Markan priority

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Markan priority, also spelled 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.

Presented external evidence against Markan priority

Beginning in the 19th century Heinrich Julius Holtzmann, together with other German scholars, abusing the literary tools of historical-critical methods in opposition to Augustinian 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 "Markan priority," and it was aggressively spread as part of Bismarck's anti-Catholic 'Kulturkampf' policy.[1] This view is widely held by liberal biblical scholars in German and English speaking countries. In the United States acceptance of Markan priority has often been a test of the "academic competency" of those faculty members who teach biblical studies.[2]

Markan 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.


See also

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