8822Re: [Synoptic-L] Pilate and Markan posteriority
- Dec 11, 2002In a message dated 12/11/2002 10:33:41 AM Pacific Standard Time, ron.price@... writes:
If this is the way Mark got his information about prominent people, i.e. directly or indirectly from Matthew, then we would have expected him to know the difference between Herod the king (Mt 2:1) and Herod the tetrarch (Mt 14:1). But it seems he didn't know the difference (Mk 6:14), or at least didn't copy Matthew's terminology here, so your argument that Mark's lack of a title for Pilate is because his readers would know it from Matthew, is somewhat dubious.
Not at all. In the first place, my argument is not based on Mark "copying" Matthew, but rather on a good reason for his NOT copying Matthew in the case of Pilate and his gubernatorial title. Herod is an entirely different case. And as Emmanuel pointed out, the "mythic" king figure of Herod (as it emerges, by the way, in Matt 14:9) is exactly what a later Mark would have latched on to when telling the story to a popular audience in Rome, for whom "tetrarch" would have meant little more than it means to an audience of today.
As for Mark's "Pilate", we can reasonably suppose that Pilate was already well known in oral tradition as the villain of the passion story, and therefore Mark considered further identification unnecessary.
This is of course possible, though gratuitous. I have given clear examples of stories involving Roman governors who are identified only by name. In both cases I gave, these were preceded by earlier written stories in which the man had been identified more than once as a governor of a Roman province; which apparently accounted for the ability of two different authors to tell a second story without belaboring the point. At most you have shown something that I knew already; namely, that I have not constructed an absolutely airtight "proof" of Markan posteriority. I will feel obliged to do so only when I have seen an airtight argument for Markan priority.
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