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[Excavating-Q] Luke's failure to reproducedMatthew's additions to Mark

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  • Mark Goodacre
    Dear John As someone who is not yet fully persuaded of the existence of Q, I very much enjoyed your clear and helpful discussion of Q and the Synoptic
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 6, 2000
      Dear John

      As someone who is not yet fully persuaded of the existence of
      Q, I very much enjoyed your clear and helpful discussion of "Q
      and the Synoptic Problem" in Chapter 1 of _Excavating Q_.
      Nevertheless, there were still one or two points where
      questions arose in my mind. One of these was the
      discussion on p. 41 of Luke's failure to feature Matthew's
      additions to Mark, which I will quote for those who don't have a
      copy of the book:

      "It has been observed that Luke fails to reproduce Matthew's
      'additions' to Mark and fails to adopt the more obvious
      Mattheanisms in the first gospel. Or, to put it more neutrally,
      in Lukan material for which there are Matthaean and Markan
      parallels, Luke rarely reflects what is distinctive of Matthew
      when it is compared with Mark. For example, Luke lacks the
      conversation between John the Baptist and Jesus in Matt.
      3.14-15 (contrast Mark 1.9-11 / Luke 3.21-22) and Matthew's
      extension of the quotation of Isa 6.9-10 (contrast Mark 4.12 /
      Luke 8.10). Neither Mark nor Luke reproduces Matthew's
      favorite "kingdom of the heavens". Luke's agreements with
      Matthew, moreover, begin where Mark begins and end where
      Mark ends: Matthew and Luke both have infancy stories and
      resurrection stories, but their accounts are completely
      different. For Luke to have so consistently avoided what
      Matthew added to Mark (Farrer-Goulder) or the material that
      Mark eliminated from Matthew ("Augustine") requires an
      idiosyncratic view of Lukan editorializing; obviously, it is far
      simpler to conclude that Luke lacks these Matthaeanisms
      because he has edited Matthew independently of Matthew."

      As you know, this is an argument that has been presented in
      similar forms by other leading advocates of Q like Joseph
      Fitzmeyer and Christopher Tuckett. Sometimes this is divided
      into two separate arguments: [1] Luke's lack of Matthew's
      additions to Mark in triple tradition and [2] Luke's lack of M
      material / Matthew's Infancy and Resurrection Stories.
      Because this is only an Email and my space and your time is
      limited, I'd like to focus briefly on one of these, [1]: Luke's lack
      of Matthew's additions to Mark in triple tradition.

      One of my difficulties with this argument is as follows. Let us
      say, for the sake of argument, and on the assumption of the
      Farrer Theory, that Luke were to include Matthew's additions
      to Mark in a triple tradition passage. How would this be
      treated by advocates of the Two-Source Theory? Would it not
      be placed in the category "Mark-Q overlap"? Several
      passages spring to mind, e.g. one that is adjacent to your
      example Matt. 3.14-15, viz. Matt. 3.11-12 // Mark 1.7-8 // Luke
      3.16-17. Here we have verbatim agreement between Matthew,
      Mark and Luke and we also have substantial verbatim
      agreement between Matthew and Luke against Mark. Where
      Mark, for example, has John say, "He will baptize you with
      holy spirit" (Mark 1.8), Matthew and Luke have "He will
      baptize you in holy spirit and fire" (Matt. 3.11 // Luke 3.16),
      and continue with a verse of near verbatim agreement featuring
      pretty typical Matthean language and themes on separation,
      judgement and the use of harvest imagery (Matt. 3.12 // Luke

      Is this not an example of "Luke's reproduction of Matthew's
      'additions' to Mark"? Or, to use your neutral formulation, Luke
      here "reflects what is distinctive of Matthew when it is
      compared with Mark". Perhaps the only thing that is causing
      us to miss material like this is the classifying of the Synoptic
      data according to the needs of the Two-Source Theory, in
      particular the use of the category "Mark-Q overlap".

      But I think that there may be a way that we can test the point.
      Luke does not, of course, always feature what is distinctive of
      Matthew when it is compared with Mark. On such occasions,
      we need to ask whether the distinctive Matthean material
      appears to be in any way "Luke pleasing", to use Farrer's
      term. For if Luke could be shown frequently and consistently
      not to feature Matthaean material that we would expect him to
      feature, from what we can learn of his literary and redactional
      preferences elsewhere, then there would indeed be a problem
      for the Farrer Theory.

      One of your choice examples of this phenomenon is Luke's
      failure to include Matt. 3.14-15, John's protestation at Jesus
      coming to his baptism. I am not convinced that Luke would
      have found a passage like this congenial to his narrative
      agenda. His parallel comes, as you point out, in Luke 3.21-
      22. At this point in the development of Luke's story, John's
      arrest just been narrated (Luke 3.19-20). One of the things
      that many commentaries on Luke are at pains to point out is
      the extent to which Luke has John off the stage before Jesus
      appears, hence Luke's extraordinary account of the baptism in
      which John is not even mentioned. One of my tutors in
      Oxford, Eric Franklin, used to encourage his students to
      imagine themselves into the place of the evangelists. Well
      here, if I were Luke, and if I had Matt. 3.14-15 in front of me,
      it's just the kind of passage I'd omit. Wouldn't you have done
      the same if you were Luke?

      With many thanks
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
      Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

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