[Excavating-Q] Jeff Peterson on the phenomenon of order
- Jeff Peterson writes:
JP: I agree that pericopae differently placed in all three Synoptics, along
with those relocated from their Marcan context by one Evangelist and omitted
by the other, do not constitute proof of a direct literary relationship
between Mt and Lk (though FWIW they do qualify the common assessment that
the Marcan order is _always_ followed by at least one of the later
JSKV: True enough, but as Neirynck comments quite properly, Sanders was
interpreting Woods (who made the statement) contra sensum auctoris. Woods'
point was that Matthew's and Luke's disagreements with MArk are not such as
to suggest collaboration.
JP: Some of Sanders's other examples however do seem to constitute
agreement in order against Mark. Without reviewing all of them, a few
comments on examples that especially impress me follow, with some response
to your objections.
> Since Dr. Peterson notes in particular the temptation story (seeJP: Right -- the Leaven is significant as a "micro-agreement": Mt and
> above), the parable of the leaven, and the teaching on forgiveness,
> let me note that the parable of the leave is differently attached to
> Mark (Matt: at MArk 4; Luke in the travel narrative, after Mark
Lk both preserve a unit in which Leaven (lacking in Mark)
immediately follows Mustard Seed. As you note, they locate this
unit at different points in the Marcan narrative, but it's the common
order within the unit that constitutes agreement against Mark, the
absence of which has been maintained as commending 2DH.
JSKV: Not quite, I think. A common agreement *against Mark* would be when
Mark has the order
a b c d e f g
and Matthew and Luke both have
a b e d c f g
In this case what one has is Matthew and Mark agreeing on the placement of
the Mustard (at Mark 4:30), but Matthew including an extra element that Mark
does not have. Luke does not agree with Mark's placement at all, but does
have the additional element with Matthew. There are other agreements of this
sort elsewhere. You mention the teaching on forgiveness, but its the same
> (e) approximately the sameJP: I don't understand why these should be ruled out of consideration; they
> 21. Mark 14:21 Matt 26:25 Luke 22:23
> 22. Mark 14:45 Matt 26:50 Luke 22:48
resemble Double Tradition passages like the Pounds/Talents where there's
little or no verbal agreement but enough parallel content to commend a
literary explanation. While #22 might be ascribed to independent redaction,
the explanation on FH strikes me as more satisfying: Luke sees what
Matthew's up to in his revision of Mark and composes 22:48 to more
effectively exploit the possibility latent in the Marcan narrative; but I
grant that Mt and Lk may have independently perceived this gap and filled
But #21 really must be accounted a striking coincidence on 2DH, mustn't it?
With no unsatisfying absence in Mark as in #22, Mt and Lk each elect to
transition from "the Son of Man goes" to the Supper via reaction among
Jesus' disciples? Luke 22:23 is easily explained as a redactional version of
Mt 26:25 following the Marcan saying, which Luke also recasts (though not as
JSKV: First, # 21: It is true that both Matthew and Luke extend Mark 14:21.
But Luke 22:23 is hardly an adaptation of Matt 26:25, but Luke's relocation
of Mark 14:19 -- HRXHTO LYPEISQAI KAI LEGEIN AUTW EIS KATA EIS: MHTI EGW;
Matthew, by contrast, is taking care to distinguish the 11 from Judas (not
Judas' vocative, Rabbi, which gives away his status). Luke betrays no
evidence of this distinction. This pericope I take to be an instance of
Matthew and Luke independently developing Mark.
#22: I think the scenario of independent redaction is better here. The
Matthaean Jesus is providing a commentary on Judas' action: I take it to be
a statement rather than a question: Friend, this is what you are here for.
In Luke it is not clear that Judas actually kissed Jesus. I take it that for
Luke, he did not (the Lukan Jesus is normally not very tactile). Thus, I don
't see any real evidence that Luke has seen Matthew's explanation, though it
is remotely possible that he has and doesn't like it and so provides a
completely different version. But why then not simply derive Luke from Mark?
> Neirynck also points out that #5 should not be listed at all, sinceJP: The Return to Bethany is a Lucan omission, but the entry (EISELQEIN in
> it is a Lukan omission, not a Matt-Luke agreement against Mark.
different forms) EIS TO hIERON on first arriving at Jerusalem agrees in
order against Mark's entry on the second day.
JSKV: I don't see this at all. Matt=MArk=Luke: kai eishlqen/eiselqwn eis ton
> 3. A careful examination of Mark 1:2-4 and parallels indicates that thereis as much disageement between Matt and Luke as there is agreement of
Matt-Luke against Mark. That is, it is difficult to detect any consistent
pattern of collaboration of MAtt-Luke against Mark here.
JP: I'm afraid I don't feel the force of the "no consistent pattern of
agreements" observation; the problem is how to account for such agreeements
as Mt and Lk exhibit in both wording and order apart from a direct literary
relationship. The points in which they fail to agree, like the passages in
Sanders's categories b and c which
you rightly dismiss, are not probative of anything and can be accounted for
as reflective of authorial tendency (e.g., Luke's extension of the Isa 40
quotation through "all flesh shall see God's salvation").
JSKV: My point is that what Sanders has done is to line up some of the
elements in Matt 3:1-6 and parr. where Matt and Luke agree against MArk, but
this in fact ignores the fact that there are many items out of order. We are
tied to fixed synopses, which commend to us a particular notion of what
elements are fixed and which ones have been moved. But I suggest than you
take some electronic text, put it in three columns, and start to line
various elements up yourself. You'll quickly see that there are multiple
ways to line up the agreements and disagreements in MAtt 3:1-6, some of
which don't suggest any collaboration at all between MAtthew and Luke. Check
also my methodoogical comments on determing what agreements and
disagreements are in chap. 1 of ExQ. Anyone who has tried to create a
synopsis will know just how untransparent the process really is. My
criticism of Sanders, in other words, is that he has not taken into account
the complexity of the text, and has chosen to focus on one apparent MA, not
noting that the very definition of an MA in this case is far from obvious.
JP: It's been a real treat comparing notes with a scholar of such
distinction. Many thanks to you, and to Mark and Stephen for
facilitating the discussion.
JSKV: Its a treat for me too, to have serious and thoughtful engagement.
This is the _Excavating Q_ Seminar (Oct. 23 -- Nov. 10 2000).
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