I have always understood Luke's title 'Sermon on the Plain' to refer to his audience.
Mark and Matthew wrote Gospels primarily intended for the Judean members of the ecclesia. The Mountain refers to Mt Sinai where the Revelation to Moses was revealed. Jesus' sermon was meant to express fulfillment of the commandments. Luke's audience was wider, more diffuse, and directed to Gentiles and Gentile Christians. His aim was apologetic. He recognized Jesus spoke to his own peple. At the same time his words were meant for the world, according to Luke. Hence the sermon was also meant for the people "on the plain." The problem is in line with the Farrer hypothesis, which I adhere to.
----- Original Message -----
From: Ron Price
To: Synoptic-L elist
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 10:08 AM
Subject: [Synoptic-L] The Sermon on the Plain
Neither the 2ST nor the FT can provide satisfactory explanations for Luke's
2ST advocates have difficulty with the "level place" (Lk 6:17). (Why is it
mentioned if not as a hint at Luke's dislike of Matthew's "mountain" with
its reminder of Moses?)
They also have difficulty with the fact that Luke's sermon just happens to
start and finish with the same sayings with which Matthew's sermon starts
and finishes. (The supposed "Q" has no obvious sections.)
FT advocates have a different problem. Goulder suggested that Luke found
Matthew's sermon too long. But what would an editor most naturally do with a
text which was too long? Abbreviate it of course. Yet Luke didn't simply
abbreviate the SoM. In spite of the existence of a plentiful supply of
'Luke-pleasing' sayings in Mt 5-7, including Mt 6:19-21 // Lk 12:33-34; Mt
6:22-23 // Lk 11:34-35; Mt 6:25-33 // Lk 12:22-31, he decided to augment the
'abbreviation' with three sayings from elsewhere in Matthew: Mt 15:14 // Lk
6:39; Mt 10:24-25 // Lk 6:40; Mt 12:34-35 // Lk 6:45.
The 3ST provides the most satisfactory explanation for all three problems.
The "level place" is indeed a negative reaction against Matthew's
"mountain". Both sermons begin and end with the same sayings because both
sermons were based on the first section of the logia which started with
"Blessed are the poor ..." and ended with 'Rock/sand'. All the logia sayings
in Luke's Sermon on the Plain are from the first section of the logia, so
although Luke did add some of his own material (e.g. the four woes), he
didn't take any sayings from the other logia sections.
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