HOME | The Problem | The Marcan Source | The Source known as Q | Other Sources of Matthew and Luke | Bibliography
THE first three Gospels, as has been said, are called 'synoptic' because they give in general the same view
of our Lord's life, and follow broadly the same narrative framework with a similarity in the selection of material and in language
and vocabulary. In these respects they differ widely from the Fourth Gospel.
And the problem, the study of which may be said to have begun with Gieseler and Schleiermacher early in the eighteenth century, is to determine their literary origin and the way in which each of them has come to be what it is.
When Westcott wrote his Introduction to the Study of the Gospels in 1860 he added his weight to the theory of
'an original oral Gospel, definite in general outline and even in language, which was committed to writing in the lapse of time in
various special shapes, according to the typical forms which it assumed in the preaching of different Apostles' (pp. 174 f.).
The definiteness of outline and language, he thought, was due to the fact that the Apostles 'remained together at Jerusalem in close communion long enough to shape a common narrative, and to fix it with the requisite consistency'.
Salmon, among others, followed him: 'an oral Gospel which gave a continuous history of His [Christ's] life from His baptism by John to His crucifixion' (The Human Element in the Gospels, 1907, pp. 27 f.).
[But in his Introduction to the N. T., 1885, 5th ed. 1891, he had declined to admit that the common source of the Gospels was purely oral (pp. 123 f.).]
Other writers, e.g. A. Wright (Synopsis of the Gospels in Greek, 1896, 1903) and Plummer (St. Luke, 1896), continued to hold the oral hypothesis, but in modified forms under the pressure of the growing study of the problem.
Today, though some effect of oral tradition on the formation of the Gospels is, and must be, recognized by everyone, the idea of a primary stereotyped corpus of preaching has been abandoned, chiefly for the following reasons:
(a) The preservation of the common outline both in order and language, in widely different places, before any sacredness of inspiration attached to it, must have been so difficult as to amount to an impossibility,
(b) If the common outline included the teaching of Jesus as we have it in Matthew and Luke why is it almost wholly omitted from Mark? And why did the writers of the two former feel free to incorporate it so differently - St. Luke in three main portions of his Gospel, St. Matthew in extended discourses, each with its own aim and character -
(c) It is very improbable that these two writers, in reproducing large quantities of non-Marcan material, would be able so consistently to revert to the original order of sections if their source was only the common oral outlines.
And generally speaking it is difficult to imagine how, with all their purposive adaptations and additions, they adhered so steadily to the wording, often in minute and unimportant details, of the oral Gospel.
The theory on which there has been, for some time, an almost universal agreement,
though with a multitude of differences in its detailed application, is known as the 'two document theory':
(1) The writers of Matthew and Luke each used in a written form the Second Gospel virtually identical with ours.
(2) To their reproductions of the Marcan material each makes large additions, consisting chiefly of sayings and discourses of our Lord, drawn from a common source Q, which has been noticed above (p.7).
(3) To this they further added material peculiar to each, drawn probably from a variety of written sources and from local oral tradition.
The two documents that give the name to the theory are thus Mark and Q.
But the name is inadequate, since it does not take account of the use of the large amount of special material found in both Matthew and Luke.
And the 'four-document theory' urged by Streeter, whether or not his scheme is accepted in all its details, comes much nearer to representing the facts.
He gave foretastes of his theory in the Hibbert Journal, October, 1921; and
he elaborated it in his important work The Four Gospels, 1924, to which references have already been made.
[Further elaborated by Vincent Taylor, Behind the Third Gospel, 1926; contrast M. Dibelius, Theologische Literaturzeitung, 1927, pp. 146-7.]
It is briefly as follows: The four documents are Mark, Q, M, and L.
(1) Mark was the earliest of our written Gospels, and was used by the authors of Matthew and Luke;
the former based his work on Mark, following it closely, and inserting Q, and M into it by fusion;
the latter had written the groundwork of his Gospel, 'Proto-Luke', consisting of a combination of L and Q, years before he came across Mark; and he inserted the Marcan material into LQ at intervals in blocks.
(2) Q was a Greek document containing the collection that, according to Papias, St. Matthew had made in Aramaic of our Lord's sayings.
This seems to have contained also narrative settings; and it was an important element in the formation of both Matthew and Luke.
(3) M stands for a large residue of matter peculiar to Matthew, most of it having a more or less distinct Judaistic colouring.
(4) L stands for a considerable quantity of material peculiar to St. Luke's work.
He collected as much as he could in Palestine and in Caesarea;
and when he became acquainted with Q, probably in Antioch, he wedged it into L, for the most part in blocks.
The contents of L, according to Streeter, are given below (pp. 87 ff.).
It will be seen that they form, in some sort, a Gospel in themselves.
Streeter claims, with justice, that his theory, while detracting in no way from the value of Mark and Q, raises M and L to a higher importance, enhancing their authority, generally speaking, for a knowledge of our Lord's life and teaching.
However, it may be questioned whether Proto-Luke is a real Gospel with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
M. Goguel [Harvard Theol. Rev. xxvi, 1933, pp. 1-55, especially pp. 9 and 17.] takes Lk.iii.1-6 to be an elaboration of Mark's narrative with the addition of a chronological note, and in iii. i-viii. 4 he finds only twenty-five verses peculiar to Luke without any evidence of their unity of origin.
Again, in the long central section, ix.51-xviii.14 he thinks that two passages have a tradition akin to Mark's, i.10-17 and xiv.1-6, and that only six passages, lacking unity between them, are peculiar to Luke, the rest coming from Q.
Similarly J. M. Creed wrote, 'The subtraction of Marcan material leaves an amorphous collection of narrative and discourse, the greater part of which is thrown without intelligible reason into the unsuitable form of a "travel-document".
Moreover, signs of the use of Mark are clear both in the account of John's mission (iii. 3 and also probably iii. 16) and above all in the Passion narratives...' [The Gospel according to St. Luke, p. lviii, n. 1.]
Goguel argues that Luke's Passion narrative was based on Mark's and combined with 'fragmentary traditions of no great importance' [Op. cit., pp. 26 f.];
similarly Creed says, with reference to Lk.x.7-38, 'Luke has himself freely rewritten, rearranged, and enlarged Mark.
He may sometimes preserve independent traditions, but the continuous thread of the narrative appears to be based upon Mark.' [Op. cit., p. 262.]
However, while Goguel [Op. cit., p. 39.] charges Streeter with having exaggerated the force of his arguments for a Proto-Luke because he has studied the question in too general a fashion, taking the non-Marcan sections of Luke's narratives each as a whole, without looking closely enough at their internal structure and analysing their constituent elements, and also with confining himself too much to the relation between Mark and Luke, without taking into consideration the complex problems that arise if Matthew is included in the comparison.
Creed [Op. cit., p. lviii.] on the other hand, allows that his criticisms are not inconsistent with the hypothesis that Q and some of Luke's peculiar material may have been already combined, and may have lain before Luke as a single document.
If there was a Proto-Luke, it was an early draft [It is possible that such an early draft of Luke survived and was used by the author of the Gospel according to the Hebrews; cf. P. Parker, J.B.L. lix, 1940, pp. 471-8.] of Gospel material mainly from L and Q, combined before Luke discovered Mark.
It may well be that it did not contain a Passion narrative.
UR MARCUS | USE OF EARLIER SOURCES | EDITORIAL ADDITIONS | MUTILATIONS
The earliest tradition that we possess with regard to Mark is in the passage given
above (p. 6), which is quoted as a statement of the 'Presbyter' by Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis c. AD 140, and preserved by Eusebius (H.E. iii. 39).
If Papias reproduces the statement, or the substance of it, correctly, and if his words are given accurately by Eus., it is a passage of great historical value.
The word ἑρμηνευτής - (hermeneutes), accepted by Irenaeus in. i.1 (= Eus. H.E. v. 8), xi.6, who is followed by Tertullian (c. Marc.iv.5), does not, as most writers agree, bear the meaning usually attached to the word 'interpreter' in modern times.
It does not imply that while St. Peter was preaching in Aramaic St. Mark gave to his audience a Greek translation of his words sentence by sentence.
Still less can it mean that St. Mark at Rome translated into Latin St. Peter's Greek preaching.
[See J. B. Lightfoot, Clement of Rome, ii. 494, and West, Interpreter, July 1924, pp. 295-9. Greek-speaking people had brought Christianity to Rome, and the Church there was, for some time, largely composed of slaves and others of the humblest classes, who were not Roman but Greek in origin or speech.
So that for more than a century after St. Peter's preaching at Rome no Latin translation of his Greek was needed.]
Papias means that St. Peter preached in Aramaic, and that St. Mark at a later time - after the Apostle's death in fact - set down in Greek for other circles of Christians all that he remembered.
This is perhaps the meaning of the opening words of the mutilated Muratorian fragment (see p. 30):
|'quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit'||'[Peter's instructions] at which, [Or perhaps [ali]quibus, 'at some of them'.] evertheless, he was present, and thus [i.e. in the Gospel which we possess] committed to writing.'|
It may be taken as very probable, despite the Form-critics, that in the Second Gospel, practically as we have it, St. Mark wrote down in Greek what he remembered of St. Peter's Aramaic discourses about Christ, together with the reminiscences of other eyewitnesses.
The reason for the theory that this writing was used by the authors of Matthew and
Luke is that it accounts better than any other for the following phenomena [See Stanton, The Gospels
as Historical Documents, ii, 1909, p. 34.]:
(a) While Matthew and Luke are quite independent in their Infancy narratives, they begin to agree with one another and with Mark at the point where the latter begins - the ministry of the Baptist,
(b) Both Matthew and Luke contain nearly the whole of Mark's subject-matter, and with a few exceptions Matthew follows Mark's arrangement of the material (see pp. 17 ff.), though both Matthew and Luke insert large quantities of other matter, some of it peculiar to each, and some of it common to both but differently placed and handled,
(c) Each of them sometimes omits Marcan material, but they very seldom agree in what they omit.
(d) Each of them sometimes departs from the Marcan sequence of narrative, but they very seldom agree in doing so; when one departs from, the other retains, the Marcan sequence,
(e) To a very great extent, as the study of a Greek synopsis will show, they are both in striking agreement with Mark in details of narrative and phraseology.
Sometimes one or other - more often Matthew than Luke - agrees with Mark while the other diverges.
And the cases in which the two agree in details of this kind while differing from Mark are extraordinarily few.
Streeter gives the same facts more statistically (pp. 159-68).
Other less successful theories have been advanced.
Some writers have postulated a document, which held the same relation to our Gospels as was held by the fixed catechetical tradition of the oral hypothesis.
It was an Ur-Evangelium, a primitive written Gospel, some say in Hebrew, some in Aramaic, on which our Gospels were based.
It is thought that Mark is practically a translation of parts of it, or that the Second Evangelist used it as did the first and the third.
But in either case it is difficult to imagine why he should have omitted the large amount of narratives and discourses preserved in Matthew and Luke.
Zahn held that the primitive Gospel was an Aramaic Matthew; that the writer of Mark used this; and that our present Matthew was formed by translation from the Aramaic plus the use of Mark.
Other theories continue to be suggested: e.g. by W. Lockton (Church Quart. Rev., July 1922), that Mark was formed out of Luke, the earliest Gospel, and Matthew out of both Luke and Mark; and conversely by H. G. Jameson [The Origin of the Syn. Gospels, Oxford, 1922.] that Mark was formed out of Matthew, the earliest Gospel, and Luke out of Matthew and Mark. [See a review by Burkitt, J.T.S. xxiv, 1922-3, pp. 441 ff.]
Roman Catholic scholars must conclude according to the findings of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1912 on the Synoptic problem; their usual conclusion is that Matthew wrote his Gospel first in Aramaic, which Mark used; then the Greek translation of Matthew was made, partly based on Mark and substantially in conformity with the Aramaic original; then Luke wrote, following Mark and to some extent Matthew or an edition of Matthew's 'Sayings of the Lord'.
However, John Chapman, O.S.B., believed that the Greek Matthew was used by Mark. [Matthew, Mark, Luke. A study in the order and interrelation of the Synoptic Gospels, 1937.)
But the theory that Mark and Q were two of the chief sources of Matthew and Luke is accepted by the mass of NT scholars as covering the facts more nearly than any other.
Whether Mark as it stands was the original form of the work is another matter, on
which scholars of the first rank have disagreed.
Some think that a compiler, who brought it to its present form by rearrangements and additions, edited St. Mark's work, in which he committed to writing his reminiscences of St. Peter's teaching.
The evidence adduced is mainly of three kinds:
(a) Want of cohesion in the structure and order of the material.
(b) Agreements of Matthew and Luke against Mark when they are employing Marcan material,
(c) The presence in Mark of 'Paulinisms' [Strenuously denied in the interesting study by M. Werner, Der Einjiuss paulinischer Theologie im Markusevangelium, 1923.] or other features thought to be secondary on subjective grounds.
(a) It is true that some dislocations and rearrangements may be due to the
evangelist having incorporated fragments from earlier writings; but that is very different from the Ur-Marcus theory.
And some may be the work of an editorial hand later than Matthew and Luke.
Both these possibilities will be considered below.
But the want of cohesion, which is occasionally noticeable, has been greatly exaggerated by some writers.
When it occurs it may be largely explained by the fact that St. Mark, as Papias says, did not write τάξει - (taxei); he was not careful to observe a literary or artistic order and smoothness in order to present his ideas systematically.
He recorded some things parenthetically, as they occurred to him.
This will account, for example, for the rapid sketch of the events in his prologue (i.1-14) up to the time when Simon comes on the scene.
No other literary explanation is needed, as, for example, that the editor is rapidly outlining familiar events to the point where his source, Ur-Marcus, begins; or that St. Mark is abridging Q; or that he is using Matthew or Luke or both.
It will account also for the position of the visit to Nazareth (vi.i-6a), which Moffatt describes as an 'erratic boulder', for the following commission to the Twelve (vi.6b-18), and some other loosely attached sections and chronological displacements.
(b) The agreements of Matthew and Luke against Mark do not amount to very much.
See Burkitt [Gospel History and its Transmission, pp. 42-58.] who examines twenty instances collected by Sir J. Hawkins [Horae Synopticae, pp. 174 f.; cf. B. H. Streeter, The Four Gospels, pp. 293-331.].
'Some of them', as he says, 'are concerned with very small points indeed, while in others the agreement between Matthew and Luke is best explained as due to special and fairly obvious causes.'
In most cases they have independently polished Mark's more primitive style, so that, as Streeter says [Ibid., p. 305.], 'If the coincident agreements of Matthew and Luke can only be explained on the theory that they used a different edition of Mark to the one we have, then it is the earlier of the two editions, the Ur-Marcus in fact, that has survived.'
The most striking instance is in Matt.xxvi.67 f. = Lk. x.63 ff., which have the
words 'saying' and 'who is he that struck thee?' which are absent from Mark [Cf. ibid., pp. 325 ff.].
They are more suitable, as Burkitt suggests, in Luke than in Matthew, and their insertion in the latter may be merely an early harmonization.
And this is probably the explanation of agreements in some other cases.
C. H. Turner [A New Commentary on Holy Scripture, C. Gore, H. L. Goudge, and A. Guillaume, pt. iii, p. 112.] suggests further that the author of Matthew may have used a more corrupt text of Mark than our present one, and that some of its corruptions were in the text used by St. Luke.
T. F. Glasson revived the theory in the form that Matthew and Luke may have used a 'Western' text of Mark (Ex. T. lv, 1944, pp. 180 ff.), contrast C. S. C. Williams (ibid. lvi, 1944, pp. 41 ff. and lviii, p. 251).
Streeter [Op. cit., p. 331.] bids us 'renounce once for all the chase of the phantom Ur-Marcus, and the study of the minor agreements becomes the highway to the recovery of the purest text of the Gospels'.
(c) Some writers have gone to great lengths in this direction, maintaining not only that an original Mark has
been edited, but that there has been a combining and editing of more than one source, each source and each process of editing or
redacting removing the Gospel farther from the simple, primitive picture of Jesus as a Rabbi desiderated by some modern liberal
Moffatt [Introd. Lit. NT, pp. 227 f.], who himself holds the Ur-Marcus theory, gives some examples of this ultra-analysis, which he rightly condemns.
And see N. P. Williams's [Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem (W. Sanday and others, 1911), ch. i.] study of Wendling's theory in which he illustrates the subjective character of this kind of criticism.
Burkitt [Op. cit., p. 61.] closes his examination of
the Ur-Marcus theory by pointing out that the Gospel 'deals mainly with a cycle of events foreign to the life and interests
of the growing Christian communities'.
The evangelist desires, indeed, to produce the impression that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, but he does so by recording biographical details of the Ministry.
What interested the early Church was, on the one hand, the series of main events, foretold, as was believed, in the Old Testament - the Nativity, Death, and Resurrection, on which Christianity depended, and which therefore became the basis of the Creeds; and on the other, the Ethics of Christianity, the foundation of which was the teaching of Jesus.
And it is not easy to see what should have led a succession of revisers and redactors to take the trouble to revise or redact a narrative that did not supply as much material for the former as either Matthew or Luke, and hardly any for the latter.
If we did not have Mark it would be difficult to reconstruct it from Matthew and Luke.
Similarly it is almost impossible to reconstruct with any certainty the sources used by St. Mark.
Neither A. T. Cadoux [The Sources of the Second Gospel (1935).] nor J. M. G. Crum [St. Mark's Gospel (1936).] has succeeded in putting forward more than interesting hypotheses; the former suggested that St. Mark edited in a conservative way three narratives, the first connected with St. Peter's work in Palestine and dated c. AD 40, the second with St. Paul's work among the Gentiles and dated c. AD 50, and the third, a pro-Jewish record, with workers among the Dispersion during the war of AD66-70; the latter argued that Mark becomes two Marks, the one a simple, straightforward story of our Lord, 'such a story as might have been told by a man who had been very near to the original company of those who had been with Jesus of Nazareth'.
'The other was what was left when this story has been separated out from our Gospel'; [Op. cit., pp. i f.] its writer amplified, interrupted, and worked over the first writing.
This second writer, whose date is about AD65, used the language of the Septuagint, a document closely akin to Q, and a later Christian language and Christology.
M. Goguel [Introduction au Nouveau Testament, l, 1923, pp. 328-46.] considers that St. Mark used the 'Logia' (Q.), Peter's reminiscences, and a Passion narrative with some other less important sources.
However, it is highly probable that St. Mark had access to a summary outline of
Christ's life, found now in i.14 f., 21 f., 39; ii.13; iii.70-19; vi.7, 12 f., and 30, and that this outline formed one of his
sources written or oral (see pp. 56 f.).
No doubt also St. Peter was one of his main sources.
C. H. Turner [A New Commentary on Holy Scripture, pt. iii, pp. 42-124.] showed that Mark reflects an eyewitness account of many scenes; the third person plural passes frequently on to a third person singular, e.g. 'They come to Jairus's house and he sees the tumult', v.38; cf. i.21; x.32; xi.12, 27; xiv.32.
The third person plural may be put back into the first person plural of the narrator, St. Peter, e.g. 'We came into our house with James and John and my wife's mother was sick with a fever and so [καὶ εὐθέως - (kai eutheos) may be the Semitic waw consecutive.] we tell Him about her.'
It is possible to take these first-person-plural passages, to study the contexts in which they are embedded and to draw up a tentative list of 'Petrine sections' which helped to make a Petrine source, oral probably rather than written.
The following is Dr. T. W. Manson's list [Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, xxviii, 1944, p. 133.]: i.16-39; ii.1-14; iii.13-19; iv.35-v.43; vi.7-13, 30-56; viii.14-ix.48; x.32-52; xi.1-33; i.3-4, 32-37; xiv.17-50, 53-54, 66-72.
Again, a Conflict-source made up of Conflict-stories (Streitgesprache) may underlie ii.i5-iii.6 and
.13-27, as B. S. Easton has suggested [Studies in Early Christianity, ed. S. J. Case, pp. 85
ff.], iii.6 ends with the statement that the Pharisees and Herodians plotted to kill Jesus while xii.13 begins by saying
that the Pharisees and Herodians sent men to snare Jesus in speech.
Apart from Matt.x.16, the parallel to Mk..13, these two passages, iii.6 and xii.13, are the only two in the New Testament where the word 'Herodian' occurs.
This word in not unnatural in Mark's account of the Galilean ministry but is difficult to explain when applied to anyone during the ministry in Jerusalem outside Herod's domain.
St. Mark seems to have split this source into two, putting the second part late in the ministry because Jesus on St. Mark's view reached Jerusalem only at the end of His ministry and because he thought that the incident of the tribute-money to Caesar, paid only in Judaea, must have taken place outside Galilee and therefore late in the ministry. [Cf. T. W. Manson, op. cit.]
Again, iv.1-34 may well have been taken from a collection of Parables and sayings on
the Parabolic Method.
It includes iv.1-9, the Parable of the Sower; 10-12, the reason for parables; 13-20, the interpretation of the Parable of the Sower (most scholars, except W. O. E. Oesterley [The Gospel Parables in the Light of their Jewish Background, 1936.], take this interpretation to be the work not of Jesus but of a member of the Church who pressed the details of the parable to give them an allegorical meaning which cuts across that of the parable itself); 21-25, sayings on the right use of parables, the connexion with the preceding section being purely verbal probably, the word μυστήριον - (musterion) in 11 being echoed by κρυπτόν - (krupton) in 22; 26-29, the seed growing of itself; 30-32, the Parable of the Mustard Seed; 33 f., a summary to indicate that for the time being the use of a parabolic source is complete, verse 33 conflicting with verse 11, the former giving St. Mark's view that Jesus spoke to the simple in parables to make His meaning clear, the latter representing Mark's source according to which Jesus was intentionally difficult to understand when He spoke His parables.
Again, iv.35-v.43, already mentioned as a 'Petrine' section, may have formed a
connected cycle of miracle-stories when St. Mark used it.
The two miracles in iv.35-41 and v.1-20 correspond closely one with the other, the storm on the sea to the tumult in the man's heart; in both, Jesus' word brings peace.
As Hoskyns and Davey [The Riddle of the New Testament, pp. 93 ff.] say, both miracles reproduce the 'sequence and movement' of passages in the Psalms, e.g. Ps.xviii.i6f., lxv.5?7, lxix, lxxxix.9, xciii.3, and in the Testament of Naphthali, vi. Frequently in Mark the Old Testament and kindred literature are quoted with subtle allusiveness to indicate that Jesus fulfilled in Himself the highest hopes for a Saviour and Deliverer.
The two miracles in v.21-43, the healing of Jairus's daughter and that of the woman with an issue of blood, are dovetailed, the latter into the former.
Perhaps St. Mark dovetailed the two incidents, perhaps he found them so arranged in his source: the number twelve in verses 25 and 42 may have served as a mnemonic link from the earliest times.
There can be no reasonable doubt that Jesus worked miracles according to the earliest evidence available as even the radical and sceptical Guignebert [Jesus, trans. S. H. Hooke, 1935, pp. 185-204.] admits.
Vi. 17-29, the story of John Baptist's death probably came from a special source.
Rawlinson [The Gospel according to St. Mark, p. 82.] hints that it was due to 'bazaar gossip'.
Bussmann [Synoptische Studien, 1925.] argued that this section was part of an independent tradition of Galilean origin, inserted into Mark at a late date; but there is no evidence textually for late insertion; the story was used in Matthew and in another context in Luke.
Joseph Thomas [Le mouvement baptiste en Palestine et en Syrie, 1935, pp. 110 ff.] comments on the fullness of detail here, contrasting Mark's brief references elsewhere to the Baptist and suggesting that the participial form, ὁ βαπτίζων, in place of ὁ βαπτιστής points to an Aramaic source; he advances the theory that this story was preserved by the Baptist's disciples, as the last verse may indicate.
The events of viii.1-26 are a duplicate of those related in
vi.3i-vii.37, as the following table shows.
It will be seen that Matthew has parallels to all except the two miracles of healing with the use of saliva.
But in xv.29-31 there is a general mention of healings, which stands over against Mk.vii.32-37.
Luke omits the whole of both series, except the sayings in viii.12 (= Lk.xi.29) and viii.15 (= Lk..1).
The correspondence in the order of the narratives points to a certain fixation of order in the oral tradition, such as used to be claimed for the whole Gospel narrative to an undue extent by the upholders of the oral hypothesis.
It has been noted above that vi.30-56 was a 'Petrine section'.
Part at least of the first cycle of stories may well have come from St. Peter, the second from another disciple.
St. Mark no doubt included both cycles intentionally 'that nothing be lost'.
Miraculous feeding of a multitude somewhere on the east of the lake.
Crossing the lake.
Arrival at the west of the lake.
Conflict with the authorities.
Avoidance of the dominion of Antipas.
Healing on the east of the lake.
It is not enough with Dibelius [Formgeschichte des Evangeliums, 2nd ed., p. 223.] to treat x.1-12 as a
The whole section viii.27-x. 52, which forms the central part of Mark, opens with the Petrine confession at Caesarea Philippi and the first prediction of suffering which strike the keynotes of the entire block.
As Dr. T. W. Manson has shown, after the Petrine confession certain words addressed to the disciples appear for the first time both in Mark and in ,other synoptic strata too.
[The Teaching of Jesus, 1931, pp. 320-3.
St. Mark's words in this category include ἀνίστημι of the Son of Man, xiv.58; (ἀπ) αρνέομαι, xiv.68, 70, viii.34, xiv.30 f., 72; διάκονος, ix.35, x.43; δόξα of the glory of God or of the Son of Man, viii.38, x.37, i.26; ἔσχατος as opposed to πρῶτος, ix.35, x.31, .6, 22; (on; ζωή in the sense of eternal life or as equivalent to the 'Kingdom of God', ix.43, 45, x.17, 30; καλόν ἐστιν, ix.5, 42, 43, 45, 47, 50, xiv.6, 21; κερδαίνω, viii.36; πάσχω of the Son of Man, viii.31, ix.12; τέλος of the Final Consummation, i.7, 13; ὥρα, crisis, i.11, 32, xiv.35, 41.]
These words appear in and after the central section of Mark as part of the teaching of Jesus; even allowing for Mk. i being based on, 'an Apocalyptic fly-sheet' they show the width of the circle of new ideas introduced after St. Peter's confession.
It appears that Guignebert [Jesus, p. 291.] makes insufficient allowance for these linguistic data when he takes the Confession of Peter, the Transfiguration, the apocalyptic utterances in which Jesus claims to be Son of Man, and the manifestations from heaven at the time of Jesus' baptism to represent most probably not stages, in inverse order, in the Messianic consciousness of Jesus but stages in their order of development in the progress of primitive Christology.
So, too, R. H. Lightfoot [The Gospel message of St. Mark, 1950, p. 34.], who admits that Jesus was conscious of being Messiah but who minimizes the significance of Peter's Confession, overlooks the linguistic data.
For much of the central section has been attributed to a Petrine source, viii.i4-ix.48 and x.32-52. St. Mark's source, probably St. Peter, was fully aware of the change of tone and style in Jesus' words after the event at Caesarea Philippi for the event was the turning point in Jesus' ministry.
St. Mark had good grounds for placing this material precisely where he does.
This argument strengthens the impression that St. Mark's outline is historically trustworthy.
The account of St. Peter's confession is the watershed of Mark because the event there was the turning point in Jesus' public career.
In an article on 'Mark and Divorce' F. G. Burkitt [J.T.S. v, 1904, pp.
628-30.] came by another route to the conclusion that when he wrote Mk.viii.15-x.
Mark was 'in touch with the facts of history'.
In xiii, the 'little Apocalypse', we have the only long, connected discourse of Jesus in Mark, though the
sayings contained in it are not entirely consistent.
The tone of this chapter is so Jewish-Apocalyptic that many have supposed it to be based on a Jewish or Jewish-Christian Apocalyptic flysheet.
Source-criticism of ch.i, which is not so popular now as in the past, has been able to suggest the following divisions [Cf. Dr. V. Taylor, Ex. T. lx, 1949, pp. 94-98 and The Gospel according to St. Mark, 1952, pp. 499 and 636-44.]:
(a) The Signs preceding the Parousia, 5-8, 24-27;
(b) Logia on persecution, 9-13;
(c) The Abomination of Desolation, 14-23; cf. 2 Thess.ii, Dan.xi.31, .11;
(d) Logia on the need for watchfulness, 28-37.
It is probable that (a) and (c) existed as a separate unit before St. Mark wrote, adapting it to encourage Christians during the Neronian persecution.
He incorporated some authentic sayings of Jesus, e.g. i.32, but it is doubtful how far Jesus gave His disciples details of the steps or stages leading to the Fall of Jerusalem or to the end of this world-order.
It seems that St. Mark has thrown on to his canvas a background of the End of the World and in the foreground he has painted a picture of the 'signs' of the Fall of Jerusalem.
St. Mark or the 'community behind St. Mark' may have been responsible for the foreshortening, which results in the one event appearing imposed on the other.
In xiv it is possible that St. Mark incorporated two sources, (a)
1-2 and 10-11, (b) 12-16.
(a) would agree with the Johannine dating of the Last Supper in relation to the death of Jesus, taking it not to be the Passover meal but an anticipatory one, perhaps of a Kiddush or sanctification type, whereas according to (b) the Last Supper was a Passover meal, the view adopted by Matthew and Luke.
[In support of the historicity of (a) and the Johannine dating cf. H. Lietzmann, Messe und Herrenmahl, 1926, W. O. E. Oesterley, The Jewish Background of the Christian Liturgy, 1925, P. Gavin, The Jewish Antecedents of the Christian Sacraments, 1928, and A. E. J. Rawlinson, The Gospel according to St. Mark, and ed., 1927, pp. 262-5.
In support of the historicity of (a) cf. G. Dalman, Jesus-Jeschua, 1922, and J. Jeremias, J. T.S. l, 1949, pp. 1-10.]
In xv Mark records the Barabbas episode and the Mockery.
It is impossible to dismiss the former (6-15) simply as an attempt to excuse the Romans and throw the blame upon the Jews, which Klostermann does [Das Markusevangelium, 1936, p. 159.], or to argue that the release by the Romans of a criminal is most unlikely, which Guignebert does [Jesus, pp. 468 ff.].
For parallels to such an amnesty have been found in Livy, v.13, and on a papyrus dated AD85. [A. Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 269; cf. C. B. Chavel, 'The Releasing of a Prisoner on the Eve of the Passover in ancient Jerusalem', J.B.L. Ix, 1941, pp. 273-8.]
Mark's source may have been influenced by the 'Carabas episode' at Alexandria related by Philo (contra Flaccum, ii) according to whom the populace of Alexandria in the time of Caligula, stirred by anti-Semitic feelings, insulted Agrippa upon his visit there by dressing up an idiot, Carabas (which meant 'cabbage'), as a mock king and by hailing him as 'Marin', a title based on the Semitic word for 'our lord'.
Even so, Mark's source is not to be identified with Philo, as the mime of a 'temporary king' was widespread.
Dio Chrysostom (De Regno, iv. 66.] (fi. AD100) speaks of an annual King of the Sacaea, a Zoganes, chosen from the condemned criminals and treated for five days like a king before being scourged and hanged; this barbarous mime acted on 25 March is probably to be connected with an ancient fertility cult resembling that of the New Year ritual in Babylon or Egypt [Cf. The Labyrinth, ed. S. H. Hooke, 1935.].
The horseplay inflicted on Jesus may have been due to the soldiers' knowledge of the mime and of His claim, according to His titulus, to be King of the Jews.
It is probable that Barabbas's name was originally Jesus Barabbas, according to Matthew. [C. S. C. Williams, Alterations to the text of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts, pp. 31-33.]
It may even have been simply Joshua (Greek 'Jesus') and Philo's story may have led to the Semitic form Barabbas being introduced as the second Jewish name, which has alone survived in Mark.
The Form critics, except Bultmann, assume that the Passion
narrative is a unity forged in the crucible of oral transmission by preachers, teachers, and apologists of the primitive
Goguel's argument [Introduction au Nouveau Testament, i. 343.] carries conviction that St. Peter's reminiscences formed the bases of an elaboration of Mark's Passion narrative.
At the same time it is uncertain how far Mark or his source was indebted to Old Testament testimonies in ch.xv.
It is possible that citations from Ps.x were treated as a source directly or indirectly, Ps.x.1 (LXX, xxi.2) having been in Jesus' mind on the Cross, Mk.xv.34; cf. Ps.x.18 with Mk.xv.24 (Jn.xix.24); Ps.x.7 with Mk.xv.29 f., cf. Ps.lxxix.12, lxxxix.50 f. Cf., too, Prov.xxxi.6 and Ps.lxix.21 with Mk.xv.23 and Matt.xxvii.34; Joel iii.16 with Mk.xv.33 f., cf. Amos viii.9, Jer.xv.9; Is.liii.12 with Mk.xv.27, Lk.x.37.
It seems to Guignebert [Jesus, p. 489.] on this evidence that Mark's Passion narrative was very largely created to fit the Old Testament prophecies.
The more probable view is that St. Mark's source, who may well have been St. Peter, knew the facts and sought confirmation of them by 'searching the Scriptures (to see) if these things were so'.
The question whether Q, was another of Mark's sources is discussed below.
It is possible, further, that his work was 'touched up' at a later time than Matthew and Luke, so that
passages and expressions in our present Mark are wantng in both.
Among writers who adopt this view are Sanday [Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, pp. 21-24.]
and Stanton [The Gospels as Historical Documents, ii. 142-5.].
This kind of agreement against Mark is not, indeed, in every case a criterion.
In some points the writers of Matthew and Luke may have corrected Mark independently.
And it would be rash to claim that we possess the true text of either Matthew or Luke; if we could arrive at it, some of their agreements would probably disappear.
[See Turner, J.T.S.,Jan. 1909, pp. 175ff.; Streeter, Four Gospels, pp. 293-331.]
It would be rash also to state with confidence what material either of them must have wished to omit or include.
But, in fact, their agreements are probably the only criterion we have.
They will be found collected in Abbott, Corrections of Mark, 1901.
A considerable fraction - about a quarter - of Mark is found in Matthew but absent
And some have held that this was added to Mark later than Luke.
This is strongly maintained by Stanton, [Op. cit., pp. 152-70.]though he admits that 'it is not, perhaps, absolutely necessary'.
Some passages, he thinks, St. Luke found in Mark, but had reasons for omitting.
But those for which he sees no reasons, which he enumerates on p. 167 n., he assigns to a later writer who might be called Deutero-Mark.
They amount to between one-fifth and one-sixth of the Gospel.
But the view has not found general acceptance.
It is open to many of the arguments fatal to the Ur-Marcus theory. Hawkins, [Oxford Studies, pp. 60-74.] finds reasons for all the omissions, most of which are fairly adequate.
But we cannot expect to know all St. Luke's reasons, while many of his omissions were probably due to the fact that it was necessary to keep his work within the limits of a portable papyrus roll, and he needed the room for much other material, more suitable to his purpose, which he had collected.
He may also have preferred his non-Marcan source.
Further, the question of style cannot be quite disregarded.
If the portions of Mark due to an amplificator amounted to one-sixth of the Gospel, it is probable that differences would be discernible to an extent sufficient to betray his hand.
Stanton suggests a few (pp. 204 ff.), but they are neither striking nor numerous enough to prove the theory.
A natural inference from his view is that Luke was prior to Matthew; and on p. 152 he says that there are good grounds for thinking that this may have been so; but on p. 368 he writes, 'there do not appear to me to be sufficient reasons for giving precedence to either of them.
Luke used the original un-amplified work of Mark, and the author of St. Matthew the amplified one, but this may have been due to special circumstances'.
Spitta and others have held that Mark has been mutilated at the beginning, as at the end.
The opening verses present, indeed, curious difficulties.
After the heading (whether it is the first clause of the evangelist or a mere title by him or an editor) the Gospel opens with the words 'As it is written in Esaias the prophet', but this introduces a quotation not from Isaiah but from Mal.iii.1.
In v.3 follow words from Is.xli.3, and in v.4 the narrative begins, the order being reversed in Luke.
The theory of mutilation fails to account for these difficulties; they must be the result of editorial manipulation.
It is just possible to make the words ἐγένετο ᾽Ιωάννης the apodosis of καθὼς γέγραπτα, κτλ.,'according to the words in Esaias ... John came'.
But it is so artificial that only an editor who prefixed a quotation, and not the evangelist, can be credited with such a construction.
The quotation from Malachi was probably interpolated from a list of testimonia; it is an independent version of the Hebrew, while that from Isaiah is from the LXX.
Omitting the interpolation Rawlinson, (St. Mark, pp. 5 f.) following Turner,
[J.T.S. xxvi, 1925, p. 146.
See the whole series of interesting articles on Marcan usage, xxvi-xxix.]
makes v.4 the apodosis to v.1: 'The starting-point of the Good News about Jesus Christ (in accordance with the scriptural words of the Prophet Isaiah...) was John, who baptized, &c.'
An awkward parenthesis of this kind finds parallels in St. Mark's work, but a difficulty in this explanation is that the word 'Gospel' has a different meaning in v.14, viz. the 'good tidings of God' which Jesus proclaimed, that 'the time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand'. In v.15, 'believe in the Gospel', the meaning is the same as in v.1, as also the use of the word in viii.35, x.29.
A mutilation in the middle of Mark has been suggested as an explanation
of St. Luke's 'great omission' of Mk.vi.45-viii.26. Streeter [Op. cit., pp. 176ff.] thinks that,
by an accident to the roll, the copy of Mark used by St. Luke - not by the author of Matthew - may have included merely the
beginning of the 'great omission', as far as the words αὐτὸς μόνος, 'He alone', in vi.47, and then went straight
on to ἐπηρώτα τοὺς
μαθητάς, 'He asked His disciples',
St. Luke did his best with the wording at each end of the gap, and in ix.18 writes, immediately after the Feeding of the Five Thousand, 'And it came to pass, as He was praying alone, the disciples met Him: and He asked them saying, Who do the multitudes say that I am?'
And he inserts the place-name Bethsaida into the opening sentence of the story of the Feeding, though in other respects he closely follows the Marcan version of the story.
Streeter offers this only as a tentative suggestion; and it must be admitted that it is not very attractive.
But something, at present undetermined, is needed to explain St. Luke's omission of the section.
It may be that Mark was not his primary source here and so to think in terms of an 'omission' is wrong.
That Mark is mutilated at the end is one of the most certain
results of textual criticism.
Most of the best manuscripts and versions, whether they contain additional material or not, indicate that the text stops short at ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ, 'for they feared' (xvi.8), which is an impossible ending to a Gospel.
Whether it has lost only the last sheet, as is commonly supposed, is uncertain.
Burkitt [Christian Beginnings, p. 83.] thinks it 'a more reasonable conjecture that Mark may have lost about a third of its original contents, and that the work once dealt with the period covered by Acts i-, including, for instance, the story of Rhoda, Mark's mother's maid'.
Persecution might perhaps account for it, but that so much should have been lost by a mere accident to a roll is not likely.
The conjecture is connected with the question of St. Luke's sources for those chapters.
But why did St. Mark continue his Gospel so far?
And if he did, why did he stop there?
As early as Tatian (170) and Irenaeus (185) there was current at Rome a passage known as the Longer
Conclusion, which is found in several manuscripts (including D) either as an appendix or as a part of the text.
It was printed in the Textus Receptus, and hence stands in our AV and RV as vv.9-20.
A few manuscripts and versions (but no patristic writers) give also a Shorter Conclusion, all, except the African k, before the longer one.
And the Freer MS. W adds a further passage to the longer one after v.14. Hort [Introd. N.T. in Greek, App., pp. 28-51.] discusses the evidence for the view that neither conclusion was in the original text of Mark, and additional evidence discovered since that date (1882), especially the absence of any conclusion in the Syr.sin, and the fact that in the Old Georgian and more ancient Armenian codices the Gospel ended at ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ, only strengthens his results.
[The evidence is fully set out in S. C. E. Legg's Novum Testamentum Graece secundum Marcum, 1935, on Mk. xvi. 9-20; cf. C. S. C. Williams, Alterations to the Text of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts, pp. 40-45.]
R. H. Lightfoot [Doctrine and Locality in the Gospels, chs. i and ii, and The Gospel Message of St. Mark, pp. 80-97.] maintains that St. Mark intended to conclude his Gospel with ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ though no book can be cited with a comparable ending.
To him the 'fear' denotes a numinous awe.
He strains the sense of xiv.28 and xvi.7 to mean that Christ would be at work in and through His disciples in Galilee, and not that He would appear to St. Peter and others there.
His arguments, which would involve the omission from the original Mark of all reference to a Resurrection appearance, though the Resurrection was one of the main elements in the Apostolic kerygma, have been refuted by W. L. Knox. [Harvard Theol. Rev. xxxv, 1942, pp. 13-23.]
This is not the place to discuss what the lost end of Mark may have contained.
Streeter argues that it was lost before Matthew and Luke were written, and conjectures that it contained 'an Appearance to Mary Magdalene, followed by one to Peter and others when fishing on the Lake of Galilee, and that John derived his version of these incidents from the lost conclusion of Mark'. [Op. cit., pp. 343 f., 351-60.]
RELATION OF MATTHEW & LUKE | RELATION OF MARK & Q
The First Gospel is anonymous, but St. Matthew's name became attached to
it in the Church where he worked.
This was probably because it incorporated St. Matthew's writing, a collection of the logia, as Papias calls them - the sayings and discourses (or the substance of discourses) of our Lord (see p. 5 n.).
[Dr. G. D. Kilpatrick (J.T.S. xlii, 1941, pp. 182-4) accounts for the disappearance of Q.
by suggesting that it was anonymous, rather amorphous and without a Passion narrative, and that the bulk of Q. was taken over in Matt., and Lk.]
His work cannot have amounted to a γραφὴ εὐαγγελίου such as Irenaeus describes it.
And that it was the only form in which sayings of our Lord found circulation is, of course, impossible; St. Peter and the other Apostles in their preaching and instruction must have recorded many of them.
When it was issued 'each one', says Papias, 'interpreted it as he was able'.
The word ἡρμήνευσε (like the word ἑρμηνεθτής which Papias uses of St. Mark) must be given its strict meaning 'translated'. Salmon [The Human Element in the Gospels, 1907, pp. 27 f.], Stanton [The Gospels as Historical Documents, i. 55-57.], and others have understood it to mean 'gave extempore interpretations in his own language' to congregations in Church, similar to those of the Targumists who interpreted the Hebrew Scriptures in the synagogues in their vernacular Aramaic.
But there is nothing to show that Papias was referring to Church services; he seems rather to have been dealing with the development of Christian writings.
We are led to think of written documents in which St. Matthew's Aramaic collection was done into Greek.
These would soon be enlarged and altered, becoming what we might call different recensions.
Whether or not the authors of Matthew and Luke used two of these, they certainly used two different translations, which is occasionally discernible where their variations can be explained by slight differences in Aramaic words, or by Aramaic words which bear two distinct meanings.
Streeter, though he believes in the existence of Q, does not believe in the recensions.
He suggests (rather speculatively) that the words of the Elder quoted by Papias may have been a protest by the Church of Ephesus against the newly introduced Gospel of St. Matthew; and 'his language is a slightly contemptuous exaggeration intended to assert that the particular Greek version (i.e. our Gospel of Matthew), to the authority of which the critics of the Fourth Gospel were appealing, was an anonymous version having no claim to direct apostolic authority'.
If the Elder were himself the author of the Fourth Gospel, as Streeter thinks, 'it would only be the more necessary to point out that Gospels like Matthew and Mark, which were at times in conflict with it, were no more directly apostolic than itself (op. cit., p. 21).
On the other hand, it has been thought that the material used in Matthew and Luke respectively was so largely dissimilar that while their common matter goes back ultimately to St. Matthew's collection, they cannot be said to have used, even in different recensions, a source which had sufficient unity to be designated by one symbol Q, Stanton [Op. cit. ii. 78-102.] supposes fragmentary translations of St. Matthew's collection were extant, and that the First Evangelist has occasionally used one or more of these which were fuller than the version used by St. Luke.
A few writers, Burton [Introduction to the Gospels, Chicago, 1904.] and Allen [St. Matthew.], for example, hold that St. Luke did not use Q,at all, but obtained the material which he has in common with Matthew from a variety of sources, one of which, Alien thinks, was possibly Matthew itself (see below).
The question naturally arises whether the author of Matthew or Luke shows the greater fidelity to their
common source in respect of wording and order.
As to wording, many think that the former adheres to it more closely than the latter, and that St. Luke must have treated it, as he treated Mark, with the freedom of an artist.
A recent suggestion is that of Burney [The Poetry of our Lord, 1925, pp. 87 f.] who claims that the Semitic parallelism of our Lord's sayings is preserved more faithfully in Matthew than in Luke.
On the other hand, the custom of the former was to conflate the language of his sources when they overlapped (see Streeter, pp. 244-54), and hence he would probably reproduce the language of any of them less exactly than St. Luke.
This is the case in some of the not very frequent passages where Q and Mark overlapped, and therefore it is no doubt the case where Q overlapped his other source.
But both causes must have operated, so that we cannot be sure, except when they are identical, that either of them preserves a verbatim report of Q.
As regards order also opposite opinions are held. In Matthew the sayings are mostly grouped into five discourses (v-vii. 27;
x; i.1-52; xviii; xi-xxv), each followed by the formula 'And it came to pass
that when Jesus had finished these words', or the like.
Lk.vii.1 (parallel to Matt.vii.28) has somewhat similarly: 'When He had completed all these sayings in the ears of the people.'
This suggests that a formula of this kind stood in Q at the end of a discourse, which is supported by the fact that the common LXX expression καὶ ἐγένετο, which is used in Matthew in each case, is not found elsewhere in that Gospel.
And since Papias arranged his 'Exposition of logia of the Lord' in five books, it is possible that the original Aramaic collection was similarly arranged (Nestle [Zeitschr.f. d, mutest. Wiss., 1900, pp. 252 ff.]), a not uncommon Jewish device; e.g. there are five books of the Law, and of the Psalms, and five divisions of the Rabbinic Megilloth and the Pirqe Aboth in their original form.
If so, the grouping in Matthew might appear to follow the grouping in Q more closely than that in Luke, where the sayings are placed in very different positions, sometimes for artistic and literary purposes, and rearranged to admit passages from other sources.
But it was not necessarily in Q, that the sayings were grouped into five discourses.
The author of Matthew probably did it himself and inserted the formula (derived from Q) at the end of each.
The opposite view is maintained by Stanton, who argues that in combining the Marcan
with other material, in particular that drawn from Q, 'Luke decided on the easiest, though not the most artistic, plan of
inserting the greater part of this material in two masses at two different points of the Marcan outline (vi. 20-viii. 3 and ix.
51-xviii. 14), so as to keep it as free as possible from his Marcan material.
In the First Gospel, on the other hand, the Marcan and the non-Marcan are used paripassu, sayings from both being brought together when they referred to, or might naturally be taken to refer to, the same occasion.'
The same view was held by Streeter [Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, p. 147.]; and in his work The Four Gospels he says, 'If we consider (1) Matthew's proved habit of piling up discourses from Mark, Q and M; (2) the fact that sayings like "Blessed are your eyes", Mt.i.16-17, concerning offences, Mt.xviii.7 - being imbedded in extracts from Mark - cannot possibly be in their original context as they occur in Matthew, the presumption is plainly in favour of the view that Luke's order is the more original' (p. 275).
Moffatt gives no less than sixteen
reconstructions of the contents of Q [Introd. Lit. XT., pp. 197-202.], besides a suggested
outline of his own.
And Streeter, on the basis of his four-document theory, gives another.
His whole argument should be read (pp. 283-92).
Dr. T. W. Manson [The Sayings of Jesus, 1950, pp. 15
f.] has taken the reconstructions of Harnack, Streeter, and Bussmann, finding a large measure of agreement between them.
Matter common to all three includes Lk.iii.7-9; iv.1-13; vi.20-23, 27-33, 35-44, 46-49; vii.1-10, 18-20, 22-35; ix.57-60; x.2-16, 21-24; xi.9-13, 29-35, 39, 41, 42, 44, 46-52; .2-10, 22-31, 33, 34, 39, 40, 42-46, 51, 53, 58, 59; i.18-21, 24, 28, 29, 34, 35; xiv.26, 27, 34, 35; xvi.13, 16-18; xvii.1, 3, 4, 6, 23, 24, 26, 27, 33-35, 37.
On the basis of this irreducible minimum Dr. Manson has suggested further material that belonged to Q.
He comments on the large amount of religious and moral teaching and the small amount of narrative that it contained.
Despite F. C. Burkitt, [Earliest sources for the Life of Jesus, 1922, pp. 103-6.] Q, seems to have had no Passion narrative.
It contained little polemical matter.
In a valuable additional note [Op. cit., p. 20.] Dr. Manson discusses and rejects the arguments of W. Bussmann [Synoptische Studien, ii.] that Q can be split into two sources, the older one ('R') having been in Aramaic and the other ('T') in Greek.
There are differences of opinion as to whether either writer made use of the
That the author of Matthew used Luke has had little serious support since Schulze. [Evangelientafel, ed. 2, 1886.]
But the converse, that St. Luke used Matthew, has been frequently maintained.
[For careful Statements of this view see E. Simons, Hat der dritte Evangelist den kanonischen Matthaus benutzt - 1880. E. Y. Hincks, Journal of Bibl. Lit., x, 1891, pp. 92-156.
E. W. Lummis, How Luke was written, 1915.]
No conclusive evidence, however, has been adduced; and the chief reason for thinking that the theory is improbable is that it is wholly unnecessary.
When the two evangelists agree against Mark, a variety of causes may have operated:
(1) they could not help agreeing in some improvements of St. Mark's Aramaic style and somewhat primitive Greek.
(2) Streeter (pp. 298-305) discusses several, which he calls 'deceptive agreements'.
(3) Others, not very numerous, are the result of the overlapping of Q, and Mark.
(4) There is little doubt that textual corruption will account for some of the instances: e.g. a word or line which once stood in Mark, and was accidentally omitted in the copy from which all our manuscripts are derived, was preserved in Matthew and Luke; or assimilation of parallel passages has taken place, a very common form of corruption, commoner, perhaps, than has often been supposed.
(5) To these may be added the possibility, mentioned above and maintained by Stanton and others, of editorial additions in Mark later than Matthew and Luke.
Further, if Luke used Matthew (or vice versa) why did he differ so markedly from him, especially in his placing of the Q sayings?
The remaining problem, whether St. Mark knew and made use of Q, is closely connected with the foregoing.
Opinions, once more, are divided.
If St. Mark wrote shortly before 70, and Greek documents were growing up based on St. Matthew's Aramaic collection of logia, he might quite possibly have met with some form of Q, at Rome (QR as Rawlinson [The Gospel according to St. Mark, p. xl.] called it).
But if he made any use of it, why did he use it so little?
It is easier to suppose that, Q, being current among his readers, he refrained from repeating its contents as unnecessary.
That he lays emphasis on the authoritative power of our Lord's teaching (see p. 12), and yet records so little of it, is best explained if he knew that his readers were already in possession of a collection of sayings, and needed only a narrative to supplement them.
Burkitt [Gospel History, pp. 148-66.] gives a list of thirty or thirty-one isolated sayings in Mark which occur in more or less similar forms in two passages, either in Matthew-Luke or in one or other of them, one of which passages in each case appears to be derived from Mark and the other from Q.
These are often called 'doublets', and are thought by some to imply literary dependence of St. Mark on Q.
But, as in the case of the dependence of St. Luke on Matthew, the chief objection to the theory is that it is unnecessary. St. Mark may have recalled from St. Peter's preaching, or learnt by oral tradition, some sayings contained in Q.
This would meet the cases in which Burney (loc. cit.) thinks that St. Mark has glossed Q, while, the Semitic parallelism is better preserved in Matthew-Luke.
As Moffatt says [Op. cit., p. 205.], 'The theory assumes that Q, had a monopoly of such sayings.
But the tradition of the Churches was far too widespread to permit any such restriction of logia.
Sayings of Jesus, such as come into question here, must have been circulating in many directions; and it is contrary to, all probabilities that they were drawn into the single channel or canal of Q, so that any other writer had to derive them from this source.'
Finally, an editor of Mark may have inserted a few sayings under the influence of Matthew-Luke.
The theory of St. Mark's dependence on Q is due to a too hard and fast conception of the literary growth of the Gospels, and is improbable or at least not proved. For a detailed study of passages see Streeter, pp. 186-91.
MATTHEW | LUKE
That the evangelist drew from sources other than Mark and Q is obvious.
The following comprise most of the material (Cf. Goguel, Introduction au Nouveau Testament, 1, 1923, pp. 420-34.]:
(a) The narratives of the Nativity and Infancy, including the Genealogy, embody traditions wholly distinct
from those in Luke and absent from Mark.
[Spitta, Urchristentum, iii. 2, pp. 122-38, conjectures that the evangelist found them in Mk. before that Gospel was mutilated, as he thinks, at the beginning.
But see above, p. 76.]
It is noticeable that Joseph plays a prominent part in them.
And Stanton suggests that the narratives were current among his kindred and descendants, some of whom were highly honoured in the Palestinian Church.
But if so, the Jewish Christians did not shrink from shaping these and other narratives for apologetic purposes into mid-rashim on the stories of Moses and Israel (see A. H. McNeile's St. Matthew, p. 23).
These may have been current orally, but the evangelist probably knew them in a written form, perhaps a Greek translation of a Hebrew document.
The play in i.21 on Jesus (ישוע) and 'shall save' (יושיע) is Hebrew, and impossible in Aramaic.
If the Genealogy is not his own composition it may have come from a written source,
or it may possibly have been added later as a prelude to the Gospel.
The heading (i.1), at least, cannot be the work of the same writers as v. 18, since γένεσις is used with different meanings.
(b) References to the Old Testament are frequent, as is natural in a
Jewish-Christian apologetic work.
Normally the quotations and verbal allusions are clearly dependent on the LXX.
But one class of quotations differs from the rest, i.e. the passages in which attention is drawn to the fulfilment of the Old Testament by a formula 'that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through...' or similar words.
These are i.23 (Is.vii.14); ii.6 (Mic.v.2); ii.15 (Hos.xi.1); ii.18 (Jer.xxxi.15); ii.23 ('through the prophets'); iii.3 (Is.xl.3); iv.15 f. (Is.ix.1 [Heb.viii.23 f.]); viii.17 (Is.liii.4); .18-21 (Is.xlii.1-4); i.35 ('through the prophet'; Ps.Ixxviii.2); xxi.5 (Zech.ix.9, with reminiscence of Is.I.11); xxvii.9 ('through Jeremias the prophet'; Zech.xi.12 f.).
And with the exception of iii.3, which occurs in Mk.i.3; Lk.iii.4 (see p. 76), all are peculiar to Matthew.
These quotations differ from the others in the First Gospel in adhering less closely to the LXX.
They appear to be independent translations, though in some cases perhaps influenced by the LXX.
Not only so, but some of them (i.23; ii.6, 15; iv.15 f.; .18 ff.; i.35) differ from our Hebrew text as well as from the LXX, and in i.23 the impersonal καλέσυσιν - kalesysin, 'people shall call.
His name', i.e. His name shall be called, is an Aramaic feature.
It is possible, therefore, that the source for these quotations was a translation of an Aramaic collection of testimonia.
[This source must have been one of the causes that led to the complex narrative in xxvii.3-10.]
(c) In his record of our Lord's discourses and sayings, Matthew has
passages of three different kinds:
(i) some which are so similar to those in Luke that they may safely be assigned to Q;
(ii) some which are disconcertingly similar, but at the same time dissimilar to those in Luke;
(iii) some which are peculiar to his Gospel.
If the third are assigned to his source M, the second can be explained as due to collation of Q, and M, while St. Luke remained truer to Q.
For the Sermon on the Mount the First Evangelist seems to have had
two distinct sermons, one practically identical with the Sermon on the Plain in Luke (followed by the story of the centurion's
servant), and the other - more than two-thirds of the whole - a more or less connected discourse, anti-Pharisaic in character, and
dealing with Jewish controversy.
Where they overlapped he conflated them.
And to this conflated sermon he added certain passages parallel to Luke, i.e. taken from Q, which in Luke stand in other contexts.
And the strongly anti-Pharisaic discourse in ch.i appears to be similarly a conflation.
In many of his parables also the use of M is probably to be seen.
Two are derived from Mark (the Sower and the Wicked Husbandmen); two from Q (the Mustard Seed and the Leaven); and there are eleven others - or rather twelve, since x.11-14 is really a parable distinct from the foregoing.
Three of these overlap three of the nineteen in Luke, the Lost Sheep, the Marriage Feast (= the Great Supper), and the Talents (= the Pounds).
But while these are parallel they are so dissimilar that they are probably to be assigned, with Streeter, to M and L respectively. And the remainder of the parables in Matthew can be assigned to M.
All of them bear upon the Kingdom of Heaven, or the duty of being fit and ready for it: the Tares, Hidden Treasure, Pearl, Net, the Debtor who owed a thousand talents, the Vineyard Labourers, the Two Sons, and the Sheep and the Goats (which is not strictly a parable, but an apocalyptic prediction containing the simile of the sheep and the goats).
Most of the parables in Luke are rather vehicles of moral teaching drawn from the daily life of men.
But St. Luke applies the word 'parable' also to illustrations and similes which are not in the form of narratives.
Sometimes an extended illustration or simile verged upon narrative, e.g. Lk..35-40; xv.3-10.
Neither Q nor the Marcan tradition appears to have been very rich in fully formed parables, though they were not without them; they preserved rather the authoritative dicta of the Master, with many of His illustrative comments, similes, and figurative expressions.
But these were probably current in large numbers, in many degrees of elaboration in the direction of narrative; and the compiler of M col?lected those, for the most part, of a Jewish-Christian character, and the compiler of L (very likely St. Luke himself) those of a different kind.
St. Mark evidently knew more than he recorded; see iv.10-13 following a single parable.
With regard to the sayings of Jesus and His parabolic teaching, Stanton refers to Weizsacker's suggestive comparison between the Jewish halacha and haggada, the former of which was handed down with greater care and fidelity than the latter.
Jewish Christians delighted to emphasize the importance of St. Peter.
And this appears in several narratives in which he plays a prominent part, which may be assigned to M: e.g. xiv.28-32; xvi.17 f., 19.
It is practically agreed that Q did not extend to the Passion.
When St. Matthew made his collection of login Christians did not need a reminder of the great events that they knew, but a record of the sayings during the Ministry, which they did not know.
And there are no passages in which Matthew and Luke agree against Mark which would suggest it.
Mark is here followed very fully in Matthew, but there is some material peculiar to the First Gospel which must have been derived from the source or sources collected in M, which, as elsewhere, the evangelist inserted by fusion into the Marcan framework: xxvi.50, 52-54; xxvii.3-10, 19, 24 f., 36, 43, 51b-53, 62-66; xxviii.2-4, 11-20.
It is generally easier to distinguish the material that St. Luke introduced from L,
because, as has been said, his practice was to insert his Q and Marcan material in blocks with very little fusion.
Streeter gives tentatively the contents of Q, (p. 291) and of Proto-Luke (p. 222); hence those which he would assign to L are as follows: iii.1, 15, 18-20, 23-28; v.1-11; vi.14-16; vii.11-17, 36-50; viii.1-3; x.1, 25-42; xi.1-8, 53 f; .13-21; i.1-17; xiv.1-10, 12-25, 28-33; xv.1-32; xvi.14 f., 19-31; xvii.7-19; xviii.1-14; xix.1-10, 37-44; xxi.18, 34-36; x.14 to the end, apart from a few passages from Mark (x.18, 22, 42, 46 f., 52-62, 71; xi.3, 22, 25 f., 33, 34b, 38, 44-46, 52 f.; xxiv.6), and some verses which 'may be derived from Mark, or represent Proto-Luke partially assimilated to the Marcan parallel' (x.69; xi.35, 49, 51; xxiv.1-3, 9f.).
The Infancy narratives (chs. i, ii) have every appearance of being derived from a
They are wholly independent of the Infancy narratives in Matthew.
Style and language are our only guides as to sources.
In the Prologue (i. 1-4) he lays himself out to write the studied, literary Greek of the period, polished and rhetorical.
But at v. 5 there is a sudden, steep drop into Hebraic Greek.
Harnack and others have supposed that he shows his literary genius by the conscious art with which he adapted the style and language of the section to its subject matter, making his own the archaic religious style and language of the LXX.
But apart from the fact that the Greek of the LXX, even of those books of which the original language was Hebrew, is far from uniform, the archaic religious style and language are those of translation-Greek.
And it is impossible to see any reason why he should wish to imitate translation-Greek more closely in his first two chapters than in the rest of his Gospel which is redolent of the LXX - so closely, in fact, that they have the appearance of being a literal translation of a Semitic original.
The theory, widely accepted at the present time, is much more probable, that they are a "translation from a Hebrew document.
Whether St. Luke translated them himself, or used a Greek translation which he touched up, according to his usual custom, with his own style and vocabulary, cannot be definitely decided, since we have no means of knowing whether he was acquainted with Hebrew.
But since he shows no clear signs of it elsewhere, and his Old Testament quotations are invariably from the LXX, the latter is the more likely.
That the original document was Hebrew, not Aramaic, may be regarded as certain, since distinctive Aramaisms, such as are seen in Mark and John and to a slight degree in Q, are absent, while Hebraisms abound as may be seen in any good commentary.
If the original was Aramaic we should have to suppose that the translator was skilful enough to avoid Aramaisms while rendering Aramaic into Greek of the style of the LXX, which is very improbable.
[The vernacular of Palestine was Aramaic, and the mass of the people could not understand Hebrew; hence the need of Aramaic targums, or interpretations, given in the synagogues side by side with the reading of the Hebrew scriptures.
But certain religious circles, such as those, which produced some of the apocalypses, and those to which such men as Zacharias the priest, and Simon, who was 'righteous and devout', belonged; seem to have continued to cultivate the sacred language.
Our Lord Himself could read Isaiah in the original (Lk.iv.l8 f.).]
Some portions of the chapters are poetical - the canticles, Magnificat,
Benedictus, [A comparison of the Greek of the Magnificat and Benedictus with that of
the LXX is given by J. M. Creed, The Gospel according to St. Luke, 1930, pp. 303-7.] and Nunc
Dimittis, and the words of angels in i.14-17, 32 f., 35; ii.14.
And the ease with which they can be rendered into rhythmical Hebrew is shown by Aytoun.
[J.T.S. xviii, 1916/17, 274 f.]
It is their Hebraic language, however, not the rhythm which points to Hebrew, since Aramaic could be no less rhythmical.
[See Burney, The Poetry of Our Lord (Oxford, 1926).]
It is possible that these poetical passages were current separately, and incorporated by the Hebrew narrator, as may have been the case ' with the angel's words in Matt.i.21.
But it is more probable that the Infancy narratives in both the Gospels were written in Hebrew, and that the rhythmical passages were composed by the narrators themselves.
A further possibility is that the chapters were added to the Gospel at a later date.
The word ἄνωθεν 'from the first' (i.3) seems to mean from the beginning of the common apostolic tradition; and this was certainly the ministry of the Baptist (see Acts i.21 f.), which was the earliest point at which eye-witnesses (Lk.i.2) could communicate the facts.
And the six-fold synchronism in iii.1 looks like an elaborate opening to the Gospel.
But neither of these is conclusive.
St. Luke's main purpose, no doubt, was to give to Theophilus and to the Church of his day an account of the apostolic tradition, beginning with iii.1.
But there was nothing to prevent him from prefixing a prelude to his masterpiece, describing the birth and childhood of Him of whose public Ministry the common tradition treated.
The Genealogy, which seems clearly intended to be a list of actual
descent, and is thus distinct from that in Matthew, which traces the royal succession, is perhaps not in its original form.
From Terah (Θάρα) to Adam is 20 generations; from David to Abraham is only 14; and from Heli the father of Joseph to Nathan is 40, of which 20 are before the Exile and 20 after it.
Moreover, St. Luke appears to have manipulated the list in two ways:
(1) The value which it would have for the family of Jesus lay in the descent from David, and through him from Abraham the father of the race.
The twenty names to Adam, with the addition τοῦ Θεοῦ, were probably from St. Luke's own pen as an expression of his universalism.
This is supported by the fact that these names appear to have been drawn from the LXX, while corruptions in several of the others point to the Hebrew Bible.
[See an elaborate study of the names by Kuhn in Zeitschr.f. d. mutest. Wiss., x, 1923, pp. 206 ff.]
(2) He seems to have inverted the order of the whole list, the original form having been simply a catalogue of names beginning with Abraham.
Zerubbabel is called the 'son of Rhesa', a name which is not found in Matthew or i Chronicles.
It is a probable suggestion, therefore, that the list was originally the work of an Aramaic writer (as would be natural) who wrote Salathiel, Zerubbabel the prince (resha), Johanan, &c.; and in the Greek form employed by St. Luke resha had become a proper name.
This rightly makes the forty names reach to Joseph, not to his father Heli.
[See Hastings' Dict. of the Bible, ii. 140.]
The distinguishing of the several fragments of tradition, oral or written, collected in L must be largely
tentative; but the search for the 'sources of sources' is still going on.
Bacon, for example, finds a special source used for our Lord's teaching on Wisdom, and for the sections connected with it.
[Dict. of Christ and the Gospels, ii. 825.]
Details connected with the Herod family (i.31 f.; xi.8-12; and cf. i.5; iii.1, 19; ix.7-9) may have been derived through Joanna the wife of Herod's steward (viii.3), or Manaen the σύντροφοςof Herod the tetrarch, who was among the prophets and teachers in the Church at Antioch (Acts i.1).
Some have seen an element of Ebionism in sayings and parables that teach the religious value of poverty and the duty of alms-giving, and in warnings against covetousness.
But on this see Stanton. [Op. cit. infra, pp. 233-7.]
F. C. Burkitt,
The Gospel History and its Transmission, 3rd ed., 1911.
Synoptische Studien, 1925.
A. von Harnack,
The Sayings of Jesus, tr. J. R. Wilkinson, 1908.
Sir J. C. Hawkins,
Horae Synopticae, and ed., 1909.
F.J. A. Hort,
The N.T. in Greek, Introd., Appendix, 1896, pp. 28-51.
Synapse der drei ersten Evangelien, Eng. ed. by F. L. Cross, 1936.
G. D. Kilpatrick,
Origins of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, 1946.
Introduction to the Literature of the N.T., yd ed., 1918.
The Gospels in the Making, 1938.
W. Sanday, ed.,
Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, 1911.
V. H. Stanton,
The Gospels as Historical Documents, vol. ii, 1909.
B. H. Streeter,
The Four Gospels, 1924.