Ancient Compositional Practices and the Synoptic Problem

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Leuven University Press, 2005 - Religion - 290 pages
This book investigates the ways in which an understanding of the literary culture(s) of the Greco-Roman world can inform Synoptic source critical discussion. From a survey of ancient book production, a study of the interplay between orality and textuality, the identification and analysis of written sources and how they were adapted by later authors, we are able to catalog a set of compositional methods of ancient writers. From this, we are able to test the extent to which three "solutions" to the Synoptic Problem (i.e., The Two-Gospel (Neo-Griesbach) Hypothesis, the Farrer-Goulder Hypothesis, and the Two-Document (Two-Source) Hypothesis) are consistent with the known practices of writers in antiquity. We conclude that while all three of the theories had certain problems in light of our catalogue of compositional practices, some had more problems than others. In the end, it appears that the Two-Document Hypothesis has the fewest problems in light of the compositional practices of antiquity.

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