The New Testament

A Historical and Theological Introduction


9. The Synoptic Problem

Questions for Review

  1. What is meant by the phrase “Synoptic Gospels”?
  2. Define the “Synoptic Problem.”
  3. Just how much of Mark is in Matthew and Luke? How much material is in Matthew and Luke but not Mark?
  4. Why is Mark believed to provide the “central core for all three Synoptics”?
  5. Can oral tradition serve as a solution to the Synoptic Problem? What are the pros and cons?
  6. Briefly describe the “Ur-Gospel” theory.
  7. What are the three most probable literary dependence theories?
  8. Within the theory of Markan priority, what do “M,” “L,” and “Q” represent?
  9. Explain the Four Source hypothesis.
  10. Briefly sketch out the argument for Markan priority.