Synoptic Problem

Sun-optic (synoptic)ówith one eye

Confidence church saw differences and didnít correct or try to harmonize them.†

What does that say about their belief in the sanctity of† the text and also its historical reliability?

Why not legend? time & corroborating eyewitnesses

Wouldnít things be covered up like disciples dumbness, tax-collectors, Samaritans, unbelief of disciples, familyÖ.Peterís denials


Same broad chronological order

Same wording in many passages

Healing of the Paralytic: Mat 9:6; Mk 2:10; Lk 5:24

Mat 9:6† But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sin...Ē Then he said to the paralytic.

Mk 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sin....Ē† He said to the paralytic.

Lk 5:24:† But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...Ē† He said to the paralyzed man.†

John Bapt. OT quote: Mat 3:3;† Mk 1:3;† Lk 3:4

†This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:† A voice of one calling in the desert, ďPrepare the way for the LORD make straight paths for him.Ē† =LXX

A voice of one calling:† ďIn the desert prepare the way for the LORD make straight..† = Massoretic Text Isa. 40:3

Similarities Ė Wescottís Percentages

Gospel††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Differences ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Similarities








LukeMattMarkSynoptic Overlap








Differences: QC TON

Order† -- Mat 4/Lk 4:† Temptation sequence

Mat 4†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Luke 4

Rocks to bread†††††††††††† Rocks to bread

Pinnacle Ėjump††††††††††† Kingdoms-worship

Kingdoms-worship†††† Pinnacle-Jump

†Next: Mat. kingdom†† Next:† hill-thrown
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† off (v.28)

Quotation Variation:† Title on Cross, Peter

Mat 27:37††† This is Jesus,†† the king of the Jews

Mk 15:26††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the king of the Jews

Lk 23:38††††† This is††††††††††††† the king of the Jews

Jn 19:19† Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews

Peterís quote:† Who do you say I am?

Mt 16:16 ďYou are the Christ,
†††††††††††††††††††††††† the Son of the living GodĒ

Mk 8:29:† ďYou are the ChristĒ

Lk 9:20: ďThe Christ of GodĒ

Number Variation:† Demoniac(s) into pigs

Mat 8:28† 2 demoniacs

Mk 5:2 1 demoniac

Timing Variation:†

Temple cleansing: Jn 2 beginning, Mat 21 end

Fig† withered immediately Mt 21:19;
†††††††††††† Mk 11:20 next dayólit. framing

Contradiction:† take a staff, do not take staff (Mat 10:10; Mk. 6:8f)

Cleansing of the Temple

Found in all four Gospels:† Mt. 21:10ff; Mk. 11:15ff; Lk. 19:45f; Jn 2:13ff

Question:† What is the function of the story of the cleansing of the temple?



Messianic King


Mark 11:† Prophetic Rejection


1) Framing A ( Curses Fig Tree) 11:12f

2) Temple clearing incident (11:15ff)

3) Outcome: 11:18f; crowds amazed// kill him

4) Framing B (Witnessed Fig Tree) 11:20ff

Changing money/Pilgrims

Prophetic rejection/judgment announcementóIsa 56:7; Jer. 7:11

Matthew 21:† Messianic restoration

Context flow

Hosanna to the Son of David 21:9-10

Incident: temple cleansing† 21:12ff

Hosannas continue with healings:† 21:14-17 ĖSon of David; lips of children you ordain praise

Messianic restoration: city hosannas v. 9-10

Lame healed, outsiders brought in v. 14f

Insiders become opponents Ėminor role v. 16

Next day Fig tree: --disconnected from cleansing; lesson on prayer†

Luke 19:45f temple place of teaching

Context: lament over Jerusalem, foreshadow to day of Lord, destruction of Jerusalem; God coming to youÖ

Mutes incident: no reference to money-changers, doves, no details

Taken as an example of sage Jesusí teaching function splits audience,

(Luke only: Jesus as child teaching in temple area)ó2:46

John 2: temple building to body

Self-contained story: no triumphal entry, donkey, fig treeŗ destroy this temple 3 days

Beginning or end of Jesus life? 2X?†

Actions more extreme; no quote about ďden of thieves, house of prayerĒ from Jer. 7

Destroy this templeŗ body

Reconfiguring of temple from Jerusalem to Jesus as meeting place of God

Four Gospels, same story, used 4 different ways

Cleansing of the Temple

Religious defense of temple: Presence of God ŗ his body (3 days destroy) (John)

Coming Day of Lord, sage teaching (Luke)

Messianic King: hosannas, redefining the temple in kingdom (Mat.)

Prophetic: rejection and judgment (Mark)


Documentary Solutions:† 1 Source,† 2 Source, 4 Source Theories

††††††††††††††† What is Q source?






Form Critical Approach

Oral Traditions

Genre types

Pronouncement storiesócontroversy stories

Miracle stories (Therapeutic/non-therapeutic)

Stories about Jesus

Sayings of Jesus

Passion Narrative

Parablesówhy hidden meaning?

engagement/attractive mystery

Oral ŗ written needed, why? 3 reasons

General Rules for explaining differences†
Q†† TTWPP (Q Tip)

Quotes:† = / ≈

Twice occurring event

Translation differences (Aramaic to Greek)

Witnesses different

Purpose (writer/audience)

Part/Whole: 1 / 2