Pt 4: Final observations

Date: Tue Oct 17 1995 - 17:52:34 EDT

  A few final observations:

  1.) Re. the "Lachmann" fallacy: the argument from order is no
  argument at all. To say: "Mt and Lk consistently follow Mk's
  order. They never differ from Mk together: when Mt disagrees with
  Mk's order, Lk supports Mk, and vice versa" proves nothing except that
  the gospels almost certainly depend on one another for the order of
  events. (And that "proof" is often in the eye of the beholder.)

          (BTW--I like Linnemann, but I think she's lost in space when
          she argues for no literary dependency.)

  We could, with the same data, rephrase the above like this: "Mt
  follows Lk's order for the most part, except that Mt wants to insert
  great discourses throughout the gospel. Mk always follows the common
  order. When Mt and Lk disagree, Mk follows first one, then the

  Or "Mk follows Mt's order for the most part. Lk, who did not want to
  construct his gospel around so many discourses (thus stopping
  narrative impetus), either follows Mk or strikes out on his own."

  Or (as the Griesbach hypothesis states) "Mt establishes an order based
  on geneology plus discourses, with programmatic influence from Isaiah
  9.1-2. Lk generally follows this order, changing it at times to
  establish a more chronological, less topical outline. Mk, faced with
  two gospels that agree in order for the most part, simply follows the
  common order. When Mt and Lk disagree, Mk follows one or the other. He
  virtually never establishes an independent order."

  All of the above are internally plausible. Thus the argument from
  order, as it is commonly used, PROVES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING regarding

  2.) Mk is indeed the shortest of the three. But when you compare
  episodes/pericopes in the triple tradition, Mk consistently has longer
  pericopes with greater descriptive detail. There are cases in which
  Mk's fuller account seems to be a conflation of Mt and Lk, especially
  in the Passion.

  Mk is shorter because it has fewer pericopes, not because Mt (or Lk)
  is more "well rounded".

  3.) The testimony of the church from the second (Clement-Papias-
  Eusebius) to the 19th century is unanimous: Mt was written first,
  then Lk and Mk (in varying order), and Jn later.

  Augustine expressed two views on the order of the gospels. In book
  one of his Harmony, he speaks of Mk as Mt's "epitomizer." This view
  later became official dogma. But in 4.10.11, he speaks of Mk
  following the order of Mt more often, but also following Lk. Thus
  Augustine was a Griesbachian! But this later view was thereafter

  4.) There is not time to really discuss minor agreements here. Let me
  simply point you to Mt 26.67f // Lk 22.63ff and the verbatim agreement
  there against Mk 14.65. Is there Mk/Q overlap in the passion
  narrative? Think of the can of worms *that* would open!

  Anyhow, if anyone's interested in pursuing this further (though to be
  honest, right now I can't imagine why), I'll see you on IOUDAIOS-L.

Well, it's been fun. Grace and peace,

Perry L. Stepp, Baylor University

  SLMR 2.1a  I am Madden of Borg.  BOOM!  POW!  You're assimilated!

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