Monday, February 8, 2010

NT Pod 24: Was Mark the First Gospel?

The latest episode of the NT Pod asks "Was Mark the first Gospel?" It is the second of our four back-to-back episodes on the Synoptic Problem (see also NT Pod 23: What is the Synoptic Problem?).

It is twelve minutes long. Feel free to leave your comments below.

NT Pod Episode 24: Was Mark the First Gospel? (mp3)

NT Pod Episode 24: Was Mark the First Gospel? (mp3) (Alternative location)

There is also an extended episode on this topic available, based on a lecture on this topic, given at Duke as part of my Introduction to the New Testament course (February 2010):

NT Pod Extended Episode 2: The Synoptic Problem 2

Thanks to Ram2000, Me and You, for the opening theme, released under a Creative Commons agreement.


  1. I really liked the question about how long it took to write each gospel. It reminds us that these are real people, trying to get their thoughts on paper (or papyrus).

  2. I am curious if you plan to respond to Burkett's recent criticism of your work against Q. What do you think of his proto-Mark hypothesis as a means to diminish the importance of the minor agreements? His book is reviewed in the recent edition of RBL.

    Thanks so much.


  3. As it happens, I just read Burkett's chapter that deals with my Case Against Q yesterday. I was honoured that he devoted so much space to discussing my work, and pleased to see one or two of the concessions there. Since he does not hold to the (classic) Two-Source Theory, I think some of his criticisms are weaker than they they might be as criticisms of my case. I would like to respond in due course since I don't feel that any of the points he makes damage my case, but I am not quite sure when or in what venue. Anyway, thanks for mentioning.

  4. Dr. Goodacre, how is editorial fatigue in Mark explained without Q? For example, Mark 5:1-17 in relation to Luke 8:26-39 where Mark refers to the demoniac being clothed after having failed to mention he was naked as in Luke? Or is this considered fatigue?

  5. Thanks, BradK; that's a good question. I wondered when working through looking for counter-examples whether that could be one -- Mark fails to mention the nakedness at the beginning but then has him clothed, with Luke, at the end. I couldn't think of a way in which it was in some way characteristic of Mark to lack that detail in the opening, however, which is something one finds in the best examples that go in the other direction. Moreover, it does not really create an inconcinnity; it's just a question of great narrative consistency in Luke. It's the inconcinnities I think one has to look for.