The So-Called Triple, Double, and Single Traditions in the Synoptic Gospels
General conclusions 441
441 General conclusions Great Augustine was right. The Synoptic Gospels were composed in a linear pattern of direct, sequential literary dependence. However, the order of their composition was not Mt-Mk-Lk, as it was assumed by Augustine, but somewhat different, namely (Paul)-Mk-Lk-(Acts)-Mt. The arguments that prove this thesis and the results of the above-presented analyses may be summarized in a few points. 1. The detailed analysis of the pattern of literary interdependence of the Synoptic Gospels and of their hypertextual dependence on their sources revealed that the hypothesis of the existence of a common Mt-Lk source (the so-called ‘Q’), which dominated the research on the Synoptic Gospels for over a hundred years, has to be entirely rejected. On close investigation, the hypothetical ‘Q’ source turned out to be an artificial scholarly product of a superficial comparison of the sections of Mt and Lk that are not paralleled in Mk. The scholarly error resulted from not recognizing the fact that Mt is literarily dependent on Lk. The analysis of the axiomatic structure of the Q hypothesis revealed that its strength lay mainly in its having been combined in the beginning of the twenti- eth century with the form-critical research on the Gospels (the so-called Form- geschichte). This method of research was based on a post-Romantic assumption that Gospel pericopes and sayings were for a considerable period of time trans- mitted orally, in form of small textual units that were originally independent of one another. This uncritical assumption led scholars...
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