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Re: [Synoptic-L] if Mark knew Luke ? A good case

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  • Ron Price
    ... Emmanuel Fritsch replied, ... Emmanuel, Yes, I will tell you what it is. Hawkins proposed the following rules for determining whether a feature is
    Message 1 of 22 , Nov 3, 2001
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      I wrote:

      > ..... Luke evidently liked the word METANOIA. At (Mt 2; Mk 1; Lk 5), it
      >> just falls short of qualifying as a Lukanism on Hawkins' rather strict
      >> criterion.

      Emmanuel Fritsch replied,

      >I am sorry to not be a scholar, and to ignore
      >Hawkins' criterion. May you say me what it is ?

      Emmanuel,
      Yes, I will tell you what it is. Hawkins proposed the following rules
      for determining whether a feature is characteristic of a particular
      synoptic gospel.
      (1) It must occur at least 4 times in that gospel.
      (2) It must occur at least twice as many times in that gospel as in both
      the other synoptics put together.

      > [In] Mk 1:4 .....
      >It is not surprising to find the METANOIA thema here, even if it
      >is in fact a typical Lukan thema, but it looks rather surprising
      >to find also :
      >
      >- The aorist found in Act as stated by Leonard,

      Are you saying Mark doesn't use aorists elsewhere?

      >- EGENETO (13,17,72,18,53)

      I assume these figures must be usages in the gospels and Acts. So Luke
      favoured EGENETO more than Matthew or Mark. But such a common word must
      have been well known to all the gospel writers without anyone needing to
      read anyone else's gospel.

      >- the co-occurence of METANOIA, AFESIN, AMARTIWN, which
      > you do not find elsewhere (I think, but not sure) in
      > Mark nor Matthew.

      That is true. But it is still not surprising, for Mark needed to use
      AFESIN and hAMARTIWN if he was to explain METANOIA to his (largely
      Gentile?) audience. He only used METANOIA once, never putting the word
      into the mouth of Jesus. In this he was probably correct. Certainly in
      _The Five Gospels_, METANOIA (rendered there as 'change of heart') does
      not appear in red or pink.

      >Because Mk 1:4 is linked not with only some sentences of Luke, but
      >with stylistic trends and many sentences, the argument looks stronger
      >here than with Lk 3:7-9.

      We'll have to agree to differ on this one.

      Ron Price

      Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

      e-mail: ron.price@...

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

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    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 11/3/2001 4:10:38 AM Eastern Standard Time, ron.price@virgin.net writes: [Responding to Emmanuel, who wrote:] [In] Mk 1:4 ..... ... Are
      Message 2 of 22 , Nov 3, 2001
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        In a message dated 11/3/2001 4:10:38 AM Eastern Standard Time,
        ron.price@... writes:

        [Responding to Emmanuel, who wrote:]
        << > [In] Mk 1:4 .....
        >It is not surprising to find the METANOIA thema here, even if it
        >is in fact a typical Lukan thema, but it looks rather surprising
        >to find also :
        >
        >- The aorist found in Act as stated by Leonard,

        Are you saying Mark doesn't use aorists elsewhere?>>

        Since you, and also Emmanuel, allude to a statement of mine made in a
        previous post, I should perhaps expand on what I said there in a very
        condensed manner. We have the statement of John regarding his own baptism in
        each of the four gospels, and also at least paraphrases of this statement in
        Acts and in Jn. Matt, Lk and Jn (1:26) give this statement, or parts of it,
        in its initial form, as a citation of John's word, with the use of baptizo in
        the present tense (Matt 3:11; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:26). We then have retrospective
        references to this word in five other texts, two in Jn and three in Acts (Jn
        1:31.33; Acts 1:5; 11:16; 19:4). In these retrospective texts in which
        baptizein is expressed with a finite form of the verb, this is always aorist
        (ebaptisen). In Jn 1:31 and 33, likewise retrospective of the original words
        of John, the participal or the infinitive of baptizo is in each case linked
        with / governed by an aorist verb, not found in the original citation itself.
        In light of all this evidence, it seems to me that Mark 1:8 has John himself
        speaking from this retrospective perspective of Jesus, Peter and Paul in
        Acts, all of whom refer to John's activity of baptizing, by allusion to his
        own original words, but with a retrospective aorist tense of the verb
        baptizo. This would tend to support the idea that Mark wrote his opening
        gospel account after the two other Synoptics and Acts were already in
        existence, and from a perspective of the latest of these texts (esp. Acts
        1:5; 11:16).

        Leonard Maluf

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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      • Ron Price
        ... Leonard, I think you re reading too much into this Markan aorist. Mark was simply emphasizing that when Jesus started his ministry the era of John the
        Message 3 of 22 , Nov 4, 2001
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          Leonard Maluf wrote:

          > ..... it seems to me that Mark 1:8 has John himself
          >speaking from this retrospective perspective of Jesus, Peter and Paul in
          >Acts, all of whom refer to John's activity of baptizing, by allusion to his
          >own original words, but with a retrospective aorist tense of the verb
          >baptizo. This would tend to support the idea that Mark wrote his opening
          >gospel account after the two other Synoptics and Acts were already in
          >existence, and from a perspective of the latest of these texts (esp. Acts
          >1:5; 11:16).

          Leonard,
          I think you're reading too much into this Markan aorist. Mark was
          simply emphasizing that when Jesus started his ministry the era of John
          the Baptist had already been replaced by the era of Jesus, c.f. Morna
          Hooker, _The Gospel According to St Mark_ (London: A&C Black, 1991)
          p.38.

          Ron Price

          Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

          e-mail: ron.price@...

          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm


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        • Maluflen@aol.com
          In a message dated 11/5/2001 2:28:54 AM Eastern Standard Time, ron.price@virgin.net writes: ...
          Message 4 of 22 , Nov 5, 2001
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            In a message dated 11/5/2001 2:28:54 AM Eastern Standard Time,
            ron.price@... writes:

            Leonard Maluf wrote:

            > ..... it seems to me that Mark 1:8 has John himself
            >speaking from this retrospective perspective of Jesus, Peter and Paul in
            >Acts, all of whom refer to John's activity of baptizing, by allusion to his
            >own original words, but with a retrospective aorist tense of the verb
            >baptizo. This would tend to support the idea that Mark wrote his opening
            >gospel account after the two other Synoptics and Acts were already in
            >existence, and from a perspective of the latest of these texts (esp. Acts
            >1:5; 11:16).

            << Leonard,
            I think you're reading too much into this Markan aorist. Mark was
            simply emphasizing that when Jesus started his ministry the era of John
            the Baptist had already been replaced by the era of Jesus, c.f. Morna
            Hooker, _The Gospel According to St Mark_ (London: A&C Black, 1991)
            p.38.>>

            Wow, you couldn't have stated that better (even if you do depend here on
            Morna Hooker)! And my point would be that this clear, theologically loaded
            insight and emphasis had not yet been achieved when Matthew wrote his gospel
            (where there is considerable overlap of mission, message and perhaps even
            stature between John and Jesus). The distinction of eras is launched by Luke,
            and appears as an acquired theological Gut in Mark. Of course I do not claim
            that all of this hinges on Mark's use of the aorist ebaptisen. But that
            aorist is indicative, I think, of Mark's exposure to the developments of the
            JB theme in Lk-Acts.

            Leonard Maluf

            Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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          • Emmanuel Fritsch
            ... You are right. In fact, even Boismard does not consider this EGENETO as lukan (according him, three occurences of EGENETO in Mark present a typical Lukan
            Message 5 of 22 , Nov 5, 2001
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              > >- EGENETO (13,17,72,18,53)
              >
              > I assume these figures must be usages in the gospels and Acts. So Luke
              > favoured EGENETO more than Matthew or Mark. But such a common word must
              > have been well known to all the gospel writers without anyone needing to
              > read anyone else's gospel.

              You are right. In fact, even Boismard does not consider this
              EGENETO as lukan (according him, three occurences of EGENETO
              in Mark present a typical Lukan pattern).

              But Boismard gives another reason to doubt that Mk 1:4
              is genuinely markan : in fact there is another presentation
              of JB in Mark, you find it in Mk 1:5. We notice that 1:4 is
              lukan, when 1:5 is close to Matthew.

              Just adding :
              - the link between Mk 1:4 and the style of Luke
              - the aorist in Mk 1:8 that parallel account of JB in Act
              - the doublet Mk 1:4 + 1:5

              and you find a really serious argument for Mark being composite and later.


              > >Because Mk 1:4 is linked not with only some sentences of Luke, but
              > >with stylistic trends and many sentences, the argument looks stronger
              > >here than with Lk 3:7-9.
              >
              > We'll have to agree to differ on this one.

              I would like to know on what we differ exactly : you presented your
              evidence (Mt 3:7-10 // Lk 3:7-9) as stronger than Mk 1:4. May we
              understand that even less strong, Mk 1:4 is a quite good example
              for parallel Luke being early ?

              If yes, apologize for my bad idea. But if you disclaim absolutely
              Mk 1:4 to be later, then my (bad) question is : if we were finding
              the reverse case, i.e. a composite text like Mk 1:4 in Luke, would
              you not use it as an argument for Lukan posteriority ?

              In fact, considering the last fact I propose (the doublet Mk 1:4+1:5)
              you would explain it by a global trend of Mark to repetition, and I would
              answer that this "trend" look as an ad hoc argument to dismiss the
              composite character of Mark. So we would agree to differ on this one,
              and I would just have an ask : are there any catalog and study of such
              repetitions in Mark ? (except Rolland, who considers these doublets
              in Mark as an absolut proof of Mark being later, deriving in a whole
              from matthean and lukan tradition, without any possible proto-Mk).

              a+
              manu

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            • Ron Price
              Emmanuel and Leonard, There are now three arguments being put forward on the basis of Mark ... I ve already replied to this. Repentance was not a significant
              Message 6 of 22 , Nov 6, 2001
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                Emmanuel and Leonard,

                There are now three arguments being put forward on the basis of Mark
                1:4-8 that Mark knew Luke:

                >- the link between Mk 1:4 and the style of Luke

                I've already replied to this. Repentance was not a significant theme
                of the historical Jesus - see _The Five Gospels_ (no red or pink); also
                Sanders _The Historical Figure of Jesus_, p.232. Therefore Mark was
                right not to carry the theme over from JnB to Jesus. This explains the
                single reference in Mark. Luke's usage in 5:32, 15:7 and 24:47 portrays
                Lukan theology rather than the historical Jesus.

                >- the aorist in Mk 1:8 that parallel account of JB in Act

                Mark used the aorist to make a point about the passing of the era of
                JnB. Matthew wanted to reinforce the message, so he introduced new
                material re JnB (11:2-19). This new material suggests an overlap between
                the missions of JnB and Jesus. But the new era brought in by the coming
                of Jesus is implied in various ways in 11:11-15.

                >- the doublet Mk 1:4 + 1:5

                Doublet? I see no reason to suspect different sources behind these two
                verses. To be confident of different sources we would have to be able to
                identify an inconsistency or at least a redundancy. There is neither
                here. (V.4 explains the topic of JnB's preaching and v.5 explains what
                happened.) Therefore there is no reason to take Mk 1:4-5 as a composite
                text.

                Ron Price

                Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

                e-mail: ron.price@...

                Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

                Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
              • David Gentile
                ... Hello again, This is one of those doublets I was referring to before. Luke having one half and Matthew the other does seems suspicious to me, and requires
                Message 7 of 22 , Nov 6, 2001
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                  >
                  > >- the doublet Mk 1:4 + 1:5
                  >
                  > Doublet? I see no reason to suspect different sources behind these two
                  > verses. To be confident of different sources we would have to be able to
                  > identify an inconsistency or at least a redundancy. There is neither
                  > here. (V.4 explains the topic of JnB's preaching and v.5 explains what
                  > happened.) Therefore there is no reason to take Mk 1:4-5 as a composite
                  > text.
                  >
                  > Ron Price
                  >

                  Hello again,

                  This is one of those doublets I was referring to before.
                  Luke having one half and Matthew the other does seems suspicious to me,
                  and requires both authors to routinely omit things, if Mark is the only
                  source for all of these. While I believe this may be the case sometimes,
                  I'm reluctant to say that this was always the reason for these.
                  In general, for the apparent Mark doublets,
                  I would suggest the one of the following:

                  proto-Mark(1) => Luke(1)
                  proto-Mark(1) + outside source (2)=> Mark (1 + 2)
                  proto-Mark(1) + outside source (2) => p-Mt (2)
                  p-Mt (2) + Mark(1 + 2) => Matthew(2)

                  or

                  proto-Mark(1) => Luke(1)
                  proto-Mark(1) => Mark (1 + 2)
                  proto-Mark(1) => p-Mt (1)
                  p-Mt (1) + Mark(1 + 2) => Matthew(2)

                  In both cases Luke's version is original, and Mark makes the addition to get
                  Mark's doublet.
                  Matthew chooses to eliminate redundancy, and keeps the added half.

                  Dave Gentile
                  Riverside, Illinois





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                • Emmanuel Fritsch
                  ... You do not address the argument on style. Gospel authors were allowed to speak about repentance without using Lukan words, and Matthew and John did it. And
                  Message 8 of 22 , Nov 6, 2001
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                    > There are now three arguments being put forward on the basis of Mark
                    > 1:4-8 that Mark knew Luke:
                    >
                    > >- the link between Mk 1:4 and the style of Luke
                    >
                    > I've already replied to this. Repentance was not a significant theme
                    > of the historical Jesus - see _The Five Gospels_ (no red or pink); also
                    > Sanders _The Historical Figure of Jesus_, p.232. Therefore Mark was
                    > right not to carry the theme over from JnB to Jesus. This explains the
                    > single reference in Mark. Luke's usage in 5:32, 15:7 and 24:47 portrays
                    > Lukan theology rather than the historical Jesus.

                    You do not address the argument on style. Gospel authors were allowed
                    to speak about repentance without using Lukan words, and Matthew and
                    John did it. And even Mark did it in Mark 1:5.

                    If we must consider Luke as second, then we should imagine that Luke
                    has had something like a mystical flash on Mk 1:4 (but not on Mk 1:5)
                    and decided to include it, not just in its theology, but in its
                    vocabulary.


                    > >- the doublet Mk 1:4 + 1:5
                    >
                    > Doublet? I see no reason to suspect different sources behind these two
                    > verses. To be confident of different sources we would have to be able to
                    > identify an inconsistency or at least a redundancy. There is neither
                    > here. (V.4 explains the topic of JnB's preaching and v.5 explains what
                    > happened.) Therefore there is no reason to take Mk 1:4-5 as a composite
                    > text.

                    Even if you may disagree with them, there are good reasons to take
                    Mk 1:4-5 as a composite text. About redundancy : you do not see any
                    redundancy ? But if Mark is a source for the other synoptist, then
                    we have two good witnesses of the redundancy : Luke and Matthew,
                    who did not reproduce it.

                    I agree redundancy is not the strongest argument for the composite
                    character. But you do not answer about the similarity of V.4 with
                    Luke (and not Matthew) and the proximity of V.5 with Matthew (and
                    not Luke).

                    Did they meet, Luke and Matthew, in order to share the material ?
                    "Please, my dear Luke, I know how you like this V.4, take it,
                    and I will take that V.5, that perfectly fits my own gospel".

                    a+
                    manu

                    PS : when you write "To be confident of different sources we
                    would have to be able to identify an inconsistency or at least
                    a redundancy", should we understand you ackowledge the composite
                    character of inconsistent pericopae in Mark ?

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                  • Maluflen@aol.com
                    In a message dated 11/6/2001 8:28:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, ron.price@virgin.net writes: - the aorist in Mk 1:8 that parallel account of JB in Act Mark
                    Message 9 of 22 , Nov 6, 2001
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                      In a message dated 11/6/2001 8:28:30 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                      ron.price@... writes:

                      << >- the aorist in Mk 1:8 that parallel account of JB in Act

                      Mark used the aorist to make a point about the passing of the era of
                      JnB. Matthew wanted to reinforce the message, so he introduced new
                      material re JnB (11:2-19). This new material suggests an overlap between
                      the missions of JnB and Jesus. But the new era brought in by the coming
                      of Jesus is implied in various ways in 11:11-15.>>


                      You don't address at all the issue of why Matthew, if, as you say, he wanted
                      to "reinforce the message" about the passing of the era of JB, changed Mark's
                      aorist, ebaptisen, to a present tense form of the verb. Let alone why Luke
                      did the same identical thing in his supposed independent redaction of Mark. I
                      have given you a coherent reason for Mark's using the aorist form of the verb
                      even though both of his sources, on my hypothesis, have John using the
                      present tense of the verb at that point of the narrative: Mark was familiar,
                      and attempts to reflect, the later versions/applications of JB's statement
                      found in Acts, where, in retrospect, the era of John and his baptism is in
                      the past, compared to the new outpourings of the Holy Spirit that constitute
                      the various pentecosts of Acts. In Mk 1:8, JB is speaking directly to Mark's
                      audience, who, in the setting of a pre-baptismal gospel drama (based on the
                      earlier, literary gospels) are looking forward to a sacramental pentecost of
                      their own, in baptism and the conferral of the Holy Spirit. (Thus also the
                      pointed removal of Matt and Lk's "and with fire" from the words of John).

                      And by the way, much of the JB material you think to have been added by
                      Matthew to the story as told in his Markan source is singularly ineffective,
                      to put it mildly, in terms of reinforcing a subordination of John to Jesus
                      and a narrowly conceived view of his mission as serving to announce the
                      coming of the mightier one that quite clearly characterize the text of Mark.
                      Some of this added material in Matt, e.g., has John parallel and anticipate
                      statements of Jesus himself later in Matt. In this case, Mark's omission of
                      material on my hypothesis has a clear and persuasive theological (i.e.,
                      christological) motivation.

                      Leonard Maluf

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                    • David Gentile
                      ... I m inclined to accept your explination here. This may be because my hypothesis also allows Mark to not be original in some places. The only thing it would
                      Message 10 of 22 , Nov 6, 2001
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                        >In this case, Mark's omission of
                        > material on my hypothesis has a clear and persuasive theological (i.e.,
                        > christological) motivation.
                        >
                        > Leonard Maluf
                        >

                        I'm inclined to accept your explination here. This may be because my
                        hypothesis also allows Mark to not be original in some places. The only
                        thing it would hold with certainty is that Mark/Luke agreement is always
                        more original that Matthew. Do you have any cases where you feel there is
                        good evidence that Matthew is earlier than Mark/Luke agreement?

                        Thanks,
                        Dave Gentile
                        Riverside, Illinois





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                      • Ron Price
                        ... Emmanuel, Taking the usage of METANOIA in isolation, ignoring the thousands of other pieces of evidence which relate to the synoptic problem, suggests that
                        Message 11 of 22 , Nov 7, 2001
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                          Emmanuel Fritsch wrote:

                          >> >- the link between Mk 1:4 and the style of Luke
                          > .....
                          >You do not address the argument on style.

                          Emmanuel,
                          Taking the usage of METANOIA in isolation, ignoring the thousands of
                          other pieces of evidence which relate to the synoptic problem, suggests
                          that Mark (and Matthew?) might have taken this word from Luke. But even
                          with this qualification we only obtain a modest probability in favour of
                          such a conclusion. The less probable alternative (given this
                          qualification) is that Mark could have been familiar with METANOIA and
                          simply not used it much because he thought it only applied to the
                          preaching of JnB. Consideration of the thousands of other pieces of
                          evidence rightly leads most scholars to conclude that Luke used Mark and
                          not the other way round.

                          >If we must consider Luke as second

                          Not at all. Luke was third.

                          >, then we should imagine that Luke
                          >has had something like a mystical flash on Mk 1:4 (but not on Mk 1:5)

                          Luke was selective. Is that so strange?

                          >> >- the doublet Mk 1:4 + 1:5

                          > ..... if Mark is a source for the other synoptist, then
                          >we have two good witnesses of the redundancy : Luke and Matthew,
                          >who did not reproduce it.

                          Mark described both a preaching topic and an action scenario. The
                          action scenario fitted Matthew's more graphic description of JnB's
                          activity. The preaching topic suited Luke's grand preface (Lk
                          1:1-4;3:1-5) to his two volume masterpiece. (The formal language of Lk
                          3:1f. supports the view that the birth narratives weren't in the first
                          edition of Luke.) But for Mark, neither was redundant.

                          >PS : when you write "To be confident of different sources we
                          >would have to be able to identify an inconsistency or at least
                          >a redundancy", should we understand you ackowledge the composite
                          >character of inconsistent pericopae in Mark ?

                          Each case should be considered on its merits.
                          For example Mark 16:7 ("go, tell") is inconsistent with Mk 16:8 ("they
                          said nothing to any one"). Mark had in effect complimented the women for
                          not abandoning Jesus (15:40) and for having looked after him (15:41), so
                          he would not have presented them as deliberately disobeying a clear
                          instruction of Jesus. Also, as a great story teller, Mark would have
                          historicized the fulfilment of "there you will see him, as he told you"
                          if these words had been in his autograph. Furthermore the text reads
                          more smoothly when 16:7 is removed. Thus 16:7 is a post-Markan
                          interpolation (along with the related 14:28). The motivation for
                          interpolation is clear: the rehabilitation of Peter after the criticisms
                          by Mark which culminated in the denial.

                          Ron Price

                          Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

                          e-mail: ron.price@...

                          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm


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                        • Ron Price
                          ... Leonard, Perhaps it was to increase the parallelism between JnB in 3:11a and Jesus in 3:11d, c.f. the comments in Davies & Allison, _Matthew_, I, p.312.
                          Message 12 of 22 , Nov 7, 2001
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                            ><< >- the aorist in Mk 1:8 that parallel account of JB in Act

                            Leonard Maluf wrote:

                            >You don't address at all the issue of why Matthew, if, as you say, he wanted
                            >to "reinforce the message" about the passing of the era of JB, changed Mark's
                            >aorist, ebaptisen, to a present tense form of the verb.

                            Leonard,
                            Perhaps it was to increase the parallelism between JnB in 3:11a and
                            Jesus in 3:11d, c.f. the comments in Davies & Allison, _Matthew_, I,
                            p.312.

                            > ..... Let alone why Luke
                            >did the same identical thing in his supposed independent redaction of Mark.

                            I don't suppose that. To me it's clear that Luke had some of Matthew's
                            wording at the back of his mind whilst he was editing Mark, and that
                            this occasionally influenced Luke's account.

                            >And by the way, much of the JB material you think to have been added by
                            >Matthew to the story as told in his Markan source is singularly ineffective,
                            >to put it mildly, in terms of reinforcing a subordination of John to Jesus

                            O.K. So reinforcement of JnB's subordination may not have been
                            Matthew's primary purpose in adding 11:2-19. There are other motives,
                            e.g. reinforcing the accounts of Jesus' miracles (11:5), disparaging
                            violence (11:12), justifying Jesus' apparent reluctance to fast
                            (11:18-19).

                            >In this case, Mark's omission of material on my hypothesis has a clear
                            >and persuasive theological (i.e., christological) motivation.

                            Any claim for a supposed motivation in this case is thoroughly dwarfed
                            by the overall question of the motivation of a supposed later Mark who
                            apparently expends so much effort on an abbreviated account which misses
                            out many of the best parts of Matthew. On your hypothesis Mark wasted
                            his time producing a gospel which the early Church largely ignored in
                            favour of Matthew. Of course in theory this is possible. But Mark would
                            have had to be very dim not to see that his gospel would have had no
                            chance of superseding Matthew, let alone Luke. Mark was no dimwit. If it
                            hadn't been for Mark's subtle combination of Pauline theology with an
                            interest in putting Jesus in a plausible historical setting,
                            Christianity might never have become a world religion.

                            Ron Price

                            Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

                            e-mail: ron.price@...

                            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm



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                          • Maluflen@aol.com
                            In a message dated 11/7/2001 12:40:04 AM Eastern Standard Time, GentDave@worldnet.att.net writes: In this case, Mark s omission of ... I m inclined to
                            Message 13 of 22 , Nov 7, 2001
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                              In a message dated 11/7/2001 12:40:04 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                              GentDave@... writes:

                              << >In this case, Mark's omission of
                              > material on my hypothesis has a clear and persuasive theological (i.e.,
                              > christological) motivation.
                              >
                              > Leonard Maluf
                              >

                              I'm inclined to accept your explanation here. This may be because my
                              hypothesis also allows Mark to not be original in some places. The only
                              thing it would hold with certainty is that Mark/Luke agreement is always
                              more original that Matthew. Do you have any cases where you feel there is
                              good evidence that Matthew is earlier than Mark/Luke agreement?>>


                              Yes. All over the place. But let's start with the most obvious case. The
                              Luke/Mark form of the story of the demoniac(s) in Matt 8:28-34 is clearly a
                              later development of Matt's obscure narrative, with its complete absence of
                              focus on the human element of the story, both the misery of the victimized
                              human being at its beginning and the contrasting wonder of redomesticated
                              humanity, under the saving influence of Jesus, at its conclusion. Any effort
                              to make Matthew's version of this story secondary to the (more or less
                              common) form of the story found in Lk and Mk is patently forced. I have also
                              shown in a series of related articles that Lk 4:31-37 (and hence its Markan
                              parallel) is another spin off from the story in Matt 8:28-34. Besides giving
                              a very convincing description of the motives and methods of this literary
                              bifurcation performed by Luke, my overall hypothesis provides a better
                              explanation for the absence of the story in Matthew than any I have seen
                              given by Marcan priorists.

                              Leonard Maluf

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                            • Maluflen@aol.com
                              In a message dated 11/7/2001 6:39:50 AM Eastern Standard Time, ron.price@virgin.net writes: - the aorist in Mk 1:8 that parallel account of JB in Act
                              Message 14 of 22 , Nov 7, 2001
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                                In a message dated 11/7/2001 6:39:50 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                ron.price@... writes:

                                << ><< >- the aorist in Mk 1:8 that parallel account of JB in Act

                                Leonard Maluf wrote:

                                >You don't address at all the issue of why Matthew, if, as you say, he
                                wanted
                                >to "reinforce the message" about the passing of the era of JB, changed
                                Mark's
                                >aorist, ebaptisen, to a present tense form of the verb.

                                Leonard,
                                Perhaps it was to increase the parallelism between JnB in 3:11a and
                                Jesus in 3:11d, c.f. the comments in Davies & Allison, _Matthew_, I,
                                p.312.>>

                                I need help here. How exactly does changing the tense of the verb baptizo
                                from aorist to present increase the parallelism between JnB in 3:11a and
                                Jesus in 3:11d, c.f? And if it does do this, why is increasing the
                                parallelism between JB and Jesus thought of as being a relatively late
                                undertaking? Increasing the parallelism tends to obscure rather than
                                highlight the subordination of Jn to Jesus, which is clearly the tendency in
                                the later texts (see Jn, e.g.).

                                > ..... Let alone why Luke
                                >did the same identical thing in his supposed independent redaction of Mark.

                                I don't suppose that. To me it's clear that Luke had some of Matthew's
                                wording at the back of his mind whilst he was editing Mark, and that
                                this occasionally influenced Luke's account.>>

                                Thanks. This is a good start.

                                >In this case, Mark's omission of material on my hypothesis has a clear
                                >and persuasive theological (i.e., christological) motivation.

                                Any claim for a supposed motivation in this case is thoroughly dwarfed
                                by the overall question of the motivation of a supposed later Mark who
                                apparently expends so much effort on an abbreviated account which misses
                                out many of the best parts of Matthew.>>

                                I'm glad you make this step at this point. It confirms something I have long
                                suspected: namely that it is the macro argument in favor of Markan priority
                                that lurks in the background in the analysis and exegesis of individual
                                Synoptic texts by most scholars. I have been trying to make the interesting
                                case that a Synoptic theory based on empirical evidence at the micro level
                                does not really support Markan priority, in general; that one should be
                                honest about this; and that one should therefore, at some point in the game,
                                come to reexamine the validity of the macro-level arguments themselves lest
                                they contain some weakness in their presuppositions. For example, you speak
                                above of "a supposed later Mark who
                                apparently expends so much effort on an abbreviated account which misses
                                out many of the best parts of Matthew". This presupposes, with no
                                justification for the point, that Mark intended to replace Matthew with his
                                version of the Gospel. If he did not intend this, then the best parts of
                                Matthew are guaranteed survival beyond Mark, and they are moreover parts that
                                Mark might naturally hesitate to reproduce precisely because they cannot
                                really be improved upon (but also because they do not directly serve Mark's
                                limited purposes in writing to a specific audience for a specific occasion).

                                << On your hypothesis Mark wasted
                                his time producing a gospel which the early Church largely ignored in
                                favour of Matthew. Of course in theory this is possible. But Mark would
                                have had to be very dim not to see that his gospel would have had no
                                chance of superseding Matthew, let alone Luke. Mark was no dimwit.>>

                                Again Mark was not trying to do the impossible, i.e. to supersede Matt or
                                Luke. Nor was he necessarily writing for posterity, but rather for a concrete
                                audience for which he was pastorally responsible. Moreover, it was not the
                                early Church in general that largely ignored Mark's gospel, but rather the
                                intellectuals whose writings have survived from antiquity and who had a very
                                natural disdain for a work that was written specifically for the lower
                                classes of half-educated people in a Roman community. And by the way, AMatt
                                and ALk would presumably have had an analogous disdain for Mark, I would
                                contend, even had that gospel preceded theirs (and they would accordingly
                                never have used it as the basis of their work). There is, I think, a howler
                                of unrealism -- in terms of the awareness of social division and its
                                implications in antiquity -- inherent in the theory of Marcan priority and
                                the supposed use by Matt and Lk of a work written by Mark, whom Luke refers
                                to in Acts as a hyperetes (not of the word, mind you, but of Paul!). It would
                                be as though I entered the Harvard Divinity Library, as I did today, and went
                                first to talk to the men working on the rebuilding project there for
                                illumination on questions of scriptural exegesis I had come to research. It
                                makes good sense to think of Matthew especially in terms of the societal
                                divisions, and accompanying attitudes, advertised in Sir 38:24ff, where it is
                                inconceivable that the scribe referred to in the opening verse of the section
                                would have gone for guidance in intellectual or spiritual matters to one of
                                the ploughmen, workmen, or craftsmen referred to in the subsequent verses of
                                the passage. We so spontaneously think of the four gospels as equally
                                glorified in the tradition that we forget about a basic realism that would
                                establish clear differentiation in kind between them in terms of literary
                                elegance and class-identification of their authors. Mark makes good sense as
                                a popular dramatization of epic gospel works which antedated it; analogous to
                                the popular dramatizations (though of much higher literary quality) that
                                followed classical Greek epic (Homer in particular) in the period of the
                                great Greek and Latin tragedians.

                                Leonard Maluf


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                              • Ron Price
                                ... Leonard, Matthew s, BAPTIZW and BAPTISEI looked (and sounded?) similar. ... It isn t in general. There is no trend in parallelism within the first century
                                Message 15 of 22 , Nov 8, 2001
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                                  Leonard Maluf wrote:

                                  > ..... How exactly does changing the tense of the verb baptizo
                                  >from aorist to present increase the parallelism between JnB in 3:11a and
                                  >Jesus in 3:11d

                                  Leonard,
                                  Matthew's, BAPTIZW and BAPTISEI looked (and sounded?) similar.

                                  > ..... And if it does do this, why is increasing the
                                  >parallelism between JB and Jesus thought of as being a relatively late
                                  >undertaking?

                                  It isn't in general. There is no trend in parallelism within the first
                                  century as far as I know. Matthew simply thought it appropriate in this
                                  case.

                                  >> Any claim for a supposed motivation in this case is thoroughly dwarfed
                                  >> by the overall question of the motivation of a supposed later Mark who
                                  >> apparently expends so much effort on an abbreviated account which misses
                                  >> out many of the best parts of Matthew.>>

                                  >I'm glad you make this step at this point. It confirms something I have long
                                  >suspected: namely that it is the macro argument in favor of Markan priority
                                  >that lurks in the background in the analysis and exegesis of individual
                                  >Synoptic texts by most scholars.

                                  I am not a professional scholar. But you are probably right. For no
                                  one can hope to make sense of a vast complex of data without positing
                                  some overall theory to account for it. Surely you do the same.

                                  > ..... one should ..... at some point in the game,
                                  >come to reexamine the validity of the macro-level arguments themselves lest
                                  >they contain some weakness in their presuppositions.

                                  Yes, if new detailed evidence emerges which is likely to tip the
                                  balance against one's prevailing theory.

                                  >> ..... a supposed later Mark who
                                  >> apparently expends so much effort on an abbreviated account which misses
                                  >> out many of the best parts of Matthew

                                  > This presupposes, with no
                                  >justification for the point, that Mark intended to replace Matthew with his
                                  >version of the Gospel. If he did not intend this .....

                                  But this is even less credible. It's like saying Bill Gates & co.
                                  didn't want to replace Netscape Navigator when they promoted Internet
                                  Explorer.

                                  > ..... There is, I think, a howler
                                  >of unrealism - in terms of the awareness of social division and its
                                  >implications in antiquity - inherent in the theory of Marcan priority and the
                                  >supposed use by Matt and Lk of a work written by Mark, whom Luke refers to in
                                  >Acts as a hyperetes (not of the word, mind you, but of Paul!).

                                  I think it is you who are unrealistic. All the gospels were published
                                  anonymously. Even if Matthew and Luke knew who had written Mark, they
                                  must have realized that their contemporaries would not be able to work
                                  out that they had made use of Mark. So even if your social theory were
                                  correct, they would have had no reason to lose face on account of their
                                  editorial activity.

                                  > ..... we forget about a basic realism that would establish
                                  >clear differentiation in kind between them in terms of literary elegance and
                                  >class-identification of their authors.

                                  In the first century more importance would surely have been attached
                                  to their place of origin. As there is evidence that Mark was written in
                                  Rome, the capital city of the Empire, this would have enhanced its
                                  initial acceptance.

                                  > Mark makes good sense as a popular
                                  >dramatization of epic gospel works which antedated it; analogous to the
                                  >popular dramatizations (though of much higher literary quality) that followed
                                  >classical Greek epic (Homer in particular) in the period of the great Greek
                                  >and Latin tragedians.

                                  Since when did dramatizations miss out the best bits of the original
                                  story?

                                  Mark's popularity has been restricted to two brief periods in history:
                                  before the more 'complete' gospels came along, and then much more
                                  recently when scholars realized that Mark came first and therefore might
                                  be the key to understanding the historical Jesus.

                                  Ron Price

                                  Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

                                  e-mail: ron.price@...

                                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

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                                • Maluflen@aol.com
                                  In a message dated 11/8/2001 6:31:41 AM Eastern Standard Time, ron.price@virgin.net writes: ... Leonard, Matthew s, BAPTIZW and BAPTISEI looked (and sounded?)
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Nov 8, 2001
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                                    In a message dated 11/8/2001 6:31:41 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                    ron.price@... writes:

                                    << Leonard Maluf wrote:

                                    > ..... How exactly does changing the tense of the verb baptizo
                                    >from aorist to present increase the parallelism between JnB in 3:11a and
                                    >Jesus in 3:11d

                                    Leonard,
                                    Matthew's, BAPTIZW and BAPTISEI looked (and sounded?) similar.>>

                                    And so do EBAPTISA and BAPTISEI; these, more so at their endings, the other
                                    more so at their beginnings.

                                    > ..... And if it does do this, why is increasing the
                                    >parallelism between JB and Jesus thought of as being a relatively late
                                    >undertaking?

                                    It isn't in general. There is no trend in parallelism within the first
                                    century as far as I know. Matthew simply thought it appropriate in this
                                    case.>>

                                    This doesn't seem to address my problem here. Doesn't parallelism have an
                                    intrinsic force of weakening subordination? And isn't there a clear tendency
                                    in the tradition toward stressing the subordination of Jn to Jesus? Notice
                                    also "for so it behooves US to fulfill all righteousness" in the Matthean
                                    text, again placing Jn and Jesus into very close proximity of action, as
                                    opposed to subordinating the action of one to the other.

                                    >> Any claim for a supposed motivation in this case is thoroughly dwarfed
                                    >> by the overall question of the motivation of a supposed later Mark who
                                    >> apparently expends so much effort on an abbreviated account which misses
                                    >> out many of the best parts of Matthew.>>

                                    >I'm glad you make this step at this point. It confirms something I have
                                    long
                                    >suspected: namely that it is the macro argument in favor of Markan priority
                                    >that lurks in the background in the analysis and exegesis of individual
                                    >Synoptic texts by most scholars.

                                    I am not a professional scholar. But you are probably right. For no
                                    one can hope to make sense of a vast complex of data without positing
                                    some overall theory to account for it. Surely you do the same.

                                    Yes. But I make sure my theory "checks out" at the micro level; I don't force
                                    it to out of attachment for the overall theory.

                                    > ..... one should ..... at some point in the game,
                                    >come to reexamine the validity of the macro-level arguments themselves lest
                                    >they contain some weakness in their presuppositions.

                                    Yes, if new detailed evidence emerges which is likely to tip the
                                    balance against one's prevailing theory.>>

                                    There is plenty of that, but detailed evidence is not the only thing that
                                    should make someone rethink a favored theory. A good enough reason for
                                    reexamining a theory, for example, is if it has been shown that the theory
                                    itself presupposes some untenable or at least some by-no-means demonstrated
                                    beliefs.

                                    > This presupposes, with no
                                    >justification for the point, that Mark intended to replace Matthew with his
                                    >version of the Gospel. If he did not intend this .....

                                    But this is even less credible. It's like saying Bill Gates & co.
                                    didn't want to replace Netscape Navigator when they promoted Internet
                                    Explorer.>>

                                    You don't seem to be doing justice to my point here. It is true that for the
                                    limited purpose, audience and occasion for which a late Mark would have
                                    written his gospel he intended it to momentarily replace Matthew (and Luke,
                                    for that matter). But it is quite possible to envision a situation in which
                                    Mark was originally not intended for a wide and literate audience and hence
                                    was not in any way intended to replace Matt or Luke at that level, if you
                                    will, or in that market, to put it contemporary terms. This idea is supported
                                    by Dr. Carlson's recent analysis of the statement of Clement of Alexandria
                                    and the correct understanding of prografein. (Mark's gospel not originally
                                    intended for publication). Source theorists in the Synoptics really have
                                    traditionally given very superficial attention, if any at all, to the
                                    pragmatics of gospel communication in developing their theories. There lurks
                                    in the background always the idea of a scribe intent upon preserving all
                                    evangelical traditions available to him for posterity. The model may be
                                    totally off mark for the realities of the various situations for which
                                    gospels were actually written. The gospels are in fact valuable TO US because
                                    they have in fact preserved some Jesus tradition for posterity (i.e., us). It
                                    does not follow, however, that this was the motivation of all, if it was even
                                    of any, of the evangelists. Given other possible motivations for writing, the
                                    theories that have been generally accepted all need review.

                                    > ..... There is, I think, a howler
                                    >of unrealism - in terms of the awareness of social division and its
                                    >implications in antiquity - inherent in the theory of Marcan priority and
                                    the
                                    >supposed use by Matt and Lk of a work written by Mark, whom Luke refers to
                                    in
                                    >Acts as a hyperetes (not of the word, mind you, but of Paul!).

                                    I think it is you who are unrealistic. All the gospels were published
                                    anonymously. Even if Matthew and Luke knew who had written Mark, they
                                    must have realized that their contemporaries would not be able to work
                                    out that they had made use of Mark. So even if your social theory were
                                    correct, they would have had no reason to lose face on account of their
                                    editorial activity.>>

                                    You didn't quite get my point here. It's not a question of whether they might
                                    have been found out to have known and used Mark. What I am suggesting is that
                                    a document like Mark would not have interested sophisticated scholars like
                                    Matthew and Luke enough to even bother reading it. To use another
                                    contemporary example, I don't waste time with the books on the NT that are
                                    regularly found on the shelves of "Christian" book stores in a typical
                                    American mall. It's not that I don't recognize that such books might serve
                                    some edifying purpose for some; they just don't measure up to the level or
                                    the nature of my interest in these topics.

                                    > ..... we forget about a basic realism that would establish
                                    >clear differentiation in kind between them in terms of literary elegance
                                    and
                                    >class-identification of their authors.

                                    In the first century more importance would surely have been attached
                                    to their place of origin. As there is evidence that Mark was written in
                                    Rome, the capital city of the Empire, this would have enhanced its
                                    initial acceptance.>>

                                    On the other hand, there would be very little corroborating evidence to
                                    support the idea of a Christian product originating in the West and being
                                    feverishly adopted in the East. The movement in the early centuries of the
                                    church was simply and uniformly in the opposite direction. Even at the end of
                                    the second century Lyons had to get its famous bishop theologian from Syria.

                                    > Mark makes good sense as a popular
                                    >dramatization of epic gospel works which antedated it; analogous to the
                                    >popular dramatizations (though of much higher literary quality) that
                                    followed
                                    >classical Greek epic (Homer in particular) in the period of the great Greek
                                    >and Latin tragedians.

                                    Since when did dramatizations miss out the best bits of the original
                                    story?>>

                                    Dramatizations usually dealt with very limited portions of the story line
                                    provided by the original epics. What is unusual in the case of Mark is that
                                    he used so much, not that he used so little, of the story line provided by
                                    the earlier Gospels.

                                    << Mark's popularity has been restricted to two brief periods in history:
                                    before the more 'complete' gospels came along, and then much more
                                    recently when scholars realized that Mark came first and therefore might
                                    be the key to understanding the historical Jesus.>>

                                    This presupposes rather than argues your theory (as does my own previous
                                    paragraph mine). My general impression from the above discussion, though, is
                                    that you think Markan priority doesn't really need strong supporting
                                    arguments in its favor because there are so many people who hold it. There is
                                    a fallacy here, I think.

                                    Leonard Maluf


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                                  • Emmanuel Fritsch
                                    ... I do not want to take the usage of METANOIA in isolation. I ask you about a guy who wrote a sentence containing some of the following word roots :
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Nov 9, 2001
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                                      > >> >- the link between Mk 1:4 and the style of Luke
                                      > > .....
                                      > >You do not address the argument on style.
                                      >
                                      > Emmanuel,
                                      > Taking the usage of METANOIA in isolation,

                                      I do not want to take the usage of METANOIA in isolation. I ask you
                                      about a guy who wrote a sentence containing some of the following
                                      word roots : METANOIA, AMARTIWN, AFESIN, KHRUSSWM (or EKHERUSSWN ?)

                                      If you think that this fuzzy pattern is a normal feature, or a
                                      coincidence, then find an example of such a concentrated use of
                                      Matthean style in Mark, or Lukan style in Matthew.

                                      In the example you provided (which looks as a good example for a
                                      dependency from Matthew to Luke) the sentence in Luke was paralleled
                                      twice in Matthew, with a direct link, so that (even if I agree for
                                      this link) one may dismiss it saying Matthew copied twice a sentence
                                      found in Luke.

                                      For Mk 1:4, it looks hard to believe that Luke integrated as a whole
                                      a piece of markan pericopae, with its vocabulary and its theology. Or
                                      if you accept such an explanation, all interelation in gospels may
                                      be enlight through such explanations, and we find a good reason to
                                      justify all problems with all synoptic theory.

                                      > Taking the usage of METANOIA in isolation, ignoring the thousands of
                                      > other pieces of evidence which relate to the synoptic problem, suggests
                                      > that Mark (and Matthew?) might have taken this word from Luke. But even
                                      > with this qualification we only obtain a modest probability in favour of
                                      > such a conclusion. The less probable alternative (given this
                                      > qualification) is that Mark could have been familiar with METANOIA and
                                      > simply not used it much because he thought it only applied to the
                                      > preaching of JnB. Consideration of the thousands of other pieces of
                                      > evidence rightly leads most scholars to conclude that Luke used Mark and
                                      > not the other way round.

                                      The problem of all those pieces of evidence is : in a strict sense,
                                      they prove that developments in Luke are present in a more genuine
                                      state in Mark. They prove Lukan posteriority, not Mark being a
                                      source of Luke. You deduce Mark being a source only by positing
                                      that no intermediate stage is involved in the redaction process.

                                      But if Mark and Luke both have composite characteristic, this
                                      hypothesis looks hard to sustain. All the argument I read about
                                      Mark being prior forget to address the composite character of Mark,
                                      and are just argument for Lukan and Matthean posteriority.


                                      > >, [If Luke comes last] then we should imagine that Luke
                                      > >has had something like a mystical flash on Mk 1:4 (but not on Mk 1:5)
                                      >
                                      > Luke was selective. Is that so strange?

                                      Yes. It is absolutely not convincing that Luke select verses in
                                      Mark, including them in his theology and in his style, but did
                                      not achieve the same task with Matthew.

                                      It looks strange that on this doubtfull verse, coincidentally,
                                      Luke would chose a verse that Matthew did not chose, and would
                                      reject the verse that Matthew had kept.


                                      > >> >- the doublet Mk 1:4 + 1:5
                                      >
                                      > > ..... if Mark is a source for the other synoptist, then
                                      > >we have two good witnesses of the redundancy : Luke and Matthew,
                                      > >who did not reproduce it.
                                      >
                                      > Mark described both a preaching topic and an action scenario. The
                                      > action scenario fitted Matthew's more graphic description of JnB's
                                      > activity. The preaching topic suited Luke's grand preface (Lk
                                      > 1:1-4;3:1-5) to his two volume masterpiece. (The formal language of Lk
                                      > 3:1f. supports the view that the birth narratives weren't in the first
                                      > edition of Luke.) But for Mark, neither was redundant.

                                      Obviously, for the guy who created the redundancy, it was not
                                      a redundancy. But if you were right when you say that Mark 1:4
                                      is a source of Lk and Mt, then obviously Lk and Mt saw a
                                      redundancy, and removed it. But now, we just have to let
                                      readers of the list judge if Mk 1:4-5 is not redundant.


                                      > >PS : when you write "To be confident of different sources we
                                      > >would have to be able to identify an inconsistency or at least
                                      > >a redundancy", should we understand you ackowledge the composite
                                      > >character of inconsistent pericopae in Mark ?
                                      >
                                      > Each case should be considered on its merits.
                                      > For example Mark 16:7 ("go, tell") is inconsistent with Mk 16:8 ("they
                                      > said nothing to any one"). Mark had in effect complimented the women for
                                      > not abandoning Jesus (15:40) and for having looked after him (15:41), so
                                      > he would not have presented them as deliberately disobeying a clear
                                      > instruction of Jesus. Also, as a great story teller, Mark would have
                                      > historicized the fulfilment of "there you will see him, as he told you"
                                      > if these words had been in his autograph. Furthermore the text reads
                                      > more smoothly when 16:7 is removed. Thus 16:7 is a post-Markan
                                      > interpolation (along with the related 14:28). The motivation for
                                      > interpolation is clear: the rehabilitation of Peter after the criticisms
                                      > by Mark which culminated in the denial.

                                      Some observation on this example :

                                      - You provide here an example about inconsistency,
                                      but not about redundancy.

                                      - I agree that each case should be considered on its merits.
                                      But two less strong case may help together, and more over, a
                                      good case may help a tangent one. I give an example :

                                      Imagine we may find a lukan character in Mk 16:8-20. If we
                                      accept the common deduction that this gospel ending is later,
                                      then its lukan character would reinforce the probability for
                                      lukan like pericopae in Mark to be later, and in fact deriving
                                      from Luke.

                                      Perhabs may we check the lukan character of Mk 16:8-20 ?

                                      a+
                                      manu

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                                    • Maluflen@aol.com
                                      In a message dated 11/11/2001 1:05:16 PM Eastern Standard Time, ron.price@virgin.net writes: ... Leonard, You assume that the subordination process must have
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Nov 11, 2001
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                                        In a message dated 11/11/2001 1:05:16 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                        ron.price@... writes:

                                        << Leonard Maluf wrote:

                                        >My point is that the subordination of Jn to Jesus is clearest, in the
                                        >Synoptic tradition, precisely in Mark -- which argues against Mark coming
                                        >first.

                                        Leonard,
                                        You assume that the subordination process must have taken place during
                                        the period when the synoptic gospels were being written. I say it was
                                        complete by ca. 70 CE wan Mark was written. The variation between the
                                        synoptics on this issue is minimal. >>

                                        I'm sorry. But this simply shows me that you don't read the texts carefully.
                                        Mark's text is actually quite different from Matthew's in this respect.
                                        Matthew's text has not yet been subjected to the normative framework of clear
                                        subordination of John's activity to that of Jesus, whereas Mark's has.

                                        > ..... To justify a late Mark, all that
                                        >is necessary is that Mark's final product was such as to communicate the
                                        >gospel message to a limited audience in a way that more powerfully grabs
                                        them
                                        >than would the sophisticated, often almost unintelligible, elite, and
                                        >text-based writings of Matthew and Luke.

                                        Mark arguably has more subtleties than Luke.
                                        It would be interesting to hear from any missionary who has observed
                                        different reactions to the three synoptic gospels.>>

                                        I can't judge the validity of this comment unless you have time to illustrate
                                        what you mean. I really wonder what you could mean here, or whether you are
                                        really aware of how subtle most of Luke's writing is. What do you find subtle
                                        in Mark?

                                        > ..... for the limited purpose, say, of a baptismal drama,
                                        >preceding the conferral of that sacrament, what could be better than a
                                        >dramatic narrative of the ministry of Jesus that begins with the baptism of
                                        >John and ends with the baptism of Jesus' death?

                                        Mark strikes me as a bit long-winded for that purpose, with too many
                                        of the details having only marginal relevance. Has Mark ever been used
                                        in the way you suggest?>>

                                        I presume that it was used this way originally, but there is unfortunately no
                                        corroborating external evidence of which I am aware. The internal evidence
                                        for the view is however rather more abundant than might appear at first
                                        sight, and is especially impressive on the hypothesis that Mark wrote third.
                                        Also, if baptisms were performed already in the course of an Easter vigil
                                        ceremony, lasting basically all night long, when Mark wrote his gospel, then
                                        Mark was hardly too long or long winded for this particular first century
                                        audience.

                                        > ..... Do Mark's Christians need to
                                        >be continuously bombarded with the (conflicting and midrashic) stories
                                        about
                                        >Jesus' birth found in the other gospels?

                                        Once Jesus' birth had become part of the Jesus tradition, anyone
                                        presenting Jesus who ignored it risked publishing oblivion.>>

                                        Once again, Mark probably did not originally seek publication for his
                                        production which was probably a response to an urgent pastoral exigency.

                                        << Luke tried it in his first edition, but later realized that he couldn't
                                        hope to
                                        compete with Matthew without birth stories, so he added his own (much
                                        improved) version.>>

                                        I don't believe there was ever an edition of Luke without infancy narratives,
                                        but this is a different discussion.

                                        << The Evangelist who produced the first edition of John
                                        presented Jesus as having come down from heaven, so he didn't want birth
                                        stories with their obvious implication of an earthly beginning. >>

                                        This seems like a good working rationalization for the absence of infancy
                                        stories in John.

                                        >What ever makes you think that Matthew would be looking around for
                                        >"Christian" publications in existence at the time of his writing?

                                        Do I have to remind you that Matthew was a Christian? He could hardly
                                        have ignored the only previous record of the life of Jesus, a record
                                        which had already been in existence for 10 to 15 years.>>

                                        Your confidence in the conjectured dates for the composition of the gospels
                                        is stunning. You would think, from reading your posts, that scholars knew. Of
                                        course if Mark did exist when Matthew wrote, then Matthew almost certainly
                                        used Mark. I just think that this entire hypothesis leads to a profound
                                        undervaluation of what Matthew actually accomplished. This is why the best
                                        monographs on Matthew and Luke in the last two decades have been written by
                                        those who methodologically ignore the hypothesis of Markan priority.

                                        >Please supply an example, other than the one in question, to illustrate
                                        >your point [that the movement of early Christian ideas was not uniformly
                                        > from East to West]. I would be greatly enlightened.

                                        Prepare to be enlightened. ;-)

                                        1. Luke seems to have originated in a Greek-speaking area - probably in
                                        what we now call Greece.
                                        2. There is no reason to doubt the tradition that John originated in
                                        what we now call Turkey, probably in Ephesus.
                                        3. John probably depends on Luke (Barrett, Schnelle).
                                        4. Turkey is east of Greece.
                                        5. Q.E.D.>>

                                        This is clever, and I don't disagree with any of your "facts" here. Only you
                                        have proved too little: I think of Rome as REALLY west, and Palestine (or
                                        Syria) as REALLY east. Could you try again within these more significant
                                        parameters?

                                        Leonard Maluf


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