The three-source hypothesis is a candidate solution to the synoptic problem. It combines aspects of the two-source hypothesis and the Farrer hypothesis. It states that the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke used the Gospel of Mark and a sayings collection as primary sources, but that the Gospel of Luke also used the Gospel of Matthew as a subsidiary source. The hypothesis is named after the three documents it posits as sources, namely the sayings collection, the Gospel of Mark, and the Gospel of Matthew.
The sayings collection may be identified with Q, or with a subset of Qif some (typically narrative-related) material normally assigned to Q is instead attributed to Matthew's creativity in conjunction with Luke's use of Matthew.
This theory has been advocated by Heinrich Julius Holtzmann,Eduard Simons, Hans Hinrich Wendt, Edward Y. Hincks, Robert Morgenthaler and Robert H. Gundry.
Alternatively, M.A.T. Linssenproposes it as a variant by equating the sayings collection to The Gospel of Thomas, suggesting that Matthew and Luke worked together to write different gospels, each targeted at their own audience
Marcan priority is the hypothesis that the Gospel of Mark was the first of the three synoptic gospels to be written, and was used as a source by the other two. It is a central element in discussion of the synoptic problem; the question of the documentary relationship among these three gospels.
The Gospel of Thomas is an extra-canonical sayings gospel. It was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945 among a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library. Scholars speculate that the works were buried in response to a letter from Bishop Athanasius declaring a strict canon of Christian scripture. Scholars have proposed dates of composition as early as AD 60 and as late as AD 250. Since its discovery, many scholars have seen it as evidence in support of the existence of a "Q source," which might have been very similar in its form as a collection of sayings of Jesus without any accounts of his deeds or his life and death, referred to as a sayings gospel.
The two-source hypothesis is an explanation for the synoptic problem, the pattern of similarities and differences between the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It posits that the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke were based on the Gospel of Mark and a hypothetical sayings collection from the Christian oral tradition called Q.
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar or sometimes identical wording. They stand in contrast to John, whose content is largely distinct. The term synoptic comes via Latin from the Greek σύνοψις, synopsis, i.e. "(a) seeing all together, synopsis"; the sense of the word in English, the one specifically applied to these three gospels, of "giving an account of the events from the same point of view or under the same general aspect" is a modern one.
Heinrich Julius Holtzmann, German Protestant theologian, son of theologian Karl Julius Holtzmann (1804–1877), was born at Karlsruhe, where his father ultimately became prelate and counsellor to the supreme consistory of the Evangelical State Church in Baden.
The Farrer hypothesis is a possible solution to the synoptic problem. The theory is that the Gospel of Mark was written first, followed by the Gospel of Matthew and then by the Gospel of Luke.
The term logia, plural of logion, is used variously in ancient writings and modern scholarship in reference to communications of divine origin. In pagan contexts, the principal meaning was "oracles", while Jewish and Christian writings used logia in reference especially to "the divinely inspired Scriptures". A famous and much-debated occurrence of the term is in the account by Papias of Hierapolis on the origins of the canonical Gospels. Since the 19th century, New Testament scholarship has tended to reserve the term logion for a divine saying, especially one spoken by Jesus, in contrast to narrative, and to call a collection of such sayings, as exemplified by the Gospel of Thomas, logia.
M source, which is sometimes referred to as M document, or simply M, comes from the M in "Matthean material". It is a hypothetical textual source for the Gospel of Matthew. M Source is defined as that 'special material' of the Gospel of Matthew that is neither Q source nor Mark.
The Augustinian hypothesis is a solution to the synoptic problem, which concerns the origin of the Gospels of the New Testament. The hypothesis holds that Matthew was written first, by Matthew the Evangelist. Mark the Evangelist wrote the Gospel of Mark second and used Matthew and the preaching of Peter as sources. Luke the Evangelist wrote the Gospel of Luke and was aware of the two Gospels that preceded him. Unlike some competing hypotheses, this hypothesis does not rely on, nor does it argue for, the existence of any document that is not explicitly mentioned in historical testimony. Instead, the hypothesis draws primarily upon historical testimony, rather than textual criticism, as the central line of evidence. The foundation of evidence for the hypothesis is the writings of the Church Fathers: historical sources dating back to as early as the first half of the 2nd century, which have been held as authoritative by most Christians for nearly two millennia. Adherents to the Augustinian hypothesis view it as a simple, coherent solution to the synoptic problem.
The criterion of multiple attestation, also called the criterion of independent attestation or the cross-section method, is a tool used by Biblical scholars to help determine whether certain actions or sayings by Jesus in the New Testament are from the Historical Jesus. Simply put, the more independent witnesses that report an event or saying, the better. This criterion was first developed by F. C. Burkitt in 1906, at the end of the first quest for the historical Jesus.
Robert Lisle Lindsey (1917–1995), founded together with David Flusser the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research.
A four-document hypothesis or four-source hypothesis is an explanation for the relationship between the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It posits that there were at least four sources to the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke: the Gospel of Mark and three lost sources. It was proposed by B. H. Streeter in 1925, who refined the two-source hypothesis into a four-source hypothesis.
The Common Sayings Source is one of many theories that attempts to provide insight into the Synoptic Problem. The theory posits that the Gospel of Thomas, a sayings gospel, and the Q source, a hypothetical sayings gospel, have a common source. Elements of this Common Sayings Source can be found in the text of the Gospel of Thomas and what scholars are proposing existed in the Q source. The high level of similarities between the two sources suggests that both documents are later redactions of a single source, the original Common Sayings Source, which was then redacted by different groups to suit their own needs.
The Jerusalem School Hypothesis is one of many possible solutions to the synoptic problem, that the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew both relied on older texts which are now lost. It was developed by Robert Lindsey, from the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research.
The two-gospel hypothesis or Griesbach hypothesis is that the Gospel of Matthew was written before the Gospel of Luke, and that both were written earlier than the Gospel of Mark. It is a proposed solution to the synoptic problem, which concerns the pattern of similarities and differences between the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The hypothesis is generally first credited to Johann Jakob Griesbach writing in the 1780s; it was introduced in its current form by William R. Farmer in 1964 and given its current designation of two-gospel hypothesis in 1979.
The Q source is a hypothetical written collection of primarily Jesus' sayings. Q is part of the common material found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke but not in the Gospel of Mark. According to this hypothesis, this material was drawn from the early Church's oral gospel traditions.
Oral gospel traditions is the hypothetical first stage in the formation of the written gospels as information was passed by word of mouth. These oral traditions included different types of stories about Jesus. For example, people told anecdotes about Jesus healing the sick and debating with his opponents. The traditions also included sayings attributed to Jesus, such as parables and teachings on various subjects which, along with other sayings, formed the oral gospel tradition. The supposition of such traditions have been the focus of scholars such as Bart Ehrman, James Dunn, and Richard Bauckham, although each scholars vary widely on their conclusions, with Ehrman and Bauckham publicly debating on the subject.
The Hebrew Gospel hypothesis is that a lost gospel, written in Hebrew or Aramaic, predated the four canonical gospels. Some have suggested a complete unknown proto-gospel as the source of the canonical gospels. But the hypothesis is usally based upon the testimony of early church historians, deriving from the 2nd-century bishop Papias of Hierapolis, that Matthew the Apostle was the first to compos a gospel and that he did it in Hebrew. Papias appeared to say that this Hebrew or Aramaic gospel was subsequently translated into the canonical Gospel of Matthew. Modern variants of the hypothesis survive, but have not found favor with scholars as a whole.
Advanced by Dennis R. MacDonald, the Q+/Papias hypothesis (Q+/PapH) offers an alternative solution to the synoptic problem. MacDonald prefers to call this expanded version of Q Logoi of Jesus, which is supposed to have been its original title.
The Matthean Posteriority hypothesis, also known as the Wilke hypothesis after Christian Gottlob Wilke, is a proposed solution to the synoptic problem, holding that the Gospel of Mark was used as a source by the Gospel of Luke, then both of these were used as sources by the Gospel of Matthew. Thus, it posits Marcan priority and Matthaean posteriority.