“Make straight his paths”
March 10, 2010
I encountered these words this morning, as I began reading Mark’s gospel. This verse caught my attention for several reason. The word “straight” comes from the same word as “immediately,” one of Mark’s favorites. Thinking perhaps this was no coincidence, I opened Hendrickson’s commentary to check it out.
Hendrickson informs us that Mark’s quote is the exact same as in Matthew and Luke (p. 35). This is strange in light of the fact that neither the LXX nor the Hebrew render the verse this way. How, then, did the gospel writers come up with this particular quote and which writer borrowed from the others?
Hendrickson’s solution is fascinating:
“Matthew, the former publican, had made his own paraphrase of Old Testament passages fulfilled in the New, and that, together with other notes, this material had been distributed widely before any of our four gospels had been written” (p. 35).
This seems like some far-fetched speculation. Elsewhere Hendrickson hesitantly suggests that Mark was the first gospel written, followed by Matthew and then Luke (p. 14). What Hendrickson, then, is arguing is that Mathew paraphrased prophetic OT passages. Mark then borrowed these when he wrote his gospel, and then at a later time Mathew used his own paraphrases for his gospel.
What evidence does Hendrickson refer to for support of this theory? None–only speculation.