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  • Edward D Tolley
    unsubscribe ... From: Jim Deardorff To: PetersnICS@aol.com; synoptic-l@bham.ac.uk Subject: Re: Arguments for Marcan priority Date:
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 2, 1998

      From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj@...>
      To: PetersnICS@...; synoptic-l@...
      Subject: Re: Arguments for Marcan priority
      Date: Tuesday, June 02, 1998 8:01 PM

      At 11:18 AM 6/2/98 EDT, PetersnICS@... wrote:
      >Two arguments for Marcan priority seem especially strong to me, and I
      > appreciate listers' evaluation of them:
      >1) The first is noted by Sanders and Davies against the 2GH:
      > "attributes an inexplicable procedure to Mark" (p. 112), i.e., conflation
      > condensation of the Matthaean and Lucan narratives via the omission of
      > 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
      > whether a coherent rationale can be stated for the omission of the
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      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
      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

      (c) This writer of Mark of course had his own philosophical preferences,
      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
      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

      (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
      later writer of Matthew's source (the Logia) had forgotten or felt not
      specifying. So Matthew's rendition of it is much shorter.

      >2) Another line of argument was proposed by G. M. Styler in his appendix
      > Moule's _Birth of the NT_ and has been recently revived by Mark Goodacre
      > _NTS_ 44, pp. 45ff). Several pericopes exhibit narrative details that are
      > integrated into the Marcan narrative but involve inconcinnities in
      > Perhaps the most striking is in Matt 14:9 (// Mark 6:26): Herod (whom
      > introduces as wanting John the Baptist dead but fearing to have him
      > because of his popularity) is grieved when his niece requests John's
      > mention of Herod's grief in Mark makes sense there since Herod is
      > 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
      > passages that best combines economy with a charitable view of Matthaean
      > narrative ability seems to be Matthew's inadvertent retention (by
      > "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
      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
      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
      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
      -- he attempted to improve the first part of the story instead of the
      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
    • RMurphy179@aol.com
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 30, 1998
      • Larry Wiklund
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 30, 1998
        • Ron Jolliffe
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 30, 1998
          • Maria Grigore
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 6, 1999
            • div133
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 7, 1999
              • George Howard
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 7, 1999
                • Michael Rogge
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 9, 1999
                  • Achilles
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                    Message 9 of 9 , May 6, 1999

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