The Sanders List
We have previously found reason to conclude that Mark was the earliest of the three Synoptics. This conclusion is widely accepted at present, but some have pointed to parallel passages in which the Matthean or Lukan member seems to be earlier than the Markan one. At the end of Tendencies (1969), E P Sanders listed 34 such instances, but without further comment or analysis of his own. Ed tells us that since that time, and despite its being reprinted in Bellinzoni (1985) as a major item in the Markan Priority debate, no one has ever confronted that list item by item, to discover how strong the implied argument against Markan Priority might actually be.
With Ed's permission and encouragement, we here undertake that task. Below are given (1) the Sanders number, (2) the passages in question, and (3) our conclusion as to whether Markan Priority is Upheld, or the passage is Indeterminate, or Markan Priority is clearly Reversed. Clicking on a passage will lead to the argument for that verdict. For each passage, the summary of the position challenging Markan priority is that of Sanders. Our own additions, where present, are in [brackets].
Markan Priority is:
- (1) Mk 1:11 ~ Lk 3:22 (Upheld)
- (2) Mk 1:29 ~ Mt 8:14, Lk 4:38 (Upheld)
- (3) Mk 1:33, no parallel in Mt or Lk (Upheld)
- (4) Mk 1:35 ~ Lk 4:42 (Upheld)
- (5) Mk 2:3 ~ Mt 9:2, Lk 5:18 (Upheld)
- (6) Mk 4:31-32 ~ Mt 13:31-32 (Upheld)
- (7) Mk 4:41 ~ Mt 8:27 (Upheld)
- (8) Mk 6:8-9 ~ Mt 10:9-10, Lk 9:3 (Upheld)
At the end of his list, Ed appended a further 12 sets of passages taken from Stanton. We will consider the Stanton passages separately.
25 Sept 2005 / Contact The Project / Exit to Alpha Page