The Case for Mark's Conflation of Matthew and Luke in Mark 3:20-6:6a

On the Two Gospel Hypothesis, as the accompanying macro-structural synoptic chart illustrates, within the section, Mark 3:20-6:6a, Mark has basically made alternating use of Matthew (Mk 3:20-4:34//Mt 12:22-13:35), Luke (Mk 4:35-5:43//Lk 8:22-56), and Matthew (Mk 6:1-6:6a//Mt 13:54-58), with only a brief Markan turn to the language of Lk 8:16-18 at Mk 4:21-24a intruding into this larger and more general Markan "sandwich" or "intercalated" structure (Mt-Lk-Mt). Furthermore, as is usual for Mark on the Two Gospel Hypothesis, wherever Mark is following the pericope order of Matthew, Mark's language is also more in agreement with that of Matthew and, whenever Mark turns to the pericope order of Luke, Mark's language is also more in agreement with that of Luke as well. And wherever Mark has something distinctive and/or supplementary to the language of both Matthew and Luke, those elements of Mark's text typically reflect Markan style, i. e., a unique, distinctive and unified layer of canonical Mark which the Two Gospel Hypothesis team has labeled the "Markan Overlay" on Mt and Lk. All three of these categories of evidence (alternating shared pericope order, complementary alternating shared language between and among the synoptics, and the distinctively Markan changes or supplements to the parallel texts of Matthew and Luke) are much more plausible on the basis Mark is conflating the texts of Matthew and Luke (Two Gospel Hypothesis) than they are on the basis of Matthew and Luke making independent use of the Gospel of Mark [and the Sayings Gospel, Q] (Two Document Hypothesis). This paper will discuss this evidence in detail.