Mark 5:21

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And when Jesus had crossed over again in the boat unto the other side, a great multitude was gathered unto him; and he was by the sea. (ASV)

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Pro

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Chronological Error - Jairus' Daughter Story

Demonstration

The Gospels contain many chronological differences when compared to each other. For instance:

Mark 5:

21 And when Jesus had crossed over again in the boat unto the other side, a great multitude was gathered unto him; and he was by the sea.
22 And there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he falleth at his feet,
23 and beseecheth him much, saying, My little daughter is at the point of death: [I pray thee], that thou come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be made whole, and live.

Compare to:

Matthew 9:

18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.


The wording of the accompanying stories are so similar that the authors are clearly telling the same story. Yet "Mark's" version comes immediately after the "Gerassic Pork" story about the demoniac while "Matthew's" version has "The Healing Of The Paralytic", "The Call Of Levi" and "The Question About Fasting" stories in between the "Gerassic Pork" and "Jairus' Daughter" stories.

In the words of the god awful trilogy, Highlander, "There can be only one!" (historically accurate chronology).

"Mark's" Location Chronology:

"Gerassic Pork"

Mark 5:

1 And they came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes.

"Jairus' Daughter"

21 And when Jesus had crossed over again in the boat unto the other side, a great multitude was gathered unto him; and he was by the sea.
22 And there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he falleth at his feet,

"Prophet Without Honor In His Own House"

Mark 6:

1 And he went out from thence; and he cometh into his own country; and his disciples follow him.

"Matthew's" Location Chronology:

Matthew 9:

"The Healing Of The Paralytic"

1 And he entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city.

"Jairus' Daughter"

18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.

Cities Of Galilee

35 And Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness.

Comparison of Location Chronology:

"Mark" = Gerasenes to Shore of Galilee (not Capernaum) to Capernaum. Jairus Daughter location = Capernaum.

"Matthew" = Nazareth to Cities of Galilee. Jairus Daughter location = Nazareth.

Reason For Chronological Error

JW:

We've seen now that after the Jairus' Daughter story "Mark" starts "Prophet Without Honor In His Own House" story while "Matthew" moves his Jesus to the Cities Of Galilee. Since "Mark" and "Matthew" have different chronologies and at most one of them could be historical, there must be at least one chronological error. The question now becomes how serious is this error? Apologists claim as a defense that changing chronologies was an accepted literary practice 2,000 years ago. Let's look at possible reasons why "Matthew" changed "Mark's" chronology. If "Matthew's" reason was to emphasize some point or teaching the error would be less serious as "Matthew" may have sacrificed technical accuracy for what he considered a superior story as to content presented. On the other hand, if "Matthew's" reason was to avoid an error or errors if "Mark's" chronology was followed, a "defensive" reason, the error would be more serious as this would create more doubt as to the accuracy of "Matthew's" primary source, "Mark", in the eyes of "Matthew".

As near as I can tell, neither the Church Fathers nor modern Apologists can give us any reason why the different chronology used by "Matthew" above presents a superior story as to content. This is why their supposed defense stops at the general claim of "accepted" literary practice and before any specifics.

Now let's look at the two Jairus' Daughter stories to see if we can identify any significant differences between the versions of "Mark" and "Matthew" which may help explain why "Matthew" thought that following "Mark's" chronology as described above would create error:

1) "Mark" follows with the "Prophet Without Honor In His Own House" story, set in Capernaum, which contrasts well with the Jairus' Daughter story, not in Capernaum. There is major Faith before going into Jesus' hometown, where there is a serious lack of Faith. "Matthew" has placed the Jairus' Daughter story in his Jesus' hometown of Nazareth. Now the "Prophet Without Honor In His Own House" story would not have as much contrast if it followed.

--JoeWallack 13:56, 7 June 2008 (EDT)


Contradiction - Who appreciated the miracle

"Mark" indicates that everyone present appreciated the miracle performed, even apparently the scribes. "Matthew" qualifies that it was the "multitudes" who appreciated the miracle apparently leaving out the Scribes.

Con

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Neutral

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