## method

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• ... Nan Doerr replied - ... My definition is - The synoptic problem is to put forward a hypothesis of the links between the synoptic gospels which is
Message 1 of 3 , Feb 12, 1998
Brian Wilson wrote:
> I wonder whether there is a definition of the synoptic problem which
> includes a method of solving it?
Nan Doerr replied -
>Brian, it appears to me that if such a definition (including a method
>for solution) existed, then the problem would already be solved and
>there would be no reason for this forum.

My definition is - "The synoptic problem is to put forward a hypothesis
of the links between the synoptic gospels which is compatible with the
patterns of similarities and differences of wording and order observed
in the synoptic gospels."

I am not suggesting that my method (which is stated below) is included
in the above definition, though perhaps the method can be partly
inferred from the definition.

The method I use is to take one synoptic hypothesis at a time and check
that it is compatible with all observed patterns of similarities and
differences of wording and order observed in the synoptic gospels (for
example, the triple tradition, the minor agreements, the doublets unique
to each synoptic gospel, the existence of material special to each
synoptic gospel, and so on). If a hypothesis is shown not to be
compatible with one or more patterns observed, then it is not a
solution. If it is compatible with all the observed patterns, then it
does solve the synoptic problem. If more than one solution is obtained,
these should be listed.

Using this method, I have found one solution to the synoptic problem as
defined above. I know of no others, except trivial complications of it.

I would be very interested to hear what others have to say about
my method or their own methods of solving the synoptic problem.

Best wishes,

BRIAN WILSON
• ... Greetings, I am normally very sceptical about any hypothesis dealing with the synoptic problem that claims to being able to explain just about any
Message 2 of 3 , Feb 13, 1998
Brian Wilson wrote:

>Brian Wilson wrote:
>> I wonder whether there is a definition of the synoptic problem which
>> includes a method of solving it?

>Nan Doerr replied -
>>Brian, it appears to me that if such a definition (including a method
>>for solution) existed, then the problem would already be solved and
>>there would be no reason for this forum.

Brian replied:
>My definition is - "The synoptic problem is to put forward a hypothesis
>of the links between the synoptic gospels which is compatible with the
>patterns of similarities and differences of wording and order observed
>in the synoptic gospels."
>
>I am not suggesting that my method (which is stated below) is included
>in the above definition, though perhaps the method can be partly
>inferred from the definition.
>
>The method I use is to take one synoptic hypothesis at a time and check
>that it is compatible with all observed patterns of similarities and
>differences of wording and order observed in the synoptic gospels (for
>example, the triple tradition, the minor agreements, the doublets unique
>to each synoptic gospel, the existence of material special to each
>synoptic gospel, and so on). If a hypothesis is shown not to be
>compatible with one or more patterns observed, then it is not a
>solution. If it is compatible with all the observed patterns, then it
>does solve the synoptic problem. If more than one solution is obtained,
>these should be listed.
>
>Using this method, I have found one solution to the synoptic problem as
>defined above. I know of no others, except trivial complications of it.
>
>I would be very interested to hear what others have to say about
>my method or their own methods of solving the synoptic problem.

Greetings,

I am normally very sceptical about any hypothesis
dealing with the synoptic problem that claims to being
able to explain just about any incongruity in the texts that
are available to us. Specially if the price to be paid for explaining
everything is postulating a plethora of hypothetical sources
that lie behind our present texts. Brian is as far as I know
postulating at least two totally unknown hypothetical documents
in his 2 Notebook hypothesis. A scholar like Boismard comes
up with an even greater amount of hypothetical documents -
protogospels and different editions abound in his solution to
the synoptic problem.
A hypothesis like the Farrer one may not be able to
explain just about everything down to the most minimal
jota, but I think it is enough if it can explain things to
a fairly high degree without resorting to a lot of crisscrossing
hypothetical documents.

Best wishes

Antonio Jerez
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