Is Mark’s Gospel Offensive? An Inductive Analysis Of John Hawkins’s List For Testing The Validity Of Streeter’s Fourth Head Of Evidence (Part 1) -- By: William V. Greene

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 24:3 (Summer 2007)
Article: Is Mark’s Gospel Offensive? An Inductive Analysis Of John Hawkins’s List For Testing The Validity Of Streeter’s Fourth Head Of Evidence (Part 1)
Author: William V. Greene


Is Mark’s Gospel Offensive? An Inductive Analysis Of John Hawkins’s List For Testing The Validity Of Streeter’s Fourth Head Of Evidence (Part 1)

William V. Greene

Adjunct Professor, Th.D. Student in New Testament
The Master’s Seminary
Sun Valley, California 91352

Over the years, much discussion has ensued concerning the issue of the Synoptic Problem. Many have written on the subject, examining it from seemingly every possible perspective. Throughout the discussion, two main positions have emerged—literary dependence (i.e., the two-/four-source view and the two-Gospel view) and literary independence.1 On occasion, the discussion has even elevated to the level of debate.2 However, amidst the writing and vast publication of books and articles, no solution to the problem exists among Evangelical scholars. The debate and discussion continues with no end in sight.3

Some years ago, B. H. Streeter posited his five heads of evidence (part of his fundamental solution) that he believed supported Markan priority.4 Since that time, scholars have examined and evaluated these various heads so as to determine if his argumentation is valid. For example, Arthur J. Bellinzoni’s The Two-Source Hypothesis: A Critical Appraisal is a conglomeration of authors with some writing in support of Streeter’s position and others dissenting.5 Literary-independence proponents have not remained silent on the issue, arguing against Streeter on philosophical grounds.6 As a result of the disagreements, performing a further critique of Streeter’s propositions should be welcomed in advancing Synoptic considerations.

Among recent discussion, Streeter’s fourth head has received renewed interest.7 Grant Osborne and Matthew Williams posit, “[Streeter’s fourth head] holds great importance . . . and only here is firm evidence that demonstrates Markan priority.”8 Scot McKnight concurs, designating Streeter’s two subpoints “the theological phenomena” and “the linguistic phenomena” and asserting that “this kind of observation ... not only lends support to the Oxford hypothesis, but also makes it the most probable hypothesis.”9 Robert Stein adds, “These ‘harder

readings/ (his term fo...

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