The Synoptic Problem

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Solving the Synoptic Problem

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the four narrators for the Gospels. The Gospel “offers distinctive information about Jesus, his public ministry, death, Resurrection, and significance” (Mueller 80). Each of the four Gospels were written at different times, and without collaboration. Due to the differences of chronological order, the order in which events took place, vocabulary, the overall contents, and similarities the Synoptic Problem was created. The Synoptic problem refers to the discussion and the relationship between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The main question that the Synoptic problem posses is what is the nature of the relationship between the three Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, which was written first, and what sources were used in each of them? With the exception of John, the Gospels have many different similarities in the text, passages, and the specific arrangements of those passages. The reason for the Gospel written by John not being included in the synoptic problem is that there are very few agreements in the text compared to those of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. “The synoptic gospels are synoptic in that they share a majority of their information. Mark contains 93% shared information, Matthew 58% and Luke contains 41%. The Gospel of John in the only gospel that is not considered part of the synoptic gospels because it is 92% peculiar, or dissimilar in its structure and makeup” (Linderer 2). Although each of the Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, and Luke have similar text when it comes to the life of Jesus, his ministry, and his death, there are still distinctive differences and at times contradictory details. This proposes many questions, and many theories on the synoptic problem. There are several different widely known theories, or solutions, on how to solve the synoptic problem.…...

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