Marcan priority is the hypothesis that the Gospel of Mark was written before Matthew and Luke. It dismisses the Augustinian hypothesis, which holds that Matthew was the first Gospel, written by Matthew the Evangelist, and that Mark amplified some of the material in Matthew with additional details.
Beginning in the 19th century Heinrich Julius Holtzmann together with other German scholars, abusing the literary tools of historical-critical methods in opposition to Christian tradition, declared on their authority as German scholars that Mark's gospel was the first to be written down, about A.D. 50. This theory is called "Marcan priority", and it was aggressively spread as part of Bismarck's anti-Catholic 'Kulturkampf' policy. This view is widely held by liberal biblical scholars in German and English speaking countries. In the United States acceptance of Marcan Priority has often been a test of the "academic competency" of those faculty members who teach Biblical Studies.
Marcan priority has lately come under more exacting scrutiny by textual critics who have found little substantial basis for continuing to maintain that Mark was written before Matthew.
- Kulturkampf and the Gospel, by John Beaumont
Church in History. The ChurchinHistory Information Centre. BISMARCK AND THE FOUR GOSPELS 1870 - 1914, by William R. Farmer (University of Dallas) Editor of A NEW CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY. The theory that Mark's Gospel was published before Matthew's is widely held in German and English speaking countries. This article shows how this theory, with little supporting evidence, came to be spread as part of Bismarck's anti-Catholic 'Kulturkampf' policy. BIBLIOTHECA EPHEMERIDUM THEOLOGICARUM LOVANIENSIUM. THE FOUR GOSPELS. 1992 (churchinhistory.org)
- Mark's Gospel--Prior or Posterior?: A Reappraisal of the Phenomenon of Order, By David Neville
- Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew: Marcan Priority Claim Invalid (google.com)
- What are the arguments in favor of Matthean priority? (hermeneutics.stackexchange.com)
- Marcan Priority (wow.com) examines both sides of the debate, gives evidence supporting rejection of Marcan priority in favor of Matthean priority, discusses Mark as posterior to both Matthew and Luke.