Next Steps In Synoptic Problem Studies

Here are my next steps in solving the synoptic problem for myself:

  1. Read Bo Reicke’s The Roots of the Synoptic Gospels to get a better grasp of the Independent theory of solving the synoptic problem.
  2. Next is Rethinking the Synoptic Problem ed. by Black and Beck. This book has defenses for both the two-document hypothesis (Markan priority) as well as the Griesbach hypothesis (Matthean priority).
  3. Next I’ll begin taking notes and applying principles to actual gospel pericopes. Eventually you have to move on from reading people’s books to actually checking the data yourself!
  4. I’ll start with a focus on the arguments and rational behind the two-document hypothesis as modern Griesbach proponents will be largely trying to fight them. So I need to understand them first. Stein’s Studying the Synoptic Gospels will be my first text in that regard. I read it a few years ago, but need to re-educate the noggin. I’ll supplement that with McKnight’s Interpreting the Synoptic Gospels.
  5. Before moving on to ol’ Griesbach, I’ll spend some time with the Markan-Hypothesis-Without-Q position, and will read Goodacre’s The Case Against Q.
  6. Next, Griesbach. I’ll read (reread really, as it has been a number of years) Farmer’s very influential The Synoptic Problem, and will supplement with Black’s Why Four Gospels?.
  7. That will all take a very long time, but then I will look at Sanders’ and Davies’ Studying the Synoptic Problem, as it apparently takes a different route than the others.
  8. I picked up Johnson’s The Griesbach Hypothesis and Redaction Criticism really cheap a while back. It’s a two-document hypothesis book, and maybe I’ll read that next.

These are all books that I currently own. I have some birthday money still left over, so if anyone has some recommendations for books on the synoptic problem, or recommendations in general on approaching this, I am open to hearing them.


Stephen C. Carlson 2007-12-01 01:19:32

Best of luck on your quest!

What’s most important is that you familiarize with the fundamental data, that is, you should take a synopsis and color in and/or underline the parallels yourself.

Eric 2007-12-01 02:00:55

Thanks Stephen! I will certainly be doing that.