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defining the synoptic problem

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    I agree with Tom R. W. Longstaff s definition - ... I think the definition I gave is very similar in meaning, though in different wording. It s great to know
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 11 6:28 AM
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      I agree with Tom R. W. Longstaff's definition -

      >For me the synoptic problem is the problem of explaining the complex
      >pattern of similarity and dissimilarity (agreement and divergence)
      >that emerges when the texts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are compared
      >with one another. Theories may be limited to the strict comparison of
      >written texts (with due consideration to source criticism) or may
      >include suggestions about the viability of an oral tradition. Indeed
      >many hypotheses will include elements of both.

      I think the definition I gave is very similar in meaning, though in
      different wording.

      It's great to know that the co-editor of "J. J. Griesbach: Synoptic and
      Text-Critical Studies 1776-1976" (Cambridge, 1978) is subscribed to
      Synoptic-L. I bought this book within days of it being published at
      Cambridge. I hope it is still in print. It contains a superb
      contribution by Heinrich Greeven (translated by Robert Althann) entitled
      'The Gospel synopsis from 1766 to the present day', which I think
      everyone studying the synoptic problem should read and re-read. After
      all, it was the introduction of the synopsis which enabled the critical
      study of the relationship between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke
      to take off. In any case, Greeven's article is well-written, very
      interesting, and even ends with the words "computer bank".

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON
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