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[Synoptic-L] Re:

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  • Ken Olson
    ... Studies_, ... KO: This argument presumes that Jesus going through Galilee, proclaiming the message in the synagogues and casting out demons (Mk. 1.39)
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2001

      Joe Alward wrote:

      > --- In
      href="mailto:synoptic-l@y...">synoptic-l@y..., JFAlward@a... wrote:
      In his article, "Fatigue in the Synoptics" in New Testament
      > (1998), pp. 45-58 (also,
      href="http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q/fatigue.htm">http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q/fatigue.htm), Mark
      > Goodacre advances the argument that Matthew's gospel
      contains "fatigue,"
      > owing to its dependence on Mark. I earlier argued
      (3/27) that his
      > case
      > against Matthew's cleansing of the leper
      (Matthew 8:1-4) was
      > insupportable,
      > because the crowds were
      clearly present evident in Mark (Mark 1:28-
      > 44), too,
      > when Jesus
      admonished the leper to remain silent.

      This argument presumes that Jesus going through Galilee, proclaiming
      the message in the synagogues and casting out demons (Mk. 1.39)
      attracted crowds. This presumption has verisimilitude in its favor,
      but does not appear to be what the evangelist has in mind. Mark says
      nothing about crowds of people having converged on Jesus at the time
      of the leper's cleansing, and seems to imply they did not. He tells
      us that people came to Jesus from every quarter as a result of the
      leper's big mouth, which would seem to imply that they had not done so

      Also, Mk. 1.39-45 appears to repeat the pattern in Mk. 1.21-1.34, where
      Jesus preaches in the synagogue and casts out demons (1.21-28),
      performs a healing on a single person (Mk. 1.29-31), and then attracts
      crowds (1.32-34; though the word "crowd" [OCLOJ] doesn't show up until
      2.4). The crowd comes after the healing, not after the preaching and exorcisms.
      Thus, the case for an implied crowd in Mk. 2.1-12 seems weak to me.

      > In this post I argue that his case against Matthew's
      Death of John
      > the
      > Baptist is similarly badly flawed. Goodacre
      claims that there is a
      > strong
      > example of "fatigue" in Matthew's
      tale, but I will argue here that
      > that is
      > simply not
      > In Mark 6:14-29, Herod is afraid of John, but protected
      him and
      > to
      > listen to him (6:19-20), so when he has to
      honor his oath and behead

      > John, he
      > expresses grief. Goodacre
      (p. 47) believes that Matthew inexplicably
      > expresses grief (Matthew
      14:9) at having to behead John: "It makes
      > no sense
      > at all.
      Matthew had told us, after all, that 'Herod wanted to put
      > him to
      > However, what doesn't make sense to me is the apparent
      > disregard of
      > Matthew's implication in 14:5 that while
      Herod wanted John dead, he
      > didn't
      > DARE kill him for fear of what
      the people might do. It seems
      > sensible, then, for Herod to
      feel grief at being forced because of
      > his oath
      > to do the very
      thing he was afraid to do

      The word "grieve" (LUPEW), as opposed to, maybe, fear, would seem a
      strange choice here in that case. Grief fits Mark's story, where
      Herod considered John a righteous and holy man, protected him, and
      liked to listen to him, much better than it does Matthew's.

      > Goodacre also notes that Mark always calls Herod "king,"
      > even
      > though he was only a "tetrarch." Because
      Matthew calls
      > Herod "tetrarch"
      > once, then "king" later, Goodacre
      believes this is evidence that
      > was
      > Matthew's source, and
      that Matthew clumsily "betrays his knowledge
      > Mark"
      > by
      retaining the "king" title from Mark.
      > I believe this argument,
      too, fails. Why should we believe from
      > this
      > evidence that it was
      Mark, and not Matthew, who was the source? At
      > least
      > Matthew was
      right once, while Mark was wrong all four times. Why
      > couldn't
      Mark have edited Matthew's tale while overlooking Matthew's one
      reference to
      > tetrarch, seen his reference to "king," and added the title
      > more times?


      Matthew gets Herod's title right once, but I'm not clear on how this is an argument for his priority to Mark.

      Goodacre's hypothesis is that "In telling the same story as his
      predecessor, a writer makes changes in the early stages which he is
      unable to sustain throughout". Matthew's change from "tetrarch" to
      "king" here would fit the hypothesis if Matthew was using Mark as a
      source. There are alternative explanations for this example, and for
      all of Goodacre's other examples. It is always possible to explain
      individual cases differently. But for me, the strength of Goodacre's
      hypothesis is that it works in a number of cases across the synoptics
      and (I know I'm going to get in trouble for saying this) no one has
      yet come up with good examples where the phenomena of "fatigue" shows
      up in the other direction (i.e., Mt. becoming "fatigued" with Lk., or
      Mk. becoming fatigued with Mt. or Lk.). It seems to me that either
      there are such cases that Mark Goodacre hasn't found, or he's stumbled
      upon an extremely fortuitous accident, or he's right.*

      A third argument for Markan priority in the Death of John the Baptist
      pericope is given by G. M. Styler ("The Priority of Mark", in C. F. D.
      Moule, _The Birth of the New Testament_ 1962, pp. 223-32; reprinted in
      A. Bellinzoni, _The Two-Source Hypothesis: A Critical Appraisal_,
      1985, pp. 62-75). Mark's version of the story is clearly a flashback
      and is the central story in an intercalation, sandwiched between the
      sending and the return of the apostles. Matthew's version of the
      story is introduced as a flashback, but Matthew seems to have
      forgotten that by the end. This appears to me to be something of a
      stretch for the theory of Matthean priority, or at least for the
      Griesbach hypothesis. That Luke, who omits Matthew's story of John's
      death, unintentionally provided Mark with the material (i.e., the
      sending/return from Luke 9.1-6,10) needed to "fix" Matthew's
      incomplete flashback seems, again, overly fortuitous. It seems easier

      to believe that Mark composed both the frame and the
      flashback, parts of which were taken over by Matthew and Luke, rather
      than to believe that Matthew composed an incomplete flashback,
      Luke left out the flashback but created an intercalation which
      unintentionally provided a frame for it, and Mark then realized the
      potential of combining the flashback with the intercalation.

      > Thus, I find the first couple of pages of "Fatigue in
      the Synoptics"
      > extremely problematic. The evidence purporting to show
      that Matthew
      > depended
      > on Mark is simply not there, in my
      opinion. In fact, the evidence
      > presented
      > does the opposite of
      what Goodacre says it does: It slightly favors
      > Marcan
      > dependency
      on Matthew. If I've misinterpreted Goodacre's argument,
      > I hope
      someone will be quick to point this out so that I might apologize.

      You have shown that each of Goodacre's examples of "fatigue" in these
      two pericopes could be explained differently. I don't find your
      explanations on any of these points stronger, or even as strong, as
      his. Others may.

      Best wishes,


      Kenneth A. Olson
      Graduate Teaching Assistant
      Department of History
      2115 Francis Scott Key Hall
      University of Maryland
      College Park, MD 20742

      I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything - T.H.

      *As a methodological point, however, I would like to have seen Goodacre's
      paper examine Matthew and Luke for fatigue in relation to each
      other in triple tradition passages as well as double tradition passages.

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