The Synoptic Problem -- By: J. F. Springer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 083:329 (Jan 1926)
Article: The Synoptic Problem
Author: J. F. Springer

The Synoptic Problem

Small Matthaean Omissions Of Markan Additions

J. F. Springer


We have now had before us a succession of lists of short Markan passages involving matters of possible difficulty. One class of notices has not been included. That is to say, I am reserving for future consideration those short Matthaean omissions, or Markan additions, which are conceivably disparagements of the apostles. I am inclined to believe not only that the succession of lists of passages involving possible difficulty, which has already been presented, constitutes the most complete single statement of the kind in the literature of the Synoptic Problem, but that this statement is more comprehensive than any that could be made by combining all the tabulations of those who have maintained the priority of Mark over Matthew. Included in my lists are nearly all those instances which have been tabulated by W. C. Allen in his A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (1907), Introduction, pp. xxxi-xxxiii, sec. 6 [see also his The Gospel according to Saint Mark (1915), pp. 23-24]; and by Sir J. C. Hawkins in his Horae Synopticae (2d ed., 1909), pp. 117-125. I have added many others.

It would appear that the reader is admirably situated to weigh the matter of priority in the presence of the kinds of evidence that have been presented in the foregoing lists. If such evidence really has any substantial value in determining whether Matthew or Mark is the derivative document, then the reader has had before him what may perhaps be regarded as fairly equivalent to the possible total. In fact, if evidence of this description affords a basis upon which may be erected an argument for the compilation of the First Gospel from the Second or an argument against the derivation of Mark from Matthew, then one or both of these arguments should be

disclosed upon a due consideration of the evidential aggregate now available to the reader. If the secondary character of Matthew, and the non-secondary character of Mark, do not receive substantial support from this collection of notices, there is little hope that the future will enlarge it to such an extent that it will then afford an adequate basis for these contentions.

Omissions or Additions

Are these short notices, found in Mark but not in Matthew, omissions or additions? That is, did a Matthaean compiler omit them from his compilation, or did a Markan secondary writer add them to the information obtained from his exemplar? If they are omissions, then the book of Matthew is a compilation based on the Gospel of Mark. But, if they are additions, then ...

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