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4438RE: [Synoptic-L] Poirier & length of Luke (and Acts)

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Aug 3, 2012
      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Ron
      On: Page Theories
      From: Bruce

      Ron (responding to David Inglis): While I can't claim to be able to fit
      Marcion's text into the history of the editions of Luke, the clear
      implication of my page hypothesis is that the original text of Luke did
      contain the preface.

      Bruce: This is a weakness of all page theories: they are vulnerable to
      evidence for interpolation and extension, which unfortunately all the
      Gospels except Matthew seem to contain. At any rate, decision between a page
      theory and another type of theory seems to be possible, which is somewhat

      Ron: The original with its truly majestic opening (1:1-4; 3:1-2) was a codex
      of 60 pages,

      Bruce: The opening is surely impressive; much moreso than the opening of
      Matthew, which I have suggested Luke was imitating, and indeed surpassing.

      Ron: . . . and this was expanded into a codex of 68 pages corresponding to
      the extant Luke. This was achieved by the addition of the birth narratives
      (1:5 - 2:52, 7 pages)

      Bruce: Ron thus incorporates the Birth Narrative into his page theory, which
      preserves that theory against that challenge. I should think, however, that
      the prefaces to Luke and Acts were added at the time that Acts I was added
      to Luke, which as I have earlier suggested there are reasons for thinking
      was later than Luke A. That is,

      (1) Luke A (no Birth narrative, no preface)
      (2) Matthew (contains a skimpy Birth narrative)
      (2) Luke B adds a whammo Birth narrative plus Acts I, and prefaces both

      Ron . . . and the Parable of the Pounds (19:12-27, 1 page).

      Bruce: Ah, the Parable of the Pounds (or Talents). This is not only
      intrusive in Luke, it is intrusive *from Matthew.* The directionality
      argument has been ably (indeed, hilariously) set forth by M Goulder, and
      needs no restatement by me. The upgrading to "ten" servants, which is not
      maintained through the rest of the story, is enough to make Luke here
      secondary to Matthew. Further support for the page theory as Ron here
      outlines it is to be had from the directionality of the Parable of the Feast
      (Lk 14:16-24 ~ Mt 22:1-14), which for many of the same reasons is original
      in Luke. That is, it is part of Luke A, as Ron seems to allow. But the
      implication of this priority of Luke in the Parable of the Feast is that
      Matthew here is secondary to Luke. I have elsewhere argued that there are
      many cases of this (the Sermon on the Mount < Plain being only the most
      extreme). This reverse movement is, I think, fatal to FGH in the form in
      which M Goulder left it. Since I have been unable to convince M Goulder
      during his lifetime, or any subsequent proprietor of the theory, to accept
      this reverse movement as a friendly amendment (so to speak), it becomes
      instead the basis of a rival account of the material. So be it.

      Meanwhile, Ron's Luke is vulnerable to any instances other than the two he
      mentions in which Goulder's account of Luke is correct. I would think that
      there are many of these, otherwise the general lateness of Luke compared to
      Matthew in the Trajectory material would be inexplicable.

      Quite apart from this Matthew question, there are signs of disturbance in
      Luke that point to later intrusion of material in Luke. For example, What
      route did Jesus take to Jerusalem? At the beginning there is a suggestion
      that he took the high road through Samaria, but later in the travel
      narrative he is evidently in Jewish territory, hence the low road along the
      Jordan. The Samaria motif in Luke is associated (as is the symbolic Sending
      of the Seventy, where 70 = 7 = all nations) with the Gentile mission, which
      seems to have been a late idea in Luke. There is a similar geographical
      tension at the end: Jesus appears to disciples on the road to Emmaus, which
      is NW of Jerusalem and implies the high road, but he ascends having led them
      out to Bethany, which is in the other direction and implies the low road. If
      we eliminate from Luke (that is, from our picture of Luke A) everything
      associated with the Gentile Mission, we avoid these little differences, and
      get a geographically consistent Luke A. Which is encouraging, but at the
      cost of making the Seventy etc secondary in Luke; author's later
      improvements not suggested by Matthew.

      Taking it a step further, the ascension in Luke also contradicts the
      ascension in Acts, as many (including Fitzmyer ad loc) have noted. Acts I is
      there precisely to reconcile Gentile and Jewish Christians, so it too (I
      infer) belongs the the Gentile Mission layer in Luke. After these had been
      added to Luke A, we have Luke B + Acts I, and a drastically reshaped picture
      of the history of Christianity.

      I think the evidences for such adjustments in Luke (including Acts, and I
      think we must include Acts in our calculations) are strong. But they are
      consistent neither with the Goulder realization of FGH nor with Ron's page
      theory. They imply more movement, and in more directions, than either of
      those proposals envisions.

      Here, to me, is the direction in which an eventual solution lies.


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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