Cc: GPG, WSW
In Response To: Ron Price
On: Alternating [Lk/Mt] Primitivity #1-2 bis
Just a few comments on Ron's rejoinders so far.
CASE 1 (Lk 6:39, the blind leading the blind). I had pointed out several
passages where Luke, but not Matthew, shows Jesus relatively friendly to
Pharisees or vice versa: notice the helpful warning of Lk 13:32, a unique
Ron: "There are two factors here. Firstly because elsewhere (in 11:39ff.)
Luke retains detailed criticisms of some Jewish groups. This nullifies your
argument about Luke's supposed lack of interest in Jewish factional
Bruce: We should distinguish original material from inertial material, that
retained from Mk or another predecessor. The latter may be there simply
because it is there in the source. The former is more likely to show where
the author personally is at. There is no nullification.
Ron: "Secondly because the change from a question in Luke to an assertion in
Matthew would have made Matthew's criticism of the Pharisees more barbed,
whereas the change from an assertion in Matthew to a question in Luke would
seem quite pointless."
Bruce: I doubt that a rhetorical shift can be pushed so far. If it can, that
would need to be demonstrated on more than one passage. Is there a general
tendency for statements in Mt or Lk to be counterparted by questions in the
other? I am open to statistics. Meanwhile, I am prepared to allow Luke to
vary Matthew's rhetoric, if only to fend off boredom.
[I had said that in the series under consideration, the "blind leading the
blind" passage "does not seem to continue the previous Lukan text in any
Ron: "Quite. Your observation matches well the hypothesis that Luke was here
taking sayings from an early source and not keeping them in their original
Bruce: Except that I go on to argue that the "blind" passage *does* link to
the following Lukan text, which then becomes relevant to interpretation.
Does this in turn mean that Lk is "taking sayings from an early source and
KEEPING them in their original order?" I doubt the force of both arguments,
or either taken separately. All it comes to is that Luke has a structure,
marked by series of units linked together, each series having its own
beginning and end. The same can be said of all the Gospels. I can see no
principle of priority or indebtedness anywhere in here.
[The rest of the discussion concerned what Fleddermann said or meant, and I
am here content to deal with what Ron said or meant]
CASE 2 (Lk 10:4, cf Mk 6:8-11 || Mt 10:9-14 || Lk 9:3-5). I had argued for
bringing in the other member of the doublet, as relevant to interpretation.
The issue is the word "greet."
Ron: Bruce is not alone in wondering what this phrase meant. Most likely it
refers to the urgency of the mission in view of the imminent coming of the
kingdom/Son of Man. But I have an additional explanation. The editor of the
logia wanted the word "greet"/"greeting" in the instructions in order to
create a link between the corresponding sayings B4 and D4 ("... and to be
greeted with respect in the marketplaces").
Bruce: I accept the Manson interpretation of haste. I continue to think that
Luke is here recycling, at a slightly different part of his text, the neat
word "greet" which he found in his Matthean source. As to Ron's own version
of Q, to which he here refers, I note that B4 and D4 stand notably apart in
it, and I cannot at this moment see what would be gained by Luke's
attempting to establish a link between them.
Ron [on my thought that Luke is slightly decoding Matthew's "greet the
house" by giving the words of blessing on the house"]: On the contrary,
Luke's Semitic greeting "Peace ..." correctly reflects the
Palestinian background of this early saying. Matthew's "Greet it", i.e. the
house or household, saves a few pen strokes but makes the next verse more
difficult to understand. My view is that Matthew's version is too obscure to
have been original.
Bruce: I don't think that economy of pen strokes applies. Matthew's version
would have been obscure to non-Jews, as Davies and Allison might be thought
to imply, and Luke is making it easier for them. We frequently find that
later scribes, perhaps especially the Byzantine ones, are consistently
concerned to produce a text which is clear on its face, and does not require
explanations or a critical apparatus. I think the same wish is entirely
credible for Luke. Matthew was probably not obscure to his original audience
(or if it was, what could have been his motive in making it so, given a
perfectly transparent Lukan original), but Luke's audience was different,
and he is keeping its needs in mind.
[We then took on the fact that Luke is not here giving instructions for the
Twelve, as use of the Matthean passage in question might imply, but for the
Seventy, a notion wholly unique in Luke, and without parallel, as an event,
in Matthew or anywhere else].
Ron: I did not deny that the framework of Luke's second sending was
conceived by Luke. All I was doing here was reiterating the majority view
that the original version of the mission instructions deriving from an early
source which predated the synoptic gospels, did not include the *number* of
missionaries. Of course
the number of missionaries in Lk 10 was introduced by Luke.
Bruce: Why are we discussing "majority views?" I am trying to get at Ron's
view. Let me attempt to elicit it by a question. Luke has previously written
his account of the Sending of the Twelve (Lk 9), based essentially on Mark.
He is now coming up to write his account of the Sending of the Seventy (Lk
10). Ron has said that the number seventy [-two, let's not quibble] is an
"editorial addition: by Luke. Editorial addition to what?
Ron: [The specification of the higher number] "was part of Luke's editorial
'wraparound' to his second version of the mission instructions, a version
which was dependent on an early sayings source. His first version in Lk 9
had been dependent on Mark. . . .
Bruce: But why have a second version at all?
Ron: "It is perfectly possible to conceive that Luke added his original
thought to a kernel which he had not written himself but found in an early
Bruce: Multiplication of sources ad hoc. I reject it. We have a perfectly
clear "kernel" in Mark, the Sending of the Twelve. If Luke had additional
information about that event, I would expect him to use it to enhance his
version of the Markan prototype, not to start a second Sending with it. If
his supposed non-Markan source had specified Seventy [or so] rather than
Twelve, then I can understanding his making it a separate incident, but Ron
seems to rule out that option by making "Seventy" exclusively Luke's idea.
OK, then suppose Luke had an unknown sayings source, and that the sayings
source also included a deeds source, and that that source contained a
variant account of the Sending of the Twelve. Luke might have imagined that
the Twelve were sent out twice, and located the second Sending at the
beginning of his special Travel Narrative. But there is nothing in the
resulting Second Sending save Mark (cannibalized from Luke's own previous
version), Matthew (newly seen, in my opinion; concurrently seen according to
others), and his own symbolic imagination.
I do agree, though, with the feeling that Luke is here derivative. The
question is, derivative from what? I continue to think, for reasons
previously adduced, that the three sources named above (Mark, Matthew, and
Luke himself) will cover the necessary ground.
CASE 3 [Lk 10:5, the austerity issue; not separately discussed in Ron's
E Bruce Brooks