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As Burton Mack says, in The Lost Gospel of Q, "Even today there are scholars who continueto favor Matthew as the earliest gospel." Following Griesbach (1783), the Tubingen School in the 1830s maintained not only the priority but also the late date of 130 CE for Matthew, swimming firmly against the tide.

That such texts contained verses paralleling those found in the canonical gospels is known from the writings of Justin Martyr, for example, who quotes from a number of them.

In reality, the four gospels selected for inclusion in the New Testament do not make any appearance in the literary and archaeological record until the last quarter of the 2 century,between 170 and 180 CE, and even then they are not much mentioned for a couple of decades.

At the end of the 19 century, Hernle attempted to prove that Ur-Markus was the canonical Mark, and the debate was supposedly settled in the 1920s.

Yet, modern mainstream scholars continue to debate the priority.

As concerns the order in which the gospels were written, the priority of Mark was proposed as early as 1786 by Storr and argued in detail by Christian Wilke in 1838.

According to proponents of the specious "outdated" argument, which claims that newer scholarship is better and more correct merely by virtue of its "modernity," the Markan—priority thesis is a very "outdated" premise and must therefore be wrong.Therefore, Mark, considered by most mainstream authorities to be the earliest of the gospels, could not have been written anyearlier than 70 CE.The others followed, with John appearing perhaps as late as 110 CE. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the gospels are conspicuously absent from the writings of the Church fathers and apologists until the end of the second century.As the Catholic Encyclopedia relates ("Synoptics"): The order: Matthew, Luke, Mark, was advanced by Griesbach and has been adopted by De Wette, Bleek, Maier, Langen, Grimm, Pasquier.The arrangement: Mark, Matthew, Luke, with various modifications as to their interdependence, is admitted by Ritschl, Reuss, Meyer, Wilke, Simons, Holtzmann, Weiss, Batiffol, Weizscker, etc.Despite these facts, it is perceived that to go against the crowd is to commit scholarly heresy! Mead, for one, writing after the Markan-priority thesis was proposed, was insistent that the other synoptists, Matthew and Luke, did not use the canonical Mark as one of their source texts: "It is very evident that Mt. do not use our Mk., though they use most of the material contained in our Mk." This conclusion was also reached by Helmut Koester and others in the modern era.

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