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6473Re: [Synoptic-L] Matthean and Lukan Dependence on Mark

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    Jul 8, 2001
      In a message dated 7/7/2001 11:48:31 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      weedent@... writes:

      << My attempt was to suggest that the evidence I offered provides
      compelling reason, absent any other extant evidence to the contrary with
      reference to the specific patterning of the portrayal of the disciples in the
      three, that Mark was prior to Matthew and Luke and that the latter two used
      Mark as a source. I am not arguing from the perspective of any other
      linguistic or rhetorical perspective---only the issue of characterization as
      it pertains to the disciples in the three Gospels. >>


      At the risk of repeating argumentation that has taken place several times on
      this list in the past, I would like to react to this argument that has been
      allowed to pass relatively unchallenged here in the last few weeks of
      discussion. I should preface my comments by saying that I was away for three
      weeks, without good access to Internet, in the latter part of June and early
      July, and I have not yet gone back to read especially Weeden's lengthy
      interventions (attached files, etc.) on this topic, which I still hope to do
      when I have time.

      On the basis of several of Ted's recent posts that I have read, I would say
      that this particular argument in favor of Markan priority is one that I am
      delighted to see given such prominence by Ted, because I think it is
      especially weak. I would make two points: 1. I think Ted exaggerates the
      difference between the portrayal of the Twelve in Mark and in the other
      Synoptics, especially Matthew; and 2. Even allowing that the difference is as
      great as Ted says it is, as an argument in favor of Markan priority it is
      still scarcely incontrovertible or strong. I would concede, still allowing
      for the moment that Ted's subjective evaluation of the difference in
      presentation between Mark and the other Synoptics regarding the disciples is
      accurate, that one could make something of an argument for Markan priority
      here, based on the overall tendency of historical development, which was in
      the direction of greater veneration and honor given to the Twelve Apostles in
      the great church. However, it should be remembered that the Gospels are
      roughly contemporary documents, and so an argument based on this tendency of
      a temporally evolving church history is weak to the extent that other factors
      could well have motivated a relatively "late" Mark to highlight the negative
      aspect of the portrayal of the disciples found in his sources. It is usually
      the "understanding" of the disciples that is criticized by Jesus in Mk, and
      some modern scholars have rightly pointed out that this emphasis has the
      effect of highlighting the divinity (mysterious, incomprehensible) of Jesus:
      so this motif would be at the service of a high Christology in Mark. I have
      also argued that Mark is a moralistic Gospel in the sense that the author
      uses older material, originally written as legitimation of Jesus as Israel's
      Messiah, for more parochial, pastoral, moral purposes. The disciples become
      representatives of contemporary disciples of Jesus and their failures become
      transparent of weaknesses in discipleship that Mark perceives in the Roman
      Christians he is writing to, who are weak in the face of growing persecution
      from the side of the State. As for my first point, the extent to which the
      difference between Mark and the other Synoptics is exaggerated, I would refer
      to a number of interventions I made on this list two or three years ago in
      dialogue with Yuri Kuchinsky (perhaps someone who knows his/her way around
      the archives of Synoptic-L could help me here).

      Leonard Maluf

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
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