PIUS X 1903-1914

The Synoptic Question or the Mutual Relations between the Three Earlier Gospels *


[Reply of the Biblical Commission, June 26, 1912]


2164 I. Whether, preserving what must be jealously preserved according to the decisions made above, especially on the authenticity and integrity of the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; on the substantial identity of the Greek Gospel of Matthew with its early original; also on the order of time in which the same were written, to explain their mutual likenesses and differences, midst so many varying and opposite opinions of the authors, it is permitted for exegetes to dispute freely and to appeal to the hypotheses of tradition whether written or oral, or even of the dependence of one upon a preceding or upon several preceding?–Reply: In the affirmative.


2165 II. Whether they should be advised to preserve what was established above, who, supported by no testimony of tradition or by historical argument, easily taken in by the hypothesis publicly proclaimed of two sources, which labors to explain the composition of the Greek Gospel of Matthew and of the Gospel of Luke chiefly by their dependence upon the Gospel of Mark and a so-called collection of the Lord’s discourses; and whether they are thus able to defend this freely?–Reply. In the negative to both parts.

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