4150RE: [Synoptic-L] Luke's Great Omission
- May 18, 2012To: Synoptic
On: The Great Omission
David Inglis had shared his sense that the Great Omission in Luke was due to
a defective Vorlage.
Mark Matson commented: I think Luke definitely chose to ignore the Markan
As far as I know, that deserves to be called the universal consensus on the
matter. That consensus seems to me to raise these questions:
1. Luke, at least in the form we have him, seems to favor the Gentile
Mission; he has Jesus appoint a second Apostolic team, The Seventy, to go
into "Samaria" (Luke's symbol for non-Jewish territory; compare the Parable
of the Good Samaritan). The Feeding of the 4000 is Mark's symbolic way of
bringing in the Gentile Mission, as fully on a par with the Mission to the
Jews (symbolized by the Feeding of the 5000), and Mark's Jesus, speaking for
Mark, is at pains to explain to us (as represented in Mark by the disciples)
who may be slow to get the symbolism, exactly how the symbolism works. So
there is no reasonable doubt about what the Feeding of the 4000 is doing in
Mark. Luke, as usually understood, ought then to have had no resistance to
this part of Mark, whereas it is easy to see why he omitted the part where
Jesus's family and friends think Jesus is crazy, and make a move to put him
away. What then is the authorial reason for this portion of the omission?
Dublettenfurcht? But then why the rest of the Omission, and be it noted that
Luke, not least in his 70 paralleling the 12, has Dubletten elsewhere?
2. Luke's omissions from Mark are interesting, but nowhere else in Luke (or
in Matthew) is there so large and so consecutive an omission. Why this
anomaly, which goes against Luke's practice elsewhere?
3. If we follow the text of Mark along with that of Luke, at the point
leading up to the beginning of the Omission, and if when we come to that
point we mark it with a pencil, we find that our pencilmark in the supposed
Vorlage falls in the middle of a sentence. So also if we follow the text of
Mark until Luke again picks up the Markan story. That makes two pencilmarks.
Explanations for Luke's omission of one pericope certainly abound, and there
may be some for Luke's omission of a series or pericopes (though I don't
recall seeing any). But in no other case, whether of omission or inclusion,
does Luke's procedure produce, or imply, ragged pericope edges. Why here,
since it conspicuously goes against Luke's practice elsewhere?
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
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