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A Communities of Practice Approach to the Synoptic Problem

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Although the study of the Synoptic Problem has been the focus of scholarly attention for over two hundred years, the social learning theory known as Communities of Practice is a relatively recent phenomenon. This article describes a communities of practice approach to the study of the Synoptic Problem in an upper‐division undergraduate course at a private, liberal arts college. Students with little or no prior knowledge of the Synoptic Problem were introduced to the salient issues of the Synoptic Problem as well as a theoretical framework in which to interpret them. Data were collected using a variety of mixed methods, including pre‐ and post‐treatment tests, written survey questions, interviews, field notes, and focus group sessions. The results of this study suggest that a communities of practice approach can enhance students' knowledge of the Synoptic Problem and also foster an awareness of scholarly and personal presuppositions that influence the interpretation of the gospels.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Florida College

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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