Source Criticism - The Synoptic Gospels
October 12, 14 2011
Quoting Scripture (Incorrectly)
• Deuteronomy 6:2-5: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
• Matthew 22:37-38: Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with
all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.
• Mark 12:29-30: "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Isra el, the Lord our God, the Lord
is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your
• Luke 10:27: 27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all
your strength and with all your mind.'"
"M" Matthew's Special Material
• Birth Narrative
• Parables, sayings and events, including:
o 9:32-34; 13:24-30; 13:44-52; 17:25-27; 18:23-35; 20:1-16; 21:28-32; 22:11-14; 25:1-13; 25:31-46; 27:2-
10; 27:19; 27:52-53; 27:62-66; 28:2; 28:11-15
• Characters including: Joseph, Herod the Great, The Magi (all in the birth narrative), two blind men (9:27 -31), a
mute demoniac (9:32 -34), a revised list of the Twelve (10:1 -4), "Mrs." Zebedee (20:20 -21).
• Appears to use a Greek version of the Hebrew scriptures (e.g. Matt 1:22 quoting Isaiah 7:14)
Matthew's Genealogy (Ch. 1)
1A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the
father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5Sal mon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother
was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had
been Uriah's wife, 7Solomon the father of Rehob oam, …. 16and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was
born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to
the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
Example of "M"—Parables and Sayings
Matthew 13:44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in joy
went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.
46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. 47"Once again, the kingdom of
heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on
the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49This is how it will be at the end
of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and t hrow them into the fiery furnace, where
there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51"Have you understood all these things?" Jesus asked. Yes," they replied. 52He
said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a
house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."
Matthew uses the word "church" (also in Acts) and gives Peter a special role
• 16:13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disci ples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15"But
what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Ch rist, the Son of the living
God." 17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in
heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Had es will not
overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and
whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the
• 18:15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you hav e
won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be establbyhed
the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to list en even
to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth w ill be
bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth
agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in
my name, there am I with them."
1 Example of "M"—the Guard at the Tomb
Mat 27: 62The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63"Sir," they said,
"we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver sai d, 'After three days I will rise again.' 64So give the order for the tomb
to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has
been raised from the dead. This last deception will be wor se than the first." 65"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the
tomb as secure as you know how." 66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the
guard. 28:1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the
tomb. 2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back
the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes we re white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of
him that they shook and became like dead men.
Greater conflict with the Pharisees
• Matthew emphasizes the Law and depicts Jesus in debate with the Pharisees in a way that is much more harsh
than in any of the other gospels.
• E.g. Matthew 23. (Elements of this passage/discourse are found in Luke and Mark but not in this sustained way
• Most scholars believe Mark has some kind of literary relationship to both Matthew and Luke.
• About 90% of Mark is found in Matthew and 55% in Luke.
• Mark has no birth narrative or genealogy, no sermon on the mount and no real conclusion —no resurrection
• Almost 30% of Mark is devoted to Jesus' miracles.
22They came to Bethsaida, and some peo ple brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
23He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on
him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?"
24He looked up and said, "I see p eople; they look like trees walking around."
25Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw
26Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go into the village."
THE TRIAL AND CRUCIFIXION IN MARK
Mark 14:60Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony
that these men are bringing against you?" 61But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest ask ed him,
"Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" 62 "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the righ t
hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.
Matthew and Mark (John the Baptist)
Mark 1:1-4: Matthew 3:1-3
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert
God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my of Judea
messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way" [Malachi and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
3:1]—"a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way fThis is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A
the Lord, make straight paths for him.' " [Isaiah 40:3] And sovoice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord,
John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a make straight paths for him.’" [Isaiah 40:3]
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew's Relationship to Mark
• Chronology similar--most variations are simply expansions and additions in Matthew
• Matthew avoids “conflicts” with Torah found in Mark (e.g. unclean foods, divorce)
• Matthew has "kingdom of God" to "kingdom of Heaven"
• Matthew mentions the word church
• Matthew has a special r ole for Peter
• Greater conflict with the Pharisees in Matthew
Matthew and Mark on unclean food
18"Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? 19For i t
doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")
20He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' 21For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil
thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23All
2 these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' "
16"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17"Don't you see that whatever ente rs the mouth goes into the stomach and then
out of the body? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19For out
of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testi mony, slander. 20These are what make a
man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "
“L”(Luke’s Special Material)
• Genealogy (different from Matthew ’s)
• Birth Narrative (different from Matthew ’s)
• Some parables, sayings, mira cles, events found only in Luke:
o Jesus visits the Temple as a child (2:41 -52)
o Jesus before Herod Antipas (23:6 -12)
o Post-resurrection appearance on road to Emmaus (24:13 -35)
o Raising the widow’s son (7:11-17)
o The good Samaritan (10:29 -37)
o Parable of the lost coin (15:8-10)
o The prodigal son (15:11 -32)
• Some characters found only in Luke:
o Elizabeth and Zechariah (John the Baptist ’s parents)
o The angel Gabriel
o Simeon and Anna
o The sisters Mary and Martha (also in John ’s gospel)
• Big focus on women—more female charac ters in Luke than in any other gospel
• Big focus on the universal nature of the good news of Jesus Christ
Luke’s Relationship to Mark
• Luke does not have unfavourable references to Jesus ’ family
• Luke devotes ten chapters to the journey from Galilee to Jerus alem whereas Mark only refers to it in 10:17; 32 -
• Jesus not a “ransom for many” (Mark 10:45) but a servant exemplar (Luke 22:27)
• Changes the words of the dying Jesus so he seems less vulnerable.
• Locates all resurrection appearances in Jerusalem.
Unfavourable references to Jesus’ family (NIV)
Mark 3:20Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd Luke 8: 19Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him,
gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd.
eat. 21When his family heard about this, they went to take 20Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing
charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind.“ . . . outside, wanting to see you." 21He replied, "My mother and
. 31Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outsidebrothers are those who hear God's word and put it into
they sent someone in to call him. 32A crowd was sitting arounpractice."
him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside
looking for you." 33"Who are my mother and my brothers?" he
asked. 34Then he looked at those seated in a circle around
him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
35Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and
Jesus as ransom(Mk)/servant(Lk)
Mark 10: 41When the ten heard about this, they became Luke 22:24Also a dispute arose among them as to which of
indignant with James and John. 42Jesus called them together them was considered to be greatest. 25Jesus said to them,
and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who
the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exerexercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.
authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever 26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among
wants to become great among you must be your servant, you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the
44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all . 45For one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the
even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the
and to give his life as a ransom for many." 46Then they came table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28You are
to Jericho. those who have stood by me in my trials.
*Matthew follows Mark.
3 Jesus’ dying words (NIV)
Mark 15:33At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole Luke 23:44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness
land until the ninth hour. 34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45for the sun
out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" —which stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 46Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I
35When some of those standing near heard this, they said, commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
"Listen, he's calling Elijah." 36One man ran, filled a sponge 47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and
with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to said, "Surely this was a righteous man."
drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take
him down," he said. 37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
39And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus,
heard his cry and saw how he d