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Re: Arguments for Marcan priority

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  • James R. Covey
    ... inconcinnities ? I don t believe I ve ever seen that word before. Care to define it? Both WWWebster and my desktop Oxford are balking at it... James ...
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 2, 1998
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      re missive of 02/06/98 03:17 PM signed -PetersnICS@...- :

      >Several pericopes exhibit narrative details that are well-integrated into
      >the Marcan narrative but involve inconcinnities in Matthew.

      "inconcinnities"? I don't believe I've ever seen that word before.
      Care to define it? Both WWWebster and my desktop Oxford are balking
      at it...

      James


      -------------------------
      James R. Covey
      WWW Systems Developer
      Cochran Interactive Inc.
      http://www.cochran.com
      direct ph. # 902.422.8915
      office fax # 902.425.8659
      jrcovey@...
    • PetersnICS@aol.com
      Two arguments for Marcan priority seem especially strong to me, and I would appreciate listers evaluation of them: 1) The first is noted by Sanders and Davies
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 2, 1998
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        Two arguments for Marcan priority seem especially strong to me, and I would
        appreciate listers' evaluation of them:

        1) The first is noted by Sanders and Davies against the 2GH: Griesbach-Farmer
        "attributes an inexplicable procedure to Mark" (p. 112), i.e., conflation and
        condensation of the Matthaean and Lucan narratives via the omission of birth
        and temptation narratives, the sermon on the mount/plain—indeed, the whole of
        the Q, M, and L material. This is not quite the same as the argument from
        sheer length that has recently been discussed on the list; the question is
        whether a coherent rationale can be stated for the omission of the particular
        narratives and sayings that Mark must be understood to have omitted, in
        addition to stating a rationale for the material he retained. Note that a
        version of this burden must still be met if one holds Mark later than Matthew
        but earlier than Luke; why produce just such a Reader's Digest Condensed
        Gospel as Mark would be of either Matthew alone or of Matthew and Luke?

        2) Another line of argument was proposed by G. M. Styler in his appendix to
        Moule's _Birth of the NT_ and has been recently revived by Mark Goodacre (in
        _NTS_ 44, pp. 45ff). Several pericopes exhibit narrative details that are well
        integrated into the Marcan narrative but involve inconcinnities in Matthew.
        Perhaps the most striking is in Matt 14:9 (// Mark 6:26): Herod (whom Matthew
        introduces as wanting John the Baptist dead but fearing to have him killed
        because of his popularity) is grieved when his niece requests John's head; the
        mention of Herod's grief in Mark makes sense there since Herod is introduced
        as revering John while Herodias carries the grudge and seeks John's life
        (6:20–21), but in Matthew the emotion lacks a motive. The explanation of such
        passages that best combines economy with a charitable view of Matthaean
        narrative ability seems to be Matthew's inadvertent retention (by editor's
        "fatigue," as Goodacre conveniently terms the phenomenon) of a detail from his
        Marcan source.

        I am especially interested in how Griesbachians and Augustinians account for
        such texts.

        Jeff Peterson
        Institute for Christian Studies
        Austin, Texas, USA
        e-mail: peterson@...
      • Jim West
        ... It means incongruity. ... Jim +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Jim West, ThD Quartz Hill School of Theology jwest@highland.net
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 2, 1998
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          At 01:31 PM 6/2/98 +0000, you wrote:
          >re missive of 02/06/98 03:17 PM signed -PetersnICS@...- :
          >
          >>Several pericopes exhibit narrative details that are well-integrated into
          >>the Marcan narrative but involve inconcinnities in Matthew.
          >
          >"inconcinnities"? I don't believe I've ever seen that word before.
          >Care to define it? Both WWWebster and my desktop Oxford are balking
          >at it...
          >

          It means incongruity.


          >James
          >

          Jim

          +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
          Jim West, ThD
          Quartz Hill School of Theology

          jwest@...
        • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
          At 11:18 AM 6/2/98 EDT, Jeff Peterson wrote ... deleted]. While I read this list regularly, I respond less frequently since I often feel that I don t have a
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 2, 1998
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            At 11:18 AM 6/2/98 EDT, Jeff Peterson wrote
            :
            >Two arguments for Marcan priority seem especially strong to me, and I would
            >appreciate listers' evaluation of them:
            >
            >1) The first is noted by Sanders and Davies against the 2GH: Griesbach-Farmer
            >"attributes an inexplicable procedure to Mark" (p. 112), i.e., conflation and
            >condensation of the Matthaean and Lucan narratives via the omission of birth
            >and temptation narratives, the sermon on the mount/plain—indeed, the whole of
            >the Q, M, and L material. This is not quite the same as the argument from
            >sheer length that has recently been discussed on the list..... [remainder
            deleted].

            While I read this list regularly, I respond less frequently since I often
            feel that I
            don't have a lot to offer beyond what I have already put in print. Forgive
            me for
            making an exception in this case, but the criterion of length, refined now
            as the
            "inexplicable procedure" of omission has never seemed to me a convincing
            argument. If I may quote myself (since I still hold this view), back in 1983 I
            wrote:

            "It has often been argued against the Griesbach Hypothesis that Mark would
            have had no reason for omitting so much important material found in Matthew
            and Luke. Examples of such material would include the birth narratives, the
            Sermon on the Mount/Sermon on the Plain, many of the parables and teachings
            of Jesus, and the accounts of the appearances of the Risen Jesus. The list
            could, of course, be extended, but the point is clear. This line of
            reasoning,
            however, seems to be based upon an assumption which it may not be
            legitimate to make. There are, after all, many _possible_ reasons why an
            author might write again something which has already been written. He might
            wish to supplement the earlier works by the addition of greater detail or
            by the addition of entirely new material. He might wish to refine or correct
            them in some substantive way. In these and similar cases the later
            author would intend that his work replace the earlier documents, probably
            with the idea that the earlier works would subsequently disappear from
            general use. It is also possible, however, that a later author would write,
            not
            to replace but only to summarize or to interpret the earlier works by setting
            the materials in a different context or by addressing himself to a different
            audience with different concerns. In these cases the later author would
            intend that his work be used along with the earlier documents. Further,
            since in these cases the omission of materials would not imply their loss,
            there is little need for special attention to the reasons for omission. Far
            more important is the question of what the author has done with the materials
            he has included (from whatever source he has obtained them)." [quoted from
            "Crisis and Christology: The Theology of Mark," NEW GOSPEL STUDIES:
            THE CAMBRIDGE GOSPEL CONFERENCE AND BEYOND, Edited by
            William R. Farmer. Mercer University Press, 1983, pp. 373-392.]

            Later in that chapter I offer some suggestions about how some of the
            "omissions" might be understood. Whether one agrees with my
            explanation or not, Mark's "omissions" are not completely inexplicable.

            One thing that strikes me: I would make more use of inclusive language in
            1998 that in did in 1983!

            But the point is simply this: The argument based upon Mark's
            "inexplicable omissions" seems to me to assume that Mark (if he were
            third) wrote to _replace_ Matthew and Luke. However, if Mark were writing
            to supplement or interpret Matthew and Luke - as the Griesbach Hypothesis
            proposes - rather than to replace these Gospels, if Mark assumed that the
            readers would continue to have access to and to use Matthew and Luke,
            then the "problem" of omission is really no problem at all.

            Do I fairly represent ancient authors? I think so. Acts 1:1-4 does not suggest
            that Luke intends to include everything (nor even everything significant) that
            he has encounted in the earlier documents known to him. The probative
            force of the arugment referred to above is directly related to how one
            understands the intention of the ancient author.

            One final point (a small one). While it is true that Sanders/Davies, on p.
            112,
            write that "the Griesbach proposal attributes an inexplicable procedure to
            Mark" one needs to read this comment with reference to all that they had in
            mind. I've known Ed Sanders since we were graduate students together and have
            a prized copy of STUDYING THE GOSPELS, autographed by Ed and given to
            me in Oxford when he had only two prepublication two copies, one for himself
            and one for Margaret. He graciously gave me his personal copy. I took this
            copy
            from my shelf and on p. 117 read, "The Griesbach hypothesis...suffers from the
            inability to explain Mark. It may be that here we face only a failure of the
            imagination: why would anyone carefully conflate parts of Matthew and Luke,
            while omitting so much of both? Nevertheless, scholarship cannot accept a
            theory of literary relationship which it cannot comprehend. Moreover, what is
            known of ancient authors who conflated indicates that they did so by
            incorporating their sources in blocks, rather than by switching back and forth
            from phrase to phrase."

            While Ed may not have looked at everything that I wrote before he and Margaret
            wrote their introduction, STUDYING THE GOSPELS is not, I think, the final word
            on these issues. As I have mentioned, it is credible (whether true or not)
            that
            Mark would have omitted all of that material. It is certainly not
            "inexplicable."
            Authors who use sources often omit material, especially when their sources
            will continue to be read. But as an "inexplicable procedure" Sanders/Davies
            might be referring to what I have called a pattern of alternating agreement
            (what Sanders/Davies refer to as "switching back and forth from phrase to
            phrase"). But, as I aruged many years ago in my doctoral dissertation,
            authors
            who conflate sources do not always do so in a uniform manner. Some do
            incorporate their sources in blocks, others switch back and forth, even from
            phrase to phrase. Sometimes the same author will compose different sections
            of a work in different ways. One might look at the way Tatian has conflated
            the
            canonical gospels in the Diatessaron - and there are other examples that
            one could examine.

            Finally, it is important to note that Sanders/Davies do not offer these
            comments
            as arguments for the priority of Mark but rather to expose what they
            understand
            to be weaknesses in the Griesbach Hypothesis. I think that Ed and I agree
            that,
            on the Griesbach Hypothesis, Mark's omissions require explanation. I have
            attempted such explanation and whether or not Ed (or others) find those
            explanations credible is a matter for further discussion and analysis. But Ed
            does not, at least as far as I can see, offer the "omissions" as an
            arugment FOR
            Markan priority. It is a big step to transform what Sanders/Davies see as a
            problem for the Griesbach Hypothesis into a "strong argument" for Markan
            priority.

            If others respond to these comments and hear nothing from me, it is not that
            I am ignoring your comments (or reduced to silence). In my other life, I am an
            archaeologist and I depart on Friday for five weeks of excavation. I will have
            little, if any, access to email while I am in the field.

            Best wishes, then, to all for a pleasant summer.

            trwl
          • Jim Deardorff
            ... Hello Jeff, Let me give you a modified AH response to your question (1), of why the writer of Mark may have omitted what he did from Matthew. This is at
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 2, 1998
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              At 11:18 AM 6/2/98 EDT, PetersnICS@... wrote:
              >Two arguments for Marcan priority seem especially strong to me, and I would
              > appreciate listers' evaluation of them:
              >
              >1) The first is noted by Sanders and Davies against the 2GH: Griesbach-Farmer
              > "attributes an inexplicable procedure to Mark" (p. 112), i.e., conflation and
              > condensation of the Matthaean and Lucan narratives via the omission of birth
              > and temptation narratives, the sermon on the mount/plain—indeed, the whole of
              > the Q, M, and L material. This is not quite the same as the argument from
              > sheer length that has recently been discussed on the list; the question is
              > whether a coherent rationale can be stated for the omission of the particular
              > narratives and sayings that Mark must be understood to have omitted, in
              > addition to stating a rationale for the material he retained. Note that a
              > version of this burden must still be met if one holds Mark later than Matthew
              > but earlier than Luke; why produce just such a Reader's Digest Condensed
              > Gospel as Mark would be of either Matthew alone or of Matthew and Luke?
              >[...]
              >I am especially interested in how Griesbachians and Augustinians account for
              > such texts.

              Hello Jeff,

              Let me give you a modified AH response to your question (1), of why the
              writer of Mark may have omitted what he did from Matthew. This is at the
              risk of repeating myself. But since my previous explanation received no
              objections, as I recall, it is worth repeating.

              (a) Start with the external evidence indicating that Peter and Mark (I'll
              call him John Mark) were in Rome together where Mark had some written
              document concerning Jesus' ministry that Peter neither urged forward nor
              forbade reading. I'll call the document proto-Mark. Within the AH
              framework, the argument of order indicates that proto-Mark did not extend
              past Mt 12; otherwise the writer of Mark would not have needed to copy so
              much from Matthew, and in Matthew's precise order, from that point on. And
              the writing of proto-Mark apparently only commenced following the Sermon on
              the Mount, due to its absence, essentially, from Mark and due to the lack of
              any material in Mark before this Sermon that seems other than a highly
              abbreviated form of Matthew (plus a few small Marcan additions). In the
              modified AH one does not think of proto-Mark as the reminiscences of Peter,
              since Mark does not, in my opinion, contain any particular slant of Peter's,
              and since Peter would have reminisced about much that came after the events
              up to Mt 12, not just before.

              (b) The writer of Mark, with proto-Mark available to him, wrote his gospel
              in Rome decades after Peter and John Mark had been alive and shortly after
              Matthew appeared. He could not have appreciated the strong anti-gentile
              slant of Matthew; moreover, if proto-Mark did not contain any such
              anti-gentile bias, which I think it did not, this would have alerted him to
              the anti-gentile statements being redactions of the writer of Matthew. So
              the writer of Mark omitted or ameliorated all of Matthew's anti-gentile
              statements in his gospel, and this included even the healing of the
              centurion's servant, whose verse Mt 8:8 can be construed as being
              anti-gentile. And since he was writing a gospel for gentiles, he omitted
              much Judaistic material and anything he thought would not be understandable
              to gentiles. The latter would include material that he did not find
              understandable himself, including most of the parables. (He did not have
              any Commentaries available to him that would attempt to explain such teachings!)

              (c) This writer of Mark of course had his own philosophical preferences, and
              they included a more militant outlook than what the writer of Matthew held.
              The former seems to have favored militancy if it served to further the
              church's mission, and so he did not wish to include the sword-sheathing
              admonition of Mt 26:52, nor the "turn the other cheek" advice and similar
              advice urging humility.
              It also included a more royal treatment of Jesus than what Matthew had
              afforded him. Main examples: Mk 3:9 -- Jesus ordering a boat so that the
              crowd would not crush him (not in Matthew); the cushion in Mk 4:38 for Jesus
              to sleep on, the omission of Mt 8:20's lack of a place to lay his head, and
              the presence of more houses for Jesus to stay in than in Matthew; Mk 9:15
              having the crowd greet Jesus with an astonishment or awe; the man in Mk
              10:17 who runs up to Jesus and kneels before him, not present in the
              parallel of Mt 19:16; the colt in Mk 11:2 being one that had never been
              ridden on before; and the large upstairs room, furnished and ready, of Mk 14:15.

              (d) The writer of Mark wished his gospel to be different from Matthew, and
              this he could accomplish by:
              1) Abbreviating Matthew strongly and removing its anti-gentile bias;
              2) adding many pleonasms and change for the sake of change;
              3) making use of proto-Mark to add detail to pericopes (this then
              pertains primarily to pericopes found within Mt 8-11);
              4) adding surmised or fictitious details to Matthean material he
              utilized, including the examples of (c) above;
              5) reordering within his own gospel the Matthean material that had been
              present in proto-Mark in greater detail than in its Matthean parallels of
              Mt 8-11; and
              6) writing his gospel in Greek, whereas Matthew and proto-Mark had been
              in Aramaic or Hebraic.
              In (d) 3) above, the pericope of the Gerasene Demoniac is one of the
              proto-Mark passages, and it apparently had the most detail of any, which the
              later writer of Matthew's source (the Logia) had forgotten or felt not worth
              specifying. So Matthew's rendition of it is much shorter.

              >2) Another line of argument was proposed by G. M. Styler in his appendix to
              > Moule's _Birth of the NT_ and has been recently revived by Mark Goodacre (in
              > _NTS_ 44, pp. 45ff). Several pericopes exhibit narrative details that are well
              > integrated into the Marcan narrative but involve inconcinnities in Matthew.
              > Perhaps the most striking is in Matt 14:9 (// Mark 6:26): Herod (whom Matthew
              > introduces as wanting John the Baptist dead but fearing to have him killed
              > because of his popularity) is grieved when his niece requests John's head;the
              > mention of Herod's grief in Mark makes sense there since Herod is introduced
              > as revering John while Herodias carries the grudge and seeks John's life
              > (6:20–21), but in Matthew the emotion lacks a motive. The explanation of such
              > passages that best combines economy with a charitable view of Matthaean
              > narrative ability seems to be Matthew's inadvertent retention (by editor's
              > "fatigue," as Goodacre conveniently terms the phenomenon) of a detail from his
              > Marcan source.

              >Jeff Peterson

              As to your 2), it should be pointed out that Mark also contains a severe
              inconsistency, in that its 6:20a has Herod fearing John, and a ruler like
              that would be happy, not sad, to have an excuse to eliminate a man under his
              jurisdiction whom he fears. (Goodacre didn't comment upon this.) In Matthew
              what Herod feared was adverse reaction from the people if he were to put
              John to death, not John himself. Mk 6:20b,c and Mark's omission of Mt 14:5a
              are then redactions or intended improvements designed to bring the early
              part of the story into accord with Herod's purported sorrow over the
              beheading of John in the latter part. In the course of this redaction, Mk
              6:20a, which derived from Mt 14:5, allowed the inconsistency to persist.
              Another inconsistency within Mark's redactions is that Herod would have been
              very upset with John for having told him he was an adulterer, and so he
              would not have opposed Herodias. He simply would not have been pleased about
              being called an adulterer publicly.

              Instead, the problem lies within Matthew; why did its writer portray Herod
              as being unhappy over John's beheading? The writer of Mark tried to
              alleviate the problem (editorial improvement), but did not succeed very well
              -- he attempted to improve the first part of the story instead of the latter
              part. I can only speculate here that the writer of Matthew perhaps had held
              Herod Antipas in less ill repute than King Herod, and so edited his source
              in some small way so as to portray something favorable about Herod Antipas.
              This then would contrast with his redaction of Mt 2:16-18.

              Jim Deardorff
              Corvallis, Oregon
              E-mail: deardorj@...
              Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
            • PetersnICS@aol.com
              Thanks to Prof. Longstaff for his thoughtful reply to my post. I m also going to be away from email in a few days and by way of brief reply would simply note
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 2, 1998
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                Thanks to Prof. Longstaff for his thoughtful reply to my post. I'm also going
                to be away from email in a few days and by way of brief reply would simply
                note the following quotations from Sanders and Davies, _Studying the Synoptic
                Gospels_ (not of course offered as the final word on the subject):

                ". . . Mark could have done what the Griesbach proposal has him do.
                The question is, why would he? The strongest arguments against the Griesbach
                hypothesis are general, not technical. Why would anyone write a shorter
                version of Matthew and Luke, carefully combining them, and leaving out so much
                — such as the Lord's prayer and the beatitudes — while gaining nothing except
                perhaps room for such trivial additions as the duplicate phrases and minor
                details ('carried by four' and the like)? Further, if someone had undertaken
                the task, why would the church have preserved the gospel at all?
                . . . Why would Mark bother? Matthew is not all that long. While we agree
                that we cannot fully recover an ancient author's intention, and thus we cannot
                say that Griesbach's Mark is impossible, still it must be granted that, to the
                modern mind, there is a very strong objection to putting Mark third." (p. 92).

                "The two-source hypothesis is the best solution to the arrangement of Luke,
                and the Griesbach the best explanation of why Mark is the middle term. But, it
                seems to us, they both break down." (p. 112)

                "We think that Matthew used Mark and undefined other sources, while creating
                some of the sayings material. Luke used Mark and Matthew, as well as other
                sources, and the author also created sayings material" (p. 117, top).

                Finally, from the paragraph immediately after the one that Prof. Longstaff
                cites: "Goulder has not persuaded us that one can give up sources for the
                sayings material. With this rather substantial modification, however, we
                accept Goulder's theory: Matthew used Mark and Luke used them both" (p. 117).

                Sanders is admirably fair in his consideration of Synoptic source theories and
                quite diplomatic in stating his criticisms of them, but these passages make it
                clear that he rejects both Griesbach and the 2SH as improbable and accepts as
                probable the priority of Mark and the Farrer-Goulder hypothesis in its
                essentials. (Sanders's primary responsibility for this section of the book can
                be deduced from pp. viii, 134.)

                I join Prof. Longstaff in wishing all a pleasant summer, specifically a cooler
                one than we are experiencing in Texas.

                Jeff Peterson
                Institute for Christian Studies
                Austin, Texas, USA
                e-mail: peterson@...
              • Mark Goodacre
                Many thanks to Jeff Peterson for the useful quotations from Sanders and Davies. I will add these to my web site quotations section. I had forgotten that
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 2, 1998
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                  Many thanks to Jeff Peterson for the useful quotations from Sanders
                  and Davies. I will add these to my web site "quotations" section. I
                  had forgotten that Sanders and Davies were quite so explicit in the
                  book.

                  > Finally, from the paragraph immediately after the one that Prof.
                  > Longstaff cites: "Goulder has not persuaded us that one can give up
                  > sources for the sayings material. With this rather substantial
                  > modification, however, we accept Goulder's theory: Matthew used Mark
                  > and Luke used them both" (p. 117).


                  This is how Goulder reacted to the above:

                  "I will not conceal from the reader my delight at this conclusion as
                  it is the one for which I have been arguing virtually *contra mundum*
                  for the past two decades." (_TLS_ Oct 20-26 1996, p. 1166)

                  There is little doubt that that aspect (no extra sources) of
                  Goulder's theory has been a major hindrance in his attempt to get his
                  "new paradigm" taken seriously. It is characteristically perceptive
                  of Sanders (and Davies), I would say, to have been able to see the
                  value in Goulder's work in spite of the no-sources and lectionary
                  issues. It was he who encouraged me, partly because of his
                  desire to see some sifting, to begin research on Goulder's theories.

                  >
                  > Sanders is admirably fair in his consideration of Synoptic source
                  > theories and quite diplomatic in stating his criticisms of them, but
                  > these passages make it clear that he rejects both Griesbach and the
                  > 2SH as improbable and accepts as probable the priority of Mark and
                  > the Farrer-Goulder hypothesis in its essentials. (Sanders's primary
                  > responsibility for this section of the book can be deduced from pp.
                  > viii, 134.)

                  I was lucky enough to attend the lecture courses in Oxford on which
                  those sections of the book were based. It was inspirational
                  lecturing that confirmed my desire to do research on the Synoptics.
                  I remember Sanders being more forthright on his acceptance of Goulder
                  in public than he was in print, and more critical of the 2ST, but
                  that may be just an impression.

                  All the best

                  Mark
                  -------------------------------------------
                  Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
                  Dept. of Theology, University of Birmingham
                  Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                • Stephen C. Carlson
                  ... Based on my references, I ve been able to collect the following responses from non-Markan prioritists. 1. John M. Rist, ON THE INDEPENDENCE OF MATTHEW &
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 4, 1998
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                    At 11:18 6/2/98 EDT, PetersnICS@... wrote [with some reformatting]:
                    >2) Another line of argument was proposed by G. M. Styler in his appendix to
                    >Moule's _Birth of the NT_ and has been recently revived by Mark Goodacre (in
                    >_NTS_ 44, pp. 45ff). Several pericopes exhibit narrative details that are
                    >well integrated into the Marcan narrative but involve inconcinnities in
                    >Matthew. Perhaps the most striking is in Matt 14:9 (// Mark 6:26): Herod
                    >(whom Matthew introduces as wanting John the Baptist dead but fearing to
                    >have him killed because of his popularity) is grieved when his niece
                    >requests John's head; the mention of Herod's grief in Mark makes sense there
                    >since Herod is introduced as revering John while Herodias carries the grudge
                    >and seeks John's life (6:20–21), but in Matthew the emotion lacks a motive.
                    >The explanation of such passages that best combines economy with a
                    >charitable view of Matthaean narrative ability seems to be Matthew's
                    >inadvertent retention (by editor's "fatigue," as Goodacre conveniently terms
                    >the phenomenon) of a detail from his Marcan source.
                    >
                    >I am especially interested in how Griesbachians and Augustinians account for
                    >such texts.

                    Based on my references, I've been able to collect the following responses
                    from non-Markan prioritists.

                    1. John M. Rist, ON THE INDEPENDENCE OF MATTHEW & MARK (Cambridge: U.
                    Press, 1978) (SNTSMS 32), in one of his typical arguments states: "On the
                    other hand we have a recurrence of our old problem, in a particularly
                    acute form: if Matthew was working from Mark, his own textual chaos is
                    incomprehensible. If, on the other hand, he is either vaguely remembering
                    events himself, or relying on unwritten (or garbled written) tradition,
                    the confusion is far more readily explicable. . . . But explanation [for
                    Matthew's confusion] seems hardly possible on the assumption that Mark
                    is his source."

                    2. Lamar Cope, "The Argument Revolves: The Pivotal Evidence for Markan
                    Priority is Reversing Itself," in William R. Farmer, ed., NEW SYNOPTIC
                    STUDIES: The Cambridge Gospel Conference & Beyond (Macon, Ga.: Mercer U.
                    Press, 1983), pp.143-59, argues that "Herod regretted, not the execution,
                    but the foolish promise that had boxed him into a trap" [148-9], because
                    "Herod was afraid to openly execute John because of his popularity with
                    the people" [148] (cf. Mt14:4). Cope cited his previous article, "The
                    Death of John the Baptist in the Gospel of Matthew" CBQ 38 (1976): 515-19.

                    3. Harold Riley, "Appendix 1: Syler's Key Passages" in Orchard & Riley,
                    THE ORDER OF THE SYNOPTICS: Why Three Synoptic Gospels? (Macon, Ga.:
                    Mercer U. Press, 1987), pp.100-4, argued that Styler "oversimplif[ied]
                    the facts of the situation" because "there is no inconsistency between
                    his [scil. Herod's] desiring John's death and his sorrow that it should
                    occur in these circumstances." [100]

                    4. John Wenham, REDATING MATTHEW, MARK & LUKE: A Fresh Assault on the
                    Synoptic Problem (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1992) makes
                    two arguments: (a) "[i]t is perfectly possible that Herod was torn
                    between great annoyance that John had repeatly (ELEGEN) denounced his
                    sexual sin in public, and respect for one he knew to be a good man." and
                    (b) "[t]here is no need for Matthew to have known Mark's gospels, it is
                    sufficient that he should have known the fuller story, which may have
                    well been current in the early church." [92]

                    Of the four arguments, I'd say that Cope's and Riley's are the best;
                    Herod's grief is not about the result but the circumstances of John's
                    execution. Although Davies & Allison are assuredly Two-Sourcers and
                    found Styler's reasoning persuasive, their commentary provides what
                    could be another, literary, reason for Herod's grief: foreshadowing.
                    "So just as Pilate is disinclined to do away with Jesus, so is Herod
                    Antipas disinclined to do away with John." [2:474]

                    Stephen Carlson
                    --
                    Stephen C. Carlson : Poetry speaks of aspirations,
                    scarlson@... : and songs chant the words.
                    http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/ : -- Shujing 2.35
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