Matthew Conflator

Matthew Conflator February 21, 2015

Chris Tilling shared a link to Alan Garrow’s website, where he explores the neglected solution to the Synoptic problem which views Matthew as having worked with Mark and Luke. That view will also get a treatment in Robert MacEwen’s forthcoming monograph, Matthean Posteriority: An Exploration of Matthew’s Use of Mark and Luke as a Solution to the Synoptic Problem.

See also Mike Kok’s round-up of his treatment of the authorship of the NT Gospels. See too the post at the Sacred Page which asks whether not wanting to be a crank had an impact on scholars adopting the Streeter hypothesis. And the Biblical Scholarship blog on the likely number of surviving eyewitnesses to Jesus after certain amounts of time had passed, which includes a chart from Robert McIver. And Dorothy King, asking about papyrus for sale on eBay.

And let me end by reposting my favorite proposed solution to the Synoptic problem:

2 source theory5

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  • Gary

    “Surviving eyewitness”… Chart looks rather linear, unless I missed something. Seems like there should be a dip at 66-70 AD (~40+), especially at Jerusalem.

    • Andrew Dowling

      Agree . . plus what is this 51,432 number who saw Jesus in Jerusalem? Those charts are pretty meaningless IMO

  • Gary

    Perhaps they are using some % of Josephus’ numbers (The War of the Jews, 2.14.3, “but when he (Cestius) was come to Jerusalem, upon upon the approach of the feast of unleavened bread, the people came about him not fewer in numbers than three millions”). That was 65 AD. I don’t think I believe Josephus. And the % that actually saw Jesus in 33AD may have been the same % that witnessed Brian. They were probably equally well known at the time.

  • Dan

    Whatever the solution is to the synoptic problem, it will most likely have some kind of Marcan priority, and anyone who claims otherwise (especially Lucan priority) is a CRANK!

  • Jim

    Yeah, the magically generated starting number of 51,432 doesn’t seem to take into account “quality of the witness”. Sure someone might catch a glimpse of another person from half a mile away, but that doesn’t constitute a quality witness.

    If one starts with Bible-generated numbers and assuming you can trust Acts, then at nearly time zero there were presumably 120 (Acts 1:15) followed by the addition of ~3000 (Acts 2:41) soon thereafter in Jerusalem. Then you’ve got to get another ~47,000 witnesses before the zero year end is up. Although maybe not totally impossible, that seems like it might require lots of pumping sunshine on the topic of “the guy you saw crucified was actually the Messiah”. That might have been a tough sell in 1st century Jerusalem, even for the best apologists.