Synoptic History Essay
Michael J. B. Allen, Florence: Olschki, Pp. xiv,
Reviewed by Christopher Celenza,
Michigan State University, Department of History
"I have been destined by God to do this work." So wrote Marsilio Ficino in the late s in reply to the charge that his revival of the "ancient theology," the prisca theologia, would not serve providence. He was working, he wrote, "every day on the books of Plotinus," in an effort to present fully and perfectly the ancient theology. "The result will be," Ficino went on, "that when this theology has been led into the light, the poets will cease to recount impiously in their fables the deeds and the mysteries of piety." Ficino saw himself and his mission in late Quattrocento Florence as serving providence, as a part of God's plan. This splendid new volume by Michael J. B. Allen illuminates well a number of different facets of Ficino's conception of both himself and his mission. Allen touches on Ficino's view of the possibility, indeed, the necessity, in the environment in which he found himself, of taking a philosophical approach to religious problems; on Ficino's opinions concerning the relationship of early Christian thought to later Platonism; on the manner in which Ficino cast the always tenuous relationship between poetry and philosophy, given Plato's vigorous critique of the poets' place in society; on Ficino's conception of Socrates's daimonion; and on Ficino's hitherto neglected revival of Platonic dialectic.
If one finds oneself in a city whose members, oneself included, are highly cognizant of its cultural and intellectual prominence; but if at the same time that cultural center is spiritually unhealthy and in dire need of a medicus animarum, a "doctor of souls;" and if one believes that one is that needed doctor of souls and has the proper spiritual medicamenta to heal the city's ills; how then does one go about effecting the desired renovatio? This is the situation in which Ficino saw himself. Allen shows that Ficino adhered throughout his life to the belief that it was important to involve the ingeniosi, the "acute wits," in this spiritual renewal. They could never be expected, it seemed to Marsilio, to accept the deepest mysteries of Christianity without being exposed to arguments that appealed to their reason. For the spiritual renovation to have adequate
The Synoptic Problem: Analysis Of The Two-Gospel Hypothesis Essays
Throughout history scholars and theologians have sought to determine the chronological order regarding the synoptic Gospels of the New Testament canon. They have often utilized both the internal sources, found within the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and external evidence to critically analyze the literary and historical relations.
The two-Gospel hypothesis provides an effective response regarding these literary and historical similarities with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke through a balanced approach utilizing both internal and external resources to address the long standing debate regarding the synoptic problem.
The Synoptic Problem
The synoptic problem is a debate in regards to the literary relationship…show more content…
Multiple theories and hypotheses have been developed using these sources to provide possible explanations of the literary similarities. These explanations include, but are not limited to, the two-source hypothesis, four-document hypothesis, the two-Gospel hypothesis, the Farrer theory and the Augustinian hypothesis.
A commonly accepted solution is the Mark-Q theory, or most frequently known as the two-source hypothesis. The two-source hypothesis holds that Mark was the original gospel and both Matthew and Luke independently enhanced it with a lost source referred to as Q (Black and Beck, ). It is the first of many theories that take into account Markan priority, or the belief that the Gospel of Mark indeed came first due to it’s vivid touches, rough grammar, misleading details, and abbreviation that is not found in Matthew or Luke. In addition Markan priority accounts for the rare deviation Matthew or Luke make from Mark especially in the same way at the same time (Black and Beck, ). The weakest points within the two-source hypothesis include its failure to address the agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark along with it’s incorporation of an unverified mysterious Q source (Farmer, ).
It is followed by the Four-Document Hypothesis in which B.H. Streeter included two additional documents that Matthew and Mark