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Rethinking the Synoptic Problem Paperback – October 1, 2001
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From the Back Cover
Craig L. Blomberg
Darrell L. Bock
William R. Farmer
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.
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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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not sure I really see the point of this book. The author never gave a satisfactory answer to the "who cares" question.Published on July 15, 2014 by Jared Hageman
I wonder how many students understood the real issue presented by this series of lectures by leading teachers?
The problem can be presented very simply. Read more
I purchase this book for class I'm taking. I must say that I was no not interested in the Synoptic Problem but this shed a lot of light on it. Kudos to the contributors.Published on November 24, 2012 by Red Robin