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The Evangelicals and the Synoptic Problem

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Michael Strickland

The Evangelicals and the Synoptic Problem aims to investigate how evangelical Christians and their Protestant forebears, labeled early orthodox Protestants, have dealt with the classic puzzle of New Testament criticism known as the Synoptic Problem. The particular theories considered are the Independence Hypothesis, the Augustinian Hypothesis, the Two-Gospel Hypothesis, the Two-Source Hypothesis, and the Farrer Hypothesis.
Starting with John Calvin and continuing to the modern day, consideration is given to the various hypotheses provided by early orthodox Protestant and evangelical biblical scholars throughout the centuries. Special attention is given to major evangelical contributors to the subject since 1950. In addition, a chapter is devoted to the role ecclesiology has played in evangelical consideration of the synoptic problem. After analyzing the opinions offered over almost half a millennium, it is compelling to note how arguments have changed and how they have remained the same.
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Acknowledgments

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I first became interested in the Synoptic Problem while a graduate student at Lipscomb University. As Dr. Mark Black was leading the class through various explanations of how the gospels came to be, I remember asking myself, “Is it alright to be doing this?” This question began a long investigation into how various Christians have, over the centuries, dealt with the relationship between Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This book represents the culmination of my studies into the subject, first offered as my doctoral dissertation (and accepted in April of 2012) at the University of Birmingham, England. My findings are presented here in condensed form.

I was fortunate enough to have two of the most respected scholars in their fields serve as my doctoral supervisors. First, Professor Mark Goodacre, who was kind enough to accept me under his supervision, helped me launch my research and offered guidance with regard to the Synoptic Problem (as well as good conversations about football, America, pudding, etc.). When he left Birmingham for Duke University in 2005, Professor David Parker agreed to take me as his student. He offered insightful critique and appropriate motivation to help me see the project through. I am most grateful to both these men for their guidance and scholarship.

I benefited greatly from the wisdom of the examiners of my oral defence (viva voce), Professors Philip Burton and David Wenham. Dr. Burton especially helped me with Latin translation and kind encouragement in my revisions. And, of course,...

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