In deconstructing the Gospel passion narratives, I had long operated under
the assumption that the Gospel of Matthew was utterly worthless as a
historical source. The author clearly patterned his narrative on Mark's. The
only material he added, it seemed, were passages that indicated fulfillment
of prophecy, were apologetic (the story of the guards at the tomb), or were
outright legendary (the angel meeting the women at the sepulcher).
But recently I stumbled across Helen Bond's observation in "Pontius Pilate"
that while Mark speaks of the "chief priest" and the "high priests," Matthew
mentions the high priest, Caiaphas, by name. In this instance, Matthew
indisputably demonstrates historical knowledge not found in Mark.
Secondly, I note that Mark and Matthew differ in naming the women who
observed Jesus dying on the cross. Mark mentions Mary Magdalene and Mary the
mother of Joses. Matthew mentions Mary Magdalene, Mary the bother of *James*
and Joses, plus *the mother of Zebedee's children.* Although this additional
information could represent legendary accretion, it's also possible that
Matthew had independent knowledge of which women stood by the cross.
I wondered if anyone on the eMatthew list could point out additional shards
of historically trustworthy information that might be contained in Matthew's