Synoptic Gospels

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Over three-quarters of Mark's content is found in both Matthew and Luke, and 97% of Mark is found in at least one of the other two synoptic gospels. Additionally, Matthew (24%) and Luke (23%) have material in common that is not found in Mark.[1]

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar or sometimes identical wording. They stand in contrast to John, whose content is largely distinct. The term synoptic (Latin: synopticus; Greek: συνοπτικός) comes via Latin from the Greek σύνοψις, synopsis, i.e. "(a) seeing all together, synopsis."

This strong parallelism among the three gospels in content, arrangement, and specific language is widely attributed by Biblical scholars to literary interdependence. The question of the precise nature of their literary relationship—the synoptic problem—has been a topic of debate for centuries. While no conclusive solution has been found yet, the longstanding majority view favors Marcan priority, in which both Matthew and Luke have made direct use of the Gospel of Mark as a source, and further holds that Matthew and Luke also drew from an additional hypothetical document, called Q.

The calming of the storm is recounted in each of the three synoptic gospels, but not in John.

Literary Structure

Common features

The sense of the term synoptic as it is applied to these three gospels suggests "giving an account of the events from the same point of view or under the same general aspect" and is a modern one.[2] The synoptic gospels share some similarities with the Gospel of John: they recount a life story of Jesus of Nazareth, all are composed in Koine Greek, have a similar length, were completed within a century of Jesus' death, and culminate in a passion narrative. However, they differ in fundamental ways from John in both the episodes recounted and the chronology of events. They also differ from non-canonical sources, such as the Gospel of Thomas which is largely a collection of sayings. The synoptics belong instead to the ancient genre of biography,[3][4] collecting not only Jesus' teachings, but recount in an ordered account his origins, his ministry, accounts of miracles, his passion, and resurrection.

In content and in wording, the synoptics diverge widely from John but have a great deal in common with each other. Though each gospel includes some unique material, the majority of Mark and roughly half of Matthew and Luke coincide in content, in much the same sequence, often nearly verbatim. This common material is termed the triple tradition.

Triple tradition

The triple tradition, the material included by all three synoptic gospels, includes many stories and teachings:

  • John the Baptist
  • Baptism and temptation of Jesus
  • First disciples of Jesus
  • Hometown rejection of Jesus
  • Healing of Peter's mother-in-law, demoniacs, a leper, and a paralytic
  • Call of the tax collector
  • New Wine into Old Wineskins
  • Man with withered hand
  • Commissioning the Twelve Apostles
  • The Beelzebul controversy
  • Teachings on the parable of the strong man, eternal sin, His true relatives, the parable of the sower, the lamp under a bushel, and the parable of the mustard seed
  • Calming the storm
  • The Gerasene demoniac

  • The daughter of Jairus and the bleeding woman
  • Feeding the 5000
  • Confession of Peter
  • Transfiguration
  • The demoniac boy
  • The little children
  • The rich young man
  • Jesus predicts his death
  • Blind near Jericho
  • Palm Sunday
  • Casting out the money changers
  • Render unto Caesar
  • Woes of the Pharisees
  • Second Coming Prophecy
  • The Last Supper, passion, crucifixion, and entombment
  • The empty tomb and resurrected Jesus
  • Great Commission

The triple tradition's pericopae (passages) tend to be arranged in much the same order in all three gospels. This stands in contrast to the material found in only two of the gospels, which is much more variable in order.[5][6]

The classification of text as belonging to the triple tradition (or the double tradition - see below) is not always definitive, depending on the degree of similarity considered to be required, which varies among scholars. Matthew and Mark report the cursing of the fig tree,[7][8] a single incident, despite some substantial differences of wording and content. In Luke, the only parable of the barren fig tree[9] is in a different point of the narrative. Some would say that Luke has extensively adapted an element of the triple tradition, while others would regard it as a distinct pericope.


Christ cleansing a leper by Jean-Marie Melchior Doze, 1864.

An illustrative example of the three texts in parallel is the healing of the leper:

Mt 8:2–3 Mk 1:40–42 Lk 5:12–13

Καὶ ἰδοὺ,
Κύριε, ἐὰν θέλῃς
δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι.
ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα
ἥψατο αὐτοῦ
Θέλω, καθαρίσθητι·
καὶ εὐθέως

αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα.

Καὶ ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτὸν
παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν
καὶ γονυπετῶν
καὶ λέγων αὐτῷ ὅτι,
Ἐὰν θέλῃς
δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι.
καὶ σπλαγχνισθεὶς
ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα
αὐτοῦ ἥψατο
καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ·
Θέλω, καθαρίσθητι·
καὶ εὐθὺς
ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ᾿
αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα,
καὶ ἐκαθαρίσθη.

Καὶ ἰδοὺ,
ἀνὴρ πλήρης λέπρας·
ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν
πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον
ἐδεήθη αὐτοῦ λέγων·
Κύριε, ἐὰν θέλῃς
δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι.
ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα
ἥψατο αὐτοῦ
Θέλω, καθαρίσθητι·
καὶ εὐθέως

ἡ λέπρα ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ᾿

And behold,
a leper came

and worships

him, saying:
Lord, if you wish,
I can be cleansed.

And he stretched out his
hand and touched him,
I wish it; be cleansed.
And immediately
his leprosy

was cleansed.

And, calling out to him,
there comes to him a leper

and kneeling and

saying to him:
If you wish,
I can be cleansed.
And, moved with compassion,
he stretched out his
hand and touched him
and says to him:
I wish it; be cleansed.
And immediately
the leprosy
left him,
and he was cleansed.

And behold,
a man full of leprosy.
But, upon seeing Jesus,
he fell upon his face
and requested
him, saying:
Lord, if you wish,
I can be cleansed.

And he stretched out his
hand and touched him,
I wish it; be cleansed.
And immediately
the leprosy
left him.

More than half the wording in this passage is identical. Each gospel includes words absent in the other two and omits something included by the other two.

Relation to Mark

Mark writing his Gospel, from a medieval Armenian manuscript.

The material considered to be part of the triple tradition constitutes a text that compares to a complete gospel quite similar to the shortest gospel, Mark.[5]

Mark, unlike Matthew and Luke, adds little to the triple tradition. Pericopae unique to Mark are scarce, notably two healings involving saliva[10] and the naked runaway.[11] Mark's additions within the triple tradition tend to be explanatory elaborations (e.g., "the stone was rolled back, (for it was very large.)[12]) or Aramaisms (e.g., "Talitha kum!"[13]). Mark also shares very few pericopae with Luke only: the Capernaum exorcism[14] and departure from Capernaum,[15] the strange exorcist,[16] and the widow's mites.[17] A greater number, but still only several are shared with only Matthew, most notably the so-called "Great Omission"[18] from Luke of Mark 6: 45 – 8: 26.

Most scholars take these observations as a strong clue of the literary relationship among the synoptics and Mark's special place in that relationship.[19] The hypothesis favored by most experts is Marcan priority. They argue that Mark was composed first, and Matthew and Luke each used Mark, incorporating much of it, with adaptations, into their own gospels. A leading alternative hypothesis is Marcan posteriority, with Mark having been formed primarily by extracting what Matthew and Luke shared in common.[5]

Double tradition

The preaching of John the Baptist in Matthew and Luke, with differences rendered in black.[20] Here the two texts agree verbatim, with an isolated exception, for a span of over sixty words. Mark has no parallel.

An extensive set of material—some two hundred verses, or roughly half the length of the triple tradition—are the pericopae shared between Matthew and Luke, but absent in Mark. This is termed the double tradition. Parables and other sayings predominate in the double tradition, but the pericopae also include narrative elements:[5]

  • Preaching of John the Baptist
  • Temptation of Jesus (which Mark summarizes in two verses)
  • The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew) or Plain (Luke)
  • The Centurion's servant
  • Messengers from John the Baptist
  • Woes to the unrepentant cities
  • Jesus thanks his Father
  • Return of the unclean spirit
  • Parables of the leaven, the lost sheep, the great banquet, the talents, and the faithful servant
  • Discourse against the scribes and Pharisees
  • Lament over Jerusalem

Unlike triple-tradition material, double-tradition material is structured differently in the two gospels. Matthew's lengthy Sermon on the Mount, for example, is paralleled by Luke's shorter Sermon on the Plain, with the remainder of its content scattered throughout Luke. This is consistent with the general pattern of Matthew collecting sayings into large blocks, while Luke intersperses them with narrative.[5]

Besides the double tradition proper, Matthew and Luke often agree against Mark within the triple tradition to varying extents, sometimes including several additional verses, sometimes differing by a single word. These are termed the major and minor agreements, although the distinction is imprecise.[5][21]). One example is found in the passion narrative, where Mark has the crowd simply say, "Prophesy!"[22] while Matthew and Luke both add, "Who is it that struck you?"[23][5]

The double tradition's origin, with its major and minor agreements, is a key facet of the synoptic problem. The simplest hypothesis is Luke relied on Matthew's work or vice versa. Still, many scholars, on various grounds, maintain that neither Matthew nor Luke used the other's work. If this is the case, scholars believe that they must have drawn from some common source, distinct from Mark, that provided the double-tradition material and overlapped with Mark's content where major agreements occur. This hypothetical document is termed Q, for the German Quelle, meaning "source."[5]

Special Matthew and Special Luke

Matthew and Luke contain a large amount of material found in no other gospel. These materials are sometimes called "Special Matthew" or M and "Special Luke" or L.

Both Special Matthew and Special Luke include distinctly different opening infancy narratives with different genealogies, and different post-resurrection conclusions (with Luke continuing the story in his second book Acts). In between, Special Matthew includes mostly parables, while Special Luke includes both parables and healings.

Special Luke is notable for containing a greater concentration of Semitisms than any other gospel material.[24]

Luke uniquely begins with a prologue, introducing the work as an account written to a friend, Theophilus (Lover of God). [25][3][26]

Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.[27]

Synoptic problem

The "synoptic problem" is the question of the specific literary relationship among the three synoptic gospels—that is, the question as to the source or sources each synoptic gospel writer used when writing his text. It has been described as "the most fascinating literary enigma of all time."[5]

The texts of the three synoptic gospels often agree very closely in wording and order, both in quotations and in narration. Most scholars ascribe this to documentary dependence, direct or indirect, meaning the close agreements among synoptic gospels are due to one gospel's drawing from the text of another, or from some written source that another gospel also used.[28]


The synoptic problem hinges on several interrelated points of controversy:

  • Priority: Which gospel was written first? (If one text draws from another, the source must have been composed first.)
  • Successive dependence: Did each of the synoptic gospels draw from each of its predecessors? (If not, the frequent agreements between the two independent gospels against the third must originate elsewhere.)
  • Lost written sources: Did any of the gospels draw from some earlier document which has not been preserved (e.g., the hypothetical "Q", or from earlier editions of other gospels)?
  • Oral sources: To what extent did each evangelist or literary collaborator[29] draw from personal knowledge, eyewitness accounts, liturgy, or other oral traditions to produce an original written account?
  • Translation: Jesus and others quoted in the gospels spoke primarily in Aramaic, but the gospels themselves in their oldest available form are each written in Koine Greek. Who performed the translations, and at what point?
  • Redaction: How and why did those who put the gospels into their final form expand, abridge, alter, or rearrange their sources?

Some theories also try to explain the relation of the synoptic gospels to John; to non-canonical gospels such as Thomas, Peter, and Egerton; to the Didache; and to lost documents such as the Hebrew logia mentioned by Papias, the Jewish–Christian gospels, and the Gospel of Marcion.

History of scholarly theories

A page of Griesbach's Synopsis Evangeliorum, which presents the texts of the synoptic gospels arranged in columns.

Ancient sources virtually unanimously ascribe the synoptic gospels to the apostle Matthew, to Peter's interpreter Mark, and to Paul's companion Luke—hence their respective canonical names.[30] The ancient authors, however, did not agree on which order the Gospels had been written. For example, Clement of Alexandria held that Matthew wrote first, Luke wrote second, and Mark wrote third.[31] Origen argued that Matthew wrote first, Mark wrote second and Luke wrote third.[32] Tertullian claimed that John and Matthew were published first and that Mark and Luke came later.[33]

A remark by Augustine of Hippo at the beginning of the fifth century presents the gospels as composed in their canonical order (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), with each evangelist thoughtfully building upon and supplementing the work of his predecessors—the Augustinian hypothesis (Matthew–Mark).[34]

This view (when any model of dependence was considered at all) seldom came into question until the late eighteenth century, when Johann Jakob Griesbach published in 1776 a synopsis of the synoptic gospels. Instead of harmonizing them, he displayed their texts side by side, making both similarities and divergences apparent. Griesbach, noticing the special place of Mark in the synopsis, hypothesized Marcan posteriority and advanced (as Henry Owen had a few years earlier[35]) the two-gospel hypothesis (Matthew–Luke).

Nineteenth Century

In the nineteenth century, researchers applied the tools of literary criticism to the synoptic problem in earnest, especially in German scholarship. Early work revolved around a hypothetical proto-gospel (Ur-Gospel), possibly in Aramaic, underlying the synoptics. From this line of inquiry, however, a consensus emerged that Mark itself served as the principal source for the other two gospels—Marcan priority.

In a theory first proposed by Christian Hermann Weisse in 1838, the double tradition was explained by Matthew and Luke independently using two sources—thus, the two-source (Mark–Q) theory—which supplemented Mark with another hypothetical source consisting mostly of sayings. This additional source was at first seen as the logia (sayings) spoken of by Papias and thus called "Λ,"[36] but later it became more generally known as "Q", from the German Quelle, meaning source.[37] This two-source theory eventually won wide acceptance and was seldom questioned until the late twentieth century. Most scholars simply took this new orthodoxy for granted and directed their efforts toward Q itself.

Twentieth Century

The theory is also well known in a more elaborate form set forth by Burnett Hillman Streeter in 1924, which additionally hypothesized written sources "M" and "L" (for "Special Matthew" and "Special Luke" respectively)—hence the influential four-document hypothesis. This exemplifies the prevailing scholarship of the time, which saw the canonical gospels as late products, dating from well into the second century, composed by unsophisticated cut-and-paste redactors out of a progression of written sources, and derived in turn from oral traditions and from folklore that had evolved in various communities.[5]

More recently, however, as this view has gradually fallen into disfavor, so too has the centrality of documentary interdependence and hypothetical documentary sources as an explanation for all aspects of the synoptic problem. In recent decades, weaknesses of the two-source theory have been more widely recognized, and debate has reignited. Many have independently argued that Luke did make some use of Matthew after all. British scholars went further and dispensed with Q entirely, ascribing the double tradition to Luke's direct use of Matthew—the Farrer hypothesis of 1955.[38] New attention is also being given to the Wilke hypothesis of 1838 which, like Farrer, dispenses with Q but ascribes the double tradition to Matthew's direct use of Luke. Meanwhile, the Augustinian hypothesis has also made a comeback, especially in American scholarship. The Jerusalem school hypothesis, which posits an earlier Hebrew biography of Jesus as a source, has also attracted fresh advocates, as has the Independence hypothesis, which denies documentary relationships altogether.

On this collapse of consensus, Wenham observed: "I found myself in the Synoptic Problem Seminar of the Society for New Testament Studies, whose members were in disagreement over every aspect of the subject. When this international group disbanded in 1982 they had sadly to confess that after twelve years' work they had not reached a common mind on a single issue."[39]

Twenty-first Century

More recently, Andris Abakuks applied a statistical time series approach to the Greek texts to determine the relative likelihood of these proposals. Models without Q fit reasonably well. Matthew and Luke were statistically dependent on their borrowings from Mark. This suggests at least one of Matthew and Luke had access to the other's work. The most likely synoptic gospel to be the last was Luke. The least likely was Mark. While this weighs against the Griesbach proposal and favors the Farrer, he does not claim any proposals are ruled out.[40]

No definitive solution to the Synoptic Problem has been found. The two-source hypothesis, which was dominant throughout the twentieth century, still enjoys the support of most New Testament scholars; however, it has come under substantial attack in recent years by a number of biblical scholars, who have attempted to relaunch the Augustinian hypothesis,[39] the Griesbach hypothesis[41] and the Farrer hypothesis.[42]

In particular, the existence of the Q source has received harsh criticism in the first two decades of the twenty-first century: scholars such as Mark Goodacre and Brant Pitre have pointed out that no manuscript of Q has ever been found, nor is any reference to Q ever made in the writings of the Church Fathers (or any ancient writings, in fact).[43][44][33] This has prompted E. P. Sanders and Margaret Davies to write that the Two-sources hypothesis, while still dominant, "is least satisfactory"[45] and Joseph Fitzmyer to state that the Synoptic Problem is "practically insoluble."[46]


Nearly every conceivable theory has been advanced as a solution to the synoptic problem.[47] The most notable theories include:

Notable synoptic theories
Priority Theory[48] Diagram Notes
Synoptic Theory Mk-Q en.png Most widely accepted theory. Matthew and Luke independently used Q, taken to be a Greek document with sayings and narrative.
Synoptic Farrer Theory Mk-Mt en.png Double tradition explained entirely by Luke's use of Matthew.
A hybrid of Two-source and Farrer. Q may be limited to sayings, may be in Aramaic, and may also be a source for Mark.
Synoptic Wilke Theory Mk-Lk en.png Double tradition explained entirely by Matthew's use of Luke.
Synoptic Theory 4SH en.png Matthew and Luke used Q. Only Matthew used M and only Luke used L.
Synoptic Theory Mt-Lk en.png Mark primarily has collected what Matthew and Luke share in common (Marcan posteriority).
Synoptic Augustinian Theory Mt-Mk en.png The oldest known view, still advocated by some. Mark's special place is neither priority nor posteriority, but as the intermediate between the other two synoptic gospels. Canonical order is based on this view having been assumed (at the time when New Testament Canon was finalized).
Jerusalem school
Synoptic Theory JSH en.png A Greek anthology (A), translated literally from a Hebrew original, was used by each gospel. Luke also drew from an earlier lost gospel, a reconstruction (R) of the life of Jesus reconciling the anthology with yet another narrative work. Matthew has not used Luke directly.
Marcion priority Priority of the Gospel of Marcion All gospels directly used the gospel of Marcion as their source, and have been influenced heavily by it.
Others or none Multi‑source Synoptic Theory MS en.png Each gospel drew from a different combination of hypothetical earlier documents.
Proto‑gospel Synoptic Theory Pt en.png The gospels each derive, all or some of, its material from a common proto-gospel (Ur-Gospel), possibly in Hebrew or Aramaic.
Synoptic Theory Mk+Q-Mt+Papias en.png Each document drew from each of its predecessors, including Logoi (Q+) and Papias' Exposition.
Independence Synoptic independence theory en.png Each gospel is an independent and original composition based upon oral history.


  1. A. M. Honoré, "A Statistical Study of the Synoptic Problem," Novum Testamentum 10(2/3) (1968):95–147. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  2. John A. Simpson, "Synopsis," Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1989, ISBN 0198611862).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2006, ISBN 0802831621), 65-66, 771.
  4. Pheme Perkins, Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2009, ISBN 978-0802865533), 2–11.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Mark Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem: A Way Through the Maze (London, U.K.: A&C Black 2001, ISBN 0567080560), 16, 20-21, 32, 38-41, 81, 108, 124-126, 145-152, 160-161. Retrieved January 3, 2023.
  6. David Neville, Mark's Gospel – Prior Or Posterior?: A Reappraisal of the Phenomenon of Order (London, U.K.: A&C Black, 2002, ISBN 1841272655).
  7. Matthew 21: 18–22.
  8. Mark 11: 12–24.
  9. Luke 13: 6–9.
  10. Mark 7: 33–36; 8: 22–26.
  11. Mark 14: 51–52.
  12. Mark 16: 4.
  13. Mark 5:41.
  14. Mark 1:23–28, Luke 4:33–37.
  15. Mark 1: 35–38, Luke 4: 42–43.
  16. Mark 9:38–41, Luke 9: 49–50.
  17. Mark 12: 41–44, Luke 21:1–4.
  18. Robert H. Stein, Luke: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 1992, ISBN 0805401245), 29–30.
  19. John S. Kloppenborg, Excavating Q: The History and Setting of the Sayings Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000, ISBN 1451411553), 20–28.
  20. Matthew 3: 7–10 & Luke 3: 7–9. Text from 1894 Scrivener New Testament.
  21. Mark Goodacre, "Mark-Q Overlaps IV: Back to the Continuum," NT Blog, November 14, 2007. Retrieved January 3, 2023.
  22. Mark 14: 65.
  23. Matthew 26: 68, Luke 22: 64.
  24. James R. Edwards, The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans 2009, ISBN 978-0802862341), 141–48.
  25. While his account of creating the gospel is plausible, the device is likely a literary technique.
  26. Loveday Alexander, The Preface to Luke's Gospel (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521018811).
  27. Luke 1: 1–4.
  28. Mark Goodacre, "Synoptic Problem," in Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation ed. Steven McKenzie (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2013, ISBN 978-0199832262). Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  29. Compare: John Watts, Who Were the Writers of the New Testament?: The "evidence" Shown to be Untrustworthy Both as to the Time and Authors of the Several Gospels (London, U.K.: George Abington, 1860), 9. Retrieved January 12, 2024. "Hennell, in his 'Origin of Christianity,' says that:- 'Some one after Matthew wrote the Greek Gospel which has come down to us, incorporating part of the Hebrew one, whence it was called the Gospel according to Matthew, and, in the second century, came to be considered as the work of the Apostle.'
  30. Martin Hengel, The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ: An investigation of the collection and origin of the Canonical Gospels (London, U.K.: Bloomsbury Academic 2000, ISBN 1563383004), 34–115.
  31. Eusebius, Church History, Book 6, Chapter 14, Paragraphs 6–10, trans. Paul L. Maier (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2007, ISBN 978-0825433078).
  32. Eusebius, Church History, Book 6, Chapter 25, Paragraphs 3–6.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Brant Pitre, The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ (New York, NY: Crown Publishing Group, 2016, ISBN 978-0770435493), 95–96. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  34. David L. Dungan, A History of the Synoptic Problem: The canon, the text, the composition and the interpretation of the Gospels (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999, ISBN 0385471920), 112-144.
  35. Henry Owen, Observations on the Four Gospels, tending chiefly to ascertain the time of their Publication, and to illustrate the form and manner of their Composition (London, U.K.: T. Payne, 1764). Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  36. The capital form of the Greek letter lambda λ, corresponding to l, used here to abbreviate logia (Greek: λόγια).
  37. Dieter Lührmann, "Q: Sayings of Jesus or Logia?" in The Gospel Behind the Gospels: Current Studies on Q ed. Ronald Allen Piper (Leiden, ND: Brill Academic, 1995, ISBN 9004097376), 97–102.
  38. A.M. Farrer, "On Dispensing With Q," in Studies in the Gospels: Essays in Memory of R. H. Lightfoot ed. D.E. Nineham, (Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell, 1955), 55-88. "The literary history of the Gospels will turn out to be a simpler matter than we had supposed. St. Matthew will be seen to be an amplified version of St. Mark, based on a decade of habitual preaching, and incorporating oral material, but presupposing no other literary source beside St. Mark himself. St. Luke, in turn, will be found to presuppose St. Matthew and St. Mark, and St. John to presuppose the three others. The whole literary history of the canonical Gospel tradition will be found to be contained in the fourfold canon itself, except in so far as it lies in the Old Testament, the Pseudepigrapha, and the other New Testament writings. [...] Once rid of Q, we are rid of a progeny of nameless chimaeras, and free to let St. Matthew write as he is moved.
  39. 39.0 39.1 John Wenham, Redating Matthew, Mark, & Luke: A Fresh Assault on the Synoptic Problem (Westmont, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992, ISBN 0830817603), xxi.
  40. Andris Abakuks, The Synoptic Problem and Statistics (London, U.K.: Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2014, ISBN 978-1466572010).
  41. David Alan Black, Why Four Gospels? (Cantonment, FL: Energion Publications, 2010, ISBN 978-1631992506). Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  42. John C. Poirier and Jeffrey Peterson, Marcan Priority Without Q: Explorations in the Farrer Hypothesis (London, U.K.: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015, ISBN 978-0567367563). Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  43. Mark Goodacre, The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem (London, U.K.: A&C Black, 2002, ISBN 978-1563383342). Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  44. Mark S. Goodacre and Nicholas Perrin, Questioning Q: A Multidimensional Critique (Westmont, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0281056132). Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  45. E. P. Sanders and Margaret Davies, Studying the Synoptic Gospels (London, U.K.: SCM Press, 1989, 978-0334023425), 117. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  46. David G. Buttrick, Jesus and Man's Hope (Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 1970), 132. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  47. Stephen C. Carlson, "Synoptic Problem,", September 29, 2004. Retrieved January 12, 2024. Carlson lists over twenty of the major ones, with citations of the literature.
  48. Though eponymous and some haphazard structural names are prevalent in the literature, a systematic structural nomenclature is advocated by Stephen C. Carlson, "Naming the synoptic theories,", November 6, 2003. Retrieved January 28, 2024, and these names are also provided. The exception is the hypothesis of the priority of the Gospel of Marcion which is not part of their nomenclatures.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Abakuks, Andris. The Synoptic Problem and Statistics. London, U.K.: Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2014. ISBN 978-1466572010
  • Alexander, Loveday. The Preface to Luke's Gospel. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2005. ISBN 0521018811
  • Bauckham, Richard Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2006. ISBN 0802831621
  • Black, David Alan. Why Four Gospels? Cantonment, FL: Energion Publications, 2010. ISBN 978-1631992506
  • Buttrick, David G. Jesus and Man's Hope. Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 1970. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  • Dungan, David L. A History of the Synoptic Problem: The canon, the text, the composition and the interpretation of the Gospels. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999. ISBN 0385471920
  • Edwards, James R. The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans 2009. ISBN 978-0802862341
  • Eusebius. Church History, Book 6, Chapter 14, Paragraphs 6–10, translated by Paul L. Maier. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2007. ISBN 978-0825433078
  • Goodacre, Mark. The Synoptic Problem: A Way Through the Maze. London, U.K.: A&C Black, 2001. ISBN 0567080560
  • Goodacre, Mark. The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem. London, U.K.: A&C Black, 2002. ISBN 978-1563383342
  • Goodacre, Mark. "Synoptic Problem," in Oxford Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation edited by Steven McKenzie. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-0199832262
  • Goodacre, Mark S., and Nicholas Perrin. Questioning Q: A Multidimensional Critique. Westmont, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0281056132
  • Hengel, Martin. The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ: An investigation of the collection and origin of the Canonical Gospels. London, U.K.: Bloomsbury Academic, 2000. ISBN 1563383004
  • Kloppenborg, John S. Excavating Q: The History and Setting of the Sayings Gospel. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000. ISBN 1451411553
  • Lührmann, Dieter. "Q: Sayings of Jesus or Logia?" in The Gospel Behind the Gospels: Current Studies on Q edited by Ronald Allen Piper. Leiden, ND: Brill Academic, 1995. ISBN 9004097376
  • Neville, David. Mark's Gospel – Prior Or Posterior?: A Reappraisal of the Phenomenon of Order London, U.K.: A&C Black, 2002. ISBN 1841272655
  • Owen, Henry. Observations on the Four Gospels, tending chiefly to ascertain the time of their Publication, and to illustrate the form and manner of their Composition. London, U.K.: T. Payne, 1764. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
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  • Poirier, John C., and Jeffrey Peterson. Marcan Priority Without Q: Explorations in the Farrer Hypothesis. London, U.K.: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015. ISBN 978-0567367563
  • Sanders, E.P., and Margaret Davies. Studying the Synoptic Gospels. London, U.K.: SCM Press, 1989. 978-0334023425
  • Simpson, John A. "Synopsis," Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1989, ISBN 0198611862
  • Stein, Robert H. Luke: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 1992. ISBN 0805401245
  • Watts, John. Who Were the Writers of the New Testament?: The "evidence" Shown to be Untrustworthy Both as to the Time and Authors of the Several Gospels. London, U.K.: George Abington, 1860. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  • Wenham, John. Redating Matthew, Mark, & Luke. Westmont, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. ISBN 0830817603
  • Wenham, John. Redating Matthew, Mark and Luke: A Fresh Assault on the Synoptic Problem. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1992. ISBN 978-1725276642

External links

All links retrieved January 4, 2023.


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