Why can't there be an early Hebrew Matthew, then a Greek Mark, and then a re-written Matthew in Greek, followed by Luke?
I am aware of a number of points on the topic of the priority of the gospels:
- Early Church Father writings seem to think Matthew was written first, and in Hebrew (which may or may not be Aramaic, but we won't get into that)
- The Greek of Matthew does not seem to be directly translated.
- Matthew and Luke share material that Mark does not.
- The general assumption by source criticism seems to be that more information means it was added later, favoring a simpler source.
- There is a Two Source Theory that Q combined with Mark to produce Matthew and Luke.
There are a number of other factors about Matthean or Markan Priority that are discussed here: What are the arguments in favor of Matthean Priority? and What are the arguments in favor of Markan priority?
Most of the arguments against Matthean Priority seem to argue against the Greek Matthew or a Hebrew Matthew that was directly translated into the Greek. This assumes the Matthew being argued against is the one we have today, but that is not the theory I am looking for evidence against. Rather, can't an early Matthew have been quickly written in Hebrew for the Jews (who are widely agreed as being the target audience) and then a fuller version was written in Greek for wider distribution. The Synoptic problem is then no longer linear, but would align with Two Source Theory. Mark writes influenced by Proto-Matthew and Matthew writes a complete gospel in Greek influenced by himself and now by Mark as well.*
The Q source argument has been described as such:
This certainly suggests that Q evolved over time, with a more primitive version existing before the version known to the authors of Matthew and Luke, and probably before Mark's Gospel. (1)
Why can't a Q Source, likely, but not necessarily of Two Source Theory, be a primitive or Proto-Matthew written in Hebrew?
Has this specific theory been directly argued for or against before?
*I'm sorry to go on about it, but I am trying to specify exactly what I'm looking for arguments against, instead of arguments against a theory I'm not positing.