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Three Views on the Origins of the Synoptic Gospels Paperback – November 30, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic & Professional (November 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825438381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825438387
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Three views on the origins of the synoptic gospels dominate the landscape of New Testament scholarship at the beginning of the twenty-first century. They are, in the order of their priority among scholars, the Two-/Four-Source View, the Two-Gospel View, and the Independence View.

This presentation/response format features evangelical scholars and furnishes students of the Synoptic Gospels an abbreviated comparison of the issues at stake in advocating a particular view. Grant R. Osborne (professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and Matthew C. Williams (associate professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology) defend the Markan Hypothesis. John H. Niemelä (professor of Hebrew and Greek at Chafer Theological Seminary) defends the Two-Gospel View. F. David Farnell (associate professor of New Testament at The Master’s Seminary) defends the Independence View.

Robert L. Thomas (Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California.

About the Author

Robert L. Thomas (Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament at The Master's Seminary in Sun Valley California. He is the general editor of The Jesus Crisis (with F. David Farnell), The Master's Perspective on Contemporary Issues and The Master's Perspective on Difficult Passages.

Customer Reviews

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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By David C. Leaumont on April 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I say scholarly, because most lay-people do not get into the issue of the origin of the Gospels, which is the purpose of this book.

I picked up this book blindly (after seeing no reviews) in hopes it would help me in writing a paper defending traditional authorship of the Gospels. In this book I found three very well placed arguments for Gospel authorship and priority. As is becoming the standard with multiple view books, each author presents their case and the other contributors to the book respond to the main writing. Each writer gets a chance to write their own argument and refute the others' arguments in a short response.

The authors involved are Grant Osborne, Matthew Williams, John Niemela, David Farnell and the editor, Robert Thomas. The last three earning their PhD/ThD from Dallas Theological Seminary with Drs. Osbourne and Williams gaining their PhDs the University of Aberdeen and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Drs. Williams and Osborne begin with the case for Markan Priority (MH), or the belief that evidence shows Mark was written first with Matthew and Luke relying on Mark's Gospel as a source. This argument concentrates on the examples of textual similarity between Matthew and Luke to Mark. His conclusion is that MH does not answer the whole question and that the truth behind this topic may not be answered before the Second Coming.

Dr. Niemela displays the Two Source Hypothesis. He takes an interesting stance by using statistics to show the proposed similarities ssurrounding MH are not as significant as they are proposed to be. He also relies heavily on historical queues pointing to Matthew's initial writing.

Dr. Farnell takes the traditional historical stance in his defense of the Independent Hypothesis.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Jones VINE VOICE on October 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
A major debate in New Testament studies over the past two hundred years is the "Synoptic Problem." This problem observes the differences between the three Synoptic Gospel (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and seeks to reconcile them. There are three categories where variations often occur: wording, content, and order. "Wording" refers to the specific Greek words chosen by each evangelist. "Content" refers to the thematic "pericopes" (literary units) that each author chose to include or exclude. "Order" refers to the specific sequence that Matthew, Mark, and Luke elected to arrange their Gospels.

Differences in these categories have great significance because they affect our view of Scripture in vital areas such as biblical inspiration, inerrancy, and perspicuity. They determine precisely who Jesus is and what words He spoke. Furthermore, they shape one's entire method of interpretation of the Synoptic Gospels. In short, the Synoptic Problem strikes at the very heart of the Christian faith, reflecting what we believe about God and His Word. "In large part, the answers to who Jesus really was depend upon how one approaches the first three Gospels - Matthew, Mark, and Luke - which in turn depends upon how the three books came into being" (13).

So how should these differences be reconciled? In this book, the three most common views are articulated and defended. Grant R. Osborne and Matthew C. Williams join forces to present the "Two-/Four-Source View." John H. Niemelä advocates the "Two Gospel View." And F. David Farnell heralds the "Independence View." Thomas, as editor, presides over the discussion by offering a basic introduction to the subject and concludes with a summary of all arguments and responses.
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Excellent reading! A sensible approach to the Synoptic Problem. Every Pastor who takes the Bible seriously should read it from cover to cover.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Pearson on October 7, 2009
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I bought this book for my son when he was in seminary. It gives a good review of the major theories of the origins of the synoptic gospels.
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