Sunday, March 22, 2009

Published Introductions to the Synoptic Problem

David Stark's New Testament Interpretation blog has a series of posts reproducing the diagrams of synoptic problem solutions given in Kümmel's NT intro. The 'Synoptic Problem' tag will bring up the set of diagrams so far. Kümmel's presentation of the Synoptic Problem was one of the six I evaluated in my undergrad essay "Solving the Synoptic Problem for Students?"

My essay was written back in 2001 or 2002 (a few years before I had internet access at home) and 'Part A' evaluated six printed/published presentations on the Synoptic Problem, namely:

(1) Joseph A. Fitzmyer, "The Priority of Mark and The 'Q' Source in Luke," (1970);
(2) Werner George
Kümmel from his, Introduction to the New Testament (trans. 1975), 38-80;
(3) Robert Stein's classic book from 1987, The Synoptic Problem: An Introduction;
(4) Christopher M. Tuckett's entry for the Anchor Bible Dictionary (vol 6, 1992), 263-270;
(5) David L. Dungan's book, A History of the Synoptic Problem (Anchor Bible Reference Library, 1999);
(6) and two chapters from John S. Kloppenborg, Excavating Q (chapter 1 and chapter 6).

Kümmel's presentation received a 27% rating according to my criteria drawn from a 'student perspective'. Kloppenborg's presentation (in Excavating Q) faired best with 47% but should have been rated higher than that because I had only based my evaluation on 2 of 3 relevant chapters in Excavating Q (I later realized!)

Would be good to know if other students have similarly evaluated other published presentations on the synoptic problem. I guess nowadays students instead go online for introductions to the Synoptic Problem which might explain why there are still not very many introductions/presentations published (compare my 'top ten recommended books for students' to the right). 

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