The So-Called Triple, Double, and Single Traditions in the Synoptic Gospels
Chapter 2: The basic pattern of literary interdependence of the Synoptic Gospels 187
187 Chapter 2: The basic pattern of literary interdepend- ence of the Synoptic Gospels Finding the correct solution to the synoptic problem requires, first of all, estab- lishing in a most objective possible way the basic pattern of literary interde- pendence of the extant Synoptic Gospels. In order to fulfil this task, a set of criteria for ascertaining the existence and direction of possible direct literary de- pendence among the Synoptic Gospels has to be first established. Thereupon, the texts of the Synoptic Gospels have to be analysed with the use of this set of criteria. 2.1 Criteria for ascertaining the existence and direction of possible direct literary dependence among the Synoptic Gospels From a purely theoretical point of view, if there is evidence of some kind of lit- erary interdependence among three literary works, then there are eighteen possi- ble various patterns of such interdependence.1 Is it possible to determine, which one of them reflects a given actual case—for example, the case of the three Syn- optic Gospels? One of the important factors that contribute to the complexity of the synop- tic problem consists in the lack of generally accepted criteria for ascertaining the existence and direction of direct literary dependence between two literary works.2 Interested scholars know very well that the problems of determining relative literary priority and posteriority among, for example, differing versions of the so-called Community Rule or of the so-called Damascus Document are in fact very difficult to solve.3 Some scholars who deal with...
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