In our newest video, Professor Mark Goodacre (Duke University) sat down with us to discuss some of the key issue surrounding the “Synoptic Problem.” Professor Goodacre suggests that, perhaps, scholars have been to0 dependent upon the hypothetical source called “Q” and instead offers us a different way forward when considering the Synoptic problem.
Urbs and Polis aims to encourage and support the study of early Christianity within its Greco-Roman context from Christian origins to the Patristic period. We aspire to be an intellectual hub for ongoing scholarly discussion concerning the social, economic, cultural, and political context from which early Christianity originated and developed.
I have not really explored the synoptic problem, but I am curious.
You mentioned that there are passages in Luke and Matthew that are almost identical and that this is “too good to be Q”. Isn’t this point undermined by your later observations that the birth narratives are totally different and the sermon on the mount is somewhat different? Why would Luke be inconsistent in how he used Matthew?
As you know, Matthew was the most popular gospel in the early days. Have you explored the ways in which ‘scribes’ corrupted Luke’s gospel to harmonize it with Matthew? What about the possibility that such harmonizations, if they happened early enough, could have infected all surviving manuscripts? Couldn’t that explain some common features of the two gospels? I think there was a tendency for additions to spread like that, but not omissions. Are there any cases in the triple tradition where both Luke and Matthew omit the same word that Mark includes?