Who is John Mark?

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:14 pm

John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:11 pm
But I wouldn't count those who used the Diatessaron, since that, of course, was a combination of the four NT gospels.
Sure, but it shows an urge to keep things singular. The discrepancies between the various gospels began to loom larger and larger as time wore on. Harmonizing them became an industry.
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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by John2 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:15 pm

But what exactly was Marcion's gospel? That has never been clear to me. I know it was thought to have been a corrupted Luke in patristic sources, but there are arguments against that. And I recall seeing examples of other gospels besides Luke in reconstructions of Marcion's gospel. So this one seems complicated to me.
Last edited by John2 on Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by John2 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:20 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:14 pm
John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:11 pm
But I wouldn't count those who used the Diatessaron, since that, of course, was a combination of the four NT gospels.
Sure, but it shows an urge to keep things singular. The discrepancies between the various gospels began to loom larger and larger as time wore on. Harmonizing them became an industry.

But wasn't that the case from the get go (more or less), given that the NT Matthew and Luke absorbed Mark (and perhaps also Matthew in Luke's case)? Aren't they effectively early "Diatessarons," or whatever would mean "from the two (or three)"?
Last edited by John2 on Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by Ethan » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:25 pm

Too much emphasis on fictional people when we need more research on the Etruscans, the native people of Italy.
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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:28 pm

John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:15 pm
But what exactly was Marcion's gospel? That has never been clear to me. I know it was thought to have been a corrupted Luke in patristic sources, but there are arguments against that. And I recall there being examples of other gospels besides Luke in reconstructions of Marcion's gospel. So this one seems complicated to me.
It is complicated. My best response so far is that it was a kind of proto-Luke. Those instances of accusing Marcion of cutting Matthean stuff out of his gospel bear a range of explanations, including that they originally formed part of Justin Martyr's accusation that Marcion had cut out stuff from the "memoirs" which Justin knew. Other instances may simply be poor memory on Tertullian's part. Others may be alternate textual streams. But yes: complicated!!
John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:20 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:14 pm
John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:11 pm
But I wouldn't count those who used the Diatessaron, since that, of course, was a combination of the four NT gospels.
Sure, but it shows an urge to keep things singular. The discrepancies between the various gospels began to loom larger and larger as time wore on. Harmonizing them became an industry.
But wasn't that the case from the get go (more or less), given the NT Matthew and Luke absorbed Mark (and perhaps also Matthew in Luke's case)? Aren't they effectively early "Diatessarons" (or whatever would mean "from the two (or three)."
Well, sort of, and I have made a similar point before, whereby the Diatessaron is simply the natural next step in the progression of harmonizing all that went before. But what I am saying is that some Eastern churches appear to have used the Diatessaron pretty much alone, virtually discarding the four individual gospels. Matthew absorbing Mark and then a church using both is different than Matthew absorbing Mark and then a church discarding Mark.
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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by John2 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:32 pm

Well, sort of, and I have made a similar point before, whereby the Diatessaron is simply the natural next step in the progression of harmonizing all that went before. But what I am saying is that some Eastern churches appear to have used the Diatessaron pretty much alone, virtually discarding the four individual gospels. Matthew absorbing Mark and then a church using both is different than Matthew absorbing Mark and then a church discarding Mark.

But were they aware that the Diatessaron contained (most of?) Mark? If so, is that the same as discarding Mark (in their minds)?
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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by John2 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:34 pm

It is complicated. My best response so far is that it was a kind of proto-Luke.

Is this proto-Luke sans all traces of Mark in your estimation?
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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by davidmartin » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:37 pm

And let's factor in that the NT version of Matthew (in every manuscript and translation we have) is combined with Mark, as is Luke (which I think also used Matthew, as per the Farrer Hypothesis). Does this early harmonization not suggest that more or less all early Christians were okay with those three gospels (with a few tweaks) from the get go?
It could if there were no accounts of factions and different church branches in play in the exact time period the gospels appeared
That Paul is battling 'Judaisers' lets call them Nazarenes suggests to me they had their own gospel with theological differences and they did!
Then that as far as we know Paul never provided a gospel to his churches, may indicate those he founded initially resisted gospels completely
Mark may even be the gospel made for those churches
The NT is full of reports of these factions some obvious some not so obvious

That Matthew uses Mark could be explained by having Matthew itself be a combination of Mark and the Nazarene gospel, which I think was brought about by a merger of Pauline and Nazarene factions around that time. This resulted in some compromises theologically which led some Nazarenes to reject this and became the Ebionites. It also resulted in the doctrine of hell being adopted which was in the Nazarene gospel but not taught by Paul or in Mark (compare Paul's lack of any hell and Mark's single hell reference, likely copied from Matthew, to Matthew's large quantity of references). So this merger advanced Matthew as the primary gospel from then on
This then explains these differences in theology between Mark and Matthew and the latters more pro-Judaic stance from it's Nazarene origins

Luke is harder to explain in terms of church branches we know about and i can't offer an explanation for it's appearance

John comes from another known branch the Johannine community. This one also lacks hell and independent from the others unless some far more ancient original sources existed that even Mark used. Such a community able to produce a gospel like John can easily be imagined to not favour the others, but later on in the 2nd century the strength of the overall orthadox Christian church led to general acceptance and promotion of all four

All this i'm suggesting can only be crude approximation without knowing the exact interplay of events and goings on but i think it's a useful construct to explain what we see, what with all the splits and factions known about that involved real differences

It was exploring 'hell' that got me in to this in the first place and it's the gift that keeps on giving as far as i'm concerned as i'm pretty sure this was not an original church belief. I think there's evidence for a merger of Paul and Peter factions too, while I see the Johannine community as the one more closely connected to the original church itself than the other two although they are connected too, it was John that really knew Jesus

I do think this could help solve other problems as well basically to see the early church as divided into camps at an early date and go from there

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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:40 pm

John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:34 pm
It is complicated. My best response so far is that it was a kind of proto-Luke.
Is this proto-Luke sans all traces of Mark in your estimation?
No. There are Marcan overlaps, at the very least. ETA: I do not have a firm answer to the question of whether it was this proto-Luke or whether it was Mark that came first. Also, I do not cleanly equate this proto-Luke with Marcion's gospel; I imagine Marcion made changes, too.
John2 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:32 pm
Well, sort of, and I have made a similar point before, whereby the Diatessaron is simply the natural next step in the progression of harmonizing all that went before. But what I am saying is that some Eastern churches appear to have used the Diatessaron pretty much alone, virtually discarding the four individual gospels. Matthew absorbing Mark and then a church using both is different than Matthew absorbing Mark and then a church discarding Mark.
But were they aware that the Diatessaron contained (most of?) Mark? If so, is that the same as discarding Mark (in their minds)?
Not sure, honestly.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who is John Mark?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:43 pm

davidmartin wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:37 pm
That Matthew uses Mark could be explained by having Matthew itself be a combination of Mark and the Nazarene gospel, which I think was brought about by a merger of Pauline and Nazarene factions around that time. This resulted in some compromises theologically which led some Nazarenes to reject this and became the Ebionites.
How do you reconstruct this primitive Nazarene gospel which predated Matthew? What are its indications?
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