How Views of Inspiration Have Impacted Synoptic Problem Discussions

F. David Farnell | May 18, 2010

Second Corinthians 10:5 and Colossians 2:8 was believers to examine their thought life carefully to guard against being taken prisoner by philosophical presuppositions that are hostile to the Bible. One can either take thoughts captive or have their thought life taken captive to the detriment of their spiritual lives. One place in particular where conservative evangelicals have been taken captive is in the historical-critical discipline of source criticism. The predominant view of the early church was that the Gospels were four independent witnesses to the life of Christ. Starting around the A. D. 1600-1700’s, there occurred a philosophical and ideological shift in the thinking about the origin of the Gospels, particularly in relationship to the Synoptic Gospels. Due to the rise of Rationalism, Deism, Skepticism, the Enlightenment and Romanticism (to name a few), the Independence approach was rejected and two qualitatively different approaches in explaining the gospels resulted: the Two-Gospel hypothesis and Two-Source hypothesis. A careful investigation reveals that both approaches stemmed from the same errancy roots as modern unorthodox view of inspiration. Because of the history and philosophy behind source criticism, when evangelicals adopt either approach in their interpretation of the Gospels, they automatically tap into these errancy roots that inevitably lead to deprecating the historicity of the Gospels.

Vol. 13, no. 1 (Spring 2002)

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Farnell, F. David. "How Views of Inspiration Have Impacted Synoptic Problem Discussions." The Master's Seminary Journal 13, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 33-64.