- To: Synoptic
On: Mustard Seed
Another interesting Oxford paper, combining two topics of perennial
interest, is Charles W Hedrick, The Parables and the Synoptic Problem. The
Parable of the Mustard Seed is discussed on p9-17. On p14, I read:
CWH: There is nothing in Luke that Luke could not have acquired through
EBB: This claim is strengthened if in the table on p12-13 we move down
Luke's phrase "and became" from its present position (opposite Mk's "and
becomes") the one corresponding to Mt's "and becomes." Either position
requires a tense change in Lk, so the identities can be said to be equally
The Farmer Synopticon, however, shows a couple of places within the parable
where Lk has a KAI that is without precedent in Mt, but *is* present in Mk.
More convincingly, perhaps, the whole introduction to the parable proper is
closely similar in Mk/Lk, but different in Mt. Thus:
Mk: 4:30. "And he said, With what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what
parable shall we use for it?
Mt 13:31. "Another parable he put before them, saying"
Lk 13:18. "He said therefore, What is the Kingdom of God like? And to what
shall I compare it?"
One can dismiss Lk 13:18 as "Lukan redaction:" not part of the parable at
all, and thus outside the present discussion. But isn't it nevertheless
suggestive that Lk, if he had only Mt before him, has spontaneously invented
this double unanswered rhetorical question redaction, in uncanny resemblance
to Mk, to whom, on present hypothesis, he owes nothing in this section?
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst