is difficult to explain if Matthew and Luke followed an Urmarcus or Ur-Mark. Besides, Helmut Koester of Harvard thinks that Mark was written after Matthew and Luke.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeri Nevermind VINE VOICE on December 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in biblical studies will want a copy of this. The essays are interesting, and the writers include some of the most respected of Evangelical scholars, including Craig Blomberg, Darrell Bock, and Scot McKnight.

And what a knotty problem the synoptic problem is! Osborne speculates gloomily "It is likely the problem will never be solved" (p 137).

There certainly seems no agreement among the scholars as to who wrote the first gospel. They did seem to agree on a few things, however. First, there seems a general recognition that scholarship has veered off course in a number of ways. For the last fifty years, there has likely been too much reliance on the concept of Q, to the point that the Jesus Seminar authors have lately 'quoted' from Q. Speculation has piled on speculation and "the study of Q has crossed into historical revisionism and distortion" (p 58).

Two other errors have been the modern desire for an inoffensive Jesus, and a belief that there was ever an early Christian community that was "nonmessianic and noneschatological...(since why would) the later messianic and eschatological use so many texts" (p 59) from a group they disagreed with?

Anyone who thinks biblical scholarship is dull will find this book an eyeopening experience, with Scott McKnight holding to Mark as being the first gospel written, while Farmer insist "Matthew appears to be the earliest gospel (p 100) and the others all over the map.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Chico on May 17, 2012
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The different views expressed in this volume are indispensable when analyzing the synoptic problem. This study would also not be complete without a thorough synopsis analysis of problematic passages in the Synoptic Gospels. Black and Beck provide perhaps the best evangelical analysis of the major views along with sufficient examples from each proposed solution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dean Moore on November 15, 2012
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purchased for a class, but a welcome addition to my collection. I had not really appreciated the "problem" in the synoptic problem, and I still see no problem, but the controversy is more interesting now.
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By SerenaMJ on May 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The overview of the book was pretty thorough. However, I would not recommend it. The compiled combination of essays does not help the reader to understand or easily follow the main focal position of the New Testament debate. The author gives a fair case study, which allots the reader to understand the research and researchers behind the Synoptic Problem. On the other hand, it gets a bit messy when trying to follow the enormous amount of resources (scholars) used to prove a point. I felt as if the author pulled from so many resources that it detracted from complex study of the Synoptic Problem. Too confusing for a fairly new seminary student.
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This is far from lite reading. If a person wants to complete deep research into who wrote and what order the Synoptic Gospels were written, this is just what you need.
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