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Essential Resources for Studying the Synoptic Gospels

I was wondering what resources you would suggest I absolutely have to have in order to study the synoptic gospels more in depth (especially in relation to Mark). Of course, there are the standard commentaries. Which of these would you recommend most (for each gospel)? What other books should I consider?



12 Responses

  1. Synopsis of the Four Gospels for sure. I’ll have to give some thought to some others.

    • I have the English version of it. Picked it up at a used book store a while back. I’m probably going to get the Greek-English soon enough.

  2. Gospel Parallels. It doesn’t go very deep into theory or anything, but lays out all the parallel passages of the gospels next to each other in a conveniently organized way so you can see fyoself what’s going on.

  3. A GREEK synopsis of the Gospels 🙂

    • I’ll start saving money for it now. 😉

    • I second this – the Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum is the essential tool for synoptic study!

      also think about Scot McKnight’s Interpreting the Synoptic Gospels (Baker). Interpreting the New Testament in this series is pretty good too – most of them are. McKnight has a good coloring system for doing comparative work in the synoptics that you can always adapt or make yours.

      One life long goal we should all have is to read though and do the coloring system in a synopsis…. again, a life long goal as it will take some time.

      Nicks suggestions below are good too – though I have Robert Stein’s book on the Synoptics that I need to complement by getting Dave Black’s book.

  4. I’ve found the following handy:

    Jesus according to Scripture : restoring the portrait from the Gospels / Darrell L. Bock. – In this one, Bock writes a kind of running commentary on the synoptic gospels and a separate commentary on John. It’s helpful because it is keyed to the various synoptic numbering systems (like Aland’s or Huck-Greeven).

    Jesus in context : background readings for Gospel study / edited by Darrell L. Bock and Gregory J. Herrick. – This one’s meant to be a companion to Jesus according to Scripture (JaS). It contains snippets of various primary texts that are helpful for understanding the cultural/religious/historical background of the Gospels. In essence, he provides the texts of most of the cross references to extra-biblical literature that are given in JaS.

    • Thanks, Jim. I’ve got to admit, I’ve got JaS, but haven’t cracked it yet. I’ll pick through it soon. I think I can probably check JiC from DTS’s library.

  5. I meant to leave this comment the other day, but I’d suggest:

    David Alan Black, Why Four Gospels? The Historical Origins of the Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2001). [Dave is much too humble to promote his own books!]

    Craig L. Blomberg, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, 2nd ed. (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2009).

    Richard A. Burridge, Four Gospels, One Jesus? A Symbolic Reading, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005).

    Martin Hengel, The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ (trans. John Bowden; Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2000).

    Mark L. Strauss, Four Portraits, One Jesus: An Introduction to Jesus and the Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007).

    All of these books have plenty of information on the Synoptics as well as John! And read the Bock volume soon! It’s wonderful!

    • You know, I almost got Blomberg’s book with my WTS payout. I’m sure DTS has all those titles though and I plan to spend some time up there pouring through these.

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