Mark 1:16

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This item has been selected by Peter Kirby as a "Featured Con Piece". The status of the claims made here, however, is up for debate.

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And passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishers. (ASV)


In Mark 1:16-20, Jesus calls Simon and Andrew to be disciples at the same time. In John 1:40-42, Andrew had been called first and told his brother Simon about Jesus.

Now, the answer that is given below seems forced. It is quite evident that these would be different events if both happened, if only because later in John it is stated that the Baptist had not yet been imprisoned (John 3:24), while in Mark (1:14), Jesus begins preaching in Galilee after John is arrested. The question here is whether Andrew and Peter needed to be called and to begin following Jesus twice. There's nothing that says that Peter was initially skeptical; that is invented in order to make the extracanonical narrative that is found in the quote from Berean. The only explanation in the Bible for why Simon was named Peter, if even that is such, is found in Matthew 16:18, the well-known verse, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (English Standard Version)

JW: Okay, enough of the childish humor (for now) which I love and on to the serious research which I hate. Raymond Brown wrote an excellent detailed commentary on "John", The Gospel According To John, which provides evidence that "John" intentionally presented a different tradition regarding the initial call of Peter and Andrew (although Brown neglects to say "different tradition"). Before I present the highlights of Brown's observations I'll first provide my own speculation. The Canonical Gospels likely started with "Mark" which originally ended at 16:8 and therefore had no clear evidence that Peter continued the Jesus movement. "Matthew" and "Luke" gradually supplanted "Mark" around the end of the first century and give explicit evidence of Peter continuation. "John" likely became popular around the middle of the second century and in a different geographical location so the author(s) may have deliberately changed and reduced the tradition of Peter in order to support their claim of direct Apostolic tradition from a different disciple. Part of this change may have been removing Peter from the lead call (let the Reader understand). Now for real evidence from a real scholar.

Brown points out the following differences between the (first) call of Peter/Andrew in the Synoptics vs. "John":

1) Peter is son of Jonah in "Matthew" and son of "John" in "John".

2) "John" implies the first call was at Bethany. The Synoptics have Galilee.

3) "John" implies the first disciples were former disciples of John the Baptist while the Synoptics do not.

4) "John" has Peter know that Jesus is the Messiah before he meets him. "Mark" has Peter realize Jesus is the Messiah halfway through the ministry.

5) "John" has Andrew confess Jesus as Messiah while the Synoptics have "Peter".

6) "John" has Peter's name change at the beginning of the ministry. "Matthew" has it halfway through.

7) Where "Matthew" explains Peter's name change as the future foundation of the Church, "John" omits this from the explanation (again, let the reader understand).

The above is very good evidence that "John" intentionally presented a different tradition of the call of Peter from the Synoptics and therefore "Mark" 1:16-20 does contradict John 1:40-42.

Okay, now who wants more childish humor?





The following has been moved from Con to Neutral because it does not meet the minimum reasonableness standards of ErrancyWiki which are:

1) Simple - qualities of short and direct.
2) Logical - quality of expectation.
3) Supported by the Text - Either explicitly or good implication

Additionally, Richard Bauckham's credibility has been impeached so he can not be appealed to as an authority.

""Because they�re different events. The account in John is of Christ's initial contact with Andrew and Simon. The synoptic account is of a later event at which Simon is persuaded that Jesus is the Christ by virtue of the miraculous catch of fish. Note that in John there is no indication that he is so persuaded (although his younger brother Andrew evidently is). John does not state that they followed him at this point, although Nathanael and Philip evidently do. Note that the command 'Follow me' (v43) is given to Philip, not Simon and Andrew. Moreover, the nickname Peter � which has the force of �Rocky� � is at this point as much a joke as it is a prophecy. Simon is a waverer and is called a rock in the same way that a tall man is called Shorty. Given that his older brother likely remained skeptical, it would follow that Andrew would honor his family duties and continue to work with Simon until such time as he was ready to drop everything also (Andrew not having heard the teaching on this yet)." -- Berean

One should notice how the different gospels work before one is ready to claim error here. Mark and the rest of the Synoptics allow for only about one year of ministry for Jesus. John has three years of ministry. It is very clear that the Synoptics each has its own stylized account. Thus, it is very likely that Mark narrates the last year of Jesus' ministry, whereas John covers portions from each year. John shows the original "calling" of Andrew and Peter, taking them from being disciples of John the baptizer to being disciples of Jesus. However, it is likely that every year the disciples went back to their fishing boats, so when Jesus was going to begin ministering again, He would "call" them at the beginning of every trip.

After all, John presupposes Mark or MAtthew in the writing of his gospel (see Richard Bauckham's article in "The Gospels for all Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences"). - J''"

In order to achieve "Con" status the above must be improved to meet at least one of the minimum reasonableness standards. Right now, I do not think that is possible.

--JoeWallack 14:24, 20 June 2009 (EDT)

Here are the passages:

Mark 1:14-20 (New American Bible) 14 After John had been arrested, 8 Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: 15 "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." 16 As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. 17 Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." 18 Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. 19 He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. 20 Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.

John 1:35-42 (New American Bible) 35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God." 37 The two disciples 27 heard what he said and followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" 39 He said to them, "Come, and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed). 42 Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John*; you will be called Kephas" (which is translated Peter).


Note: verse 42: "son of John" is a minority (Alexandrian) reading (see UBS apparatus):

Ιωαννου (John)- P66,P75,Aleph, L, W(supp), 33, ital(a,b,f,ff2,l,r1), cop(sa,bo), Eth(ro),Nonnus

Ιωανου - (B*), i.e., mispelled

Ιωνα (Jonah) - A, B, K, X (lection), Delta, Pi, Psi, 063, fam1, fam13, 28, 565, 700, 892, 1009, 1010, 1071, 1079, 1195, 1216, 1230, 1242, 1253, 1344, 1365, 1546, 2174, Byzantine/Maj.text (all), Lectionary text, Ital (c,q), vulgate (cl), Syr(s,p,h,pal), Copt(bo ms), Arm, Eth(pp), geo, Diatessaron, Epiph., Chrysos. Cyril etc.

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