This post is for Christians who think Mark wrote first, Matthew wrote later, and that Mark’s text was used by Matthew to help compose his own gospel.
Do you believe Matthew was an eyewitness to the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus? Yes.
Do you believe Matthew copied some text from Mark? Yes.
Can you think of any situation outside the bible in which the eyewitness to an event, chose to testify about the event by limiting themselves to reports about the event that were authored by a non-eyewitness?
One apologist tried in vain to say that it is normal for an eyewitness to include in his account the perspective of those who didn’t see the event. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX3MsbBIOAU
But this raises creates a problem for apologists that will never go away: Namely, Matthew’s contentment to use hearsay. If we should view eyewitness Matthew’s choice to use non-eyewitness Mark’s text as normal, then how do we distinguish Matthian material that draws on Matthew’s own memories, from Matthian material sourced in hearsay?
How can we confidently conclude that the testimony to the risen Jesus provided in Matthew 28 draws solely from Matthew’s own memories of those events, if other data indicate he had no problems incorporating hearsay into his gospel?
If Matthew was inspired by God, why would “other perspectives” interest him in the least? If you are “inspired by God” to write inerrantly about Lincoln’s assassination, what is the likelihood you’d care about what non-inspired or non-eyewitness accounts of it have to say? Why would God give you the ability to write on that subject inerrantly, if he wants you to consult other material? If God can give you the ability to inerrantly decide which accounts are true and which are false, can’t he just simplify matters by inspiring you to write inerrantly with NO source material?
it seems clear that a divinely inspired eyewitness, which is what apologists say Matthew was, would have no rational reason to give a shit about what non-eyewitnesses had to say. For all these reasons, the mere possibility that Matthew could have had reason to care for such about the content of hearsay material, is trumped by the argument showing how unlikely such a person would be to use such material. Thus when Christians agree that Matthew used much of Mark’s text, they are putting Matthew in a position that a truly divinely inspired person would not likely occupy.