Unlocking the Synoptic Problem: Four Keys for Better Understanding Jesus

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So, when I saw Greek sentences written with a word order like that of Hebrew,Compare, for example, Luke 4:33: “And rebuked him Jesus saying….” … Other examples of Hebrew idioms embedded in the Greek text of the Synoptic Gospels are: “bad eye” (Matt. 6:23); “bind” and “loose” (Matt. 16:19); “cast out your name evil” (Luke 6:22); “lay these sayings in your ears” (Luke 9:44); “set his face to go” (Luke 9:51); “give a ring on his hand” (Luke 15:22); and “lifted up his eyes and saw” (Luke 16:23).

Preparations for the Eating Passover Lamb

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Matt. 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13 (Huck 234; Aland 308a; Crook 347a)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'” Revised: 2 February 2022Revised with the assistance of Joshua N. Tilton and Lauren S. Asperschlager.

וַיָּבֹא יֹום חַג הַמַּצּוֹת וַיִּשְׁלַח אֶת פֶּטְרוֹס וְאֶת יוֹחָנָן לֵאמֹר לְכוּ וְהָכִינוּ לָנוּ אֶת הַפֶּסַח וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ אֵיכָן אַתָּה רוֹצֶה שֶׁנָּכִין לְךָ לֶאֱכֹל אֶת הַפֶּסַח וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם הֲרֵי כְּשֶׁתִּכָּנְסוּ לָעִיר יִפְגַּע בָּכֶם אָדָם נֹשֵֹׂא כַּד מָיִם לְכוּ אַחֲרָיו לַבַּיִת שֶׁיִכָּנֵס לוֹ וְתֹאמְרוּ לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת אוֹמֵר לְךָ רַבֵּנוּ אֵיכָן הַחֶדֶר שֶׁבּוֹ אוֹכַל אֶת הַפֶּסַח עִם תַּלְמִידַי וְהוּא יַרְאֶה לָכֶם עֲלִיָּה גְּדוֹלָה מוּצַעַת שָׁם הָכִינוּ וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּכִינוּ אֶת הַפֶּסַח

The day of the holiday of Unleavened Bread arrived, so Yeshua sent Petros and Yohanan, instructing them: “Go prepare the Passover lamb for us.”

The Origin of the Gospels

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Front cover of the issue of The Church Quarterly Review in which Lockton’s groundbreaking article, “The Origin of the Gospels” appeared. The July issue of The Church Quarterly Review in 1922 contained an article by William Lockton in which the author challenged the scholarly consensus concerning the solution to the Synoptic Problem. This important study, which is now in the public domain, was later to be of great importance to Rev. Dr. Robert L.

Measuring the Disparity Between Matthew, Mark and Luke

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These were printed by Huck in adjacent columns so that one could quickly compare the similarities and differences in, for instance, “The Call of Levi” pericope (Matt. 9:9-11; Mark 2:13-16; Luke 5:27-30; Huck no. 53):

Pericope 53, The Call of Levi from Huck’s Synopsis

With such a passage it is necessary to check whether all the texts remain verse by verse in parallel.

A New Two-source Solution to the Synoptic Problem

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Despite the continuing debate between Matthean and Markan priorists, some form of the widely-accepted Two-Source Hypothesis seems necessary for a proper understanding of the synoptic relationships. The Two-Source Hypothesis as generally conceived, however, cannot cover the evidence of dependence and interdependence found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Mustard Seed and Starter Dough Parables

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Matt. 13:31-33; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-21
(Huck 97-98, 164; Aland 128-129, 209-210; Crook 150-151, 246-247)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'” Revised: 20 May 2022

‏ לְמַה דּוֹמָה מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם וּלְמָה אֲדַמֶּה אוֹתָהּ לְעֵין הַחַרְדָּל שֶׁנָּטַל אָדָם וְנָתַן בְּגִנָּתוֹ וְצָמַח וְהָיָה לְאִילָן וְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם שָׁכְנוּ בְּבַדָּיו וְעוֹד אָמַר לְמָה אֲדַמֶּה מַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם לִשְׂאֹר שֶׁנָּטְלָה אִשָּׁה וְטָמְנָה בְּקֶמַח שָׁלשׁ סְאִים עַד שֶׁחָמֵץ כֻּלוֹ

“What is the Kingdom of Heaven like? Or what comparison can I make to illustrate its vitality? It’s like a mustard seed that a man planted in his garden. It germinated and grew into a tree.

Like Children Complaining

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Lindsey suggested that Like Children Complaining may originally have followed Question About Fasting (Matt. 9:14-17Mark 2:18-22Luke 5:33-39).

Four Soils Parable

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Matt. 13:1-9; Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-8
(Huck, 90; Aland, 122; Crook, 144)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'” Revised: 12 November 2021

וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וַיֵּאָסְפוּ אֻכְלוּסִים גְּדוֹלִים וַיֵּלְכוּ אֵלָיו וַיִּמְשׁוֹל לָהֶם מָשָׁל לֵאמֹר יָצָא הַזּוֹרֵעַ לִזְרוֹעַ אֶת זַרְעוֹ וּבִזְרִיעָתוֹ זֶה נָפַל עַל הַדֶּרֶךְ וְנִדְרַךְ וְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם אָכְלוּ אוֹתוֹ וְאַחֵר נָפַל עַל הַסֶּלַע וְעָלָה וְיָבֵשׁ מֵאֵין לֵחָה וְאַחֵר נָפַל בֵּין הַחוֹחִים וְעָלָה וְהַחוֹחִים חָנְקוּ אוֹתוֹ וְאַחֵר נָפַל בָּאֲדָמָה הַטּוֹבָה וְעָלָה וְעָשָׂה פְּרִי וּמָצָא מֵאָה שְׁעָרִים מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אָזְנַיִם לִשְׁמוֹעַ יִשְׁמַע

Later that day large crowds of people gathered and came to Yeshua, and he told them this parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on a footpath. First it was trampled, then the birds of the sky ate it. Some fell on rock.

Yeshua’s Testing

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Matt. 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13 (Huck 8; Aland 20; Crook 23)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'”

Darnel Among the Wheat Parable

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The author of Mark expanded the Lukan core of his parables excursus by adding a few additional sayings found elsewhere in Luke (The One Having Ears to Hear ; Measure for Measure ).

Choosing the Twelve

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Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16; Acts 1:13 (Huck 72; Aland 49; Crook 72, 103)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'”…

Comment

L1-2 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος (Luke 6:12). … Luke introduces narratives with ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις in Luke 1:39; 6:12; Acts 1:15….

L2 ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος (Luke 6:12). … Luke reports only two stories—Choosing the Twelve and Transfiguration—that take place on unspecified mountains (Luke 6:12; 9:28).

Friend In Need Simile

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Matt. 7:7-8; Luke 11:5-10 (Huck 38, 147, 148; Aland 70, 186, 187; Crook 53, 211, 212)For abbreviations and bibliographical references, see “Introduction to ‘The Life of Yeshua: A Suggested Reconstruction.'” Revised: 8 April 2021

וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם מִי בָּכֶם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ אוֹהֵב וְיֵלֵךְ לוֹ בַּחֲצוֹת הַלַּיְלָה וְיֹאמַר לוֹ אוֹהֲבִי הַשְׁאִילֵנִי שָׁלוֹשׁ כִּכְּרוֹת לֶחֶם הֲרֵי אוֹהֲבִי בָּא אֵלַי מִן הַדֶּרֶךְ וְאֵין לִי מָה אָשִׂים לְפָנָיו וְהוּא מִבַּיִת יַעֲנֶה וְיֹאמַר אַל תָּבֵא עָלַי צָרוֹת כְּבָר נִנְעֶלֶת הַדֶּלֶת וִילָדַי עִמִּי בַּמִּטָּה אֵינִי יָכוֹל לִיתֵּן לְךָ אֲנִי אוֹמֵר לָכֶם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא יִתֵּן לוֹ מֵאַהֲבָתוֹ מִפְּנֵי חוּצְפָּתוֹ יָקוּם וְיִתֵּן לוֹ מַה שֶּׁהוּא צָרִיךְ וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר לָכֶם שַׁאֲלוּ וְיִנָּתֵן לָכֶם בַּקְּשׁוּ וְתִמְצְאוּ הַרְתִּיקוּ וְיִפָּתַח לָכֶם שֶׁכָּל הַשּׁוֹאֵל מְקַבֵּל וְכָל הַמְּבַקֵּשׁ מוֹצֵא וּלְכָל הַמַּרְתִּיק נִפְתָּח

He also said to them, “Which of you, if a friend came to you at midnight and said, ‘Friend, be so kind as to lend me three loaves of bread, since a friend of mine has returned from a journey, but I don’t have anything to serve him!’ would say from inside the house, ‘Don’t come to me with your troubles! My door is already shut and my children are here in bed with me. I can’t give you what you need!’?