Three Views on the Origins of the Synoptic Gospels
by Glen H. Jones
Four scholars who hold conservative views of the Scriptures present three different views on the composition of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). The order of composition and to what degree, if any, one "borrowed" material from one or more of the others is often called the "Synoptic Problem." Grant R. Osborn and Matthew C. Williams espouse the view that Mark's Gospel was written first and Matthew and Luke to some degree copied or borrowed material for their gospels. John H. Niemela presents his Two-Gospel Hypothesis (2GH). This utilizes more complicated explanations and uses statistical analysis. Reduced to a simple formula, one could say that Matthew, Mark and Luke "collaborated" in their writing, according to this view. Critics say that collaboration is another word for plagiarism. The third view of the Synoptic Problem is known as the Independent View. Its proponent, R. David Farnell, believes that each of the synoptic writers composed his gospel independently of the others. Men who hold a high view of Scripture and of verbal plenary inspiration wrote this book. It has been well researched. Each of the writers presents cogent arguments for his view. This book will help you decide on the view you hold or will confirm the view you already hold.