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Re: Re: Arguments for Marcan priority NOT!

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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