01 October 2007

Matthew - Mark or Mark - Matthew

In an attempt to figure out what the 411 is on which gospel is earlier, Matthew or Mark, I checked out some links on the internet. This is not info from Father Echert, but just something I dug up while looking into the debate. I did inquire about having Father available for 5-10 minutes for questions, but I was soundly beat up about the ears for it. Not that people thought it was a bad idea, but Father Echert is a busy, busy man and is scheduled very tight. I knew this would be the response. I was told that Father is available during the monthly fellowships to answer questions. HA HA HA. I can't even listen to the homily at Mass with my kids somewhat contained in the pews, but to have them in a social hall would make things absolutely impossible to pay any attention to anything Father would say.

Maybe I'll send him a letter.

Unfortunately, this is a scholarly debate and a lengthy one at that. I think Father could probably spend an entire month talking on the subject and still not cover everything about this topic.

So, folks, here's where I am starting. Biased beginning, yes. I am looking at the argument from the premise that Matthew is the earliest, Mark drew from Matthew's gospel, and working my way from there.

Here is the link I'm looking at and there is enough here to keep me busy for a long time: Mark dependent on Matthew

(I have topically looked at the Q theory, but am going to begin with the opposite evangelist and work forewards (or backwards) from there.)


gemoftheocean said...

I tag you on this meme.

Terry Nelson said...

Cathy knows the answer to this.

Serviam! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Serviam! said...

Very interesting topic. I have to throw my hat in with Markan priority camp.

BuuUuut while "most scholars today hold this view", all the early biggies (Augustine, Chrysostom, Athanasius,...) didn't. So I'm still open to that idea.

So I'll be interested to hear/read your (and Cathy's) take on it.

swissmiss said...

So far, my opinion is Matthew then Mark, based purely on the fact that Father Echert said this and because Matthew is listed before Mark in the bible ;}
Seriously though, I haven't even begun to look into this.

gemoftheocean said...

I'm curious as to why you are looking at that particular page as a reference. Is it one Fr. gave you?

Have you traced this webpage back to the contents page? I'd be more than a little suspect - also look for the bona fides of the author of the website.

Seriously, you might want to see if your library has a copy of the New Jerome Bible Commentary edited by Raymond Brown. It think it might even be useful to check out the article on canonicity (i.e. why would a book be included or excluded from what we know as the bible today?) and then check out the article on "The synoptic problem" - wherein all the theories are laid out - and further refs. given.

Oh, and this doesn't particularly apply to the Mark/Matthew issue - but I can give you an example of where it's obvious material for a gospel has been redacted where at least TWO accounts have been melded together:
Check out John's account of the last supper. During the discourses in John 14: "Thomas said to Him, 'Master, we do not know where you are going: how can we know the way?" Move forward - still at the last supper -- still during the discourses John 16: [Jesus] "I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me 'Where are you going?'"

Uh, Jesus, Thomas asked you that very question not too long ago.

It's ONLY a problem for people who read everything in the bible literally, and don't realize that it's what the books in the bible are trying to teach us! It's not history in the sense that we think of it today.

Sometimes people have a tendency to think God was dictating what to write in the author's ear in a literal sense.

BTW, like you I can't stand taking a class like this and not doing the "geek work." I don't get as much out of the study if I don't do that sort of thing, and I'm not surprised you don't either!

Go geeks!

swissmiss said...

Quick answer to your question, laziness. The only reason I grabbed this website was because it was handy (I did look at the contents page, but he did cite sources and I figured this was going to be a long haul so any goofiness would be illuminated one way or another). I'll regroup and look for the book you mention, since it sounds like it will save me time and effort!

I'm saving up money so I can attend a twelve step program for geeks.

swissmiss said...

Checked with the SPPL and they have a copy (1968!) of the Raymond Brown book, so am requesting it be sent to my nearby library.

gemoftheocean said...

Ack. Have have that edition and the new one. The new edition is some 600+ pages longer than the older edition, plus in the intervening 20 some years there was a virtual explosion in biblical studies.

The older edition, btw, still supports Marcan priority, even amongst Catholic scholars. The newer edition's article on the synoptic problem is about 1/3 longer. Also the introductory sections on authorship etc. for each gospel incorporates the "latest and greatest."

the older JBC is still good, for some of the background articles.

I suspect your source for the older edition also has the newer edition, but perhaps the newest edition is in the reference section, not to be loaned out. Forget saving up for a 12 step geek program. save up for the latest and greatest NJBC.

BTW, I was right in guesses that Fr. Eckert was the same vintage as myself. I have a year on him.


swissmiss said...

Thanks for the info on the updated version. You are right. They do have two copies, with the newer one being the reference copy. I have another plan of attack. My husband is attending grad school at St. Thomas and can check out books from their library. I am going to see if St. Thomas has a better copy.

gemoftheocean said...

Good idea. It's not bad to compare them side by side. Start with the one you have on order first .. then go to the newer one.
The one at St. Thomas might also be chained to the wall, more or less - but oh, if a few pages should happen to fall on a xerox machine that happened to have it's lid up. mind I'm not suggesting anyone should *do* this *cough* *cough* [look at it and put it on your Christmas wish list.[