The question of which came first, Matthew or Mark, has interested me for a very long time. It is not always to find arguments one way or another which do not pertain only to individual passages or even verses. But one argument which spans most of the length of both gospels seems pretty critical to me. The following table is simply a collation of all the miracles in Matthew with all the miracles in Mark. I am not employing a very rigorous definition of the term "miracle" here, but I do not think that the outcome would substantially change under any definition of the term. I am, however, limiting the miracles to those actually worked by Jesus himself, whether directly or indirectly. Accordingly, incidents like the theophany at the baptism do not count. Even if one were to count such items, however, the outcome would, I believe, remain the same:Stuart wrote: ↑Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:10 amUnderstand that I am not in the camp of Markan priority (my order is prototypes not published, then Marcion, then Matthew, then John, probably Mark came next, and Luke last, with John getting an extensive revision of 15% or so verses added, the others small Catholic adjustments, less than 1%). Note, I do think Mark adhered closest to his source documents of any Gospel, and did not add a large layer of his Sects theological parables and teachings as the others did.
Miracles in Matthew
Miracles in Mark
|—||1.23-28. The exorcism of the Capernaum demoniac.|
|8.14-15. The healing of the mother-in-law of Simon.||1.29-31. The healing of the mother-in-law of Simon.|
|8.16-17. The evening healings.||1.32-34. The evening healings.|
|8.1-4. The healing of a leper.||1.40-45. The healing of a leper.|
|8.5-13. The healing at the request of a centurion.||-|
|9.1-8. The healing of a paralytic.||2.1-12. The healing of a paralytic.|
|9.32-34. The healing of a dumb man.||-|
|11.5. Various healings.||-|
|12.9-14. The healing of a man with a withered hand.||3.1-6. The healing of a man with a withered hand.|
|12.22. Healing of a blind and dumb man.||-|
|8.23-27. The calming of the sea.||4.35-41. The calming of the sea.|
|8.28-34. The exorcism of the two Gadarene demoniacs.||5.1-20. The exorcism of the Gadarene demoniac.|
|9.18-19, 23-26. The raising of the daughter of Jairus.||5.21-24, 35-43. The raising of the daughter of Jairus.|
|9.20-22. The healing of a hemorrhaging woman.||5.25-34. The healing of a hemorrhaging woman.|
|13.53-58. Rejection at Nazareth (few miracles).||6.1-6a. Rejection at Nazareth (few miracles).|
|14.15-21. The feeding of the five thousand.||6.35-44. The feeding of the five thousand.|
|14.22-33. Walking on the waves (including Peter).||6.45-52. Walking on the waves (excluding Peter).|
|14.34-36. The healings in Gennesaret.||6.53-56. The healings in Gennesaret.|
|15.21-28. The healing of the daughter of a Canaanite woman.||7.24-30. The healing of the daughter of a Syrophoenician woman.|
|15.29-31. Many healings.||7.31-37. The healing of a deaf-mute man.|
|15.32-39. The feeding of the four thousand.||8.1-10. The feeding of the four thousand.|
|—||8.22-26. The healing of a blind man with spittle.|
|17.14-21. The exorcism of a boy.||9.14-29. The exorcism of a boy.|
|17.24-27. The didrachma tax (possibly just a witticism).||-|
|20.29-34. The healing of two blind men.||10.46-52. The healing of blind Bartimaeus.|
|21.18-22. The cursing of the fig tree.||11.11-14, 19-24. The cursing of the fig tree.|
A scan of the two columns will reveal that Matthew lacks narrative parallels to the following Marcan miracles:
- The exorcism of the Capernaum demoniac, Mark 1.23-28.
- The healing of a blind man with spittle, Mark 8.22-26.
- The exorcism of the Gadarene demoniac(s), Matthew 8.28-34 = Mark 5.1-20.
- The healing of a blind man (or two blind men), Matthew 20.29-34 = Mark 10.46-52.
If this observation holds water, then it means that something compositionally like Mark preceded something compositionally like Matthew. It does not necessarily mean that every single detail in our extant text of Mark preceded every single detail in our extant text of Matthew: scribes still may have added materials, different recensions of each gospel may have existed, and Matthew may have sometimes drawn from earlier, more primitive material than Mark.