第二课 -- 介绍，B部分
Lesson 2 – Introduction, Part B
The Synoptic Problem
“Synoptic” is a Greek word meaning “seeing together.” Applied to the gospels, it refers to the fact that the first three gospels take a similar view of the Savior’s life. For nearly two thousand years people have been studying the differences and similarities found in the first three gospels. Some of their conclusions have provided us with interesting, helpful information on the content and purpose of the individual gospels, and thereby have helped God’s people and have glorified the Savior. However, some of the conclusions drawn by scholars have done the opposite. They have approached the three gospels as mere human documents from the starting point of doubt, and they have had no respect for the gospels’ divine authority or saving purpose. These “Bible doubters” have come up with the phrase “the synoptic problem” in their attempt to analyze the first three gospels. Since we believe that the Holy Spirit inspired all of the Scriptures in the exact way that God intended the books to be written, we have no “problem” with the content of the gospels. Our scholarship is to glorify Christ and advance his kingdom. The accompanying document, The Synoptic Problem, is written from a Bible-believing perspective and gives a critical evaluation of the theories put forth by the scholarly “Bible doubters.”
“符类福音”（Synoptic）希腊原文字义是 “同观”（一起来看事物）。就福音书来说，是指前三福音书在对救主生平的记载采用了相似的观点。近两千年来人们不断地研究前三部福音书中显明的不同与相似之处。其中一些结论对我们了解各福音书独特的内容及写作该福音书的目的提供了有意义的有用信息，因此荣神益人。然而，学者们所持的某些结论却恰恰相反。他们仅仅是从对人类普通文献的角度来怀疑前三福音书，毫不尊重福音书来自神的权威性或以救恩为目的。这些“圣经怀疑论者”最终以所谓的“符类福音问题”试图来分析前三福音书。因为我们相信整本圣经都是圣灵所默示的，按神所定的方式写成，所以，我们并不觉得福音书的内容有任何 “问题”。我们对圣经的学识是为了荣耀基督的名以及扩展他的国度。附加的文献《符类福音问题》，是从相信圣经的角度，对学术上的“圣经怀疑论者”提出的理论给出的关键性评价。
1. Become familiar enough with the theories presented in The Synoptic Problem that you can, in a simple and general way, explain some of the theorists’ ideas and the arguments against them.
2. Prepare questions that you have on the above material.
The Synoptic Authors
The more important matter is to look at what the Bible itself says. As we study the gospels, it is interesting and helpful to consider what we learn about Matthew, Mark, and Luke in the Scriptures. Studying their background, relationships with other believers, their reason for writing the Savior’s story, and their literary style will help us understand the gospels’ message better. Best of all, as our understanding increases, our faith grows! Also included with the lesson is a second document called Supplementary Information on Synoptic Authors. That document includes information on the authors’ intended audience, their purpose in writing Jesus’ story, their literary style, etc. You may use that material for your own personal growth. Our Bible study in this lesson will focus on passages from Scripture that show us the authors’ background and their interaction with the Lord and other believers.
Christians commonly refers to the first three gospels as Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These names, however, did not appear in the early Greek manuscripts as titles to the gospels. The earliest mention of their names as the gospel’s authors is by the church historian Eusebius, who lived from 260-340 A.D. His reference shows us that it was commonly accepted from the very beginning of the New Testament Church that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were the authors of the four gospels. The order also reflects the church’s tradition regarding the order in which the gospels were written.
“Matthew” is the English form of the Hebrew name Mattathiah, meaning “gift from the Lord.” The Greek equivalent is “Theodore,” “gift of God.” His name is found in the four lists of the twelve apostles (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), as well as in the story referred to as The Calling of Matthew (Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:14-17; Luke 5:27-32).
3. Read the three references to The Calling of Matthew listed above. How is the Matthew reference different from the Mark and Luke references? How would you account for this difference? (Note: The tax collectors were Jews hired by the Romans to tax their fellow Jews. They made money by overcharging their fellow countrymen, as is evident from Zacchaeus’ words in Luke 19:8.)
阅读以上三处列出的《马太的呼召》，马太的记载与马可和路加福音的记载怎样不同？你怎么看待这个差异？ （注：税吏是被罗马雇用的向犹太人征税的犹太人。他们通过讹诈自己的同胞来挣钱，从撒该的话语可以证实， 路19：8 )
4. Note the criticism of the Pharisees. Why would such a complaint be something that fits the Pharisees well? (The Pharisees were the religious sect that prided themselves in how well they kept not only God’s Law, but also the many other laws added by the rabbis.)
5. What is the meaning of Jesus’ response in verses 12-13? How are those words a personal comfort to us?
6. The word for “mercy” in verse 13 is the English translation of the Greek word eleos, which is used for the Old Testament Hebrew word chesed. Chesed can mean “mercy.” It is the feeling that God has toward people that makes him want to help poor sinners. It can also be translated “covenant love,” which becomes the reason why God wants to help his struggling people – it’s because He has promised to help them, for He chose them to be his own.
How do these added insights into this word help us understand what God wants of us?
7. In what way does Matthew serve as a positive example for us in the fact that he hosted this kind of dinner party for Jesus?
“Mark” is from a Latin word that means “big hammer.” His name is mentioned by the early church father, Papias (60-130 A.D.), describing him as follows: “Mark became Peter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered of the things said or done by the Lord.” Thus, there is a strong tradition that Mark was the younger traveling companion of the Apostle Peter and accompanied him to Rome. This is supported in 1 Peter 5:13, if “Babylon” is taken as a figurative expression for Rome. This verse also shows the close companionship that Mark shared with the older apostle, his “father” in the faith. (Paul spoke of Timothy in similar terms.)
8. If a person in Bible times wanted to include himself in a piece of historic writing, it was the custom to write about himself in the “third person.” Thus, the “young man” mentioned in Mark 14:51-52 could very well have been the gospel writer Mark. Why would this be a logical conclusion?
9. Mark is mentioned by his complete name, “John Mark,” in Acts 12:12. His mother is named as Mary, and her house hosted early gatherings of Christians. Some believe it was the same place where Jesus gathered with his disciples for the final Passover meal, where the disciples were locked in fear on the evening of the resurrection, and where the early believers gathered in Acts 1:12 and following. If this last example is true, Mark’s mother would have been wealthy with a large house, for the number of believers is described as “about 120.” If that is the case, their family wealth might also explain why Mark found it easy to go on mission trips.
What we do know for sure is what is described in Acts 12:12-17. What is it about Mark’s family relationships that becomes a positive example for us? Can you think of how you might do something similar to what Mark’s mother Mary did?
10. As is the case in the lives of all believers, something negative happened in Mark’s life as well. This negative thing happened on Paul’s first mission journey. Read about this in Acts 13:13; Acts 15:36-41. What kinds of feelings might you have had if you had been Mark?
11. What do the following passages tell us about the difficulties between the Apostle Paul and Mark? Colossians 4:10 Philemon 24 2 Timothy 4:11
“Luke” is a form of the Latin name “Lucius,” which is derived from the Latin word lux, meaning “light.” He is the author of both the third gospel and the book of Acts, which is obvious by the fact that both books are addressed to the same nobleman, Theophilus. Luke is mentioned extensively in the book of Acts by the simple word “we.” When the narrative switches to “we,” it means that Luke, at that point, was traveling with Paul on his second and third mission journeys. The “we passages” in Acts are as follows:
Acts 16:10-17 Acts 20:5-15 Acts 21:1-18 Acts 27:1 – 28:16
12. Luke is mentioned three times in the letters of Paul. What do we learn about Luke in each of the following verses?
Colossians 4:14 西4：１４
Philemon 24 门 ２４
2 Timothy 4:11 提后４：１１
13. What can we learn from Luke about setting priorities, in view of the fact that he had the profession of being a physician?
14. What are the most important things you want to take with you from this lesson in regard to the authors of the first three gospels and their relationship with the Lord Jesus?