Cover image for A history of the synoptic problem : the canon, the text, the composition and the interpretation of the Gospels
A history of the synoptic problem : the canon, the text, the composition and the interpretation of the Gospels
Dungan, David L.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 1999.
Physical Description:
xii, 526 pages ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BS2555.2 .D85 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In a "History of the Synoptic Problem," David Laird Dungan provides a comprehensive history of the debate from the beginning. He shows how scholars throughout the ages have defined and redefined the synoptic problem and resolved the contradictions using the intellectual tools of their day. Structuring his book around crucial historical figures such as Origen, Augustine, Erasmus, Spinoza, and Locke, Dungan discloses, for the first time, the political and economic agendas that guided their biblical interpretation. The result is a book that challenges the status quo and its insistence on the priority of Mark and the existence of Q.

Sure to make readers rethink their assumptions about the New Testament, Dungan's latest book is a controversial, bold contribution to what is already a heated debate.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

By the second century, believers saw the difference among the four Gospels as a scandal, and pagan philosophers were focusing their counterattack on it. Dungan (religious studies, Univ. of Tennessee) considers the problem of the three Synoptic Gospels in terms of four components: the composition and sources of the Gospels, the question of the canon, text criticism, and hermeneutics. Others have given sketchy accounts of the debate over the synoptic gospel before 1800, but Dungan sets forth a structured history from its inception in the second century and elucidates for the first time the political and economic agendas that informed biblical interpretations. He systematically discusses each of the basic components of the problem, indicating the cultural, political, economic, and technological presuppositions in every historical period. This work will be somewhat controversialÄDungan challenges the priority of the Gospel of Mark and the very existence of "Q," a hypothetical source document. An important book for any collection of New Testament studies.ÄEugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.