TH4604 - The Synoptic Gospels


The Synoptic Gospels


10 CC   5 ECTS

Distance Learning: King's Evangelical Divinity School eCampus


10 hours of recorded lectures 10 hours
90 hours of generated study time. 90 hours

Students have access to an online discussion forum to communicate with tutors and other students, along with e-mail support from tutors. Where appropriate, telephone support is also available.
Scheduled hours Placement Hours Independent Guided study
10 0 90

Core course material is expected to be used fully and typically includes recorded lectures and reading of select textbooks, papers or book extracts. All students are expected to listen to all of the course lectures and read the required materials. A range of supporting teaching material is also available to students as further recommended learning options.

  1. Nature of the Synoptic Problem
  2. A Survey of Proposed Solutions
  3. Source and Form Criticism
  4. The Evangelists as Redactors?
  5. Synoptic Comparison: How Does it Aid the Exegete?
  6. Theological Purpose of Matthew
  7. Theological Purpose of Luke
  8. Mark’s Gospel: Historical or Theological?
  9. How the Evangelists Respectively Employ Common Material
  10. The Evangelists’ Use of Peculiar Material

  • To acquire foundational knowledge and understanding of the Synoptic Problem and the various proposals for its solution.
  • To acquire foundational knowledge and understanding of the Synoptic Problem and the various proposals for its solution.
  • To understand the content, theological emphases and readership of Matthew, Mark and Luke - both individually and collectively/comparatively.
  • To obtain necessary skills to compare the Synoptic parallels for exegesis.
  • To develop an ability to analyze and evaluate critically differing scholarly opinions.
  • To lay a foundation enabling students to progress to further studies within Certificate level and provide training in development towards diploma level studies

Audio lectures, guided reading, individual study, and individual support where appropriate. Students will prepare for assignments individually using interactive online learning material. Students are encouraged, but not required, to participate in online theological discussion on the eCampus Forum.

  1.  A sound knowledge of the nature of the Synoptic Problem
  2. A substantial knowledge of various solutions for the Synoptic Problem.
  3. A solid understanding of the different emphases, theological purpose, message, and readership of each of the Synoptic Gospels.
  4. An ability to appreciate, analyse and evaluate critically various attempts to solve the so-called ‘Synoptic Problem’ and, on the basis of that, to form one’s own informed conclusion concerning the issue.

Component Weighting % Learning outcome(s) assessed Assessment category
1 2000 word essay100%1-4Coursework

As assessment

Green, J. B., S. McKnight, and I. H. Marshall, eds. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1992.

Goodacre, M.  The synoptic problem: a way through the maze. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2001.

Guthrie, D. New Testament Introduction. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1990.

Keener, C. S. The IVP Biblical Background Commentary: New Testament. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1993.

Wenham, D. and S. Walton. Exploring the New Testament, vol. 1: A Guide to the Gospels & Acts. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001.

Aland, K., ed. Synopsis of the Four Gospels (English Edition) New York: United Bible Societies, 1982.

Black, D. A. Rethinking the Synoptic Problem. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

McKnight, S. Interpreting the Synoptic Gospels, Guides to New Testament Exegesis, 2. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998.

Stein, R. H. Studying the Synoptic Gospels: Origin and Interpretation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

Stein, R. H. The Synoptic Problem: An Introduction. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987.

Thomas, R. L. (ed). Three views on the origin of the synoptic gospels. Grand Rapids: Kregal, 2002.

David Williams and Daniel Kayley

Theology and Religious Studies

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