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Exciting Online Debate about the Synoptic Problem

I have been dabbling in the Synoptic Problem over the Christmas season, going through the infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke and making observations about whether they are independent of each other or whether one has influenced the other. However, I have to tip my hat to those experts who have devoted their PhD theses and their scholarly careers to tackling this issue. I want to point out some of the exciting activity that is going online right now:

I have known about Allan Garrow’s distinctive hypothesis (see his article “Streeter’s ‘Other’ Synoptic Solution: The Matthew Conflator HypothesisNew Testament Studies 62 [2016]: 207-226 and his personal website) since I heard him present at the University of Sheffield while I was a PhD student there. Anyways, a reader of Bart Ehrman’s blog named Evan offered to give a $1000 donation if Ehrman could either find holes in Garrow’s thesis or state that he was convinced by it (see here, herehere). Then, Ehrman found another expert, Mark Goodacre, who posted his response at Ehrman’s site and at his own NT Blog. I will be interested to see how this debate develops.

Second, courtesy of The Jesus Blog, I learned that the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus has published review articles (by Sarah Rollens, Rafael Rodriguez, Robert Derrenbacker, and Mark Goodacre) of Alan Kirk’s monograph Q in Matthew: Ancient Media, Memory, and Early Scribal Transmission of the Jesus Tradition. I have not read the book yet, but I have met Kirk and listen to some of his presentations which I remembered as quite compelling, so I would be interested in checking out these reviews. I am convinced of Markan priority but my position of the double tradition wavers between Q, multiple oral and written sources, and Luke’s use of Matthew depending on what day I wake up. Another article of note in the same volume is Daniel N Gullotta’s “On Richard Carrier’s Doubts: A Response to Richard Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt.”

Update: Alan Garrow responds to Mark Goodacre on Ehrman’s blog.

Update #2: Mark Goodacre responds to Alan Garrow’s response. Also, for more general arguments against Matthew’s use of Luke, see his post from 2009.

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