The So-Called Triple, Double, and Single Traditions in the Synoptic Gospels
Introduction: The Q source and the so-called synoptic ‘traditions’ 17
17 Introduction: The Q source and the so-called synop- tic ‘traditions’ The synoptic problem seems to be a very technical issue, which is studied with passion by a narrow group of scholars who seek a solution to a literary-historical riddle instead of studying the theology of the inspired Gospels. Such a percep- tion of the synoptic problem is based on grave misunderstanding of its impor- tance for the exegesis of the Synoptic Gospels and for the theology and hermeneutics of the New Testament as a whole. “When we recognize the solu- tion to the Synoptic problem to be a central building block in our understanding of how to answer questions about the trustworthiness of the Gospels and the distinctive theologies of each evangelist, we cannot help but appreciate its im- portance.”1 Let us ask a simple question, has Mark ever seen or heard the so-called ‘Q source’? Every New Testament scholar realizes that any answer to this simple question is of crucial importance for interpretation of most probably the earliest Gospel and consequently also of the later gospels of Matthew and Luke. If Mark knew the ‘Q source’, he must have given some response to the ideas expressed in that work. In such a case, what was his response? Did he value ‘Q’, or did he rather disregard it? Did he use that source in its entirety or only selected parts thereof? Did he follow its literary structure and wording, or did he rather thoroughly rework it? Did he...
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