More comments in line.
> Every good mission statement from the mission of the apostles to the mission
> of Star Trek, has to declare where the mission is going. In the former case
> the clue to the reason for the limited scope appears in Mt 10:23 : "for you
> will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man
> comes". For a Jew, the towns of Israel naturally took precedence, and the
> mission could not have been planned to go further because of the expected
> early appearance of the Son of Man.
All this says is that Matthew's version works fine as Matthew intends it to work. Matthew has things consistent with this being a mission to the lost sheep of Israel.
On the other hand, Mark's version works fine as Mark intends it, as a pointer to Exodus 12:11. Here the point is not the actual mission but that the 12 were sent out by Jesus with staff and sandals and the 12 tribes were sent out of Egypt by God.
But if Matthew's material was first it is very coincidental that the author provided a framework which Mark could adapt to point to Exodus - making it more likely that Matthew did the adapting.
On another note - "Son of Man" material does not strike me as something I would place close to the historical Jesus, rather as an interpretation of him that emerged well after his death.
Also, I'll say again that statements one way or another, pro or con, on an issue that we know became controversial in a period of time, most likely date to the period of the controversy. Matthew's version is all but explicitly saying "this 'mission' of mine is all about the Jews not any others". It's most likely dating therefore is in the last half of the 1st century, not in the 30s or 40s.
> Christianity developed with remarkable speed primarily because of the
> missionary efforts of Paul. With this development came a transformation in
> understanding of Jesus. We have to face the fact that a Jew proclaimed the
> 'kingdom of God', but what emerged a few decades later was the new religion
> of Christianity. Rightly or wrongly the Christ of faith rapidly became
> significantly different from the Jesus of history.
The speed of its change and development and inclusion of non-Jews may be fairly striking just on its own, however, it would be made even more surprising if Jesus had actually preached "this is only about the Jews". Sort of makes the historical Jesus capable of foreseeing the future after his death. And while we all may have some clues about the future, the conversion of his movement into a non-Jewish movement could not have been one that was easily anticipated.