Synoptic Concordance of the First Three Gospels
A Research Project of the Department of New Testament Studies 
of the University of Bamberg, Germany

Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Paul Hoffmann, this research project was undertaken by Dr. Thomas Hieke, and by Dr. Ulrich Bauer, who developed the necessary computer programs. After preliminary planning and experimentation, financed by the University of Bamberg, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has supported the project since 1996.

The Synoptic Concordance is a new research tool for the analysis of the first three Gospels, in that it presents an extensive mass of data that facilitates in a major way their literary and linguistic analysis.

The advantages of a concordance are combined with those of a synopsis: Each occurrence of a word in the synoptic Gospels, along with a swath of text that provides its context, is displayed in three columns. The effect is that one not only sees the occurrences of a certain word in one Gospel, but also the parallels in the other two Gospels.

Prior to the availability of this new scholarly tool, it was necessary first to check the concordance for the occurrences of a certain word, then to look up one by one each reference in a synopsis, and, finally, to take notes, before moving to the next entry in the concordance, and so on. However, by means of the Synoptic Concordance one has in view the whole synoptic situation at one time. One can see all differences and agreements at a glance, so as to compare the first three Gospels regarding their diverging terminology and syntax. In terms of the Two Document Hypothesis, one can see, for example, how Matthew or Luke takes over and changes his Markan source, or how they differ in the redaction of their Q text.

Grey shadowing calls attention to the differing sequence of the verses and pericopes in the three Gospels. By paying attention to this shadowing, one can follow all occurrences of the key word in the original sequence of each Gospel. An appendix gives the relevant verses in the Acts of the Apostles, in order to make available the full linguistic usage of Luke.

The research project presupposes that there are literary relationships among the first three Gospels. According to widespread consensus, the Two Document Hypothesis provides the most plausible explanation of these relationships. The presentation of the text, however, seeks to display the synoptic situation in a way that is independent of any source theory, so as to allow each user to seek his or her own solution.

At the beginning of each entry, a chart gives a statistical overview of the usage of the key word in the whole New Testament. A second chart, with a detailed evaluation of the distribution of the key word in the synoptic Gospels, displays how often the usage of the one Gospel agrees with (or differs from) the usage of the other two Gospels. In terms of the Two Document Hypothesis, one can, for example, find the words that Matthew (or Luke) prefers or avoids, or catch sight of the so-called "minor agreements". When relevant, these statistics are also given for recurrent formulas and fixed phrases. These formulas and phrases are indicated by a small letter indexing them (as is usual in concordances). By this means the relevant verses can easily be verified in the synoptic presentation of the occurrences.

The Synoptic Concordance will be published by Walter de Gruyter of Berlin and New York. It will appear in four volumes, with a total size of about 5000 pages. The whole project will be completed by the year 2000.

Further information available in German language.

In May 1999 the first volume (Alpha through Delta) of the Synoptic Concordance has been published by Walter de Gruyter, Berlin/New York:
 


 Paul HOFFMANN, Thomas HIEKE, Ulrich BAUER

Synoptic Concordance

A Greek Concordance to the First Three Gospels in Synoptic Arrangement, 
statistically evaluated, including occurrences in Acts

Volume 1: Introduction - Einführung, ALPHA - DELTA, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1999.
Pp. lxiv, 1032, DM 298,--, ISBN 3-11-016296-2
 

See a sample page from the introduction.

In May 2000 the second volume followed (Epsilon through Iota):
 


  Paul HOFFMANN, Thomas HIEKE, Ulrich BAUER

Synoptic Concordance 

A Greek Concordance to the First Three Gospels in Synoptic Arrangement, 
statistically evaluated, including occurrences in Acts

Volume 2: EPSILON - IOTA, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2000.
Pp. xviii, 957, DM 298,--, ISBN 3-11-016617-8
 

In August 2000 the third volume followed (Kappa through Omikron):
 


  Paul HOFFMANN, Thomas HIEKE, Ulrich BAUER

Synoptic Concordance 

A Greek Concordance to the First Three Gospels in Synoptic Arrangement, 
statistically evaluated, including occurrences in Acts

Volume 3: KAPPA - OMIKRON, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2000.
Pp. xviii, 997, DM 298,--, ISBN 3-11-016618-6
 

In Oktober 2000 the fourth volume completed the Synoptic Concordance
(PI through OMEGA):

 


  Paul HOFFMANN, Thomas HIEKE, Ulrich BAUER

Synoptic Concordance 

A Greek Concordance to the First Three Gospels in Synoptic Arrangement, 
statistically evaluated, including occurrences in Acts

Volume 4: PI - OMEGA, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2000.
Pp. xix, 1066, DM 298,--, ISBN 3-11-016619-4
 


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