Book Notice: Matthean and Lukan Special Material

Brice C. Jones
Matthean and Lukan Special Material:
A Brief Introduction with Texts in Greek and English
Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2011.
Available at

This is a small but useful volume that provides an introduction to the Synoptic Problem and also introductions to the Matthean and Lukan special materials. It then sets out the Synoptic units normally assigned to “M” and “L” respectively in both English and Greek. A good little resource on a neglected topic in Gospel studies.

I wish someone would do something similar with the agrapha (i.e. “unwritten sayings” of Jesus) found outside of the Gospels.

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  • Steve Walton

    A ‘good little good’?

  • Mark Goodacre


    Thanks for the mention of this book — I’ll have to take a look. One of the difficulties, I would have thought, in delineating M and L like this would be the occasions where M is embedded in triple tradition material and where L is difficult to distinguish from Lucan versions of triple tradition.

    • Michael Bird

      Mark, Jeremias was ages ago and Jeremias had rabbinic parallels always on his mind.

  • Mark Goodacre

    Had a look at the preview available on Amazon. Good to see a discussion of the Synoptic Problem in there, though it seems to be in the classic mode of discussing solutions to it, refracting the data through the Two Source Theory and disposing of alternatives. Several of my standard complaints would apply again here, e.g. Marcan Priority introduced in the context of an exposition of the Two-Source Theory. My Case Against Q is not in the bibliography, which is not too encouraging for me either.

    From the lists of M and L, it looks generally fairly maximalist, e.g. Peter’s Walking on the Water and the “Blessed are you” and other verses embedded in triple tradition are included, but others, e.g. John the Baptist’s complaint and Pilate’s wife’s dream are not included.

  • David Lincicum

    Mark (if I may), to offer some encouragement: I’ve just finished this term’s round of tutorials on the synoptic problem, and (as usual, though a bit to my surprise at first) the majority of my students consistently end up arguing for the Farrer theory. The reading list includes standard 2ST folks like Tuckett, Catchpole and Kloppenborg, as well as alternatives like Farmer and the helpfully complexifying Sanders/Davies. But they seem to side with Farrer and Goodacre more often than not. So maybe the coming generation of scholars will produce books which don’t simply take the 2ST for granted?

  • Mark Goodacre

    Thanks, David. That is encouraging! When I was in Oxford, it was a hotbed of anti-Q sentiment, with Fenton, Franklin, Sanders, Muddiman, Morgan, Wansbrough all on that side, and Wright indifferent to the Synoptic Problem. So it’s nice to hear that something of that anti-establishment vibe is still present.