Saturday, November 01, 2008

Goodacre's Dating Game

You have to keep an eye on Mark Goodacre. He's been dating again, in preparation for his SBL paper (with April DeConick as respondent). Check out his series so far:

(I) Preliminary Remarks
(II) Paul's Letters
(III) Synoptic Gospels (Order of)
(IV) John's Gospel
(V) Mark's Gospel
(VI) Mark's Gospel (continued)
(VII) Matthew and Luke's Gospels
(VIII) John and Thomas' Gospels

It should be a good discussion. Simon Gathercole, Stephen Patterson, and John Kloppenborg will be involved in the session as well.

UPDATE: Mark's SBL paper is now available here.


Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

As interesting a read as Goodacre’s “Dating the crucial sources…” is, it may be useful to elucidate some basic flaws in it. The most serious flaw is that placing Mark ahead of a Hebraic Matthew ignores strong arguments for the reverse, besides ignoring 16 instances of editorial fatigue on the part of the writer of Mark relative to Matthew. (see”.

Consistent with this, the six supposed instances of “fatigue in Matthew” relative to Mark are plausibly reversible or explainable on the basis of Matthean priority over Mark.

I cannot condone the ignoring of the external evidence of a Hebraic Matthew holding priority over Mark, nor the unjustified assumption that this evidence carries no weight. But I understand that Mark had to keep the length of his paper under control.

Also, accepting certain verses in Mark and Matthew as genuine rather than allowing the possibility of their being redactional is risky. Mt 26:61//Mk 14:58 and Mt 27:32//Mk 15:29 are suspect, due to an utterance of destroying the Temple and rebuilding it in three days being ridiculous or anachronistic rather than blasphemous; it could well be a substitution for a Matthean source statement that had actually been blasphemous. However, such examples can go unnoticed if recent evidence is considered out of bounds for scholarly investigation (see


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