Friday, October 6, 2023

The Synoptic Problem (5)

As you know, Occam's Razor gives precedence to simplicity. The simpler explanation is to be preferred to the more complex one. 

Now, our hypothesis -- the Fourfold Gospel Hypothesis -- differs in many ways from the current consensus view (Markan priority), not least in terms of simplicity. Do you know how many hypothecated documents our theory requires? Yep, you guessed it. NONE. Not one. No M. No L. And no Q. I emphasize this because the Markan priority hypothesis is based on a number of dubious assumptions not least of which is that Q was a vitally important document in the first 50 years after the resurrection but was lost through shocking carelessness. I find this simply incredulous, especially when there is a much simpler explanation for the relationships between the synoptic Gospels. 

No, we cannot blindly apply Occam's Razor willy nilly. But all other things being equal, there is something to be said for the simpler explanation, don't you think? Luke knew Matthew. Mark knew both Matthew and Luke. Simple but not simplistic!