Re: Re: Arguments for Marcan priority NOT!
- 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.
Institute for Christian Studies
Austin, Texas, USA
- 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
> Finally, from the paragraph immediately after the one that Prof.This is how Goulder reacted to the above:
> 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).
"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.
>I was lucky enough to attend the lecture courses in Oxford on which
> 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.)
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
Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept. of Theology, University of Birmingham
- 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 toBased on my references, I've been able to collect the following responses
>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 (6:2021), 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
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"  (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." 
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." 
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 C. Carlson : Poetry speaks of aspirations,
scarlson@... : and songs chant the words.
http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/ : -- Shujing 2.35