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13

External Evidence Matthew is almost unanimously testified as the oldest gospel by the church fathers. Clement of Alexandria even supported both Matthew and Luke as before Mark. This is significant because Mark is said to have founded the Coptic branch of Christianity in Alexandria, Egypt. If any place were to argue for Markan priority, Egypt would be ...


12

Abstract The primary argument for Markian priority is the strong evidence that both Luke and Matthew redacted Mark's material. If Mark were a summary of Matthew, we would expect it to smooth out any rough edges. However the reverse is true. In the triple tradition, it's invariably Mark that has the rough edges that are smoothed out by Luke and Matthew. ...


7

In my understanding, the key arguments put forward for the order Mark > Luke > Matthew (i.e., for "Matthean posteriority") are: the literary observation that Matthew appears to collect, collate, and develop traditions found in Luke (e.g., what appears in Matt 5-7 in the "Sermon on the Mount" is found at various points, and in a more "primitive" form at ...


6

Markan priority is an answer to the question what is the precise literary relationship between Matthew, Mark and Luke, also known as the Synoptic problem. A close comparison of the first three gospels suggests that one or more of these writers had one or more of the other gospels before them as they wrote. This is more than a common oral tradition. ...


6

Let's consider for a moment what the Farrer (Mt used Mk, Lk used Mk and Mt) and Wilke (Lk used Mk, Mt used Mk and Lk) theories suggest that the third evangelist in each case did. (For what it's worth, I would regard Kloppenborg's layered Q as a nuanced form of Wilke: he puts the sayings material in the Lucan order, then adds in some para-Marcan material.) ...


5

I'm not aware of anyone who has argued that none of the synoptic gospels relied on each other. This is primarily because we know Luke used sources (Luke 1:1-3). You may be able to find someone arguing that Matthew and Mark wrote independently from each other, but I doubt it.


5

Abstract Q is an entirely theoretical document that nevertheless seems likely to have existed if Mark was the the first written Gospel. It's long been known that Matthew, Mark, and Luke share significant material and we know from internal evidence that Luke incorporated a variety of sources: Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of ...


4

Off the top of my head, the biggest three that I can remember are: Length: Mark is the shortest of all of the Synoptic Gospels. As the theory goes, future authors would be more likely to add information that was omitted by Mark Overlap: Mark overlaps with both Matthew and Luke more significantly than Matthew and Luke overlap with each other. Detail: The ...


3

The Synoptics are very similar to each other, and it's almost universally agreed that this similarity is such that there had to be a literary relationship between them. That is, in many places the authors had access to one of the other Gospels, or that the authors of two gospels had a common written source. There are two basic patterns which any solution ...


3

Lots of scholars look for alternatives to the traditional Mark-Q priority, but in my view without success. Dennis R. MacDonald wrote a well-researched thesis in Two Shipwrecked Gospels that Luke knew not only Mark, but also Matthew. That would have caused an even bigger stir among critical scholars than his book, The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark, but ...


3

You have asked about the order being Mark > Luke > Matthew. My answer below addresses the order of Luke being written before even Mark. This arrangement is called Lukan Priority. It is very much a minority opinion. As you know, the prevailing theory in New Testament studies is Markan Priority. It has the most support among scholars. A minority position ...


3

There is no certain evidence that Q is earlier than Mark, although parts of it could be. Some scholars of the 'Q' hypothesis believe they have identified three distinct layers in Q, written over a period of time. The Didache, a community rule-manual of discipline on church order, is widely regarded as having existed, at least in its earliest form, earlier ...


3

I am less fluent in this one (since I lean toward Markan priority) but this one does have a couple of strengths: It has a substantial amount of tradition behind it. Many early Church fathers subscribed to Matthean priority It does not rely on a theoretical, as-of-yet-undiscovered Q document.


2

Matthew seems to have been written first. The two classic listings of what ended up being the New Testament both have Matthew first. The first is the same as ours, while the second begins Matthew, John, Mark, and Luke. It makes sense Matthew is listed first for a reason, which may make more sense as you study the evidences. The first 5 verses of Luke say ...


2

We should not try to answer this question just by reading English texts, but at least supplement this either by reading the Greek texts or referring to material written by those who can. The issue here is that Matthew, Mark and Luke contain passages that are consistently in the same order (suggesting copying) and frequently use exactly the same words in the ...


1

Awesome answers so far! One small thing I'd like to add is that Mark and Matthew often agree against Luke on the order of their narratives. Many times Mark and Luke agree against Matthew. But Matthew and Luke almost never agree against Mark. You can check it pretty easily yourself by looking at a harmony of the gospels. For instance, Matthew and Mark ...



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