The Synoptic Problem
- Before a clarification.
Re: The Facts
> The Real Yuri wants to stand up and be counted here, folks.This was not against the Real Yuri!
> Hello reality, Wieland and Jeremy!
I just needed some character here. (And you even got Jesus place!)
This was against too much speculation in general.
Yuri Kuchinsky is - in fact - a good fighter for the facts. We all know
this. Everyone should read his work about Secret Mark!
Hey Yuri, together we stand!
About the Synoptic Problem:
Do you all agree, that with the facts we have, we cannot really solve
the Synoptic Problem (as defined, see below, some month ago)? - What is
our job then? Is there a possibility to establish ONE scientific way to
come as near as possible to "the truth"?
There are several hypotheses. They have all some substantial arguments.
But there are always some counter-arguments. I see this newsgroup
circling around the problem without comming nearer the center. Every
week or so, someone injects some new (old!) argument: "Hey in Mark or
Luke I have found this and that. Isn't this a good argument for
How do we have to weight all these arguments?
The Synoptic Ppoblem reminds me of Astronomy. It is similar, because,
they have the 'Universe', but cannot perform any experiments on it.
Nevertheless they try to explain its origin. They improve their methods
to measure it out. And they profit a lot from particle physics. Here we
also have a majority view (the Big Bang = the Q Gospel), but also some
minor views (Steady State etc.).
Do we have an equivalent to particle physics? What experiments can we
Job for the week: Give me one good experiment!
The Definition of the Synoptic Problem:
The synoptic problem is an inquiry into the existence and nature of the
literary relationship between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and
Sure puts it in a nutshell for me...except I would say ".....
the direct (dependence on each other) and indirect (dependence on
sources) relationship between....."
Good succinct definition. I would add "and the investigation of
reonstructed non-surviving sources."
But presumably we are talking about WRITTEN sources here,
however hypothetical, and not just about oral tradition, I presume.
Carl W. Conrad
"The synoptic problem is (1) an inquiry into the existence and nature
of the literary relationship between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark,
and Luke,(2)investigation of reconstructed non-surviving written
sources, and (3)exploration of the influence of oral tradition upon
the development of manuscripts of these gospels."
Mahlon H. Smith
"What could have happened in the writing of the gospels of
Matthew, Mark and Luke,to produce these striking similarities and
I think that the following is a fair and objective definition of the
synoptic problem -
"The synoptic problem is to put forward a hypothesis of the links
between the synoptic gospels which is compatible with all the
similarities and differences observable in them."
It would seem to me also
that we need to take into account what the post-apostolic church
tells us about the interrelationship.
- Wieland Willker wrote -
>Job for the week: Give me one good experiment!In science, experiments come in two types - (a) thought experiments (b)
practical experiments. A scientist knows that an experiment is "good"
after s/he has carried it out, not in advance of doing it.
If you want a straightforward thought experiment, followed by a
practical, and then an evaluation, try -
Assignment part 1 - Think of the simplest documentary hypothesis which
can account not only for all that could be accounted for by the
Griesbach Hypothesis but which can account also for all that could be
accounted for by the Farrer Hypothesis. State your reasoning.
Assignment part 2 - Follow up the result of part 1 to check from a
synopsis that the hypothesis you have formulated also accounts for
synoptic patterns which can be accounted for by neither the Griesbach
Hypothesis nor the Farrer Hypothesis.
Assignment part 3 - On the basis of the results of the previous two
parts, give reasons for affirming that the experiments carried out
are/are not good.
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- Sorry, but you got me wrong.
I meant: Is there an equivalent to Particle Physics (in Astronomy) in
Synoptic research? That is a science that can be used to perform
practical experiments to assist answering questions of the Synoptic
Problem (like Particle Physics helps answering the question of how the
Universe came into being).
> A scientist knows that an experiment is "good"This is not correct. A "good" experiment is an experiment that answers
> after s/he has carried it out, not in advance of doing it.
important questions with the minimum effort. For the Big Bang, you would
need a cyclotron as large as the earth (minimum effort!). We cannot do
this (at the moment), but nevertheless it is a good experiment.
Our models should be as simple as possible, but all the existing models
are too simple. Therefore none can be generally accepted. Btw., Yuri
recently pointed out:
"All the 4 gospels depend on each other. The secondary stage of Mk
depends on the other 2 Synoptics, plus on Jn. Just wait until I write
all this stuff out in detail."
Oh, and he even added: "There is no 'Synoptic Problem'."
Yuri enlighten us PLEASE!
- On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, Wieland Willker wrote:
> Btw., Yuri recently pointed out:Wieland,
> "All the 4 gospels depend on each other. The secondary stage of Mk
> depends on the other 2 Synoptics, plus on Jn. Just wait until I write
> all this stuff out in detail."
> Oh, and he even added: "There is no 'Synoptic Problem'."
> Yuri enlighten us PLEASE!
This is such a big question that it's even difficult to know where to
I've addressed various aspects of the Synoptic problem on the list for the
last few months. I suppose the best way to disentangle all this is to
start with the history of Mk?
In any case, did you read the long article I posted about this in August?
This should be a good introduction to the way I feel about the Synoptic
problem. Now that article is available on my webpage, so here it is
See what you think.
Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto
The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian