ADVANTAGES

John P. Meier provides an example in which the author of Mark shows himself to be dependent on oral tradition. The story of the feeding of the multitude is found twice in Mark and once in John. Meier writes (, v. 2, pp. 965-6): "This suggests a long and complicated tradition history reaching back to the early days of the first Christian generation. Prior to Mark's Gospel there seems to have been two cycles of traditions about Jesus' ministry in Galilee, each one beginning with one version of the feeding miracle (Mk 6:32-44 and Mk 8:1-10). Before these cycles were created, the two versions of the feeding would have circulated as independent units, the first version attracting to itself the story of Jesus' walking on the water (a development also witnessed in John 6), while the second version did not receive such an elaboration. Behind all three versions of the miracle story would have stood some primitive form."

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