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with each other, and in the same sequence in the Nucleus, were the earliest independent accretions. We have seen that the structural facts lead to the conclusion that Mark was in contact with Luke for the earlier third, and in contact with Matthew for the later part of his gospel
Can we trace the historical position of such a sudden change during the construction of Mark's gospel ? Mark was with Paul in the journey of 45 A.D. and was taken by Barnabas in the journey of 49 A.D. As he lived at Jerusalem before these journeys (Acts xii 12), it is probable that he homed there later, after the journeys. The tradition of his Alexandrian episcopate is far too strong to be set aside; and it is impossible not to suppose that the immense Jewish population of Alexandria and the Delta, which was in constant intercourse with Judaea, would not be evangelised as readily as the more distant and pagan Antioch. The close of his episcopate was in the eighth year of Nero, 62 A.D. (Euseb. Ecc. Hist. ii 24), when we find that he had left Egypt and gone to Rome (Philemon 24).
He seems thus to have resided at Alexandria somewhere
between 49 and 62; and the need of a written record for his converts there would soon be felt.
Now, as Blass points out (Phil. Gos. 33), Luke went to Jerusalem in 54 and left in 56, during which time he acquired his “perfect understanding” from those who “from the beginning were eye-witnesses” (Luke i 2, 3). This would have been a very likely place and period for Mark to be compiling his gospel for his Egyptian converts, side by side with Luke.
Mark seems to have reached chapter vi, using the same material in the same order as Luke. Then apparently Luke left Jerusalem with all his collected material, as yet uncompiled beyond Luke ix. Mark then seems to have obtained a copy of the Nucleus with Matthew's additions so far as yet made, and from that finished his gospel for the Egyptian Christians. That he did not keep his gospel in Palestine for any length of time is shewn by his having no supplementary accretions that are not in Matthew and Luke, excepting one brief generality (iii 9-12), a brief miracle (viii 22-26), and the doubtful end (xvi 16-20),
fourteen verses in all. He did not long remain surrounded by current tradition and documents, but was isolated with the early stage of Matthew's gospel from chapter vi onward. Such seems to be the most likely historical setting of the curious connections which we have seen on examining the passages which are common to any two gospels.
We may be met with the dogma that the gospels must be later than the destruction of Jerusalem, which is prophesied in them. That dogma has, however, been exploded by the historical facts quoted by Blass. Savonarola's prophecies, given in 1496 and printed in 1497, foretold the sack of Rome, even down to the detail of stabling horses in the churches, which took place in 1527. Such a detail seemed excessively unlikely before the rise of Lutheranism; yet it came to pass.
Such close fulfilment cannot destroy the fact that Savonarola's prediction was printed thirty years before the event; no more, therefore, does the partial fulfilment of the less detailed prophecy against Jerusalem disprove the dating of the compilation of the gospels fifteen years before the event, or disprove the prophecy having been given forty years before the event. Whatever beliefs
be held about such facts, the historical parallel frees us from any a priori limitations of dating.
18. Connections of Scattered Documents.
The third class of accretions is that of whole documents which were incorporated, or those from which selections have been used. One of the earliest of these documents, the Sermon on the Mount, is concerned with the fulfilment of the law and the true meaning of its principles, questions which belonged entirely to the period of the Ministry.
The allusions in Document C (in Appendix) to Jonah and the men in Nineveh, and the Queen of the South, all agree to that being of the same age.
The lines on the Pharisees, in E (Appendix), seem equally to be of the age of the Ministry. And the parables of the tares and the leaven, in F (Appendix), appear also to be early.
The whole group, therefore, is of early documents, applicable to conditions before those of the organised Church, although they were not incorporated till after the partition of the gospels.
The fourth class is of two documents which are entirely scattered into verses and short sayings, in D and B, Appendix. The group D is concerned with the mission of the apostles, whose names it was needless to record until the Church had scattered from Jerusalem. This was apparently the earliest form of the evangelising orders.
The longer document, B, starts with Galilean narrative about the Gergesenes and Jairus; it includes the evangelising orders, and the prediction of being taken before governors and kings, and being persecuted, and the predictions of the end. All this accords with its belonging to the Diaspora period down to 50, or even the Gentile period down to 60, and points to its being a later document than the others.
19. Changes in Expressions.
Here we should note some usages and differences of expression and idea, which are of historical importance as indicating periods. Throughout the Nucleus the title “Son of