In 1965, F. Gerald Downing first outlined the phenomenon that subsequently became known as Luke’s “unpicking” of his Matthean source—a frequent procedure whereby Luke, under the Farrer Hypothesis, appears to excise some of Matthew’s Markan material when copying Matthew’s non-Markan text. In the ensuing decades, Downing’s observations were seconded by a number of scholars supporting the Two-Document Hypothesis. Recently, Ken Olson (2004) and Eric Eve (2021) have responded to Downing from the position of the Farrer Hypothesis, with Eve asserting that his argument dismisses the phenomenon. We believe, however, that Downing’s discussion is more accurately in need of an update. In this article, we revisit two of Downing’s original (1965) test cases—the Beelzebul accusation and the appearance of John in the Synoptic Gospels—engaging Olson’s and Eve’s discussion of these two test cases and offering new observations. We conclude by providing an extensive tabulation of the phenomenon of unpicking to facilitate future discussion.

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