Dave Black has posted a link to an article he wrote for the journal Filología Neotestamentaria regarding grammar and supposed indications of Markan Priority, published in May of 1988. I point out the date to underline the way in which careful argument from linguistic data can survive the test of time.
Dave points out a number of questions regarding how we determine that the grammar of an ancient author (or any author) is ungrammatical. There are many other reasons for choices of grammatical structures of specific vocabulary other than “right” or “wrong” grammar. These can include simple author preference, the intended register used, and allowable variants in the use of language.
Dave then asks some questions:
- What are your thoughts about the lack of grammaticality in Mark’s diction?
- Do you use the so-called “linguistic” argument to support Markan Priority?
- Should evangelicals speak about “errors” in the Bible?
Of course, grammar is only one of a variety of arguments used regarding the order in which the gospels were written.
David Alan Black is the author of a number of Energion titles, including Why Four Gospels?, which is most relevant to this. It is on sale right now for $11.99 ($13.99 suggested retail).
An interview with David Alan Black about this book: