Synoptic Problems

Collected Essays

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Vol. 329


By: John S. Kloppenborg
August 2014
Mohr Siebeck
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9783161526176
749 Pages
$337.50 Hardcover


This volume contains a collection of twenty-one essays of John S. Kloppenborg, with four foci: conceptual and methodological issues in the Synoptic Problem; the Sayings Gospel Q; the Gospel of Mark; and the Parables of Jesus. Kloppenborg, a major contributor to the Synoptic Problem, is especially interested in how one constructs synoptic hypotheses, always aware of the many gaps in our knowledge, the presence of competing hypotheses, and the theological and historical entailments in any given hypothesis. Common to the essays in the remaining three sections is the insistence that the literature, thought and practices of the early Jesus movement must be treated with a deep awareness of their social, literary, and intellectual contexts. The context of the early Jesus movement is illumined not simply by resort to the literary and historical sources produced by Greek and Roman elites but, more importantly, by data gathered from documentary sources available in non-literary papyri.


Survey of contents:

Preface – Introduction – Abbreviations

I. Synoptic Problems The Theological Stakes in the Synoptic Problem – Is There a New Paradigm? – On Dispensing with Q? Goodacre on the Relation of Luke to Matthew – Variation in the Reproduction of the Double Tradition and an Oral Q? – Synopses and the Synoptic Problem

II. The Sayings Gospel Q Symbolic Eschatology and the Apocalypticism of Q – “Easter Faith” and the Sayings Gospel Q – Nomos and Ethos in Q – City and Wasteland: Narrative World and the Beginning of the Sayings Gospel (Q) – Literary Convention, Self-Evidence, and the Social History of the Q People – The Sayings Gospel Q: Literary and Stratigraphic Problems – A Dog Among the Pigeons: The Cynic Hypothesis as a Theological Problem – Discursive Practices in the Sayings Gospel Q and the Quest of the Historical Jesus

III. The Gospel of Mark Egyptian Viticultural Practices and the Citation of Isa 5:1-7 in Mark 12:1-9 – Self-Help or Deus ex Machina in Mark 12.9? – Evocatio Deorum and the Date of Mark – Agrarian Discourse in the Sayings of Jesus

IV. Parables Jesus and the Parables of Jesus in Q – The Parable of the Prodigal Son and Deeds of Gift – Pastoralism, Papyri and the Parable of the Shepherd – The Representation of Violence in the Synoptic Parables