At the recommendation of Kevin Edgecomb I just ordered a copy One Gospel From Two: Mark’s Use of Matthew and Luke although I didn’t get it from Dove Booksellers; I was able to find a “new” copy from Barnes & Noble book market for half the price. I admit to being a Markan priority (Farrer theory) guy, but there are a few things about the Two Gospel Hypothesis that I find quite attractive. We’ll see if this book can sway me from my current position.
I also have a $42 Amazon gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket. I can’t decide whether or not to get a video game or a couple of books. If I get a game it’s between UFC 2009 Undisputed and Street Fighter IV. If I get books then it will probably be Bultmann’s Theology of the New Testament and a book by Gordon Fee (most likely How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth). Decisions, decisions. I’d like to have my mind made up by day’s end so your collective wisdom will be appreciated.
34 thoughts on “Just Ordered…”
UFC 2009 is selling better at my store, for what it is worth. Don’t recall SF 4 selling real big at all.
I have the opposite book, “Two Gospels from One”. It was not very well reviewed, as I recall.
As much as it pains me to say it – you should buy Bultmann! Don’t waste money on Video Games!!! ;)
As for Fee, he’s always good. Did you ever get “To What End Exegesis?”? Or “How to Choose a Translation For All It’s Worth”?
Matthean priority Amen.
Chuck: Good to know, thanks. The thing that’s holding me back right now is that I saw it for $5 less the other day and if I do get it I’d prefer to get it at as low a price as possible.
I have To What End Exegesis as a PDF file. I’ll get a hard copy eventually but it’s not a priority right now. I don’t have the translation book though. Don’t know that I’m really interested in that one.
Mark: I do very much want the Bultmann volume, but video games are never a waste of time when they’re good!
Now you’re into the Synoptics.
Good luck my friend!
I have to admit I had no idea there were any moderns who thought that Mark might be derived from Matthew and Luke. I’m starting a commentary on Mark now by Cole and he didn’t mention it. Maybe he isn’t modern enough.
I would think the Fee (and Strauss) book may be a little basic for you. A great book to be sure, but somewhat basic, not that anybody couldn’t glean something from it.
Celucien: I’m a NT guy in general so if I come across a great deal I try to snatch it up.
Jeff: I used to have it on my Pradis Bible software but I lost it when my lst computer crashed. I’d like to have a hard copy to refer to. I think that it would make a great teaching tool for adult Bible studies (at least in the church I go to).
I’ll plug for How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. I’ve been using it in classes at church for 3 years running, and will continue to do so until someone convinces me that there’s something better.
It is basic, BUT, I’ll point out that the basics of exegesis and hermeneutics are so often forgotten. And not by laypeople, but by those supposedly trained in them. I can’t tell you how many people in seminary thought they knew how to do exegesis simply because they could identify a Greek genitive and even categorize it. But they didn’t really know exegesis. Personally, I think many trained folks need a book like HTRTBFAIW.
Danny: Well said.
I’m a bit torn, given that the new edition of Bultmann is published by Baylor Press, and I go to Baylor. But, given that I likely won’t ever see any of that money myself, I say go for the video game. The new Street Fighter does look pretty sweet.
John: I ended up going with a couple of books. Hopefully someone from my family will get me a game for my birthday in July.
Nothing is better than the classic Super Street Fighter II games.
How do you have time for video games man?
Geoff, the question should be, “Why do you make time for computer games?”
Any thoughts on Duvall and Hays’ “Grasping God’s Word”? I read through it several years ago and thought it was as good as Fee and Stuart. F&S’s work, though, is a bit more succint, which lends itself to a wider audience.
Geoff: The same way I have time for my family or to read… I make it. :-)
Mark: That’s easy to answer: I don’t! I make time for XBox 360 games. ;-)
Jason: I haven’t read it so I don’t know how it stacks up.
Have you read “Redating Matthew, Mark, and Luke” by Wenham? He presents an alternaive to Markan priority. I have studied the issue for 25+ years and have never been convinced of Markan priority.
Rich: I haven’t read it. The Synoptic problem has never been at the forefront of my study interests. The most basic reason I hold to Markan priority is that it’s a lot easier for me to fathom Matthew & Luke expanding upon Mark than it is for me to see Mark abbreviating Matthew & Luke, at least in the way that it appears he has if he did indeed use them as sources. I can be swayed though. We’ll see if the book I just ordered is enough to do it.
Folks don’t seem to know that Matthean priority is universal to the Church Fathers, Reformers, and everyone else earlier than 1800. Matthean priority, in Griesbach’s work and others’, was universally held until the early/mid nineteenth century. It was Storr (I think) who invented Marcan priority in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, and things developed from there.
But, as the author/editors make clear, the Two Gospel Hypothesis is no longer identical with Griesbach’s ideas. It is a further development, and much more solid.
Conflationary epitomizing was very much an ancient practice. Look at 2 Maccabees, an epitome of the otherwise lost 5 volume work by Jason of Cyrene, which also arguably draws on 1 Maccabees. Look at the numerous epitomes and quotations utilized by Josephus and strung together in each of his works. I think particularly of his treatment of chronology in Against Apion, where he utilizes epitomes of Berossus and Manetho to create a new conflated epitome of both, with other materials lightly treated as well.
In addition, in ancient times, longer typically meant earlier. Trimming a passage down to something shorter was a continual trend in, for instance, lectionaries. The larger a passage included in a lectionary, the earlier it is. An orginial reading of two chapters over two millennia can become two verses.
These examples are just to show that there are certainly arguments that can be made, with objective support, for an ancient Mark to have been actually a kind of conflationary epitome of Matthew and Luke. The One Gospel from Two book goes into some occasionally yawn-inducing detail on the matter, but does, I think, actually prove it.
There are way too many problems with Matthean priority. If you want to know the *real* solution to the synoptic problem, read Mark Goodacre’s *The Case Against Q*.
Kevin: I can’t wait to read it and see if I find myself convinced.
John: It’s on my wish list. Hopefully some kind sould will get it for me for my birthday. ;-) BTW, I started reading your article in CBQ on Jesus as an Elijianic figure in Luke 4 last night. Looks pretty good so far. I’ll finish it some time tonight.
I came across The Case Against Q recently at Half Price Books and was going to pick it up until I looked in it and noticed highlighting. It’s a shame how many great books I find there that are highlighted or written in. I refuse to get them no matter how bad I want them.
The whole Matthean priority thing sounds really interesting to me.
BTW what’s up with XBox 360 games being so expensive. I went to a used game store and the newest titles were still in the $50’s even though they were used. What the heck?!!
Bryan: I hear ya. I got a couple of used books with writing or highlighting in them and they drive me crazy.
I don’t know what’s up with used games being so expensive. I was just considering selling Left 4 Dead or trading it in and putting the money towards another game but I’m not sure how much they’ll give me for it. Selling used games in the $50s is ridiculous though!
What convinced me was independent of these books on the Two Gospel Theory. They merely clinch the deal.
It was the investigation of the forms of the disputes with the Pharisees/et al. in the Gospels. Only in Matthew is the argumentation preserved in a mode recognizable to Pharisaic/early Rabbinic form, that would have been perceived as a threat. In every case in Luke and Mark, the arguments are ruined, and often scattered, and if they were given as is to the Pharisees, would’ve been the object of ridicule. They certainly wouldn’t have gotten a man killed. The reworkings of the disputes show a concern for presenting Jesus more as a quip-slinging Gentile philosopher, rather than an argumentative Judean rabbi (because Gentile audiences would be incapable of following and appreciating the rabbinic disputes). Obviously, explanations are introduced in Luke and Mark that have a place within a later Gentile-predominant context, while Matthew preserves an earlier Judean-dominated context.
Anyhow, it’s a good read, and should at the very least open one up to the possibility that the Synoptic Question has not been definitively answered by the Two Source Theory.
One problem with Matthean priority has to do with the patterns of agreement between Matthew’s quotations of the Old Testament, and Mark’s quotations. When Matthew quotes the OT in a Markan context, he quotes according to the LXX (as does Mark), but when he quotes the OT in a non-Markan context, he quotes according a non-aligned text (viz. proto-Aquila, kaige, whatever you want to call it). Supposing that he could know which contexts would be Markan when there as yet is no Mark simply defies the odds.
John, that’s insufficiently probative, as it doesn’t take into account the leveling toward the LXX that is a characteristic of Luke. In the Two Source Theory, Luke is intermediate between Matthew and Mark, after all.
Oops, I meant to type “Two Gospel Theory”!
I don’t see how bringing Luke into the picture changes anything. How does Luke know which passages are going to be Markan? The point is, on the 2GH, Matthew somehow knows which passages are going to be Markan, because he only uses the LXX in those OT quotations that will end up in Mark.
Sorry, I skipped something. Matthew’s use is not LXX. Pull out the Synopsis and compare. Mark’s use is always identical to Luke’s not Matthew’s.
Even a quick comparison of the quotations shows that they are not identical, and Matthew tends to be close but not identical to the LXX reading (thus the suggestion of proto-Theodotionic that some have made for some of his quotations: LXX adjusted toward the proto-MT) found in Luke and later Mark, who drew them from Luke, not from Matthew. It was Luke who altered the passages to conform to LXX, and Mark took them from there.
Why would this be? Because Gentiles in the diaspora would have had access to the LXX and would have needed the identity of texts for validation. The Palestinian-source Matthew was able to use either a variety of texts (which we know existed due to Qumran finds) or to translate on the fly, producing idiosyncratic versions. In either case, the LXX was not the primary version in sight, as it would necessarily be in the diaspora.
You’re looking at it backward, and with incorrect data. In overlapping quotations (start with the Isaiah quotation in Mk 1.2) Matthew and Mark don’t match, Luke and Mark match. In the Two Gospel Hypothesis, this is textually and historically coherent. In the Two Source, it is not.
Aside from historical context, the “Minor Agreements” rather demolish the Two Source requirement that Luke and Matthew were independent, unless the claim of coincidence, or a further convolution of sub-sources, is considered viable, which they are not, without special pleading.