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A Marcan editing formula?

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  • Jim Deardorff
    Also in response to James Adair s request, here s a topic initiated by a scholar of the 1920s, H. G. Jameson, who s argument pointing out an apparent Marcan
    Message 1 of 1714 , Jan 29, 1996
      Also in response to James Adair's request, here's a topic initiated by a
      scholar of the 1920s, H. G. Jameson, who's argument pointing out an
      apparent Marcan editing formula has not been refuted or even discussed
      since in the literature, as far as I know. This is in his book, "The
      Origin of the Synoptic Gospels" (1922).

      Upon allowing that the writer of Mark could have copied from Matthew,
      while having various reasons for abbreviating Matthew and making minor
      alterations, Jameson found the following "editing formula." One finds
      some 9 spots in Mark where its writer, without any apparent cause, breaks
      in upon the speech he found in Matthew and inserted the clause, "And he
      said to them."

      The writer of Mark did this in the inserted verse of Mk 2:27 while he had
      apparently been following along Mt 12:1-5 but then omitted Mt 12:6-7.
      There was no need for his text to have been written with this
      interruption, which is unlike the same clause just preceding in Mk 2:25
      where the text changes from one speaker (Pharisees) to another (Jesus) and
      the clause could be appropriate.

      He did it again in the inserted verses of Mk 4:13-14 when he had been
      following along Mt 13:1-13 (the inserted Markan verses imply that the
      Jewish disciples were extra uncomprehending). (Note: external evidence
      suggests that the writer of Mark was in Rome, and hence writing his gospel
      for gentiles.) Again there was no need for a continuing speech of Jesus
      (Mt 13:11-23) to be interrupted by the narrator saying "And he said to

      He did it again in Mk 4:21 where its parallel verse, Mt 5:15, was
      borrowed and placed in the wrong order. And again in Mk 4:24, which
      borrows Mt 7:2 and places it out of order. And he did it again in Mk 7:9
      just after he had inserted verse Mk 7:8. And again in Mk 7:20 just after
      where he had inserted the (parenthetical) explanation of Mk 7:19b, not in

      Again Mk 6:10 has the clause just following where Mt 10:10 was edited into
      the Markan version of the Mission instructions. (Here the editing left
      behind the inane instruction of "stay there until you leave...") Again
      there was no need to say concerning Jesus: "And he said to them,"
      since he had already been talking to them and continues to talk to them.

      Again Mk 9:1 has the clause just following Mk 8:38, which is an edited or
      distant parallel to Mt 16:27b.

      Again Mk 4:9 has a needless: "And he said" just after the verse where
      Matthew's order of 100-60-30 is reversed. (Notice that Mark's order seems
      to make the most sense -- an improvement.)

      So it seemed evident to Jamson that this clause is an "editing formula"
      used by the writer of Mark to try to hide any discontinuity of thought
      caused by his editing. The writer of Mark then appears to have been not
      particularly skillful or comfortable with editing of this nature.

      This doesn't seem to be an easily reversible argument. For if the writer
      of Matthew had been copying from Mark and eliminating these superfluous
      clauses: "And he said to them," while adding much else, he would not seem
      to have had reasonable motivation to have chosen those very spots to also
      make alterations in Mark's text.

      I'm most interested, of course, in comments on this from others who may
      see much merit in the older position of Matthean priority over Mark, and
      who recognize the argumentation in support of Mark-Q priority to be the
      more easily reversible.

      My own research indicates that the switch-over from Matthean to Markan
      priority developed in the 19th century due to mounting pressures to avoid
      the embarrassing implications of the writer of Mark having omitted so
      much of value from Matthew, plus several other embarrassing
      considerations. Although Jameson himself appears to have been
      theologically committed to the extent of assuming that the Gospel writers
      were the same as the men whose names are attached to the Gospels, and
      perhaps also towards preserving the traditional order of Gospels stemming
      from Irenaeus, Origen and Augustine, these did not explicitly enter into his
      argumentation for the preceding Marcan editing formula.

      Jim Deardorff
      Oregon State University
    • Julian Goldberg
      The complete Hebrew Scriptures (Hebrew Bible) or TANAKH (Torah-Law, Neviim-Prophets, Ketuvim-Writings) based on the Masoretic Hebrew text with vowels and
      Message 1714 of 1714 , Feb 4, 1997
        The complete Hebrew Scriptures (Hebrew Bible) or TANAKH (Torah-Law,
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        with vowels and cantillation marks in one complete compact black hard
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        have been arranged according to traditional chapter and verse divisions
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        Julian Goldberg, 260 Adelaide St., E., # 215, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
        M5A 1N0.

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