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- newmanlib.ibri.org -. The Synoptic Problem. Robert C. Newman. Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks. What is the Synoptic Problem?. - newmanlib.ibri.org -. Synoptic means " looking together. " Matthew, Mark & Luke are very similar. John is rather different.

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the synoptic problem

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

The Synoptic Problem

Robert C. Newman

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

what is the synoptic problem
What is the Synoptic Problem?

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Synoptic means "looking together."
    • Matthew, Mark & Luke are very similar.
    • John is rather different.
  • How are the Synoptic Gospels related?
    • How explain their similarities?
    • How explain their differences?

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

what is the synoptic problem3
What is the Synoptic Problem?

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Synoptics are unusually similar:
    • 3 years ministry, only a few hours given
    • 100s healed, just a few narrated
  • Those who reject Gospels claim:
    • Similarities due to copying
    • Differences due to:
      • Intentional changes
      • Authors unaware of each other

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

the phenomena of the synoptic problem5
The Phenomena of the Synoptic Problem

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Verbal agreements & differences
  • Differences in order of events
  • Overlap & uniqueness of content

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

verbal agreements differences
Verbal Agreements & Differences

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Sample – the Parable of the Sower
  • Alford's summary:

The phenomena presented will be much as follows: first, perhaps, we shall have three, five or more [words] identical, then as many wholly distinct, then two clauses or more, expressed in the same words but differing order; then a clause contained in one or two and not in the third [Gospel]; then several words identical; then a clause not only wholly distinct, but apparently inconsistent…

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

verbal agreements differences7
Verbal Agreements & Differences

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Book – unique – agree w 2 – agree w 1
  • Mark 40% 22% 38%
  • Matt 56% 14% 30%
  • Luke 67% 12% 21%

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

differences in order
Differences in Order

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Order is mainly the same.
    • Check any Synopsis.
  • Some differences do occur:
    • Healing Peter's m-in-law vs leper
    • Order of temptations
    • Order of cup & bread at Last Supper
  • Some complications
    • Correct text?
    • Same event?

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

overlap uniqueness
Overlap & Uniqueness

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

overlap uniqueness10
Canon/Content/Sections

1 – All Four – 74

2 – 3 Synoptics – 111

3 – Mt/Lk/Jn – 22

4 – Mt/Mk/Jn – 25

5 – Mt/Lk – 82

6 – Mt/Mk – 47

7 – Mt/Jn – 7

8 – Lk/Mk – 13

9 – Lk/Jn – 21

Canon/Content/Sections

10a – Matthew – 62

10b – Mark – 19

10c – Luke – 72

10d – John - 96

Overlap & Uniqueness

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

summary on overlap
Summary on Overlap

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Almost all of Mark is in Matthew or Luke.
  • Matthew & Luke have much in common that is not in Mark.
  • Matthew & Luke have much material unique to each.

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

early history
Early History

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Tatian's Diatessaron (c170)
  • The Canons of Eusebius (c330)
  • Augustine, Harmony of the Evangelists (c400)
    • Successive dependence Mt – Mk – Lk
  • Reformation Harmonies
    • Two different strategies
    • Lump or split?

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

modern history
Modern History

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Primitive Gospel (Urevangelium)
  • Successive Dependence
  • Fragmentary
  • Oral Tradition
  • Two Document
  • Four Document

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

primitive gospel urevangelium
Primitive Gospel (Urevangelium)

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Advantages:
    • Common source
    • Might have disappeared w/ language change
  • Problems:
    • No evidence for this document
    • If Aramaic Matthew, why so diff from Greek?
    • Order differences
    • Apparent discrepancies
    • Why did Mark pick only what is in Matt & Luke?

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

successive dependence
Successive Dependence

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Advantages:
    • No need to postulate missing documents.
  • Problems
    • Order not obvious
    • How verbal differences arise?
    • Where does later material come from?
    • How explain apparent discrepancies?

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

fragmentary
Fragmentary

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Advantages:
    • Luke 1 implies many attempts.
    • Gospels look like series of anecdotes.
    • Apparently a variety of sources used.
  • Problems:
    • Often used to reduce reliability of sources.
    • View shares problems of Form Criticism.
    • Probably some merit, but needs repair.

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

oral tradition
Oral Tradition

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Advantages:
    • Seems to have been an early oral period
    • But oral transmission is often very reliable
  • Problems:
    • Should not insist all sources were oral
    • Shorthand did exist in antiquity
    • Probably a combination of oral & written sources

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

two four document theories
Two & Four Document Theories

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Advantages:
    • Matt & Luke do follow Mark’s order.
    • When divergent, don’t follow each other.
  • Problems:
    • No evidence for Q, M, L.
    • Verbal differences peculiar for copying.
    • Why did Luke omit a large section of Mark?
    • Why did Matt follow Mark so slavishly?

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

a proposed solution
A Proposed Solution

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Gospels written by traditional authors, who used both oral and written sources.
  • Internal evidence looks like Mark is source for Matthew & Luke, but doesn't fit order of writing.
  • Suggest that Matt & Luke depend on oral form of Mark, i.e. the apostolic tradition.

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

how does this explain the similarities
How does this explain the similarities?

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • All depend on the life of Christ, real series of historical events.
  • All depend on oral teaching of Apostles.
  • Peter (source of Mark) was their spokesman.
  • Both Matthew & Luke used Jesus' oral teaching materials in addition.
  • Perhaps the disciples memorized his teaching.
  • Some notes were likely used.

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

how does this explain the differences
How does this explain the differences?

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Jesus teaching was repetitive.
  • Some of his actions were repeated.
  • Witnesses emphasize different features.
  • Oral repetition produces variation.
  • Gospel writers condensed materials.
  • They did not know everything.
  • They did not use all they knew.

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

how does this fit with inspiration
How does this fit with inspiration?

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

  • Inspiration is not usually dictation.
    • Authors have various styles.
    • Consistent with approximate language…
  • The accounts are harmonious.
    • But we may not be sure how to harmonize
  • Inspiration is a revealed doctrine, not an inductive one.
    • Like sinlessness of Christ, goodness of God

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks

the end

- newmanlib.ibri.org -

The End

But not the end of the debate!

Abstracts of Powerpoint Talks