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5048How to Summarize Current State of Opinion

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  • Joseph Weaks
    Jul 23, 2014
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      I've had conversation with colleagues before that it is difficult to summarize the level of current opinion on Synoptic theory among NT scholars that work with the synoptic data. We don't take a straw poll each year at SBL. One's assessment of the current state is based entirely on one's perspective, which by definition, is skewed.
      It seems obvious to me, for instance, that:
      - There are less Griesbachian/Matthew priority affirmers than 20 years ago.
      - That Farrer-Goulder-Goodacre affirmers have grown in the last decade
      - And that it follows that it is now a smaller majority of 2-Source affirmers. 
      But how does one substantiate that? How "much" of a change in each instance? I simply do not think the answer is "Survey the authors of the Matt/Mark/Luke commentaries from the last 5 years".

      Here is a sentence I have in a draft, intended as a quick summary for primarily OT scholars and students. Suggestions for improvement/correction?

      "When it comes to source criticism in the gospels of the New Testament, a near consensus of scholars affirm the priority of Mark, as well as Matthew’s and Luke’s dependency on Mark as a source. A smaller majority of gospel source specialists also affirm the independence of Matthew and Luke from each other, whereby each relied upon Mark as a primary source, in addition to an unknown source (“Q”) from which they both draw the traditions they share in common but that are not found in Mark."

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