Bruce Brooks wrote:
> ..... If anyone out there is actually interested in the subject, take a
> Greek text of Mark and (in the other hand) one of Luke, and follow along
> with both, word by word, just before the Omission, until you come to the
> place where Luke loses contact with Mark. Make a note of it. Then line up
> the respective points at the end of the Omission, where Luke regains
> contact, again following the two word by word. What will emerge, I venture
> to suggest, but only for those actually taking the time to perform the
> experiment, is that the boundaries of what Luke includes and omits *do not
> correspond to pericope boundaries.*
This conclusion assumes that Luke was merely copying the text of Mark, as
opposed to freely editing it, and further examination shows clearly that the
assumption is invalid.
If Luke had been a mere copyist, then an examination of Mk 6:42-44; 8:27;
and Lk 9:17-18 along the lines you suggest would show that he omitted KAI
APO TWN ICQUWN and the sentence mentioning the PENTAKISCILIOI, and then
omitted the first part of Mk 8:27 with its mention of KAISAREIAS THS
FILIPPOU. But far from omitting the mention of the five thousand, he had
already mentioned them several sentences earlier. Also, in 9:18 he added
that Jesus was 'praying alone'. This is not the work of a copyist. Once we
grant that Luke was an editor exerting considerable freedom in his use of
Mark (and this is easily verified when we expand our comparisons between
Mark and Luke), it is surely a nonsense to claim that Luke's deviation from
Mark can be pinned down to mid-sentence, or even to mid-pericope.
> ..... At minimum, however many copies of Mark were available to
> medium-income readers in Syria, noneof them contained the ending of the
They all contained the ending (16:8). It's just that some people
underestimate Mark's skills as an author. ;-)
> Matthew, another known Mark reader, did his best to patch in what he
> thought would have been the ending.
Mark revelled in subtlety. Matthew, as a good teacher, liked to set things
out clearly. This simple distinction explains many of the differences
between their texts.
> ..... if, as I and some others have concluded, Mark is early, with a core
> narrative written in the early or mid 30's, .....
Not a chance. Several older aphorisms untainted by the synoptic editors
indicate that the original disciples expected the imminent return of Jesus.
Why write anything down if you think the end is imminent? One of the
clearest trajectories in the early Jesus movement is from eager expectation
of an early return, to acceptance of, and preparation for, an increasingly
long delay. Mark illuminates a part of the trajectory when he deliberately
sets the embarrassing 9:1 in a context designed to suggest that the
expectation of an imminent return was somehow fulfilled in the
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