Why Mark 2:18 is a trace of a rivalry between John the Baptist and Jesus that Mark was not able to eclipse at all

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Giuseppe
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Why Mark 2:18 is a trace of a rivalry between John the Baptist and Jesus that Mark was not able to eclipse at all

Post by Giuseppe »

So Mike Duncan:

The author of Matthew’s edit for this passage (Mt 9:14) makes John’s followers the questioners and eliminates the two-part structure. From this, I take that the ambiguity was apparent (and problematic) to the author of Matthew.

Of course, a somewhat unclear antecedent can be nothing more than bad style – but a slip-up can create opportunities for edits later.

My comment:

What the anti-marcionite Matthew has wisely removed is the association of Pharisees and John’s followers behind the questioners of Mark: if only the John’s disciples are the questioners, then the question is innocent: why shouldn’t it be?
The problem would arise if the question would see united and allied both Pharisees and John’s disciples: who is allied of the Pharisees in a tendentious question addressed to Jesus becomes ipso facto an enemy of Jesus. My point is that this result is not wanted by Mark: it is a trace survived against the Mark’s will from the Mark’s source, i.e. the only Gospel where John the Baptist is unambiguosly an enemy of Jesus: *Ev.

The comment by Neil leaves no doubt about his (apologetical) reluctance to face the real problem posed by Mark 2:18:

Or given Matthew’s penchant for changing Mark to produce a gospel that had a different theological thrust, could it be that the distancing of the disciples of the Pharisees from those of John had more to do with Matthew’s otherwise trenchantly anti-Pharisaical view? I’m thinking of Matthew 23.


Matthew didn't need to do with the Pharisees what already Mark had done by demonizing them.

Matthew wanted to save the good name of the John's disciples, by dissociating them from the Pharisees: the exact thing that Mark had neglected to do.
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