L source

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Streeter's Four Document Hypothesis

In historical-critical analysis, the L source is an inferred oral tradition which Luke used when composing his gospel.[1][2] It includes the virgin birth of Jesus and many of Jesus' best loved parables. Like Matthew's unique source, known as M, the L source has important parables.[1] Two which appear in L are the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son.[1] I. Howard Marshall states "Luke rightly regarded these sources as reliable".[3]

According to the Four Document Hypothesis, Luke combined Mark, the Q source, and L to produce his gospel.[1] The material in L, like that in M, probably comes from the oral tradition.[1] Luke's special material composes nearly half of his gospel.[4]

The question of how to explain the similarities among the Gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke is known as the synoptic problem. The hypothetical L source fits a contemporary solution in which Mark was the first gospel and Q was a written source for both Matthew and Luke.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Funk, Robert W., Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar. The five gospels. HarperSanFrancisco. 1993. "Introduction," p 1-30.
  2. ^ Jones, Brice (2011). Matthean and Lukan Special Material: A Brief Introduction with Texts in Greek and English. Wipf and Stock Publishers. ISBN 978-1-61097-737-1. 
  3. ^ IVP New Testament Commentary 21st century edition pp 979
  4. ^ Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). Chapter 2. Christian sources about Jesus.
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