This post is inspired by:
Re: Great moments in textual transmission.
Of course my favorite moment is Eusebius' confession that the ending of GMark is the ending of GMark (in an irony that I think the author of GMark would really appreciate, the ending of GMark will be the ending of orthodox Christianity).
Regarding The Peter/Cock crowing twice in GMark, as "John" would say, "And now this":
|The Peter/Cock Crowing Twice That He Will Never Deny Jesus
|The Prophecy That Peter Will Deny Jesus Three Times Before The Cock Crows Twice
|The Ironic Contrast And Balance Between Prophecy Setting And Prophecy Fulfillment
|1. Peter says that even if everyone else deserts Jesus, he will not.
2. Peter says that he will not deny Jesus even if he has to die with Jesus.
|The prophecy that Peter will deny Jesus three times is inserted between Peter's first and second denials that he will deny Jesus.
|The Superior Skeptic should note that our Beloved Non-Disciple thus has his Peter/Cock crowing twice that he will never deny Jesus WHILE Jesus prophesizes that he will deny Jesus three times before the Cock crows twice. Since this type of ironic contrast transfer reversal has already been established ad Nazorean as a popular literary style of "Mark", it is likely that "twice" is original to GMark.
The broader observation is that for Difficult Readings, the style of "Mark" should probably have more weight than the External evidence. This case is unusually illustrative because of the Textual Variation. But as we've seen, the greater the difficulty, the greater the variation. Textual Variation is directly related to how it portrays Jesus and negative depictions are exponentially related. Here we have a prophecy of Jesus and that creates the difficulty.
For those who need points sharply explained, the reason "Mark" has the cock crowing twice is to match Peter's twice denial while Jesus is making the cock crowing twice prophecy. This creates the extreme irony that while Jesus is prophesizing that Peter will deny him three times before a real cock crows twice, Peter twice crows like a cock that he will never deny Jesus (he is denying to Jesus that he will deny Jesus). Sorry, can't make it any clearer. What was most important to the Editors was trying to present an accurate and historical sounding Jesus prophecy. This was more important than trying to preserve the original irony and style.
Bonus material for Solo = Note that Peter's denial part of the prophecy has the Thrice formula while Jesus' timing part of the prophecy has the Twice. So what does that tell us was more important to "Mark".
Skeptical Textual Criticism