HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
MALAN, Gert J.. Is rewritten Bible/Scripture the solution to the Synoptic Problem?. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2014, vol.70, n.1, pp. 01-10. ISSN 2072-8050.
New Testament scholars have for centuries posited different solutions to the Synoptic Problem. Recently a new solution was proposed. Mogens Muller applies Geza Vermes's term rewritten Bible to the canonical gospels. Accepting Markan priority, he views Matthew as rewritten Mark, Luke as rewritten Matthew, and John as additional source. This article examines Muller's hypothesis by first investigating the history of the controversial term rewritten Bible/ Scripture and its recent application to the New Testament Gospels. Muller's hypothesis is then compared to other solutions to the Synoptic Problem, such as the Augustine, Griesbach, and Farrer-Goulder Hypotheses. The Two Document Hypothesis is discussed and Muller's 2nd century Luke theory is compared to Burton Mack's almost similar stance and tested with the argument of synoptic intertextuality in view of the possible but improbable early second century date for Matthew. Lastly, the relationship between the synoptic Gospels is viewed in terms of literary intertextuality. Muller suggests proclamation as motivation for the Gospels' deliberate intertextual character. This notion is combined with the concept of intertextuality to suggest a more suitable explanation for the relationship between die Gospels, namely intertextual kerugma. This broad concept includes any form of intertextuality in terms of text and context regarding the author and readers. It suitably replaces rewritten Bible, both in reference to genre and textual (exegetical) strategy.