At this year's SBL Annual Meeting I am speaking in the Q Section. The topic of the session in question is the Mark Q Overlaps, and there is a special focus on Matthew 3.7-12 // Mark 1.7-8 // Luke 3.7-9, 15-17. It's an honour to be invited to speak in the section, and I would like to blog some thoughts about my paper over the next two weeks before the conference begins.
1. Taking our Leave of Mark-Q Overlaps
The title of my paper is "Taking our Leave of Mark-Q Overlaps: Major Agreements in Matthew 3.7-12 // Mark 1.7-8 // Luke 3.7-9, 15-17". I would like to begin my thoughts here by explaining my concerns about the terminology of "Mark-Q Overlaps". I would like to propose "mandatory retirement" for this term, to use the term Paula Fredriksen has applied to other ideas recently. The problem with the term is that it describes the phenomenon of major agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark using terminology of the Two-Source Theory. It labels the group of data with one potential solution to this group of data. I do not think that this is acceptable if we are to have a level playing field for studying the phenomenon. Imagine if I were to call the Minor Agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark something along the lines of "Luke's minor borrowing from Matthew in triple tradition". People would rightly point out that my description of the set of data was influenced by my explanation of the data. In order to encourage an open and reasonable discussion, therefore, I think we should take our leave of the terminology of Mark-Q overlaps and instead describe the phenomenon neutrally as "Major agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark", or, if one prefers, "triple tradition pericopae where Mark is not the middle term".
Update (16.19): In comments, Rick Sumner points to the problem of succinctness. "Mark-Q overlaps" is succinct and memorable. I agree. Perhaps "Major agreements" as a shorthand will prove helpful, on the analogy of "Minor Agreements". After all, "minor agreements" is a shorthand for a specific group of minor agreements, viz. those between Matthew and Luke against Mark.