Religions and Education in Antiquity gathers ten essays on teaching and learning in the contexts of ancient Western religions, including Judaism, early Christianity and Gnostic Christian traditions. Beginning with an overview of religious education in the ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds, editor Alex Damm and the contributors together demonstrate the mutual influence of religion and education on each other; the relevance of educational traditions in addressing (for instance) historical or exegetical issues; and the thoroughgoing importance of education to religious life across time and space in antiquity. Highly useful to scholars of religion, theology, classics and education, this volume affords a state of the art study on pedagogy and learning in ancient religious contexts.
In this essay I shall consider ancient rhetoric as a means to suggest synoptic relationships. Focusing on the stylistic virtue of ornatus ("adornment"), I shall examine three triple tradition sentences in which the gospel of Mark employs a word used nowhere by the gospels of Luke or Matthew. Focusing on the relationship between Mark and the other gospels, I shall ask whether it is more likely that Mark adds the word to Matthew and/or Luke on the Two-Gospel Hypothesis, or whether Matthew and/or Luke delete it from Mark on the Two-Document Hypothesis. My study leads me to two conclusions. On grounds of ornatus, editing on either source hypothesis is plausible. But such editing on the Two-Document Hypothesis is more plausible, since Mark's addition of each word would entail the unlikely discovery of near-perfect or coincidentally co-ordinated literary patterns in Matthew and/or Luke.