Burkett offers a fresh reading of the much-debated Synoptic Problem. He contends that each theory regarding the Synoptic Problem is contentious. Each presents a case for the mutual dependence of one source upon another-for example, Matthew and Luke depend primarily on Mark, but use each other where they report the same story not contained already in Mark. Neither Mark nor Matthew nor Luke served as the source for the other two, but all depended on a set of earlier sources now lost. The relations between the Synoptic Gospels are more complex than the simpler theories have assumed.
Delbert Burkett is Associate Professor of New Testament at Louisiana State University and the author of The Son of Man Debate: A History and Evaluation and An Introduction to the New Testament and the Origins of Christianity.
Review International Review of Biblical Studies, vol. 51, 2004/05 "Burkett offers a major critique of the cornerstone of most explanations of the synoptic relationships: the priority of Mark. With painstaking care and detailed analysis, he details problems with Markan priority. These critiques cannot be simply brushed aside. This study will be an important challenge to students of synoptic relationships, and will undoubtedly produce needed vigorous debate." Mark A. Matson, Academic Dean, Milligan College--Sanford Lakoff "In this detailed and provocative study, Burkett musters strong evidence against the notion that any one of the Synoptic Gospels served as a source for either of the others. Rather, he believes that Matthew and Mark used common sources, Mark and Luke used common sources, and Mark often conflated sources that were also used respectively by Matthew and Luke. If Burkett's arguments can be refuted, it is important that this be done as quickly as possible. If they cannot, and this may well be the case, then studies of the Synoptic Problem must take a significantly new and different direction. In either case, scholars would be well-advised to give this book their most serious attention." William O. Walker, Jr., Jennie Farris Railey King Professor Emeritus of Religion, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas--Sanford Lakoff "This careful and meticulous study challenges many widely held views about the gospels and their sources and proposes completely new solutions to old problems. It will be essential reading for any engaged in study of the history of the synoptic tradition." Christopher Tuckett, professor Pembroke College--Sanford Lakoff 'this is a study which must be taken seriously. The way he shows that the writers followed through their sources in sequence is particularly impressive'--Sanford Lakoff "Theology " '[T]he thrust of Burkett's thesis is entirely clear. He draws attention to the deficiencies in the prevailing synoptic theories and attempts a comprehensive reconstruction of Gospel sources.' Nicholas H. Taylor, Vol 28.5, 2006--Sanford Lakoff "Journal for the Study of the New Testament "