The So-Called Triple, Double, and Single Traditions in the Synoptic Gospels
Chapter 3: Mark’s use of his sources 227
227 Chapter 3: Mark’s use of his sources It is widely assumed in modern biblical scholarship that the Gospel of Mark was written as the first among the Synoptic Gospels and that it served as a literary model for the two subsequent ones (Lk and Mt). The above-presented analysis of the pattern of literary interdependence of the Synoptic Gospels in Mk 1:14- 2:28 parr. confirmed the correctness of this basic assumption. Several scholars argue, however, that Mk was, in turn, composed on the basis of some earlier Gospels or Gospel-like works, which are identified as (in various combinations) Q, units of oral tradition, Proto-Mk, Proto-Mt, Proto-Lk, common protogospel, Mt, or Lk. A comprehensive solution to the synoptic prob- lem has to provide therefore an satisfactory answer to the notoriously difficult question of the origin of Mk. Scholars usually try to solve this problem by means of analytic investiga- tions of relatively small textual units of Mk. They try to identify their literary form, internal structure, distinct vocabulary, and other textual features, as com- pared to parallel texts especially in other Gospels, and on this basis they attempt to reconstruct their plausible origin. After several decades of research it is evi- dent, however, that such an approach does not yield satisfactory, unquestionable results. Consequently, another, more synthetic approach to the issue of the literary origin of Mk should be adopted. The research should aim not only at investigat- ing plausible origins of small textual units of Mk, but also,...
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