To come down to detail, Weisse’s argument for the priority of Mark rests mainly on the following propositions
|November 20, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter ten||
To come down to detail, Weisse’s argument for the priority of Mark rests mainly on the following propositions:—
1. In the first and third Gospels, traces of a common plan are found only in those parts which they have in common with Mark, not in those which are common to them, but not to Mark also.
2. In those parts which the three Gospels have in common, the “agreement” of the other two is mediated through Mark.
3. In those sections which the First and Third Gospels have, but Mark has not, the agreement consists in the language and incidents, not in the order. Their common source, therefore, the “Logia” of Matthew, did not contain any type of tradition which gave an order of narration different from that of Mark.
4. The divergences of wording between the two other Synoptists is in general greater in the parts where both have drawn on the Logia document than where Mark is their source.
5. The first Evangelist reproduces this Logia-document more faithfully than Luke does; but his Gospel seems to have been of later origin.
This historical argument for the priority of Mark was confirmed in the year in which it appeared by Wilke’s work, “The Earliest Gospel,” which treated the problem more from the literary side, and, to take an illustration from astronomy, supplied the mathematical confirmation of the hypothesis.
In regard to the Gospel of John, Weisse fully shared the negative views of Strauss. What is the use, he asks, of keeping on talking about the plan of this Gospel, seeing that no one has yet succeeded in showing what that plan is? And for a very good reason: there is none. One would never guess from the Gospel of John that Jesus, until His departure from Galilee, had experienced almost unbroken success. It is no good trying to explain the want of plan by saying that John wrote with the purpose of supplementing and correcting his predecessors, and that his omissions and additions were determined by this purpose. Such a purpose is betrayed by no single word in the whole Gospel.
 Christian Gottlob Wilke, formerly pastor of Hermannsdorf in the Erzgebirge. Der Urevangelist, oder eine exegetisch-kritische Untersuchung des Verwandschafts-verhältnisses der drei ersten Evangelien. (The Earliest Evangelist, a Critical and Exegetical Inquiry into the Relationship of the First Three Gospels.) The subsequent course of the discussion of the Marcan hypothesis was as follows:—
In answer to Wilke there appeared a work signed Philosophotos Aletheias, Die Evangelien, ihr Geist, ihre Verfasser, und ihr Verhältnis zu einander. (The Gospels, their Spirit, their Authors, and their relation to one another.) Leipzig, 1845, 440 pp. The author sees in Paul the evil genius of early Christianity, and thinks that the work of scientific criticism must be directed to detecting and weeding out the Pauline elements in the Gospels. Luke is in his opinion a party-writing, biased by Paulinism; in fact Paul had a share in its preparation, and this is what Paul alludes to when he speaks in Romans ii. 16, xi. 28, and xvi. 25 of “his” Gospel. His hand is especially recognisable in chapters i.- iii., vii., ix., xi., xviii., xx., xxi., and xxiv. Mark consists of extracts from Matthew and Luke; John presupposes the other three. The Tübingen standpoint was set forth by Baur in his work, Kritische Untersuchangen über die kanonischen Evangelien. (A Critical Examination of the Canonical Gospels.) Tübingen, 1847, 622 pp. According to him Mark is based on Matthew and Luke. At the same time, however, the irreconcilability of the Fourth Gospel with the Synoptists is for the first time fully worked out, and the refutation of its historical character is carried into detail.
The order Matthew, Mark, Luke is defended by Adolf Hilgenfeld in his work Die Evangelien. Leipzig, 1854, 355 pp.
Karl Reinhold Köstlin’s work, Der Ursprung und die Komposition der synoptischen Evangelien (Origin and Composition of the Synoptic Gospels), is rendered nugatory by obscurities and compromises. Stuttgart, 1853, 400 pp. The priority of Mark is defended by Edward Reuss, Die Geschichte der keiligen Schriften des Neuen Testaments (History of the Sacred Writings of the New Testament), 1842; H. Ewald, Die drei ersten Evangelien, 1850; A. Ritschi Die Entstehung der altcatholischen Kirche (Origin of the ancient Catholic Church), 1850; A. Réville, Etudes critiques sur l’Evangile selon St Matthieu, 1862. In 1863 the foundations of the Marcan hypothesis were relaid, more firmly than before, by Holtzmann’s work, Die synoptischen Evangelien. Leipzig, 1863, 514 pp.
Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
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