Deficiencies of Mark
Deficiencies of Mark

Deficiencies of Mark

Mark Lacks Completeness and is not as well arranged as Matthew and Luke

G.D. Kilpatrick, The Origins of the Gospel According to St. Matthew, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2007 (Originally published 1946 Oxford)

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It was natural that, in a revised gospel book produced for the worship of the Church, the needs and convenience of liturgical practice should be consulted. This was necessary since Mark, for example, for all its excellences, is not an ideal book for liturgical use. As a revised gospel book it would also show the influence of some twenty years’ exposition of its sources. In particular the use of quotations, the grouping of material, and rephrasing would be consequent upon this activity. Some of the changes are only in matters of detail, but the results as a whole are considerable. (p. 70)

Other consequences of this thesis that Matthew is a revised gospel book will come to light as the thesis itself is tested by the evidence. The important thing, once the thesis has been advanced, is to discover how far it provides a satisfactory explanation of features which cannot be explained by source criticism or by a reference to editorial activity, and how far other features come to light which accord with our liturgical hypothesis.  (p. 71)

Several features of Matthew would support the suggestion that it was written to be read liturgically. The stylistic changes from Mark increase lucidity. Unnecessary and distracting details are omitted. The additions make the passages easier to follow. (p.71)
 
That the reception that the book [Matthew] received at the hands of the Church would agree with the view that is his revision of his sources the author of the Gospel intended to produce a work more acceptable to the Church’s liturgical use. If we compare the citation from Matthew with those from the other Gospels, in Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Augustine for example, it is seen to be the most popular of the four. The tendency was, other things being equal, to prefer the Matthean version wherever it was available. Two examples of this may be indicated. The Matthean for of the Lord’s Prayer is deservedly the form that has established itself in the Church’s liturgical use. The form of the Beatitudes, also, which is usually quoted, is that in our Gospel. Indeed, so successful was it as a revision of Mark, that Mark dropped almost completely out of use, and it is only modern scholarship, with its interest in the historical and the primitive, which as rescued Mark from this neglect. If Matthew is usually the most quoted of the Gospels in the Fathers, Mark is regularly and by far the least quoted. (p. 77) 
 
That there was a need for one such volume as [Matthew] may easily be seen. There would be a great inconvenience in attempting to use together in the Church’s services such dissimilar documents as Mark, Q, and M, together with odds and ends of tradition and exposition. As soon as this mass of material became quite unwieldy, it was inevitable that an attempt should be made to build the elements into one manageable whole. (p.99-100)
 
In Mark 1:1-15 there is a sequence of events and from Mark 11 onward an order, either already present or coming into being, which may run back into Mark 10. But between these two points we are confronted with the amorphous tradition of the Galilean ministry…  We may indeed detect small groups in the material , but any attempt to find an order or systematic arrangement of the whole comes to grief. (p.135)

More to Come