Re: [Synoptic-L] Date of Mark (Six Days)
- I had written: I would suggest as a first question when one arrives at the
Transfiguration pericopes in the Synoptics: since virtually all scholars
would agree that there is an original writer, as well as a copier here,
Bruce: I guess that puts me out of the "all scholars" category. I don't
accept the writer/copyist model; I think it has done immense harm to
Synoptic thinking. Assigning A, B, to any two Synoptics one likes to think
were written in that order, I would go on to say, "B is not a failed copy of
A." None of the Synoptics is trying, and failing, to reproduce another. Each
successive one (and not merely Luke, who as near as need be says so) is
trying to do more adequately what the previous ones (in that Synoptist's
view) did less adequately. But let's see what Leonard has coming.
Leonard: This is obfuscation, pure and simple -- whether or not intended to be. The texts of Matthew and Mark are very close in this particular pericope, and unless both are copying an earlier text, my description is sufficiently clear?except?to the captious.
(previously) Leonard: In Matthew, it is perfectly clear that Jesus-Moses paralleling
(with Jesus trouncing Moses) has been in the works since the beginning of
his gospel, most notably in Matt 2 and Matt 5:1--8:1, little of which has a
parallel in Mark.
Bruce: Hmm, let's see. Concordable mentions of Moses are rather rare in all
three Synoptics: Mt 6x, Mk 8x (more than twice as many per unit area), Lk
10x (and so in second place). As to parallels, taking Mt as the listing
Mt 8:4 the gift that Moses commanded; || Mk 1:44
Mt 17:3 appeared to them Moses and Elijah || Mk 9:4
Mt 17:4 and one for Moses and one for Elijah || Mk 9:5
Mt 19:7 Why then did Moses command one || Mk 10:4 ["allowed"]
Mt 19:8 for your hardness of heart, Moses . . || Mk 10:5 ["he"]
Mt 22:24 Moses said, If a man dies, having no children || Mk 12:19
Looks to me like every "Moses" in Mt has a very close parallel, either with
"Moses" or with "he" whose grammatically understood referent is "Moses," in
Mk. And the parallel passages occur in the same order in Mk as in Mt.
Exactly the same; no exceptions. Zowie. Karl Lachmann, thou shouldst be
living at this hour.
Leonard: All of which?proves that someone is copying someone.
Bruce: Anyway, that leaves over 3 of the Markan "Moses occurrences. One can't help
being curious about what they say:
Mk 7:10 For Moses said, Honor your father . . .? || Mt 15:4 "for God
Mk 10:3 What did Moses command you? || Mt om
Mk 12:26 Have you not read in the book of Moses ~ Mt 22:31 "said to you by
The Mk? 3 "Moses" passages either have a rhetorically shortened equivalent,
which strikes me as trivial, or are upgraded in Mt to, or associated with,
"God." It's surely a very respectful kind of disrespect. Nor do I detect any
other "trouncing" of Moses, by Jesus or for that matter by anyone else in
Leonard: What do you think is meant by: "it was said to you of old.... but I say to you,..."? The transfiguration story, with the disappearance of Moses, and the pointed "hear HIM",?is making the same point that was made in Matthew's Sermon (also) on the Mount, in another literary form.?The fact that Mark uses the name Moses more frequently than Matthew is quite irrelevant to the point I was making. The parallel?texts in which Mark does, and Matthew does not use the name Moses do not exhibit profound theological thought on the part of Mark, attempting to work out a relationship between Jesus and Moses. They are routine references to the man who was thought to be the author of Torah?in traditional Judaism.?So, they help not a whit in responding to my question about the transfiguration story: who is the likely creator of the story, and who the copier? I think the evidence is overwhelming that Matthew is the writer and Mark the copier. Mark shows no interest in Moses where there is not a Matthean parallel. Modeling the story of Jesus on that of Moses, on the other hand,?is part of the fabric of Matthew's work (even, and especially where he is not so prosaic as to use Moses' name).?Oh, and while you have your concordance open, check out how many times Mark uses the term NOMOJ. And the same for Matthew.
Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
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