[Excavating-Q] Mark Goodacre and Luke's Failures to reproduce Matthew
- Mark Goodacre, who is "not yet fully persuaded of the existence of Q"
inquires about my argument on p. 41 on Luke's general failure to reproduce
features of Matthew which, on the 2DH and FGH, Matthew has added to Mark.
He asks the hypothetical question, if Luke *had* included Matthew's
additions to Mark, how would advocates of the 2DH treat this. The question
is a bit moot, since were that the case, one of the main observations (what
I've called synoptic facts) with which most solutions start--namely, that
Matthew and Luke tend not to agree against Mark in Markan contexts--would no
longer hold. The category of minor agreements would have increased to
substantially that Lukan independence of Matthew (or vice versa) would no
longer be a very likely thesis. But yes, I suppose if some die-hards still
endorsed a version of the 2DH, they would have to explain such instances as
Mark outlines as Mark-Q overlaps. But such a solution would, in my view, be
swimming rather hard against the current of plausibility.
Mark then raises an excellent methodological point: "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 with
the Farrer theory."
This, I think is a very sound principle. I take it that it is in fact behind
Neirynck's THE MINOR AGREEMENTS OF MATTHEW AND LUKE AGAINST MARK. Neirynck
addresses the problem of the MAs, not merely be looking at the many
instances of MAs, but the phenomona of which they are a part: Matthew's
treatment of Mark, and Luke's treatment of Mark. Neirynck showed, I think,
that there are numerous instances where, e.g., Matthew fails to take over
from Luke just the sort of improvements that he [Matt] regularly effects on
Mark, and Luke fails to take over from Matthew the kinds of alterations that
he himself effects on Mark. Of course, on Neirynck's view, sometimes they do
agree in modifying Mark in the same way, but such agreement is just what one
should expect: sometimes Matt and Luke agree (coincidentally) in modifying
Mark in the same fashion.
Mark (the other, more modern Mark, of course) cites the example of Matt
3:14-17, where on the 2DH Matthew has added the dialogue with John, and
Luke, using Mark, fails to take it over. Mark points out that Luke in effect
*cannot* take over the dialogue, since JB is already in prison (Luke
3:19-20). True enough. But this admits of another account. Matthew and Luke,
faced with a problematic story of Jesus being baptized by a repentance
preacher (and hence logically Jesus' superior), solved the problem, but did
so independently. Matt constructed the dialogue, which makes plain that JB
saw Jesus as superior and which has John submitting to Jesus' commands, and
then the whole scene is confirmed by the divine voice speaking in the third
person to John, "This is..." Luke solved the problem differently: by putting
JB in prison, the status problems disappear, and the whole baptism is
submerged (;-) in a subordinate clause. Interestingly, however, though Luke
reframed the account with passive infinitives, which give the account an
objective narrative mode, and has the people present, he still takes over
Mark's "You are.." rather than Matthew's more objective "This is.."
We can track how other early Christian writers handle the problem and in
most cases, they too came up with different solutions: John deftly fails to
tell us that Jesus was in fact baptized. My point is that Luke's failure to
take over Matthaean adaptations of Mark here *could* be explained as MG
does, but only given the prior assumption that he moved John's imprisonment
for other reasons. But it seems to me that Luke relocated John's
imprisonment precisely as a way to avoid having Jesus baptized by John. On
the other hand, the 2DH has a credible explanation of the data too.
Let me counter with another Markan text, Mark 14:32-42. Matthew reframes
Mark's three-fold indication of Jesus returning to find the disciples not
obeying his command to pray (vv. 37, 40, 41) so that the focus is now on the
three prayers of Jesus (26:38, 42, 44), and where Matthew has Jesus pray the
Lord's prayer (41, 42b). Luke, however, drastically reduces the sequence to
a single departure-prayer-return (which deemphasizes the failure of Mark's
disciples). We know that Luke is otherwise very interested in Jesus'
praying, and adds this motif redactionally to Mark (on the 2DH and FGH).
Here, however, he foregoes the threefold prayer of Matthew in favour of his
own angel-in-the-garden scene.
I'd like to emphasize that I think that the FGH can accommodate this text
too, but it does seem to go against Mark's enunciated principle.
best wishes, MArk, and I'm looking forward to seeing you in Al Gore's
This is the _Excavating Q_ Seminar (Oct. 23 -- Nov. 10 2000).
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