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On the Mutual Omission of Mark 14:51-52 in Matthew and Luke
This article is intended as an investigation of the absence of the "fleeing youth" story (Mark 14:51-52) in Matthew and Luke. Based on "Markan priority" that the Gospel of Mark is the first Gospel, we are forced to think that both Matthew and Luke omitted Mk. (1Iark) 14:51-52. Many scholars have come to accept this "mutual omission" by regarding this "fleeing youth" as the author Mark himself. However, some scholars question this theory. Meanwhile, since the 1950s, the relationship between the "fleeing youth" and the "youth in Jesus' empty tomb" (16:1-8) in Mark has been discussed. However, this theory cannot explain the "mutual omission" unless we modify the traditional interpretation of Mark. Therefore, we notice in Knox (1951) that a linen cloth ("sindon"), which the youth left in 14:51-52, is used as Jesus' burial outfit (Mk. 15:46). Basically, the "lexical cohesion" is not only the relationship between 14:51-52 and 15:46, but also between 14:51-52 and 16:5. When the other Gospels were not written, the readers of Mark regarded Jesus' outfit as the death itself that the youth left to save his life.Then, insofar as we base our reasoning on Markan priority, we cannot find any basis for regarding the youth of Mk. 16:5 as an angel.
Moreover, if the youth of 14:51-52 is recognized as the youth of 16:5, the youth of 16:5 should be equally a disciple as in 14:51-52. In return for Jesus' death, the youth of Mk. 16:5 is a certain disciple who is resurrected from the death. Although Hamilton (1965) attempts to explain the empty tomb by the interpretation that people who rise from the dead are as angels that are in heaven in "the controversy with Sadducee" (Mk. 12:25), his opinion serves to explain the influence of the mutual omission of 14:51-52 in both Matthew and Luke. The author of Matthew added "the Saints' Resurrection" (27-51-53) immediately after Jesus' death. In Matthew, because both the "Saints' Resurrection" incident and "empty tomb" story mention earthquakes, the two stories have lexical cohesion. Readers realize that the resurrection of the youth identified with a disciple in Mk.l6:5 coincides with Jesus' death.
Moreover the author rewrote Mark's "youth" in the empty tomb as "an angel of the Lord" (Mattew 28:2). The author of Luke rewrote Mark's youth in the empty tomb as "two men" (24: 4). In the "Emmaus" story (24: 13-35), two disciples tell Jesus that the women recognized "two men" as "angels: This fact leads readers to the recognition that the persons who rise from the death resemble "angels" through human eyes. In common, their alterations are premised on "the controversy with Sadducee" in each Gospel.