Take, for example, the question of Jesus’ father. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus does not have a human father. He is “the craftsman, the son of Mary” (Mark 6.3); his father is in heaven and addresses Jesus directly as his son (Mark 1.11, 9.7) and Jesus calls him “Abba” (Mark 14.36). Other supernatural beings know that he is God’s son too (3.11). The unwary reader of Mark might easily assume that Mark’s Jesus, who simply appears on the scene as an adult in Mark 1, is some kind of god, perhaps the product of a union between a god and Mary. Matthew sees the problem. He gives Jesus a father, named Joseph; indeed, he begins the book with him (Matt. 1). In redacting the Rejection and Nazareth story, he makes Jesus “the son of the craftsman” (Matt. 13.55) so that there can be no doubt about the matter.
With respect to Dr. Goodacre’s superior level of education and careful reflection on the synoptic relationships, I find this to be a very odd sort of argument to come from him. Elsewhere, Dr. Goodacre has argued for Markan priority on the basis of Mark’s unique portrayals of Jesus. An example that he uses is the story in Mark 8:22-26 wherein it takes Jesus two tries to heal the blind man. This story is of course one of the few pieces of text found only in Mark. If I remember correctly, Dr. Goodacre made an argument along the lines of the later Synoptic witnesses being uncomfortable with the implied fallibility of Jesus’ failure to heal the first time. I am having some small measure of difficulty reconciling such an argument with the one being presented now. Are we to suppose that a Mark who unabashedly reports such imperfection on the part of Jesus might also intentionally leave open the idea that Jesus is a god? Beyond that, are we to view Mark as leaving open the possibility that Jesus is something like the divine offspring found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (given that we are firmly told he is the son of Mary)? In any case, it seems a little inconsistent to pair such notions with Markan primacy via low Christology so to speak.