890Testing the 3ST
- Dec 8, 2007The 3ST as I've expounded it involves at its heart the hypothesis that the
Double Tradition had two sources: part of it represents Luke copying Matthew
directly, and the other part comes from an Aramaic sayings source.
One of the predictions which can be made from this hypothesis is that if it
is true we should expect in general to find the text of Matthew and Luke to
be closer in the former case because (a) it only involves a single editor
and (b) it does not necessitate translation.
To test this prediction I have identified (with some computer help!) every
Double Tradition string of more than ten consecutive Greek words identical
in Matthew and Luke.
I found 35 such strings varying from 11 to 27 words long. In material deemed
to have originated with Matthew there are 23 strings with a total of 364
words, and in material deemed to have originated in the sayings source there
are 12 strings with a total of 205 words. I had actually allocated around
60% of the DT to the sayings source, so a random selection with this split
should have ended up with string words roughly in the ratio 2/3. The actual
ratio of 364/205 therefore backs up the prediction. The text of Matthew and
Luke does tend on the whole to be closer when Luke is editing Matthew than
when both are editing the sayings source. (Of course my criteria for
splitting the Double Tradition pericopes did not include assessing the
closeness of the texts of Matthew and Luke.)
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