Reicke On Gospel Independence - Part 1

Reicke begins his book The Roots of the Synoptic Gospels with a chapter which briefly details the history of the discussion of synoptic relations. It seemed to be just fine, but the meat of his argument did not begin until chapter two.

His second chapter was on the distribution of the material in the synoptics. From what I could see he had two basic main points. My guess is that they will be very important in his argument later in the book. The first is that the double traditions of Matthew and Luke rarely share contexts. In the triple tradition of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, this is not usually the case because they generally seem to follow the order of Mark. However, because they do not follow the same order this argues both against one using the other and both using the same secondary source for their overlapping double tradition material (Q).

His second point, which he did not develop in any detail, is that the data in the triple tradition material also points away from literary dependence because of what he called a "zigzag" pattern in the material. In the same pericope some clauses will agree between Matthew and Mark, in others between Mark and Luke, and others between Matthew and Luke. To Reicke, the constant interweaving of this pattern argues for literary independence.

My initial thought on both is that they both are valid hypotheses. They actually make quite a bit of sense; but will they stand up to the actual data? That question will have to wait for now! I must say that I am getting a great deal more out of this material than the last I read on an independence theory.

It is interesting that he is still using "Q" to denote the overlap of Matthew and Luke without Mark though he denies the existence of a Logia saying source of any kind. Apparently he likes the shorthand.