By John C. Duff
Copyright 2012 John C Duff
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Apocalyptic Epistemology - 7 May 2012
In the course of serious Jesus scholarship, of close to two hundred years worth, scholars have yet to agree on the methods of historiography (Powell 12-30). This epistemological problem seems to be stunted by worldviews, source acceptance, unverifiable hypotheses, or a combination of all three. The focus of this paper will be of the synoptic problem, and more specifically on the two-source tradition problem that goes neglected by historians, generation after generation, as they carry on with reconstructions of Jesus’ life. Most scholars already accept that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke readily borrow from one another (Powell 36), hence the label synoptic gospels; the word synoptic is derived from the word “Synopses” which literally translates to “seeing together” (Sanders, The Historical 66). Within the synoptic gospels there are several hypotheses to consider that explain how the gospels borrowed from one another, but I will direct my focus on two major competing hypotheses. The two explanations both accept Mark as the middle source, but are divided on the explanation of how Matthew and Luke derived their gospels.