New Testament Theology: The Synoptic Problem In The Gospels -- By: René A. López
JODT 15:44 (April 2011) p. 41
New Testament Theology: The Synoptic Problem In The Gospels
René A. López, Th.M., Ph.D., founder, Scripture Unlocked Ministries; pastor, Iglesia Biblica Nuestra Fe; and, professor at Criswell College (Greek and New Testament theology), Dallas Theological Seminary (external studies, Old Testament and New Testament; dissertation reader, Spanish D.Min. department), and Liberty University (online, New Testament theology).
For the majority of approximately 1700 to 1800 years, the Christian movement (whether Roman Catholic or Protestant) did not attempt to answer the similarities contained in Matthew, Mark and Luke.1 It is common knowledge that the 1800s brought an increase of information (perhaps resulting from the Renaissance and the Enlightenment periods) in the area of archaeology, religious sects, and biblical criticism. All that arose during this century, however, was not negative; it is because of the many newly discovered facts in these areas that many theologians began to question—with a predominant humanistic and evolutionistic bias—how many of the similarities of the Gospels arose. In other words, these theologians sought to answer what Gospel came first (Matthew, Mark, Luke or perhaps other manuscripts), and who copied from whom? Many more questions of the like were asked that led many to doubt the integrity of the manuscripts, the writers, and the contents that convey the facts about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
From this author’s pastoral and professorial perspective, there is danger for Bible students (that will later pastor churches if they do not become discouraged by such views promoted by the Synoptic problem theories) and the common lay person (that will cause him/her to question the integrity of the writers and biblical inspiration and inerrancy). Henceforth, one needs to ask and answer several questions. (1) What does the word “Gospel “mean”? (2) Were the Gospels comprised in an evolutionistic way from the simplest to the most complex (i.e. Mark, another document called Q, or did other documents come first before Matthew)? (3) Were these writers such
JODT 15:44 (April 2011) p. 42
plagiarists that they had to borrow from another to record their information where similar events appear? (4) Is there definite evidence for such documents like Q or others that are presented in universities as if they actually exist? (5) What role does the Holy Spirit have in all of this, since the Scripture asserts to be inspired of God and that men were moved to write by the Spirit of God (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:19-21
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