Sunday, November 04, 2007

Clement on the Order of the Gospels

I just found a very interesting article by Stephen Carlson on Clement's list on the order of the Gospels in Clement over at Mark Goodacre's NT Gateway: "Clement of Alexandria's 'Order' of the Gospels." The article originally appeared in New Testament Studies 47 (2001): 118-25.

I find his analysis facinating. Anybody else want to read the article and comment on it?

In brief, Clement seems to break with the rest of the early Church in saying that Matthew and Luke were "written first". What is especially surprising is that Origen--a student of Clement--takes the "Augustinian" view (i.e., that the canonical order was the historical order, Matthew, Mark, Luke and then John)? How do we account for the divergence here?

Read the article and let me know what you think...

You might also check out Carlson's excellent blog, Hypotyposeis.

5 comments:

Taylor Marshall said...

Hmmmm....

However, you cut it, I sort of like the "Matthew first" argument.

Richard Fellows said...

Vintage Carlson.

SpiritMeadow said...

Well I still prefer the Markan priority, but this was most interesting. I can't really comment on the Greek translation which seems the crux of the argument, but if it holds, then I think the article is on sound grounds.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

The overwhelming Patristic report is that Matthew was written first. There is no support for Markan priority. There may be argument over whether Mark came before Luke or vice-versa, but Matthew was first.

SpiritMeadow said...

I agree that from a Patristic point of view, Matthew has been considered first. It is not my understanding that this is the case in terms of the general biblical studies scholastical community. It has been my understanding that Markan priority is still considered the majority opinion.