Thursday, October 12, 2017

Comparison Facts on the Synoptic Gospels

I’ve been reading Stanley E. Porter and Bryan R. Dyer, eds., The Synoptic Gospels: Four Views (Baker Academic, 2016). The four views and their proponents in this book: Two Source Theory (Craig A Evans); Farrer Hypothesis (Mark Goodacre); Two Gospel Hypothesis (David Barrett Peabody); Orality and Memory Hypothesis (Rainer Reisner). I’ll hopefully write a fuller review when I finish.

I am less inclined to see any direct literary relationship among the Synoptic Gospels (independent development view).

Here, however, are some Synoptic Gospel comparison facts from the introductory chapter by the editors (from pp. 6-8):

90 percent of Mark is shared with either Matthew or Luke or both.

Nearly all of that 90 percent of Mark is found in Matthew.

About 50 percent of Mark is found in Luke.

Of c. 665 verses found in Mark, 600 appear in some form in Matthew or Luke.

Matthew and Luke share 230 verses not in Mark.

Mark can be divided into 88 pericopes. Of those, only 5 do not appear in either Matthew or Luke.

As for that final point, on there being only five pericopes, in Craig A. Evans' chapter in this work, he lists eleven distinct passages in Mark (p. 35). Here is my summary of those:

Introduction: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”
Mark 1:1
Jesus saying: “the sabbath was not made for man, but man for the sabbath”
Mark 2:27
Jesus accused of being “beside himself”
Mark 3:20-21
Parable of the secretly growing seed
Mark 4:26-29
Jesus’ disciples accused of eating with “unwashen” hands
Mark 7:2-4
Jesus heals a deaf and dumb man
Mark 7:32-37
Jesus heals a blind man at Bethsaida
Mark 8:22-26
Jesus’ saying, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting”
Mark 9:29
Jesus’ saying on being “salted with fire”
Mark 9:48-49
Jesus’ call to watch
Mark 13:33-37
The naked young man flees at Jesus’ arrest
Mark 14:51-52


1 comment:

Andrew said...

I believe Mark 9:29 does have a parallel passage in Matthew 17:21, but this verse is removed in the critical text.

I did my own count of the Gospel pericopes, and came up with the following basic table:
Shared between four Gospels: 15 pericopes
Unique to Matthew: 29
Unique to Mark: 12
Unique to Luke: 45

For Mark these are the following,
Jesus goes to Capernaum: Mark 2:1a
Jesus teaches the multitude by the sea side: Mark 2:13
Jesus boards a ship because of the multitude: Mark 3:7-12
Parable of the Seed Growing Up: Mark 4:26-29
Jesus heals a man who is deaf and mute: Mark 7:32-37
Jesus heals blind man (see men as trees walking): Mark 8:22-26
Jesus rebukes the dumb and deaf spirit [Mark's extension]: Mark 9:14-29
“Every one shall be salted with fire”: Mark 9:49-50
Jesus lodges in Bethany (second night): Mark 11:19
“And he was numbered with the transgressors”: Mark 15:28
The apostles preach the word: Mark 16:20

The twelfth pericope, aside from the eleven mentioned above, only exists as a result of my proposal, which is that Jesus driving out the moneychangers in Mark 11:15-18 was a separate occurrence on the following day, taking place after a similar event of driving out moneychangers (in Matthew 21:12-16 and Luke 19:45-48, both of which are placed parallel to Mark 11:11a). This separate instance of driving out the moneychangers on the following day in Mark 11:15-18 would have occurred after the fig tree was cursed - as is mentioned in Matthew 21:18-19a and Mark 11:12-14 - whereas the prior instance (mentioned in Matthew and Luke) was before the fig tree was cursed.

These two proposed separate instances are of course in addition to the far earlier instance of a similar event taking place in John's Gospel (John 2:14-17), which occurred long before the Triumphal Entry.

I arrived at my particular subdivision of Mark while trying to find a good way to harmonize the Gospels, particularly the sections that people will sometimes have questions about. But I realize that there's more than one satisfactory way for the reader to accomplish this.