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[Synoptic-L] Who made copies of Mark (was RE: A discussion of the different endings of Mark)

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  • David Inglis
    ... I apologize. If you were referring to pericopes in Mk and Mt but not Lk, then I probably didn t read your post closely enough. However, as I believe that
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 13, 2002
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      Jeffrey Glen Jackson wrote:
      > > I discussed the issue of the Markan material that does not appear in Matthew
      > > or Luke in the document that I asked people to comment
      on.  Are you saying
      > > that you think that my particular
      explanation is not plausible, or did you
      > > not see that part of the

      > I didn't think that had anything to do with the pericopes
      in question
      > since they do appear in Matthew and would, I assume have
      > then in your proto-Mk.  Or are you suggesting that a
      significant amount
      > of material was copied from Mt into canonical
      Mk?  I didn't get that from
      > your paper.
      I apologize.  If you were referring to pericopes in Mk and Mt but not Lk, then I probably didn't read your post closely enough.  However, as I believe that Luke used Mt as one of his sources, then for me the reason for Lk omitting them has nothing to do with them not being present in whatever version of Mk that Luke had access to.  However, what that reason is, I don't know, and it entails getting inside the mind of Luke to figure it out.

      > > I'm not convinced by this, mainly because I don't believe that any
      > > organization existed
      by this time that could have decided to favor Matthew
      > > and Luke over
      Mark.  Instead, I think that at this time copying was either

      > I
      don't think it is necessary to posit an organized decision.  Any individual
      > in possession of both Mk and one of Lk or Mt would likely
      make the
      > same decision to copy Lk or Mt over Mk since the former
      includes so
      > much of the later.
      ... but that supposes that these individuals had copies of at least two of the synoptics, whereas I think that many (perhaps even most) only had access to one.  I also think that in the early days many people would favor the version written for them, so that Roman Christians would copy Mk even though Mt and Lk contain much more material and are (in our minds) superior as a result.  However, because this is really supposition, I would be very interested to see if there was any actual evidence of who copied what around this time (that is, apart from the relative numbers of extant MSS of the different Gospels)..

      > > an individual effort, or at most individual churches
      would copy the
      > > documents that were most 'precious' to them. 
      So, while other churches may
      > > have been copying Matthew and Luke, I
      think it likely that the Roman
      > > Christians would be mainly copying

      > This may well be true up until the fire and subsequent
      Why would it change after the fire?  Fewer people - yes.  Fewer MSS - yes.  Are you suggesting that after the fire their MSS of Mk were lost, and that they then 'imported' Mt and/or Lk from elsewhere?

      > > This (I assume) is
      deduced from looking at the numbers of extant MSS from
      > > different
      centuries, which is also something I discussed in the document
      > > that
      I asked for comments on.

      > Yes, but you practically refute your thesis
      yourself.  Copies of
      > some form of Mk existed outside
      Alexandria.  The lack of manuscripts
      > seems more because Mt and Lk
      were preferred over Mk.
      It's obviously possible, and I'm sure that some people did prefer Mt and/or Lk over Mk.  However, I don't see it happening to any great extent.  For me, the MS evidence shows this.  Basically, the MSS up to the 5th century either contain only one Gospel, or all four. P75 (Luke and John, ca. 200 AD) may be an early exception, but we don't know what it originally contained.  Now, I know that many of these MSS are fragmentary and therefore might have contained other Gospels, but we have no way of knowing.  Even so, I believe that the most logical way of interpreting the evidence is that most early copies were of individual Gospels, and that later on things changed, and MSS of all four Gospels became the norm.  As there is no evidence of Gospel collections going through an early stage that excluded Mk, I can only suppose that Mk was regarded as highly as the other three Gospels, and that there was no question of excluding it on the basis that almost all of it was already included in Mt and Lk.  Putting it another way round, why would a document that was generally regarded as inferior later come to be regarded as 'on a par' with the other three Gospels?

      > > What is the evidence for the lack of resources needed to make
      copies?  It
      > > only takes one person with a piece of parchment to
      make a copy.

      > When I say "resources" I'm thinking scribes, not a lack
      of paper and
      > ink.  I would think it would be virtually a tautology
      that there were
      > a lot fewer Christians in the 60's and 70's, and hence a
      lot fewer
      > Christian scribes available to make copies.
      In 'Early Manuscripts & Modern Translations of the New Testament' (P 5-6) Comfort writes: "From the first century into the second and third, various books of the NT were copied over and over again by some Christians -- for personal use and use in local churches.  Those made for personal use varied in quality of penmanship.  Some papyrus MSS were written in a crude hand (such as P10, 22, 27); others bear the mark of better craftsmanship (such as P20, 21, 66); still others look nearly professional (such as P4, 38, 39, 75).  For the most part, the NT papyri were written in what papyrologists call the 'documentary' hand -- that is, the handwriting reveals that the scribes were educated men -- familiar with books and writing, but were not trained, professional scribes."
      > Granted it only takes
      > one person to make a copy, but that
      person must invest a lot of time.
      > If he has to make a choice between
      Mt/Lk and Mk, I'm betting he'd
      > probably choose Mt/Lk, they being largely
      supersets, and only
      > later when the church was lager and more organized
      would resources
      > be directed to copying lesser important
      I've covered this above.  I think we just interpret the evidence differently.  For the most part I think people just copied the Gospel that was local to their area, until such time as someone gathered all four together. 

      > I'd like to comment on the Clement letter itself
      some, but its
      > getting late, and I have to get to bed.  Maybe later
      this week.
      Dave Inglis
      3538 O'Connor Drive
      Lafayette, CA, USA

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