Papias on Matthew and Mark

In my previous two posts I showed why Papias is not a reliable source when it comes to the authorship of Matthew and Mark.   If you haven’t read those posts and are personally inclined to think that his testimony about Matthew and Mark are accurate, I suggest you read them (the posts) before reading this one.

In this post I want to argue that what he actually says about Matthew and Mark are not true of our Matthew and Mark, and ...

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Believing Papias When It’s Convenient

In my previous post I stressed that, contrary to what you sometimes may have heard or possibly will hear, Papias is not a *direct* witness to what the apostles of Jesus were saying.  That is an important point because of the most important “testimony” that Papias gives, a testimony that is often taken as very strong evidence that the second Gospel of the NT was written by Mark, the companion of Peter, and that the first Gospel was really and ...

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Papias and the Gospels: Some Background

In my previous post I argued that sometime in the second half of the second century, an edition of the four Gospels was compiled by an unknown editor/scribe, and place in circulation in Rome, in which the texts were identified, definitively and possibly for the first time, as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.   Now the question is: why did these names come to be chosen?

This is a complicated question, and the answer is neither straightforward nor easy.   But I can ...

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Mark’s Suffering Son of God

In this post I continue my literary-historical study of Mark’s Gospels, and get to a very big point. After this will be one more post on Mark, in which I discuss the ultimate point.

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Jesus The Suffering Son of God

Throughout the early portions of Mark’s Gospel the reader is given several indications that Jesus will have to die (e.g., 2:20; 3:6). After Peter’s confession, however, Jesus begins to be quite explicit about it. Even though he is ...

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More on Mark

I started this thread by mentioning that when I teach my undergraduate class on the NT, I not only teach them about the four Gospels, but I teach them different *methods* for studying the Gospels – for example redaction criticism and “literary-historical” criticism. In my class I use the latter to explore the Gospel of Mark, and in order to illustrate here, on the blog, how it works (establishing the genre of a writing then seeing how that genre “worked” ...

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Similarities and Differences: The Synoptic Problem

 

In yesterday’s post I mentioned my New Testament class, and that one of the main lessons I’m trying to convey in it is that each of the Gospels has to be read for what *it* has to say.  This requires the reader to bracket information that is conveyed in some other Gospel (or that they’ve heard before elsewhere), to see what the meaning of this particular text is.

That shouldn’t be such a hard idea to grasp.   If I write a ...

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Mark as Peter’s Scribe

QUESTION:

Why are scholars almost certain that Peter did not give the general details of Jesus’ life and ministry to his companion Mark, who faithfully recorded the details in Greek, in the style found in his gospel? I know you’ve said that someone such as Peter, aside from not knowing Greek, almost certainly wouldn’t have had the ability to build the relatively sophisticated structure of Mark’s gospel, but why couldn’t Mark have “put form” on Peter’s prosaic verbal account ...

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