Dear Prof. Kloppenborg Verbin,
Many thanks for the thorough review of the evidence from which
Sanders argued that, contrary to the consensus, Matthew and
Mark do on occasion agree in order against Mark -- and also for the
useful tabular summary of Sanders's evidence.
I agree that pericopae differently placed in all three Synoptics,
along with those relocated from their Marcan context by one
Evangelist and omitted by the other, do not constitute proof of a
direct literary relationship between Mt and Lk (though FWIW they
do qualify the common assessment that the Marcan order is
_always_ followed by at least one of the later evangelists). Some of
Sanders's other examples however do seem to constitute
agreement in order against Mark. Without reviewing all of them, a
few comments on examples that especially impress me follow,
with some response to your objections.
> Since Dr. Peterson notes in particular the temptation story (see
> above), the parable of the leaven, and the teaching on forgiveness,
> let me note that the parable of the leave is differently attached to
> Mark (Matt: at MArk 4; Luke in the travel narrative, after Mark
Right -- the Leaven is significant as a "micro-agreement": Mt and
Lk both preserve a unit in which Leaven (lacking in Mark)
immediately follows Mustard Seed. As you note, they locate this
unit at different points in the Marcan narrative, but it's the common
order within the unit that constitutes agreement against Mark, the
absence of which has been maintained as commending 2DH.
the teaching on forgiveness:
> Matthew at Mark 9:50; Luke in the travel narrative, between Mark
> 9:50 and Mark 10:1).
Again it's the small-scale agreement in order that suggests a
literary relationship. On 2DH one must maintain either that Mt and
Lk independently came to the judgment that the Q unit on
forgiveness fit after Offenses or that Offenses stood in Q. In any
case one has here another micro-agreement in order against Mark.
> (e) approximately the same
> 21. Mark 14:21 Matt 26:25 Luke 22:23
> 22. Mark 14:45 Matt 26:50 Luke 22:48
I don't understand why these should be ruled out of consideration;
they resemble Double Tradition passages like the Pounds/Talents
where there's little or no verbal agreement but enough parallel
content to commend a literary explanation. While #22 might be
ascribed to independent redaction, the explanation on FH strikes
me as more satisfying: Luke sees what Matthew's up to in his
revision of Mark and composes 22:48 to more effectively exploit the
possibility latent in the Marcan narrative; but I grant that Mt and Lk
may have independently perceived this gap and filled it.
But #21 really must be accounted a striking coincidence on 2DH,
mustn't it? With no unsatisfying absence in Mark as in #22, Mt and
Lk each elect to transition from "the Son of Man goes" to the
Supper via reaction among Jesus' disciples? Luke 22:23 is easily
explained as a redactional version of Mt 26:25 following the Marcan
saying, which Luke also recasts (though not as extensively).
> Neirynck also points out that #5 should not be listed at all, since
> it is a Lukan omission, not a Matt-Luke agreement against Mark.
The Return to Bethany is a Lucan omission, but the entry
(EISELQEIN in different forms) EIS TO hIERON on first arriving at
Jerusalem agrees in order against Mark's entry on the second day.
> 3. A careful examination of Mark 1:2-4 and parallels indicates that
> there is as much disageement between Matt and Luke as there is
> agreement of Matt-Luke against Mark. That is, it is difficult to
> detect any consistent pattern of collaboration of MAtt-Luke against
> Mark here.
I'm afraid I don't feel the force of the "no consistent pattern of
agreements" observation; the problem is how to account for such
agreeements as Mt and Lk exhibit in both wording and order apart
from a direct literary relationship. The points in which they fail to
agree, like the passages in Sanders's categories b and c which
you rightly dismiss, are not probative of anything and can be
accounted for as reflective of authorial tendency (e.g., Luke's
extension of the Isa 40 quotation through "all flesh shall see God's
Mark Goodacre's message points us towards the significance of
this discussion. There is a set of data one might label, "Points of
Agreement Between Matthew and Luke w/o Mark." These range
from macro-structural elements (introductory birth narratives and
final resurrection appearances, the Double Tradition itself), to Triple
Tradition passages exhibiting significant agreement against Mark
(and therefore reckoned as overlaps on 2DH), to relatively isolated
points of agreement in order and wording in the Triple Tradition
(many of the latter of course insignificant, e.g., DE for KAI; but
some not so, e.g., Mark 14:65 pars.). At least since Streeter, 2DH
theorists have tended to account for these data on a strategy of
"divide and conquer" and thus (I would argue) obscured the extent
of Mt/Lk agreements against Mark; the pattern deserves reflection
whatever conclusions about Synoptic relationships one draws from
It's been a real treat comparing notes with a scholar of such
distinction. Many thanks to you, and to Mark and Stephen for
facilitating the discussion.
PS By the time SBL convenes, Tennessee may belong to George
Bush -- we'll know later today!
This is the _Excavating Q_ Seminar (Oct. 23 -- Nov. 10 2000).
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