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Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence

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  • Joseph Weaks
    ... Of course, this type of historical reconstruction always strikes me as a random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake of brevity,
    Message 1 of 20 , Sep 19, 2004
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      On Sep 19, 2004, at 6:31 AM, Maluflen@... wrote:
      > ... I would never express what Mark did, except in a moment of
      > carelessness, as an abbreviated version of Matthew and/or Luke.
      > Conflation and abbreviation were not what Mark was "doing"; they were
      > among a number of means used by him to create a Gospel drama suited
      > for his relatively unsophisticated community of Roman, Gentile
      > Christians. Another means he used was virtually the opposite of
      > abbreviation, namely (clearly secondary) expansion and elaboration,
      > which is found almost throughout Mark -- who achieved brevity, by
      > comparison to Matthew and Luke, only by omitting large sections of the
      > well-known teaching of Jesus, which would have slowed down his fast
      > moving narrative...

      Of course, this type of historical reconstruction always strikes me as
      a random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake
      of brevity, while most often expanding the individual traditions
      themselves. These appeals to hypothetical sociological settings in
      order to refute evidence internal to the text never strike me as
      plausible.

      Joe Weaks

      **************************************************************
      Rev. Joseph A. Weaks
      Senior Minister, Bethany Christian Church, Dallas
      Ph.D. (Cand.), Brite Divinity School, Ft. Worth
      j.weaks@...
      **************************************************************


      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • David Gentile
      Hello Leonard, As you say we have been through this before. I doubt I could add anything to what I have on my site, and what we have discussed on this list in
      Message 2 of 20 , Sep 19, 2004
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        Hello Leonard,

        As you say we have been through this before. I doubt I could add anything to
        what I have on my site, and what we have discussed on this list in the past.
        Examples of specific vocabulary items are generally pointless, since the
        statistical argument is based on the combined weight of many examples, not
        individual cases which are by themselves insignificant.

        I posted this because there are people here who may not be familiar with
        earlier discussions on this list. If you, or others have specific questions
        about material presented on the web pages, I'd be happy to try to answer
        those question, since that might help me improve the site.

        Sincerely,
        Dave Gentile

        Dave Gentile
        Riverside, Illinois
        M.S. Physics
        M.S. Finance
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <Maluflen@...>
        To: <GentDave@...>; <tlewistlewis@...>;
        <synoptic-l@...>
        Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2004 6:02 AM
        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence


        > In a message dated 9/18/2004 9:33:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
        > GentDave@... writes:
        >
        >
        > > The vocabulary in the text common between Matthew and Mark, is
        > > significantly
        > > related to the vocabulary of Mark elsewhere in Mark's text. The same is
        not
        > > true of the text unique to Matthew. This result, and others
        relationships
        > > like it, strongly suggest that Mark was the original text, and that
        Matthew
        > > is based on Mark
        >
        > Dave, I know you have been through this before, but could you possibly
        spell
        > out, perhaps with some examples, what you mean by the above paragraph
        > (especially, in a few more words, what you say about Matthew). A
        construction of
        > vocabulary evidence that favors Markan priority always intrigues me, since
        on all
        > other grounds (except perhaps one) the theory seems so improbable to me.
        Thanks
        > much.
        >
        > Leonard Maluf
        > Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
        > Weston, MA
        >


        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 9/19/2004 4:40:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Joe, read what you just wrote, please: A random apology for how an author can leave out
        Message 3 of 20 , Sep 20, 2004
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          In a message dated 9/19/2004 4:40:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time, j.weaks@... writes:


          On Sep 19, 2004, at 6:31 AM, Maluflen@... wrote:
          > ... I would never express what Mark did, except in a moment of
          > carelessness, as an abbreviated version of Matthew and/or Luke.
          > Conflation and abbreviation were not what Mark was "doing"; they were
          > among a number of means used by him to create a Gospel drama suited
          > for his relatively unsophisticated community of Roman, Gentile
          > Christians. Another means he used was virtually the opposite of
          > abbreviation, namely (clearly secondary) expansion and elaboration,
          > which is found almost throughout Mark -- who achieved brevity, by
          > comparison to Matthew and Luke, only by omitting large sections of the
          > well-known teaching of Jesus, which would have slowed down his fast
          > moving narrative...

          Of course, this type of historical reconstruction always strikes me as
          a random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake
          of brevity, while most often expanding the individual traditions
          themselves.


          Joe, read what you just wrote, please: "A random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake of brevity.." Since when is it expected that an *author* would copy stories written by someone else? If you want to refer to a late Mark as a redactor, or better still as a scribe (in the sense of a copier of manuscripts) your sentence would make good sense. But in the case of an author, if you think that's what Mark is (and I would agree), the question is not why he would have left out some parts of an existing Gospel of Matthew, but rather why he would appear, at first glance, to have copied so much of it! (Of all the early Christian writers we know, who knew the Gospel of Matthew, none of them copied those parts you want to blame a late Mark for not copying.) And to answer my own question (why Mark would have copied what he did from Matthew), the fact is that he did not just copy them, but rather worked them into a different kind of communication, a Gospel drama, designed to reach a specific (low-class, relatively unsophisticated) audience with a powerful Gospel message. The hypothesized situation is perfectly coherent, identical in kind to that which obtains today when films are made from existing books (always with major omissions in the film product). The fact that the theory is coherent does not make it true, but it cannot be dismissed out of hand as inherently implausible. Especially not "of course".


          These appeals to hypothetical sociological settings in
          order to refute evidence internal to the text never strike me as
          plausible.

          My purpose, like yours, is not to refute, but rather to interpret evidence internal to the text. The Markan priority hypothesis, like the Matthean priority hypothesis, is not "evidence internal to the text" but theory that attempts to explain that evidence.

          Leonard Maluf
          Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
          Weston, MA
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          In a message dated 9/19/2004 9:16:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I would just like to hear you express verbally, in somewhat fuller form, what you think your
          Message 4 of 20 , Sep 20, 2004
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            In a message dated 9/19/2004 9:16:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time, GentDave@... writes:


            I posted this because there are people here who may not be familiar with
            earlier discussions on this list. If you, or others have specific questions
            about material presented on the web pages, I'd be happy to try to answer
            those question, since that might help me improve the site.



            I would just like to hear you express verbally, in somewhat fuller form, what you think your tables of statistics prove and why. The reason I say this is because your less fully stated interpretation of your verbal statistics does not match with my interpretation of more macro observations -- such as the fact that the common Synoptic material is in general more demonstrably Matthean in origin than it is Markan in origin. It would be nice if the statistics re-inforced, rather than contradicted, sound evaluation of the evidence based on macro observations.

            Leonard Maluf
            Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
            Weston, MA
          • Tim Reynolds
            on 18/9/04 5:41 AM, Frides Laméris at flameris@prettel.nl wrote: Hi Tim, ... From: Tim Lewis To: synoptic-l@bham.ac.uk
            Message 5 of 20 , Sep 21, 2004
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              Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence on 18/9/04 5:41 AM, Frides Laméris at flameris@... wrote:

              Hi Tim,
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Tim Lewis <mailto:tlewistlewis@...>  
              To: synoptic-l@...
              Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 6:46 AM
              Subject: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence

              You wrote:

              >snip>

              It seems the Synoptics share much fewer verbal similarities than we might expect with documentary dependence given their context.
              My point is that one usually admits documentary dependence only when one believes that similar content, phrasing and sequence would not be expected given the context.
              Often it seems just as likely that the text has already had a oral life of its own. Could not phraseology from one Church's gospel effect another without positing direct literary dependence?
              Can someone please convince me that the synoptics are documentarily (inter)dependent (given the oral context).

              For my part, I very much doubt if real proof for documentary dependence proof can be given.

              E. Linnemann refers in her book 'Is there a synoptic problem' (I have a german edition from 1999) to the kind of considerations
              you are entertaining. She has also a lot of statistical observations that make documentary dependence of the synoptics according to her rather IMprobable. I think I referred before to the work of (Dutch) André Verkaik 'Tenability of Synoptic Independence' (a study that unfortunately I have not yet got hold of), who (also) goes for an (literary) independence view.

              As for myself, important, I think, is the point that when one allows more room for the gospel texts to reflect a higher level of historicity, directly or indirectly going back to reliable eyewitnesses, it MUST be that a certain percentage of the material being the same or having likeness can already be accounted for by this very fact.

                 
              Good point

              Other factors have to be considered of course and these one can certainly find in the literature of the 'Independentists'.

              As I have just rather recently gained (greater) interest in this matter, and I have not yet found the time to study (all) the details of the independence view, I am happy to leave the discussion at this point.

              I have understood from L. Dungans 'A history of the Synoptic Problem' that the formation of source theories often has been driven by questionable ideological factors. The postulated existence of Q is for me most enigmatic.
              One wonders, what drives the Q-theorists to almost make it a 'gospel' by itself

              Hoping the point that I have raised makes some connection with the question you have asked,

              Best wishes

              Frides Laméris
              Zuidlaren (Home)
              (Netherlands)

              It seems to me the synoptics are best described as "too similar to be unrelated and two dissimilar to be transcription or dictation.  Like the Bad Quartos of Shakespeare's most popular plays.

              Best,

              tim


            • Tim Reynolds
              on 19/9/04 4:02 AM, Maluflen@aol.com at Maluflen@aol.com wrote: In a message dated 9/18/2004 9:33:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time, GentDave@worldnet.att.net
              Message 6 of 20 , Sep 21, 2004
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                Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence on 19/9/04 4:02 AM, Maluflen@... at Maluflen@... wrote:

                In a message dated 9/18/2004 9:33:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time, GentDave@... writes:


                The vocabulary in the text common between Matthew and Mark, is significantly
                related to the vocabulary of Mark elsewhere in Mark's text. The same is not
                true of the text unique to Matthew. This result, and others relationships
                like it, strongly suggest that Mark was the original text, and that Matthew
                is based on Mark


                Dave, I know you have been through this before, but could you possibly spell out, perhaps with some examples, what you mean by the above paragraph (especially, in a few more words, what you say about Matthew). A construction of vocabulary evidence that favors Markan priority always intrigues me, since on all other grounds (except perhaps one) the theory seems so improbable to me. Thanks much.

                Leonard Maluf
                Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                Weston, MA


                Dave's formulation appears clear to me.  What's your problem with it?

                Tim Reynolds
                LB CA 90802
              • Tim Reynolds
                ... Tampoco tim Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@bham.ac.uk
                Message 7 of 20 , Sep 21, 2004
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                  on 19/9/04 1:39 PM, Joseph Weaks at j.weaks@... wrote:

                  >
                  > On Sep 19, 2004, at 6:31 AM, Maluflen@... wrote:
                  >> ... I would never express what Mark did, except in a moment of
                  >> carelessness, as an abbreviated version of Matthew and/or Luke.
                  >> Conflation and abbreviation were not what Mark was "doing"; they were
                  >> among a number of means used by him to create a Gospel drama suited
                  >> for his relatively unsophisticated community of Roman, Gentile
                  >> Christians. Another means he used was virtually the opposite of
                  >> abbreviation, namely (clearly secondary) expansion and elaboration,
                  >> which is found almost throughout Mark -- who achieved brevity, by
                  >> comparison to Matthew and Luke, only by omitting large sections of the
                  >> well-known teaching of Jesus, which would have slowed down his fast
                  >> moving narrative...
                  >
                  > Of course, this type of historical reconstruction always strikes me as
                  > a random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake
                  > of brevity, while most often expanding the individual traditions
                  > themselves. These appeals to hypothetical sociological settings in
                  > order to refute evidence internal to the text never strike me as
                  > plausible.
                  >
                  > Joe Weaks
                  >
                  > **************************************************************
                  > Rev. Joseph A. Weaks
                  > Senior Minister, Bethany Christian Church, Dallas
                  > Ph.D. (Cand.), Brite Divinity School, Ft. Worth
                  > j.weaks@...
                  > **************************************************************
                  >
                  >
                  > Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                  > List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...


                  Tampoco

                  tim


                  Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                  List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                • dgentil@sears.com
                  Leonard, Maybe I could just give a philosophical answer. What do I believe the study proves? Nothing at all. I believe absolute proof of anything is
                  Message 8 of 20 , Sep 24, 2004
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                    Leonard,

                    Maybe I could just give a philosophical answer. What do I believe the study
                    proves?

                    Nothing at all. I believe absolute proof of anything is impossible.

                    What the study demonstrates is that when vocabulary frequencies are
                    examined, that form of evidence indicates a strong probability of Markian
                    priority.

                    However, it is always possible that if more evidence, of other sorts, were
                    considered, the probability of Markian priority could be reduced or even
                    reversed. (Updating probabilities in this way is either an implicit or
                    explicit application of Bayes's theorem.) But, I think that it would
                    require a quite substantial amount of evidence to change the probable
                    conclusion.

                    What macro features are you referring to? I recall that you have said that
                    the large scale structure of the synoptics seems most consistent with
                    Markian priority, but that your disagreement was with the details.

                    .
                    Sincerely,
                    Dave Gentile

                    Dave Gentile
                    M.S. Physics
                    M.S. Finance
                    Riverside, IL




                    Maluflen@...
                    Sent by: To: GentDave@..., synoptic-l@...
                    owner-synoptic-l@ cc:
                    bham.ac.uk Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence


                    09/20/2004 07:32
                    PM






                    In a message dated 9/19/2004 9:16:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                    GentDave@... writes:


                    I posted this because there are people here who may not be familiar with
                    earlier discussions on this list. If you, or others have specific
                    questions
                    about material presented on the web pages, I'd be happy to try to answer
                    those question, since that might help me improve the site.



                    I would just like to hear you express verbally, in somewhat fuller form,
                    what you think your tables of statistics prove and why. The reason I say
                    this is because your less fully stated interpretation of your verbal
                    statistics does not match with my interpretation of more macro observations
                    -- such as the fact that the common Synoptic material is in general more
                    demonstrably Matthean in origin than it is Markan in origin. It would be
                    nice if the statistics re-inforced, rather than contradicted, sound
                    evaluation of the evidence based on macro observations.

                    Leonard Maluf
                    Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                    Weston, MA




                    Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                    List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                  • Maluflen@aol.com
                    In a message dated 9/24/2004 3:18:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... What I would like is a fuller statement of your argument, as opposed to simply discussing
                    Message 9 of 20 , Sep 26, 2004
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                      In a message dated 9/24/2004 3:18:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, dgentil@... writes:


                      Maybe I could just give a philosophical answer. What do I believe the study
                      proves?

                      Nothing at all.  I believe absolute proof of anything is impossible.

                      What the study demonstrates is that when vocabulary frequencies are
                      examined, that form of evidence indicates a strong probability of Markian
                      priority.


                      What I would like is a fuller statement of your argument, as opposed to simply discussing its formal value, or stating what you believe to be its result or conclusion. I suspect that there are presuppositions in your argument that I would have serious problems with, but I can't say so for sure until you lay it out a bit more fully. It is not sufficient to say that such a fuller exposition can be found in Synoptic-L archives. You are writing on this list to an audience which should not be presumed to be familiar with those archives, and are stating that you have made a significant argument in favor of Markan priority, based on vocabulary statistics. I think you have to be able to describe or rehearse that argument with sufficient fulness to insure that list members don't have to simply take your word for it when you pronounce on its merit. Then I could proceed to either reject your argument, or perhaps to accept it, and then go on to air the numerous other possible arguments, also based on vocabulary statistics, that would favor Matthean priority. Thanks.

                      Leonard Maluf
                      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                      Weston
                    • David Gentile
                      Leonard, I don t expect people to look through the archives. However, I do expect people who are interested in understanding the work to study all the webpages
                      Message 10 of 20 , Sep 26, 2004
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                        Leonard,

                        I don't expect people to look through the archives. However, I do expect
                        people who are interested in understanding the work to study all the
                        webpages on my site completely (including following all the links) and ask
                        specific questions about items there that they do not understand, or have
                        issues with.

                        http://www.davegentile.com/synoptics/main.html

                        I don't see any value in cutting and pasting that material here, or trying
                        to do a re-statement of that material here, unless I know what is not clear
                        in the first attempt at explanation.

                        Thank you,
                        Dave Gentile

                        Dave Gentile
                        Riverside, Illinois
                        M.S. Physics
                        M.S. Finance
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: <Maluflen@...>
                        To: <dgentil@...>; <synoptic-l@...>
                        Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2004 10:39 AM
                        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence


                        > In a message dated 9/24/2004 3:18:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                        > dgentil@... writes:
                        >
                        >
                        > > Maybe I could just give a philosophical answer. What do I believe the
                        study
                        > > proves?
                        > >
                        > > Nothing at all. I believe absolute proof of anything is impossible.
                        > >
                        > > What the study demonstrates is that when vocabulary frequencies are
                        > > examined, that form of evidence indicates a strong probability of
                        Markian
                        > > priority.
                        > >
                        >
                        > What I would like is a fuller statement of your argument, as opposed to
                        > simply discussing its formal value, or stating what you believe to be its
                        result or
                        > conclusion. I suspect that there are presuppositions in your argument that
                        I
                        > would have serious problems with, but I can't say so for sure until you
                        lay it
                        > out a bit more fully. It is not sufficient to say that such a fuller
                        > exposition can be found in Synoptic-L archives. You are writing on this
                        list to an
                        > audience which should not be presumed to be familiar with those archives,
                        and are
                        > stating that you have made a significant argument in favor of Markan
                        > priority, based on vocabulary statistics. I think you have to be able to
                        describe or
                        > rehearse that argument with sufficient fulness to insure that list members
                        > don't have to simply take your word for it when you pronounce on its
                        merit. Then I
                        > could proceed to either reject your argument, or perhaps to accept it, and
                        > then go on to air the numerous other possible arguments, also based on
                        > vocabulary statistics, that would favor Matthean priority. Thanks.
                        >
                        > Leonard Maluf
                        > Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                        > Weston
                        >


                        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                      • Maluflen@aol.com
                        In a message dated 9/26/2004 6:44:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I wouldn t waste my time. I have no reason to question any of your statistical data that do
                        Message 11 of 20 , Sep 28, 2004
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                          In a message dated 9/26/2004 6:44:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time, GentDave@... writes:

                          I don't expect people to look through the archives. However, I do expect
                          people who are interested in understanding the work to study all the
                          webpages on my site completely (including following all the links) and ask
                          specific questions about items there that they do not understand, or have
                          issues with.


                          I wouldn't waste my time. I have no reason to question any of your statistical data that do not require intelligence, and that can therefore be processed by a computer better than by a human being. I am interested in the following step: how you get from the data you have assembled to an argument in favor of Markan priority. It is there that I suspect (though I cannot yet say for sure, since you refuse to articulate your argument beyond the mere statement of its conclusion) that presuppositions would be operative to which I would take exception. Until you are able to articulate that argument, I don't believe its conclusion merits much credit or attention.

                          Leonard Maluf
                          Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                          Weston, MA

                        • dgentil@sears.com
                          I wouldn t waste my time. Then I really don t see why I should waste mine. But... The central premise is that if a category of text (A) and another category
                          Message 12 of 20 , Sep 28, 2004
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                            "I wouldn't waste my time."

                            Then I really don't see why I should waste mine.

                            But...

                            The central premise is that if a category of text (A) and another category
                            of text (B) share a similar frequency of vocabulary items, above and beyond
                            any similarity we would expect, given that both categories are taken from
                            the synoptics, and if another category (C) does not share a similar
                            frequency of vocabulary items with (A) and (B), then (A) and (B) most
                            likely have the same author, and (C) most likely has a different author.

                            The study shows that the categories which include material in common
                            between Matthew and Mark show a similarity to categories which contain
                            material found only in Mark. But the categories containing material unique
                            to Matthew, do not show a similar relation to the categories containing
                            material common to Matthew and Mark.

                            Hence...the material in common between Matthew and Mark was likely
                            originally authored by the same person who produced the rest of Mark, and
                            not be the same person that produced the rest of Matthew.

                            Some objections to directly connecting vocabulary frequency, and authorship
                            have been raised on this list, and the objections are summarized and
                            discussed here.

                            http://www.davegentile.com/synoptics/problems.html

                            Dave Gentile
                            M.S. Physics
                            M.S. Finance
                            Riverside, IL






                            Maluflen@...
                            Sent by: To: GentDave@..., synoptic-l@...
                            owner-synoptic-l@ cc:
                            bham.ac.uk Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence


                            09/28/2004 11:55
                            AM






                            In a message dated 9/26/2004 6:44:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                            GentDave@... writes:

                            I don't expect people to look through the archives. However, I do expect
                            people who are interested in understanding the work to study all the
                            webpages on my site completely (including following all the links) and ask
                            specific questions about items there that they do not understand, or have
                            issues with.


                            I wouldn't waste my time. I have no reason to question any of your
                            statistical data that do not require intelligence, and that can therefore
                            be processed by a computer better than by a human being. I am interested in
                            the following step: how you get from the data you have assembled to an
                            argument in favor of Markan priority. It is there that I suspect (though I
                            cannot yet say for sure, since you refuse to articulate your argument
                            beyond the mere statement of its conclusion) that presuppositions would be
                            operative to which I would take exception. Until you are able to articulate
                            that argument, I don't believe its conclusion merits much credit or
                            attention.

                            Leonard Maluf
                            Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                            Weston, MA




                            Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                            List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                          • Maluflen@aol.com
                            In a message dated 9/28/2004 1:51:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Hmmm... I am wondering whether to try to tease out what this all means, or just to let it
                            Message 13 of 20 , Sep 28, 2004
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                              In a message dated 9/28/2004 1:51:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time, dgentil@... writes:

                              The central premise is that if a category of text (A) and another category
                              of text (B) share a similar frequency of vocabulary items, above and beyond
                              any similarity we would expect, given that both categories are taken from
                              the synoptics, and if another category (C) does not share a similar
                              frequency of vocabulary items with (A) and (B), then (A) and (B) most
                              likely have the same author, and (C) most likely has a different author.


                              Hmmm... I am wondering whether to try to tease out what this all means, or just to let it stand as a monument to the stunning perlucidity of argumenation in favor of Markan priority. More seriously, I see a potential problem here in the fact that, on the one hand, you refer to "authors" of text here and on the other, the argument seems to presuppose a secondary author who is really, in a significant sense, more a copier than an author. I'm not sure exactly how this observation affects your argument, because it is not perfectly clear to me yet what your argument is, but perhaps some light will emerge if I proceed to read your next sentence


                              The study shows that the categories which include material in common
                              between Matthew and Mark show a similarity to categories which contain
                              material found only in Mark. But the categories containing material unique
                              to Matthew, do not show a similar relation to the categories containing
                              material common to Matthew and Mark.



                              Now you are writing in sentences I can understand, and if its components are true, your study would seem to be a valid, if inconclusive, argument in favor of Markan priority. I am not exactly sure how you are using the term "categories" in the above. Does it mean something more than "passages"? Also, I think it would be interesting if you could supply a concrete example, that could then be discussed, of the phenomenon the above sentences intend to convey. I realize that your original argument did not depend on a single item, but was rather cumulative in force. But I still find it difficult to evaluate your claims without the help of a few particulars. Maybe you could report on what you would regard as the most telling instances of the phenomenon you describe?


                              Hence...the material in common between Matthew and Mark was likely
                              originally authored by the same person who produced the rest of Mark, and
                              not be the same person that produced the rest of Matthew.


                              Your conclusion intrigues me because it is counter-intuitive. It states the opposite of what I would think to be true, coming at the problem from an approach not based exclusively on detailed vocabulary statistics. I think the material common to Matthew and Mark is demonstrably more Matthean than it is Markan in origin. I think, for instance, that the miracles in the two Gospels function differently in the two communication settings, and that that of Matthew is much more likely earlier than that of Mark. In Matthew the miracles of Jesus are part of a scriptural argument that legitimates Jesus as Israel's Messiah; in Mark the miracles are used to illustrate the saving mediation of Jesus' divine power in an ecclesial situation. Mark is not only no longer interested in legitimating Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, he is no longer even particularly interested in defining Jesus' relationship vis-a-vis Israel nor does he understand this relationship to be Jesus' defining identity. In other words, Mark's perspective is that of the later Christian creeds.

                              Leonard Maluf
                              Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                              Weston, MA

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