Even as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way. (ASV)
"Mark" may be misremembering the name of a prophet.
The closest verse from Isaiah to what Mark quotes is Isaiah 40:3. Here they are compared:
Mk Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way.
Is The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God.
It doesn't seem to match - especially if we are to believe that this is an inerrant text inspired by a perfect God.
Now, compare Mark 1:2 and Malachi 3:1
Mk Behold, I send my messenger before thy face,Who shall prepare thy way.
Ml Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me
"Mark" appears to be quoting Malachi while thinking "who was that prophet? Oh, yeah, Isaiah." Which could be expected since Isaiah is much more famous. -~~ -Equinox Aug 4, 2006
Pro Argument Restated
"Even as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way."
And Metzger commentary:
"The quotation in verses 2 and 3 is composite, the first part being from Mal 3.1 and the second part from Is 40.3. It is easy to see, therefore, why copyists would have altered the words “in Isaiah the prophet” (a reading found in the earliest representative witnesses of the Alexandrian and the Western types of text) to the more comprehensive introductory formula “in the prophets.”
Metzger, B. M., & United Bible Societies. 1994. A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, second edition; a companion volume to the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament (4th rev. ed.) . United Bible Societies: London; New York
JW: An important Christian Doctrine is that the Jesus story is reasonably prophesied in the Jewish Bible. "Mark" though, in order to present such prophecy fulfillment here to fit his Jesus story, has to combine unrelated words from two different prophets and deceptively present it as from one prophet.
--JoeWallack 19:57, 12 Nov 2006 (CST)
Edit this section to note miscellaneous facts.
The following has been moved from Con to Neutral:
In Mark we read, "Even as it is written in Isaiah the prophet,..." (1:2). However, Mark first quotes from Malachi 3:1 and then from Isaiah. Why Mark does this we don't know. However, the two citations, placed together, tell a more complete story than just the Isaiah citation alone. PRO quibbles that the citation from Isaiah does not follow immediately. Nothing requires that it do so. The citation from Isaiah appears and is easily recognizable as to its source. Had Mark only said, "Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight," the reader would understand it as coming from Isaiah but might have been somewhat perplexed as to where Mark was going. Mark has, as his purpose, to transition to John the Baptist and does so in the manner we see. Did Mark do wrong? PRO may have written it another way, but that does not prevent Mark writing as he did. Mark clearly makes his point, and it is understood easily.
Mark takes advantage of the citation from Isaiah to emphasize the fulfillment of that verse with John. Isaiah says, "The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah;..." Mark identifies a voice in the wilderness crying, "Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight." The voice is that of John who, in the wilderness, cries out through his preaching thus making ready the way of the Lord. Mark makes his point that John is the fulfillment of that which Isaiah prophesied and does so quite well.
The above was moved because the Pro claim is that "Mark" claimed a quotation from Isaiah but did not provide a quotation from Isaiah. As Con observes the misquote by "Mark" starts with a quote from Malachi so Con can not use the best potential defense of a combination quote followed by editorial comment. Con has provided no Reasonable basis to dispute Pro above. Another try would be demonstrating by detailed analysis of verses that a significant portion of "Mark's" misquote is reasonably close to a quote from Isaiah. I don't think that is possible either as "Mark" does not even quote Isaiah accurately and also the context wouldn't match as Isaiah's context is a path for God.
--JoeWallack 21:58, 22 Jan 2008 (CST)