The Two-Source Theory

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The Two-Source Theory The two-source theory has been the widest accepted answer to the synoptic problem since it was proposed by Christian Hermann Weiße in 1838. Although it is often questioned today it is still the theory that is supported by most scholars. Markan priority is the basis of the two-source theory, serving to explain the triple tradition. The double tradition is, however, unaccounted for by Markan priority on its own, as the two-source theory understands Luke and Matthew as independent of one another and thus, within the canon, only literary dependent on Mark. Therefore, the theory has to be expanded with an account of the double tradition, which proponents of the two-source theory explain by stating that Matthew and Luke used…show more content…
The fact that Q has never been excavated obviously poses a problem, and scholars tend to understand the lost source in different ways: some understand it as a single written document available to, and used by, Matthew and Luke. Others understand it to be a collection of numerous sources, and yet some argue that it was oral sources, or maybe even a combination of both oral and written sources. No matter how it is perceived, Q is thought to be a better explanation than Luke being dependent on Matthew. One of the many arguments against Luke drawing on Matthew, concerns the discourses in Matthew, which seem disassembled in Luke, and Fitzmyer raises the following question: “Why would so literary and artist as Luke want to destroy the Matthean masterpiece of the Sermon on the Mount? However one wants to explain the Lucan travel account, it is hardly likely that he quarried the material for it from Matthean sermons.” A further consideration is the variation in the preservation of the more original setting and wording. This can, according to Q proponents, not be explained by a literary dependence…show more content…
The theory is named after Austin Farrer, whose article “On Dispensing with Q” paved the way for the case against Q. The theory holds that Luke had direct access to the Gospel of Matthew as well as that of Mark, which thereby renders Q superfluous. Mark Goodacre argues convincingly and substantially for this hypothesis, which is why we to a high degree will engage in his works. The starting premise Farrer presents shall, however, mark the point of departure for our
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