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RE: [Allison-Seminar] Hell in Q

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  • Dale Allison
    Dear Mark Well, this is the end of the line for me; thanks to everyone for your questions and comments, which have been helpful. Now, to your commments Mark:
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 5, 2003
      Dear Mark
      Well, this is the end of the line for me; thanks to everyone for your questions and comments, which have been helpful.
      Now, to your commments Mark:

      i. You write: >>it's difficult to find anything like as striking as some of the expressions we have in Q, e.g. the neologism OLIGOPISTOI or whole phrases like weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth.<< I've never tried to look for these, but if you're right, then you do it seems have a good question for the Q guild.

      ii. Re the reconstruction of the wording of Q. This is hard for me to think through because there are so many facts I don't have to hand. For one thing, I'd need to go through The Critical Edition and see if there are any phrases that sound Lukan and whether they come close to balancing the phrases that sound Matthean. (Your comments imply No, but I've not done this myself.) Further, I'd want to see how many things in The Critical Edition do not sound Matthean, things that in each case, if The Critical Edition is correct, Matthew consistently changed. Once I had these facts, then I'd want the details regarding what Matthew has done to the Markan sayings (not the narratives) to see to what degree Jesus' Mark sounds like Matthew's Mark. With all this in hand, then I could answer your question. Seems to me that if you could do all this, and if Matthew looks a lot more like Q's Jesus than Mark's Jesus, and if our official Q is consistently (and not just once in a while) not non-Matthean, we'd need to have some thoughts that I haven't had until now.

      iii. I'd also want, if I were working through all this now, to attempt to reconstruct the sayings of Jesus in Mark with only Matthew and Luke to hand (that is, pretending not to have Mark), using the methods of the official Q project. Would Mark end up looking more Matthean than Lukan? What would this tell us?

      iv. Re your attempt to assign John's speeches in Q 3 to Matthew (if I understand you rightly), a couple of things may be said. One is that the idea of pure redaction--but you may not be saying this--seems to me to be problematic. >>The Son of man<< in Mt 16:28 is >>pure<< redaction, being a replacement of >>the kingdom of God<< in the Markan parallel. But Matthew took his phrase from the tradition, and it doesn't sound unlike Jesus elsewhere in the synoptic tradition, does it? Again and again, redaction takes up items from the tradition, and Jesus is usually in character. No evangelist could have had him say, e.g., that there is no God. This leads into the second thing, which is that what I see with Q 3, namely, Matthew using it for other things, seems to me to be so natural because I see it everywhere in the Jesus tradition; that is, people are constantly assimilating one thing to another. Mark has assimilated the feeding of the 5000 to the Lord's Supper, right? The parallels don't argue that he invented both. Mark has also created the second feeding story to match the first, or at least assimilated them to one another, but he didn't create both, did he? Mark has probably written Gethsemane to correlate with Mark 13:32-37 (or maybe it's the other way around)--but this doesn't mean he invented both Gethsemane and the parable in Mark 13 out of nothing or nothing much. Of course I could go on and on--tons of stuff in Talbert's old list of parallels in Luke-Acts, and tons of assimilation of this story about Jesus to that OT text--and (recalling your own work on the OT in the passion narrative), Mark isn't making up the passion narrative but assimilating Bible and traditions for the most part? Assimilating this to that is just how these people worked, so Q 3 is just one more example. Of course, this doesn't prove anything at all; it just explains how I'm looking at something, and in part because I grew up with Q. To go back to the essay on apocalyptic and ideology, I really do feel that most of us, most of the time, are working from ideas we formed at the beginning, ideas which we've gotten used to and so now must defend; most of us are very bad at converting after the teenage years; we're rather typically stuck in our ways.

      v. Glad to see that you think the main points of the article on Gehenna may stand up without Q.

      vi. Thanks for the mention of Jack Sanders' new book, which I had missed. Looks worthwhile.

      vii. Have just started Steve Hultgren's Narrative Elements in the Double Tradition. More reason why I can't just go down the road assuming what I took to be knowledge when I was still going to school; or rather, I just never get out of school. I will, however, now that this so-called Seminar is over, take a brief recess.


      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel.: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
      Birmingham B15 2TT UK


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