John Anngeister begins by stating the Markan Priority. Okay, so I’ve come around. I think that Mark is first, followed quickly by his editor, Matthew and then by the intellectual, know-it-all, Luke. John? Well, that’s a different story.
Personally, I think Mark was written right around 71 ad, with a Palestinian provenance. But, alas, he is not speaking about such things. Instead, he is speaking about the impact of a written record of the life of Jesus – the impact it had on an oral tradition community:
However, as I suggested in an earlier post, the date of Mark’s ‘publication’ (i.e. the day a first copy was sent to Ephesus or Jerusalem) might be called one of those “good news / bad news” days for God and the church. Think of it – this abbreviated record, suddenly authoritative at Rome, is dumped into the laps of other tradition-communities by a writer who has failed to consult with them about their own traditions before going public with an epoch-making narrative about an epoch-making career. In these apostolic communities I think Mark must have had the effect of a literary ‘bombshell’.
I would have to agree. I would also argue that with the writing down of Mark’s preaching ‘corrupted’ the teachings of the disciples by forcing it upon on a mold which only the first or second immediate audience would understand, and since as we all know, humans are an intellectually lazy species, the transmission of the oral tradition which provided insight into the written tradition didn’t occur, so we lost the provenance and the sitz im leben of Mark’s message.
But, I could be just a little cranky this morning too.
Also, Mark 5.1-20 is my Master’s Thesis topic. Expect more posts about Mark.