You wrote --
>I am looking for more objective directional indications.
I was assuming that you had found such relatively objective directional
indications. I agree with you here, therefore.
But what then follows? Let us assume that we now have more objective
directional indications of the secondariness of Mark with respect to
Matthew than previously. These would be perfectly consistent with
Matthew not being prior to Mark. For Matthew could have more faithfully
followed a source which Mark followed less faithfully so that Mark would
have come to display the same indications of secondariness as if Mark
had used Matthew directly. The relatively objective directional
indication would be **negative**, therefore. It would point to Mark
**not** being prior to Matthew. It does not indicate positively that
Matthew was prior.
I would suggest that what you are really looking for are not indications
of the secondariness of Mark with respect to Matthew, but of indications
of the priority of Matthew with respect to Mark. These are just not the
I think the reason why you have not found positive indications of the
priority of Matthew is that Matthew was not prior. More generally, the
reason why over the past two hundred years or more scholars have not
found positive irreversible indicators of the priority of any synoptic
gospel with respect to the others is that no synoptic gospel is prior to
the other two. If any synoptic gospel had been prior to the other two,
surely after so many millions of man-hours (and woman-hours) of study of
the synoptic problem over the past centuries, a positive irreversible
indicator would have been found.
On the other hand scholars have found many and various negative
directional indications, of greater or lesser objectivity, of each
synoptic gospel being secondary to the other two (including yours, which
I think is indeed a more objective indicator). These negative
directional indicators do not prove the Theory of Non-priority. (I do
not set out to prove it, and would agree that my argument does not
amount to deductive proof.) But I would suggest that the Theory of Non-
priority fits the observed negative directional indicators better than
any theory of priority.
For the absence of positive directional indicators and the presence of
negative directional indicators are what we would expect if the Theory
of Non-priority is true.
Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
> "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
> speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
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