The Synoptic Problem and its Solution

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1. Hidden Patterns in the Synoptic Gospels
2. Matthew, the Revisionist
3. The Man who Buried Jesus
4. Matthew's Knowledge of Luke
5. Luke, the Eccentric Evangelist
6. The Weak Case for the Existence of Q
7. Further Statistical Analysis
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The Myth of the Lost Gospel, a study in the Synoptic Problem and the nonexistence of Q

 
A Personal Note from Evan Powell,
Author/editor, Synoptic-Problem.com
 
I first became intrigued with this area of study at a lecture in Berkeley, CA, in the mid-1970's. The presenter was giving an overview of the Synoptic Problem and the various solutions that had been proposed. When it came to the mystery of the double tradition, the presenter said it could be explained in one of two ways--either Luke knew and drew from Matthew, or they both independently used the hypothetical Q document. Since the composition dates of the gospels are uncertain, someone in the audience asked, "What about the possibility that Matthew used Luke?" The presenter brushed it off, saying, "Nobody proposes that anymore." But he didn't say why.
 
Today's Q theory, which is the leading theory among scholars, rests on a single premise: Between Matthew and Luke, the author of whichever was the later of the two gospels, did not know and copy from the earlier work. Thus, in order to establish the viability of the Q theory, one must demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that Luke could not have known Matthew, AND Matthew could not have known Luke. There is extensive discussion in the literature concerning Luke's evident unawareness of Matthew, but almost no comment at all regarding Matthew's possible knowledge of Luke. Yet there is every reason to believe Matthew did indeed know and copy from Luke, and that this is the key to the Synoptic Problem. 
 
I first argued for Matthean posteriority in The Unfinished Gospel, 1994. A more refined and expanded treatment of the subject was presented in The Myth of the Lost Gospel, 2006. Most of the text of this second book appears on this site. If you wish to obtain a hardcopy of the book, or have any other feedback or questions, please contact me:
 
 
Evan Powell
1930 Village Center Circle, # 3-308
Las Vegas, NV 89134
 
Phone: 702-254-4468
Email:  evanpowell at cox dot net