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Title: Plausibility, Probability, and Synoptic Hypotheses
Author(s): DOWNING, F. Gerald
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 93    Issue: 2   Date: 2017   
Pages: 313-337
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.93.2.3223607

Abstract :
Scholars assert their reconstructions are possible, probable, plausible. Even Matthew and Luke quite independently agreeing against Mark in Markan contexts is agreed by sceptics to be possible, if not really plausible. Can 'possibility' or 'plausibility' be quantified? Perhaps our judgement between hypotheses is inescapably subjective. However, if some proposed reconstruction can be shown to be impossible, then any that are merely possible surely hold the field, alone or 'complausible' with others. One evangelist writing third (whether Mark, Luke, or recently, from Alan Garrow, Matthew) turns out willing to paraphrase or often copy verbatim – or all but – single matter from the other two, while assiduously avoiding forty or so extensive sequences of the verbatim agreed witness of the other two. Only the hypothesis of Matthew and Luke independently using Mark and 'Q' (2DH) avoids such an arguably impossible reconstruction.

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