Overview Of The Synoptic Problem

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Overview of the Synoptic Problem

Overview of the Synoptic Problem


The Synoptic Problem unlike the term denotes is not a problem itself but it refers to a set of questions that asks for some reasonable answers to the literary relationship between the three Gospels of the New Testament. The first three gospels of the New Testament narrates the events of Jesus in very similar manner, the order of stories and events, and even the words of Jesus used by all three of them are same. This is why they are known as Synoptic Gospels. Furthermore, John too wrote about Jesus but the story he has narrated has a different way, the order of happenings in his version is also different from the previous three. Though the Gospel of John does have some similarities with those of the other three but he has written it with an entirely different perspective having different point of focus. His use of language is also very different from the others. The difference in the Gospel of John can be described without taking in account the literary relationship between the Gospels. This is the reason that the Gospel of John is not the part of Synoptic problem.

The history of the investigation into the relationship between the Synoptic Gospels

After the Ascension of Christ, Matthew composed in about 3 to 6 years, Mark composed in about 15 to 16 years after His Ascension, Luke composed in about 25 to 27 years after His Ascension and finally John composed in about 49 to 62 years after His Ascension, as this chronology is explained in Important Dates in the Lives of Jesus and Mary, Chapter 11.

Amongst all the Gospel of Mathew was the first to be written in Judea for which Hebrew language was used. Second was the Gospel of Mark. Latin was used as the tool for communicating the message and Rome was its place of origin. Third came the Gospel of Luke. Greek was the language used for writing it and Boeotia, Greece was its place of birth. Fourth was the Gospel of John. It was written in Aramaic and its place of origin was probably Aphesus, Asia (now known as western Turkey).

Similarities and differences between the Synoptic Gospels

There are many similarities and differences in Synoptic Gospels which include objects and features. The background, society, individuality and the aim of the Synoptic Gospels form the differences among the Gospels. The origin and the relationship among the Gospels give the explanation of the similarities and the differences between them.

Relationships between the Gospels

Metthew, Mark and Luke, known as the Synoptic Gospels, have unexplainable similarities as the same actions have been described by all of them. But there are some indications that they used the language differently and that the Gospels used other Synoptics as the basis material for their writings.

There is a possibility of at least four kinds of similarities that occur between the Synoptic. Among these four, first similarity is found common in all of these ...