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Which Gospel Came First?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Rival, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. Rival

    Rival Divine Adoratrice of Amun
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    The Markian Priority Theory has been most peoples' view; that the Gospel according to Saint Mark was written first, copied by Matthew and Luke, who also used "Source Q" (hypothetical) and John was way over in his own arena somewhere far away.

    But I personally subscribe to the view that Matthew was written first. The Church Fathers seemed to think so; the order of the Gospels reflects the order the Christians of old thought that they were written in.

    John isn't generally thought to have been written fist, nor Luke, so I'm concentrating this debate on:

    Which was written first: The Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of Mark?

    Go!
     
  2. Godobeyer

    Godobeyer the word "Islam" means "submission" to God
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    is possible or impossible that "Gospel of Jesus (pbuh)", which came first ? (i mean Jesus (pbuh) made the Gospel by him-self.)

    why were there many Gospels/Authors ( rejected) by Church,just four Gospels that admited by Church ?
     
  3. Rival

    Rival Divine Adoratrice of Amun
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    Hi Godobeyer,

    This isn't the focus of the debate, but feel free to create another thread on it. :)
     
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  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Is this subscription simply an act of deference to Church tradition or have you read and discounted the arguments for Marcan priority on other grounds?
     
  5. Rival

    Rival Divine Adoratrice of Amun
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    I've read material for both arguments and I can understand the reason behind both points of view. I've started this thread as a means of challenging my own view and others, since I'm not entirely sure myself :)
     
  6. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    What is the counter-argument (other than tradition)?
     
  7. Rival

    Rival Divine Adoratrice of Amun
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    You mean the counter argument for Matthew Priority?
     
  8. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Let's try another approach: Given the Bible.org article The Synoptic Problem, on what grounds do you discount its conclusion? See, also, here.

    (For what it's worth, I use to play with Lucan Priority but not seriously.)
     
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  9. Rival

    Rival Divine Adoratrice of Amun
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    Thanks for those articles Jay :)

    It was articles like this (short) http://taylormarshall.com/2011/09/why-matthew-is-first-gospel-and-not.html

    and this http://realityisnotoptional.com/2012/01/10/matthew-was-the-first-gospel-written/

    that made me rethink Marcan Priority. As I say, I'm still undecided.

    What made you toy with Lucan?
     
  10. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    The majority of Scholars follow Markan priority for great reasons,

    It has less anti Semitic language.
    It has less mythology.
    It has less layered theology and mythology.
    Later traditions as in Luke are in Matthew such as birth stories not in Mark

    Not a credible scholar bud, and he thinks Matthew actually wrote the book :rolleyes:. he holds no credibility as anything but an apologist author, and theology teacher.

    His credentials are not for history.



    Another miserable apologist promoting personal theism over what is known.

    Both of these examples assume the authors are the named people falsely attributed by people far removed from any actual event.
     
  11. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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  12. Rival

    Rival Divine Adoratrice of Amun
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    What are your reasons for believing that Matthew the Tax Collector (or Matthias, the apostle chosen in Judas' place) didn't write the gospel attributed to him?
     
  13. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    Because they didn't have a clue about the real Galilean man who existed.

    Had these been the real followers we would not see as much rhetorical prose and layered mythology on top of what has possibilities of actually taken place.

    Example. Earliest Mark is almost silent on the resurrection. Because in marks time the resurrection was not that important and the theology was still growing. BY L and M time, the theology had expanded in detailed legends, the issue is we see exactly who they paralleled in rhetoric and we see each's theological motives that also represent later dates. Basically we see them expanding on Mark, NO eyewitness would do that.

    Example. The birth legends are stated to be fiction by credible historians, they also contradict each other in many details which are also layered over Marks foundation. Scholars view both of these communities NOT "people" as far removed from any actual event. Their theology represents Hellenistic Proselytes and gentiles over that of Aramaic Judaism.

    Many areas show ignorance of Aramaic Judaism, and none of the traditions are from an early enough source that had the true Aramaic teachings. There are very few Aramaic transliterations in all of the NT. So these communities were far removed from any actual event in the life of the man.


    On the surface, this has been taken to imply that Matthew's Gospel itself was written in Hebrew or Aramaic by the apostle Matthew and later translated into Greek, but nowhere does the author claim to have been an eyewitness to events, and Matthew's Greek "reveals none of the telltale marks of a translation."[17][14] Scholars have put forward several theories to explain Papias: perhaps Matthew wrote two gospels, one, now lost, in Hebrew, the other our Greek version; or perhaps the logia was a collection of sayings rather than the gospel; or by dialektōi Papias may have meant that Matthew wrote in the Jewish style rather than in the Hebrew language.[16] The consensus is that Papias does not describe the Gospel of Matthew as we know it, and it is generally accepted that Matthew was written in Greek, not Aramaic or Hebrew


    This is pretty important if he actually followed the man around in person, he surely would have noted it.
     
  14. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    So, for example, your second reference begins ...
    The problem here is ...
    i.e., the weight of scholarship is that the author of gMat was not "a direct apostle of Christ." See, also, Early Christian Writings: Matthew.

    It was a less than serious flirtation with The Jerusalem School Hypothesis.
     
  15. tfvespasianus

    tfvespasianus New Member

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    Briefly, I think many attempts at making the case for Matthean primacy are rooted in an apologetic agenda. That is, it is discomfiting to some that a gospel traditionally attributed to an apostle is actually an expansion of a gospel traditionally attributed to a non-apostle. I don’t see the same kind of reasoning in the hypothesis of Markan priority that many have commented upon here already.

    Moreover, I have never heard a compelling argument as to why, if Mark is an abbreviated Matthew, why such an author working from a copy of Matthew would omit the birth narrative, the Sermon on the Mount/Plain, and the post-Resurrection appearances. That is, it’s hard to imagine why these would go ‘to the cutting room floor’.

    So, that’s a minimal argument for Markan priority: on the face of it, it seems more likely that Matthew is an expansion of Mark. I would be interested to hear any argument that isn’t severely ad hocdealing with this simple proposition before having to deploy any other more detailed reasons as to why Mark is more likely the earlier document.


    Take care,
    TFV
     
  16. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    This strikes me as an honest attempt.
     
  17. tfvespasianus

    tfvespasianus New Member

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    Thanks, it does strike me as an honest, dispassionate attempt. Nonetheless, I think some elements are built upon ‘hand-waving’ with respect to objections. For example, the author states:

    “Of the ten miracle healing stories found in Mark, only eight are to be found in Matthew and Luke. The Markan hypothesis compels us to believe that Matthew and Luke each independently chose to copy exactly eight healing stories out of the ten, and incidentally the same eight (eliminating 7:32-35 and 8:24). A theory based upon Markan redaction merely suggests that Mark added the two stories from an independent collection. Curiously, the two healings are the only ones involving the use of saliva, otherwise found only in John's gospel.”

    Yes, and we can build a plausible case as to why later authors might disdain the saliva healing stories, especially the later one at 8:24 as that incident has Jesus initially failing (or only partially succeeding) at an attempted miracle.

    I hope to address other specific arguments built upon grounds such as this author has provided as they are quite good, but I think that in the end the explanatory power of Markan primacy (i.e. expansion and editing produced Matthew and Luke) is at its core what makes it more persuasive.

    Take care,
    TFV
     
  18. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    Read this as already posted above. When you understand these we can talk.

    Conclusion
    Several different types of evidence converge on the hypothesis of Markan priority:
    1. The Argument from Sequence of Incidents
    2. The Argument from Grammar and Aramaicisms
    3. The Argument from Harder Readings
    4. The Argument from Redaction
    5. The Argument from Theology
    6. The Argument from Content
    Thus, the supposition of Markan priority is a secure and well-founded one.



    http://earlychristianwritings.com/mark-prior.html
     
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  19. Rise

    Rise Well-Known Member

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    The content of the Gospel of Matthew clearly shows it was intended for a Jewish audience whereas the other gospels do not share this trait.
    We know from the New Testament and Church history that the Church started in Jerusalem and was originally almost entirely Jewish with a focus on evangelizing the Jewish people.
    So it makes perfect sense historically for a Gospel whose audience is primarily the Jewish people to have emerged in that beginning era of the church.

    We also know that Peter did not go to Rome until a long time after the founding of the Jerusalem church, in an era of persecution and rejection of the gospel by much of the Jewish people.
    Church history tells us that Mark was a translator for Peter and wrote down his gospel based on what Peter spoke.
    Mark also has many latinisms. There are 18 latinisms in the entire new testament, and 10 of those are found just in Mark.
    This further evidences the idea Mark wrote his gospel to a Roman audience in an era after the early years of the Jerusalem church when Peter lived in Rome.

    The idea that Matthew came after Mark is based on speculation - and this speculation is built on a foundational premise; A premise which, if not true, undermines the entire structure of reasoning erected on top of it.
    That premise I refer to is the the belief that Matthew and Mark could not be independently authored and still contain many of the same details. So it is assummed that one must be drawing on the other as a source or both must have drawn on some other unknown written source. This assumed premise is, of course, unproveable speculation. It is perfectly possible that they are independent writings that share their commonalities by being derived from two apostlic sources that were eyewitness to the same life of Jesus Christ.

    With Luke we have reason to believe he drew upon existing sources because his opening statements in Acts establishs for us that the nature of his two part work was as a verified compiliation of information. We have no basis, however, for stating as fact that Mark and Matthew follow the same pattern. To assume they do would be speculation. Speculation that goes against both church history and even international evidence of the gospels themselves.

    What we do know from internal content and church history is that they were written to different audiences which would have by it's nature necessitated different content. Many things related in Matthew that would have been paramount to a Jewish religious audience (like establishing a proper geneaology) would have been meaningless to a gentile roman audience unfamiliar even with the old testament.
    We even know from internal evidence that their source material is different and lines up with church history. For instance, Mark has certain elaborations on Peter's motives and thoughts which are not found in Matthew; such as explaining why Peter said they should built three tabernacles during the transfiguration of Jesus.

    If you believe the premise that Matthew or Mark had to be secondary sources drawning from other existing writings then you find that we still end up with people who have different theories about what came first and who borrowed from what. One says Mark came first, one says Matthew, and another says neither because we are missing a mystery document that added content to Matthew and Luke not found in Mark.
    They spend a lot of time and energy speculating about this, but how many have stopped to ask themselves if the underlying premise is even true? The underlying premise that either Matthew, Mark, or both could only be the product of rewriting existing works because they couldn't possibly be independent writings based on different eyewitness sources of the same events.

    So I would pose the question to those who advocate such theories: On what basis should we accept the premise underlying those conclusions (that matthew and mark could only be the product of compiling information from existing sources rather than independent productions) as a proven fact, rather than the theorhetical speculation it is, especially when it goes against a plainly recorded and clear history that makes sense and is in line with the documents themselves?
     
    #19 Rise, Sep 10, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  20. tfvespasianus

    tfvespasianus New Member

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    It is possible, but the critical approach deals with what is more probable rather than with what is simply possible as a great many things are possible.

    To put it exceptionally briefly – there is an inferred relationship between the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Luke, and Mark) because of degrees of verbal correspondence. For example, when we see:

    1. And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground and he took the seven loaves
    2. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground and he took the seven loaves

    We recognize that there is a high-degree of correspondence (i.e. one word different, same ordering).

    There is a great deal of correspondence between Matthew and Mark. About 90% of Mark is found in Matthew with varying degrees of correspondence. Additionally, there is material that is found in both Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark. Again, this shared material between Matthew and Luke contains verbal correspondence.

    Many scholars recognize these facts and have different approaches of how to interpret this data. What is not seriously entertained however is, ‘maximal conservatism’ (i.e. that these are three independent documents separately composed). The debate is far more complex and nuanced than what I have sketched here, but, put simply, if two students wrote the same book report and relayed the same general information about the same order changing some of the words sometimes although it is possible that the chose to do these completely independently of one another. However, I would say that it is unlikely.

    Take care,
    TFV
     
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