Re: Q and Papias

On Sat, 29 Oct 1994, David Coomler wrote:

> If that were true, then one is hard-pressed to account for the survival of
> a crude, later Mark in the presence of a more elegant and developed
> earlier Matthew.  
> (p.s. Is anyone subscribed to OT Hebrew, and if so, how did you do it?  I
> am having trouble with the standard Listserv subscriber info).

Um, huh?  If Mark's ability is not as refined as Matthew's (and I think 
we all agree it isn't) and Mark used Matthew but because of lack of 
refinement and experience of language he doesn't come up with as elegant 
a prose as matthew's, then we can't account for his survival?  Is this 
your argument?

If it isn't disregard the remainder.  If it is.....a) apostlicity-Papias 
writing within 30 years of the traditional date of mark says that Mark 
wrote Peter's recollections down-in short, the connection with Peter is 
early enough as to be entertained as possibly historical.  This solid 
connection alone would make preservation probable.  b) Your argument 
would only make sense if elegant style were one of the criteria for 
preservation.  A modern example would be the difference in writing style 
and subject of a G. K. Chesterton, which few of my younger patrons have 
ever heard of, and of a Danielle Steel-no comparison in my mind, but 
Steel will certainly be read by more of the masses for a longer time than 
Chesterton.  c) which brings us to an important point.  If we look at 
Matthew and Luke as being fairly refined works, full of theological and 
biblical undercurrents and complex formulations, in contrast to the 
COMPARATIVE simplicity of Mark, and if the majority of the Christians in 
the first couple of centuries were from the lower classes, as many 
studies have indicated, then we would presume that the simpler  gospel 
would prevail in those circles.  d) your argument is open to a similar 
attack.  If there was a Q and Mark as sources for Matthew and Luke, Q has 
disappeared from the scene, Mark hasn't.  One would expect from your 
conclusion that the more "advanced" gospels would be preserved, and Mark 
should have disappeared as did Q because of its inelegance, lack of all 
but 4 OT fulfillment references which became increasingly important, its 
relative "low" Christology and so on.  So why didn't Mark disappear?  
Surely priority is not the reason-other writings that Luke surely refers 
to did not survive-why this one?


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