Synoptic philosophy is an unreal view that adopts both opinion and contrast such as scrutiny and deductive reasoning, action and reaction, panoptical and inconspicuous. It can also be said to be able to view reality outside of our own perceptions (Christian, J. L. (1998). In layman’s language it is said to be able to see the ‘bigger picture’. Synoptic philosophy is the appreciation of wisdom that comes from that seeing the clear picture and thinking critically about the issue at hand. Synoptic philosophy is therefore applied where there is a synoptic problem. For instance; in the first two gospel books of the New Testament in the bible. It is said to be so because of the interrelation Mathew and Luke have. These books have also been referred to as synoptic gospels. A solution to these synoptic gospels should resolve and answer questions on; the similarities, differences in their content and wording. Speculation is that; there could have been one evangelist who possessed one of the gospels or two evangelists had a common source of information.
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A lot of Mark’s content is found in Matthew and vice-versa. Matthew and Luke share content that is not found in Mark. For instance, most of Jesus’ saying are found here and very few by John the Baptist. If Matthew, Mark and Luke are had a similar source, then their indirect relationship is best presented in Mark. (Holtzmann, 1863). Butler disagrees with Holtman’s theory and suggests a more direct relationship with the gospels (Farmer 1964).
Unlike in the order days, synoptic philosophy has enabled scholars to get two hypotheses on the synoptic gospels. Most of them support the two-gospel hypothesis however some do support the two-gospel hypothesis. The two-source hypothesis argues that Matthew and Luke copied Mark separately then added sermon material from another source called Q (Lachmann 1832, Holtzmann 1863).
The two-gospel hypothesis in turn argues that Matthew was written first Luke was written much later and that it is Peter’s testimonies about Jesus that validated their work. This hypothesis doesn’t require lost sources like the Q document but instead merges the views of the early church with today’s proof.
This problem has also been resolved by other theories like; the Farrer hypothesis which argues that the gospel of Mark was the first one to be written and then Matthew was written using Mark, finally Luke was written using both Mathew and Mark. Another solution gives the idea that Matthew was written using Mark and another source and Luke too but Luke added Matthew as an additional source (Simons 1880; Morgenthaler 1971). The Augustinian hypothesis which explains that Matthew was written first, then Mark, then Luke, and each writer looked upon his predecessor.