Markus Vinzent's Blog

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Call for papers - Prize in Patristic Exegesis with focus on Africa

The Institute for Classical Christian Studies and the Center for Early African Christianity announced last week at the International Patristic Studies Conference held at Oxford University its 1st annual award for the best paper(s) in Patristic Exegesis. (Please see Announcement below.) We are very excited about this new initiative and believe it will encourage young scholars to venture more deeply into patristic studies in a way that is illuminating for church and society today.






 Topic: Any subject that advances the thesis of the Ancient Christian Commentary, that patristic commentators on scripture bear incomparable wisdom for contemporary Christian teaching. The subject areas investigated may be in theology, liturgy, linguistics, philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, or in ecumenical, historical and socio-cultural studies.   A translation of a previously untranslated patristic text may be submitted. Untranslated Arabic, Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian texts are to be given special consideration.

Manuscripts:  The paper must be a previously unpublished manuscript submitted in English. The manuscript may be submitted in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese or Korean (all languages in which the ACCS is being translated), but if selected the writer would be responsible for translating it into English. Manuscripts selected may be submitted simultaneously to peer-reviewed journals, or may be published digitally in English for the international community of readers, teachers, and patristic scholarship.

 Length: approx. 5,000-10,000 words.

 Assessment: Manuscripts will be assessed by quality of argumentation, clarity of exposition, significance of the position argued, degree to which the paper advances the topic under discussion, contribution to global Christianity, depth of understanding of the ancient Christian writers.

African Focus: Since the Institute for Classical Study was founded by the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture Project, and since the ACCS project, having been completed, is now focused on early African Christianity, we especially welcome contributions from African scholars or by other scholars on topics of patristic studies regarded texts written on the continent of Africa.

Deadline: August 1, 2012. Submit manuscript to the Institute for Classical Christian Studies, c/o Dr. Michael Glerup at the address below. The award will be announced by November 2012.

For more info please email: or visit

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

How can God be beyond himself?

A summary of a paper given in the RIST seminar, King's College London

In his Philosophical Consolation, Boethius defined ‘eternity’ as ‘totally simultaneous and perfect possession of interminable life.’[1] Where Meister Eckhart (ca. 1260-1329) refers to this quote,[2] he highlights Boethius’ dynamic concept of life (vita) with a God who simply is present: ‘God is “beyond” eternity because of his presentiality.’[3] Now, how can be beyond eternity,[4] beyond being endlessly divine? Eckhart’s reasoning starts with an explanation of Ex. 15:18: ‘The Lord will reign for ever and beyond.’
This hyperbolic ‘and beyond’, which goes further even than ‘for ever’, caught Eckhart’s attention. To Eckhart, the conventional reading of eternity reduced to a radical presentiality was ‘not subtle enough’. Whereas for Thomas Aquinas neither have there been, nor will there be infinite things in reality,[5] since, as he understands his Catholic faith, generation has a beginning and will have a definite end and therefore cannot be infinite,[6] to Eckhart, Ex. 15:18 ‘plainly and briefly intends to say that God’s kingdom will always and infinitely stand beyond any measure of counting or conceiving’.[7] In what is almost no more than a further allusion, Eckhart adds what turns out to be the core of his explanation: ‘What goes for God’s knowledge is equally true about his kingdom and rule. “We will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and beyond that” (Mi. 4:5).’[8] Whereas before Eckhart was speaking of divine knowledge only in which God understands infinite potentiality and actuality, the reference to Mi. 4:5 transfers divine knowledge to ‘us’, to God’s creatures. God’s being beyond himself means that he is enabling ‘us’ to walk in God’s name forever ‘and beyond’. What this walking of creatures in God’s name entails is further expounded in the newly published first volume of Markus Vinzent, The Art of Detachment, Meister Eckhart: Texts and Studies (Leuven, 2011):

[1] Boethius, Phil. Consol. V pr. VI (CSEL LXVII 122,12): ‘Aeternitas igitur est interminabilis vitae tota simul et perfecta possessio’, adapted from Plotinus, Enn. III 7,3,37-8.
[2] Eckhart, Expositio libri Exodi n. 80 (LW II 84,3-9).
[3] Eckhart, Expositio libri Exodi n. 80 (LW II 84,3): ‘Deus est ultra aeterna praesentialitate’ (trans. of this and further passages from this Expositio by B. McGinn, in Meister Eckhart: Teacher and Preacher, 1986, 71, trans. altered).
[4] An idea, already present in Proclos, see Proclos, Elem. 87; C.J. de Vogel, Some reflections on the Liber de causis (1966), 78.
[5] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, vol. II/1, trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Thomas F. Torrance (Edinburgh, 1957), 567.
[6] Thomas Aquinas, S. c. gent. I c. 69.
[7] Eckhart, Expositio libri Exodi n. 86 (LW II 89,4-6): ‘Ultimo breviter et plane, cum dicitur: dominus regnavit in aeternum et ultra, vult dicere quod ultra quam possit numerari aut cogitari semper in infinitum stabit regnum eius’ (trans. by B. McGinn in Meister Eckhart: Teacher and Preacher, 1986, 73).
[8] Eckhart, Expositio libri Exodi n. 86 (LW II 89,4-6): ‘Et sicut est de scientia dei, sic pari ratione est de regno ipsius et regimine, Mich. 4: ambulabimus in nomine domini dei nostri in aeternum et ultra’ (trans. by B. McGinn in Meister Eckhart: Teacher and Preacher, 1986, 73).

Saturday, 19 November 2011

First International Congress on Patristic Studies: “The Identity of Jesus: Unity and Diversity in the Patristic Period”


In the name of the Universidad Católica de Cuyo, we have the pleasure to announce the First International Congress on Patristic Studies. The main topic of discussion will be: “The Identity of Jesus: Unity and Diversity in the Patristic Period”.
This event will be held in San Juan on days 8, 9 and 10 August 2012 and the four official languages of the congress are spanish, english, italian and french.
Thematic subjects
Speakers can submit works related to the following thematic areas:
 -Jesus of Nazareth and his identity: new discussions on “Historical Jesus” and “Christ of faith”
 -Devotion to Jesus in Christianity of the first centuries
 -Different Christian trends and schools: Jewish-Christians, Prothocatholics, Gnostics.
 -Different trends  and different evangelic genres: the sayings of Gospel Q, canonical gospels, apocryphal gospels, gnostic gospels.
-The identity of Jesus in the historical record of the time..
 -The identity of Jesus and the social world of his time.
 -The identity of Jesus in the writings of the patristic writers.
 -Current and authors against the divinity of Jesus, Celsus, Porphyry, etc
 -The high Christology and the Alexandrian tradition: Bible Greek, Judaism and hellenized Christianity.
 -Christology and liturgy in the patristic age.
 - Representations about the person of Jesus in literature and art of Christian antiquity.
 - Unity and diversity of the experience of the resurrection of Jesus.
 -The Identity of Jesus and the philosophical and theological discussions in the councils of the early centuries

For more information, please, consult our website:

I look forward to your attendance

Yours sincerely
Pbro. Lic. Ángel Hernández - Dra. Patricia Andrea Ciner
Universidad Católica de Cuyo
Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades
Escuela de Cultura Religiosa
Instituto de Estudios Patrísticos
Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios Integrales
Av. José Ignacio de la Roza 1516
Rivadavia - San Juan - Argentina C.P. (5400)
Tel.: (+54) (264) 4292300 Fax: (+54) (264) 4292310
General Objectives
Clarify/ elucidate, through the analyses of different sources, the unity and diversity of theological, philosophical, historical, social, liturgical, artistic positions, etc. about the identity of Jesus in the Patristic times.
Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades, Escuela de Cultura Religiosa, Instuto de Estudios Patrísticos (IEP) and Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios Integrales (CIDEI) fro Universidad Católica de Cuyo.
Academic Committee:
Dr. Francisco García Bazán
Dr. Oscar Velásquez
Dr. Héctor Padrón
Dr. María Isabel Larrauri
Dr. Rubén Peretó Rivas
Dr. Juan Carlos Alby
Dr. José Antonio Antón Pacheco
Executive Commitee:
Lic. Jorge Bernat (Decano de la Facultad de Filosofía),
Pbro. Dr. José Juan García (Director de la Escuela de
Cultura Religiosa), Pbro. Lic. Ángel Bartolomé
Hernández (Director IEP);Pbro. Lic. Pedro Fernández
(Director CIDEI) Pbro. Marcelo Alcayaga Dra. Patricia
Ciner ; Mgter. Susana Villalonga, Pbro. Lic. Leonardo
Pons, Lic. José Antonio Carrascosa , Pbro. Ariel Ayala,
Srita. María de los Ángeles González.

L'apolegetica in John Henry Newman e nei Padri di IV e V secolo

Congress on apologetics in John Henry Cardinal Newman and the Fathers of the 4th and the 5th century, organized by the Pontificia Facoltà Teologica di Sicilia "San Giovanni Evangelista" and the Istituto Siciliano di Studi Patristici e Tardoantichi "J. H. Newman", che si svolgerà a Palermo dal 25 al 26 novembre c.a.

Friday, 18 November 2011

How to date Mark? And what Marcion has to contribute

What are the ‘inconclusive … few hints’ that have been advanced 'that Mark's Gospel is earlier than Matthew's and Luke's'? According to Mark Goodacre and many others before (and after) him:

The most decisive pointer is the question of whether or not the Gospels refer, however obliquely, to the key events of 70 CE, when Jerusalem was overrun by the Roman army after the Jewish War beginning in 66 CE. Matthew and Luke both seem to provide hints that they know of the events of 70.[1]
The first hint has been found in Matth. 23:37-9 par. Luke 13:34-5, especially of interest to us, as these Lukan verses are explicitly mentioned as being absent from Marcion’s Gospel:[2]

Luke 13:34-5
Matth. 23:37-9
13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it! 13:35 Look, your house is forsaken!                         And I tell you, you will
not see me                until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Ps. 118:26)
23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it! 23:38 Look, your house is left to you desolate! 23:39 For I tell you, you will not see me from now until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Ps. 118:26)

This is a passage from the Double Tradition that is missing in Mark. Almost literally identical in Luke and Matthew, Jesus prophetically announces ‘dramatic events to take place in Jerusalem’, ‘words that would have much more poignancy in a post-70 situation. “Your house”, Jerusalem’s house, clearly refers to the Temple, which in the post-70 period indeed lay “forsaken” and in ruins.’[3] Similarly, Matth. 22:4-8 has been taken as a reference to the destruction of the Temple:

Matth. 22:4-8
Luke 13:17-24
22:4 Again he sent other slaves, saying,
‘Tell those who have been invited,
“Look! The feast I have prepared for you is ready. My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”’
22:5 But they were indifferent and went away, one to his farm,

another to his business.

22:6 The rest seized his slaves, insolently mistreated them, and killed them. 22:7 The king was furious! He sent his soldiers, and they put those murderers to death and set their city on fire.

Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but the ones who had been invited were not worthy.
14:17 At the time for the banquet he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited,
‘Come, because everything is now ready.’ 14:18

But one after another they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me.’ 14:19 Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going out to examine them. Please excuse me.’ 14:20 Another said, ‘I just got married, and I cannot come.’

14:21 So the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the master of the household was furious and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 14:22 Then the slave said, ‘Sir, what you instructed has been done, and there is still room.’ 14:23 So the master said to his slave, ‘Go out to the highways and country roads and urge people to come in, so that my house will be filled. 14:24 For I tell you, not one of those individuals who were invited will taste my banquet!’”

Goodacre comments: ‘The thing that is so striking here is the extent to which this element [of the furious king who sends his soldiers and burns the city] intrudes into a story that can be told quite adequately without it (as in Luke and Thomas). It may be that Matthew is thinking here of the fall of Jerusalem.’[4] In other places Matthew and Luke are more detailed than Mark, from which the conclusion is drawn that they have redacted Mark in the light of the tragic events in Jerusalem, although, it is again admitted, that the evidence ‘is not decisive’ as with Matth. 24:15.21-2 // Mark 13:14.19-20 // Luke 21:20-4,[5] another important passage, as we are told again that Marcion’s Gospel does not display the verses Luke 21:21-2:[6]

Luke 21:20-4
Mark 13:14-20
Matth. 24:15-22
21:20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.

21:21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Those who are inside the city must depart. Those who are out in the country must not enter it,

21:22 because these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.
21:23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days!

For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people.

They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away as captives among all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
13:14 “But when you see

the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be

(let the reader understand),
then those                          in Judea must flee to the mountains. 13:15 The one on the roof must not come down or go inside to take anything out of his house. 13:16 The one in the field     must not turn back to get his cloak.

Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! 13:18 Pray that it may not be in winter.

For in those days there will be suffering unlike anything
that has happened from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, or ever will happen.

And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved. But because of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut them short.
13:21 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe him. 13:22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, the elect. 13:23 Be careful! I have told you everything ahead of time.
24:15 “So when you see

the abomination of desolation – spoken about by Daniel the prophet – standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 24:16 then those                    in Judea must flee to the mountains. 24:17 The one on the roof must not come down                     to take anything out of his house, 24:18 and the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.

24:19 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! 24:20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.
24:21 For then there will be  great suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen.

And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

W. Marxsen sees the ‘sings’ of Mark 13:5-14 ‘that are thought of as taking place in the present (wars, rumours of wars, etc.)’[7] pointing ‘to the period of the Jewish War (A.D. 66-70) before the destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70)’[8] and Goodacre claims that ‘it is clear that Luke in particular is more specific than Mark’, but this is only partly true. Yes, Luke (like Marcion) speaks openly about Jesus’ announcement of a ‘Jerusalem surrounded by armies’ and ‘trampled down by the Gentiles’, but if one believes that Mark is not specific, this would also account for Matthew who is closely parallel to Mark, not Luke here.[9] Luke (and Marcion) give historical details, and yet, if we read Mark like Matthew attentively, it does not sound as if Jesus spoke ‘obliquely’[10] about the ‘desolation’, because the reference to Dan. 9:27, made explicit in Matthew, was a clear pointer for everyone who knew the Scriptures, a prophetic saying that was not only as drastic and detailed as Luke, but that also provided a theological explanation of the historical events:
9:25 So know and understand:
From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild
Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives,
there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.
It will again be built, with plaza and moat,
but in distressful times.
9:26 Now after the sixty-two weeks,
an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing.
As for the city and the sanctuary,
the people of the coming prince will destroy them.
But his end will come speedily like a flood.
Until the end of the war that has been decreed
there will be destruction.
9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one week.
But in the middle of that week
he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt.
On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys,
until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”
Whereas in Luke (and Marcion), Jesus is the one who prophecies in his own words, Mark and Matthew make him use Daniel’s prophecy to express the similar message: Jerusalem will be restored and rebuild, but it will be the task of the Messiah. Prior to this reconstruction (the hope of which was a lively one around the times of the Bar Kochba revolt in 132-6 AD), there will be distressful times. Even the Messiah ‘will be cut off and have nothing’. Against Luke’s (and Marcion’s) blaming of the Gentiles, by using Daniel Mark and Matthew make the destruction the work of ‘the people of the coming prince’ and the Messiah, who by destroying the Temple and the city, by halting ‘sacrifices and offerings’ is ‘the one who destroys’. Hence, it seems that all three, Matthew, Mark and Luke (and also Marcion) knew of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, supported in Mark by Mark 15:29 and 15:38 (‘Those who passed by defamed him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who can destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days” … 15:38 And the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom’),[11] and also by the parable of the tenants (Mark 12:1-12), where in v. 9 ‘the catastrophe of the year 20 is indicated’.[12]
Let us compare Marcion’s gospel with the ‘missing verses’ of Luke 21:21-2 and Luke to see what drastic difference these ‘missing’ or ‘added’ verses make. Like Mark and Matthew also Luke sees the destruction of Jerusalem as a prophetic fulfilment of ‘all that is written’, although he does not detail which scriptural reference he has got in mind, and yet he hinted at Daniel having used the term ‘desolation’ in Luke 21:20. Of course, as we have seen from Mark and Matthew, Luke’s account, as it stands, is inconsistent. While Daniel mentions the Messiah and his people as causes for the destruction of Jerusalem, in Luke this prophecy is fulfilled by Gentiles. Only Marcion’s version without the verses Luke 21:21-2 is consistent, as here, the Daniel-hint of the desolation receives an interpretation which is not a fulfilment of this prophecy, but its correction: Against Daniel, the city and the temple will not and has not been destroyed by the Messiah and his people, but by the Gentiles. There were not ‘days of vengeance’ of the Lord, but days where ‘the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’. Those who bring the sword and lead away captives will see that such times become fulfilled – overcome, as we will see by an all-loving God. This first comparison may give us a taste of what will be encountered later in the commentary.
Hence, it does not ‘seem that of all the evangelists, Mark is the least explicit about the events of 70’, and that this text provides ‘a potential indicator of Markan Priority’, even not a non ‘decisive’ one,[13] on the contrary, it seems that Marcion’s message has been altered by all three Synoptics in their respective ways.[14]

[1] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 68.
[2] See Epiph., Pan. XLII 11.6(41), while Tert., Adv. Marc. IV 31,1 is silent about the passage which harmonizes with Epiphanius’ statement.
[3] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 68.
[4] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 69.
[5] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 69-70.
[6] Epiph., Pan. XLII 11.6(59), again harmonizing with the silence in Tert., Adv. Marc. IV 39,9.
[7] W. Marxsen, Introduction (1968), 143.
[8] W. Marxsen, Introduction (1968), 143; G. Stanton, The Gospels and Jesus (22002), 54.
[9] See already Ph. Vielhauer, Geschichte (2nd corr. 1978), 34731.
[10] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 70.
[11] See A. Jülicher, Einleitung (1894), 304.
[12] Ph. Vielhauer, Geschichte (2nd corr. 1978), 347.
[13] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 70.
[14] More on this passage in the commentary.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Roman and early Christian Christmas Gifts

A short while ago, when I visited Roman excavations in the south of Britain, I adored the replica in the museum shop and wondered why these products are not available in normal shops, and even difficult to track down in online shops - perhaps, I thought, they are simply commercially not viable. Yet, I thought, they would make perfect Christmas gifts. Hence, I asked a friend and with my help he created a platform for it: The-Romans she called it.
Hope you enjoy it like me.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Soft and hard evidence for the priority of Mark?

In his introductory book The Synoptic Problem: A Way through the Maze (2001), Mark Goodacre explains in some detail soft and hard evidence for priority of Mark.
Now what are arguments in favour of a priority of Mark?
a)      ‘Some of the material not in Mark makes better sense on the assumption that it has been added by Matthew and/or Luke than on the assumption that it has been omitted by Mark’.[1] And M. Goodacre things of the following material:
a.       ‘If Mark wrote third … why it is that he omitted so much material from his predecessors. … Of course the natural answer to this question would be that the Double Tradition pericopae [material that is in Matthew and Luke alone] must have been material that was in some way uncongenial to Mark.’[2] But the contrary seems true, ‘the Double Tradition does not obviously have a clearly un-Markan profile’.[3] Goodacre adds that there are, indeed, passages like Mark 11:20-5 which ‘might have been an ideal location for Mark to have inserted’ texts from Matthew or Luke, like here the Lord’s Prayer, hence the ‘data does not make good sense on the assumption of Markan Posteriority’.[4]
b.      So while there are no obvious un-Markan elements in the additional material of the Double Tradition, Goodacre adds, Mark shows an ‘apparent addition of elements not congenial to Matthew and Luke’: Mark 7:33-6 (Healing of a Deaf Mute); 8:22-6 (Blind Man of Bethsaida); 14:51-2 (Man Running Away Naked). He points to the ‘graphic details of Jesus’ healing techniques’ in the first (‘He spat and touched his tongue’) and the third story (the use of saliva) and to the ‘somewhat bizarre story’ of the Blind Man of Bethsaida and concludes that ‘the material unique to Mark makes better sense as material omitted by Matthew and Luke than it does as material added by Mark’. But he also admits that one could see it the other way around that ‘Mark added this material to Matthew and Luke’.[5]
c.       A third argument pertains to style and oral tradition. If Mark came third, why is his Gospel ‘the most “oral” in nature’, but being third mostly relies not on oral tradition, but on the text of the other two? Goodacre calles it an ‘anomaly in early Christianity, with relatively little contact with oral tradition in comparison with Matthew, Luke, Thomas and others’,[6] and, yet, we can only speculate to what extent the mentioned texts depend on oral traditions.
b)      On the assumption of Mark’s posteriority ‘the supposed omissions and additions’ do not ‘make for a coherent picture’, and, yet Goodacre believes that ‘the addition of banal clarificatory additions is not consonant with the generally enigmatic, ironic tone of Mark’s Gospel’, from which he draws ‘that Mark was the first Gospel to be written, a work of brutish genius, which was subsequently explicated bo both Matthew and Luke’.[7]
c)      These soft readings, Goodacre wants to support ‘in other ways’, although even in this category, it is to do ‘whether Mark looks more like the document from which Matthew and Luke worked, or more like a document based on Matthew and Luke.’[8] Indications are:
a.       Mark often has the more difficult reading’, but we are not taken to a harder reading than that Mark’s Priority seems the ‘more likely scenario’, because what is unclear in Mark has been clarified by the other two (but if so, why would the earlier source be less precise than authors who write later? How with the growing distance to the events did they increase knowledge and precision?);[9]
b.      Or a christological argument taken from Mark 6:5 par. Matth. 13:58: ‘Whereas in Mark the clear impression is that Jesus is unable to do mighty works there, in Matthew we hear rather that Jesus simply “did not” do any mighty works. It is a small but striking point that is usually held to point towards Markan Priority. It is straightforward to imagine Matthew making the change here, but stranger to think of Mark making the change in the opposite direction.[10] All depends here, of course, whether one see a decrease or increase in power attribution to Jesus over time. Those who think of low-christology as the outset will give Mark historical priority, but those who think of high-christology as the early expressions that were modified towards a low-christology will opt for the contrary. And although, Goodacre had stressed these examples as ‘hard readings’, he admits that this category ‘is an extension of the previous’ one, the soft reading.[11]
c.       Editorial fatigue: There are cases in parallel pericopes where sometimes Matthew, sometimes Luke show inconsistencies whereas Mark preserves a consistent story, or, as explained by Goodacre, ‘when one writer is copying the work of another, changes are sometimes made at the beginning of an account that are not sustained throughout.[12] A first example is Matth. 8:1-4 // Mark 1:40-5 // Luke 5:12-6, where Mark and Luke have a consistent story, but Matthew first introduces ‘many crowds’, hence, sets the story into the public, but then adopts the Mark-Luke-version that Jesus tells the one who has been healed from leprosy that he should not tell anyone. And there are more examples where Matthew displays such ‘lapses’.[13] And it appears that we find similar inconsistencies in Luke when ‘Luke apparently omits features of Mark’s Parable that he goes on to mention in the Interpretation’:[14] in Luke 8:6 // Mark 4:5; Luke 5:19 // Mark 2:4; Luke 5:22 // Mark 2:8. It is interesting to note that all the examples in Luke that Goodacre mentions are elements that are not attested for the text of Marcion’s Gospel, and yet, one also has to ask the question whether the hermeneutical principle of consistency is correct – why would it be more likely for a redactor to fall asleep in his work rather than the principle author writing a story that features inconsistencies which an attentive redactor picks up and corrects. One typical feature of redaction and even copying is precisely a tendency to correct perceived mistakes, difficult readings, inconsistencies, one of the reasons why in textual criticism and redactional criticism the lectio difficilior is normally the preferred text. Even if one would opt for the contrary – this only shows that ‘fatigue’ is certainly not conclusive and far from being ‘strong evidence’, or ‘a clear decisive indicator of Markan Priority’ as claimed by Goodacre.[15]

[1] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 59.
[2] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 58.
[3] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 58.
[4] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 59.
[5] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 59-61.
[6] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 62.
[7] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 65.
[8] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 65-6.
[9] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 66.
[10] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 67.
[11] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 67.
[12] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 71.
[13] See M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 73-4, 73.
[14] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 74.
[15] M. Goodacre, The Synoptic Problem (2001), 75.