Wednesday, February 3, 2010

NT Pod 23: What is the Synoptic Problem?

NT Pod episode 23 is the first of the four back-to-back episodes on the Synoptic Problem. This one introduces the problem and begins to survey the data.

It is twelve minutes long. Feel free to leave your comments below.

NT Pod Episode 23: What is the Synoptic Problem (mp3)

Note: there is an extra, extended episode of the NT Pod available on this topic, an edited recording of a class lecture on the topic. It is forty minutes long, and it is found here:

NT Pod Extended Episode 1: The Synoptic Problem 1

Thanks to Ram2000, Me and You, for the opening theme, released under a Creative Commons agreement.


  1. Hi Mark,
    I love the NT Pod - thanks so much for doing it.
    Any chance we could get access to the class handout if we're following the extended versions? Is there a complete Synopsis somewhere?

  2. Thanks for your encouraging comment, Michael. Yes, the handouts for the two extended episodes are already there, PDFs linked about 2/3 of the way down the post. All best, Mark

  3. Thank you SO much for posting the extended versions - I am totally hooked. You have a facility for making what might well be dry material accessible and interesting. I love adding the reasoned approach to my appreciation of the NT - it does not challenge my faith but broadens it. Gratefully...

  4. Christians should not be surprised that authors of some of the books in the New Testament "plagiarized" the writings of other New Testament authors, ie, the authors of Matthew and Luke copying huge chunks of Mark, often word for word, into their own gospels.

    This habit is not new in the Bible. There is evidence that Old Testament writers did the exact same thing. An example: the entire chapters of II Kings 19 and Isaiah 37 are almost word for word identical!

    If the Bible is the inspired Word of God, why would God have the author of one inspired book of the Bible copy almost word for word large sections, sometimes entire chapters, from another inspired book of the Bible? Is that how divine inspiration works?

    So should we simply accept this "word for word copying" as the will of the Almighty, accepting it blindly by faith, continuing to insist that God wrote the Bible, or should we consider the overwhelming evidence that the books of the Bible are human works of literature, no more divinely inspired than any other work of fallible human authors?