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Re: [Synoptic-L] Loose ends

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  • Chuck Jones
    Ron, You make an excellent point and choose an excellent example. You cited one of the most radically redacted passage in the entire synoptic body. Five
    Message 1 of 22 , May 15, 2008
      Ron,

      You make an excellent point and choose an excellent example.

      You cited one of the most radically redacted passage in the entire synoptic body. Five verses have become 15. A speech and a dramatic conclusion have been added.

      I know I'm repeating myself, but this is not at all the situation with
      Mt and Lk in the birth or resurrection narratives. There is no scene modified--even radically--by Lk, because there are no scenes in common
      between the two.

      Rev. Chuck Jones
      Atlanta, Georgia

      Ron Price wrote:


      "There is a precedent for an almost complete rewrite in the way Mk 6:1-6a is

      changed into Lk 4:16-30. Here there is only just enough in common for us to

      be sure that the Lukan version is a rewrite of Mark rather than an

      unconnected passage. With this in mind it is hard to see why anyone could

      object to the plausibility of Luke's posited rewriting of Matthew's birth

      narratives."
    • Chuck Jones
      Leonard, No one argues that the synopticists were required to do anything. We simple note what they chose to do. John is an example of choosing a different
      Message 2 of 22 , May 15, 2008
        Leonard,

        No one argues that the synopticists were required to do anything. We simple note what they chose to do. John is an example of choosing a different method.

        The fact is that most of the time there is very slight variation between passages when they appear in more than one synoptic. Three examples of radical redaction have been mentioned in the last two days, underlining just how unusual it was.

        Our questions are asked in light of what these authors usually did. In this case, Why did Lk treat the birth and resurrection narratives differently from any other portion of Mt or Mk? He surely had redactional motives the entire time.

        Rev. Chuck Jones
        Atlanta, Georgia

        Leonard wrote:
        > The default position becomes: an evangelist is obligated to
        > copy what lies before him (with more or less minor
        > adjustments). Without the Markan priority grid, it is
        > perfectly possible to view Luke as having completely redone
        > the known infancy and resurrection narratives in Matthew.
        > Luke is a writer.?
      • gentile_dave@emc.com
        I might as well put in my 2 cents. Being of the 3 source persuasion, I have no problem with the idea that Luke knew of Matthew. I do take issue with the idea
        Message 3 of 22 , May 16, 2008
          I might as well put in my 2 cents. Being of the 3 source persuasion, I
          have no problem with the idea that Luke knew of Matthew. I do take issue
          with the idea that there was no saying source of any kind, however.



          I think some of the narrative bits of "Q" were probably brought over
          later by redactors and were not in the autograph of Luke. Also, I agree
          that changes in the Lord's Prayer easily could have come from Luke's own
          experience in his community. But at a minimum some sort of Q like saying
          list had to exist, at least momentarily, in Luke's workshop. The
          composition process, moving from Matthew to Luke, would almost require
          that one go through Matthew, write down what you found to be
          interesting, and then rearrange the material for your own use. This
          provides a good explanation for the non-survival of "Q". Luke created it
          and threw it away when he was done with it.



          So its existence, per se, is not really an issue. Its life story is a
          question, however.



          1) It could be an authentic early source. (Ron's idea)

          2) It could have existed only in Luke's workshop, in which case we
          essentially have "Mark without Q"

          3) It could be a relatively late forgery by the author of the
          gospel of Matthew, in order to justify the creation of the gospel of
          Matthew.



          Personally, I think #3 explains the most. It explains Luke's respect of
          some of Matthew's contents as authentic records, but also his lack of
          respect for things like Matthew's order, and birth narration. It makes
          what Papias tells us true as far as everyone knows (except the forger).
          Also, I think it makes sense of certain features of the salt sayings. I
          believe Mark's is the original version, because I see the meaning as too
          complex to be patched together from parts, rather it would have had to
          have been crated specially for the role it serves in Mark. On the other
          hand there is Matthew's use of MWRANQH. This is explicable on my
          hypothesis, (see below), but is problematic on either alternative.



          From http://www.davegentile.com/synoptics/Mark.html



          ========

          Also of interest here is Matthew's choice of the word "MWRANQH" (or
          "Moranthe"). It has been argued that Matthew got this from an Aramaic
          saying source which had a word with the root "TPL", and meant "becomes
          tasteless"20. The theory continues that Matthew then mistranslates it to
          mean "becomes insipid", and thus chooses to use the Greek word
          "MWRANQH", "foolish". However, I would argue that Matthew wrote
          "foolish", because he meant "foolish", that is he was deliberately
          re-writing Mark. If that was the case, then Matthew would have most
          likely been well aware of the similarly between "foolish" and
          "tasteless" in Aramaic, and probably used this fact to help justify his
          changing the gospel of Mark's "salt-less" to the gospel of Matthew's
          "foolish" and the re-contextualization of the salt saying.



          Essentially my argument is this -

          1) Mark's versions of the sayings are earlier than Matthew's based
          on the evidence

          2) Luke seems to treat Matthew's versions of the sayings as more
          authoritative than Mark's, while at the same time respecting Mark's
          order and structure and narrative contents far more than Matthew's

          3) Matthew would have motivation to fudge the providence of the
          sayings

          4) Papias seems to tell us that Matthew had an early source, but
          the evidence says otherwise.







          Dave Gentile

          Riverside, IL



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • E Bruce Brooks
          To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Dave Gentile On: Modified Q From: Bruce Dave had said in part: I do take issue with the idea that there was no saying
          Message 4 of 22 , May 16, 2008
            To: Synoptic
            Cc: GPG
            In Response To: Dave Gentile
            On: Modified Q
            From: Bruce

            Dave had said in part: " I do take issue with the idea that there was no
            saying source of any kind, however. I think some of the narrative bits of
            "Q" were probably brought over later by redactors and were not in the
            autograph of Luke."

            This seems to point in two directions: (a) a pre-Luke sayings source, which
            Luke himself used, and (b) post-Lukan narrative additions to Luke, seemingly
            from the same source, but used differently and by a different hand. If this
            is a correct picture, could we have an example of each?

            Dave again: "But at a minimum some sort of Q like saying list had to exist,
            at least momentarily, in Luke's workshop. . . . The composition process,
            moving from Matthew to Luke, would almost require that one go through
            Matthew, write down what you found to be interesting, and then rearrange the
            material for your own use."

            This, as I read it, suggests yet a third entity: Luke's list of what he was
            going to take from Matthew, written out for his immediate use and discarded
            immediately after use. Something so ephemeral hardly needs a name; doesn't
            it suffice to say "Luke knew Matthew and used parts of it?" And leave to him
            the question of how he physically manages the texts in front of him, plus
            any interim drafts of his own?

            Still confused, but willing to be enlightened.

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          • Ron Price
            ... Chuck, I m at a loss to understand you here. If you mean that there are no scenes in common between the Mt and Lk versions of the birth and resurrection
            Message 5 of 22 , May 16, 2008
              Chuck Jones wrote:

              > ..... this [ Mk 6:1-6a --> Lk 4:16-30] is not at all the situation with
              > Mt and Lk in the birth or resurrection narratives. There is no scene
              > modified--even radically--by Lk, because there are no scenes in common
              > between the two.

              Chuck,

              I'm at a loss to understand you here. If you mean that there are no scenes
              in common between the Mt and Lk versions of the birth and resurrection
              narratives, then you and I must have different criteria for deciding when
              two passages reflect the same scene. What about the scene in which a divine
              angel is sent to {Joseph|Mary}, who is then told that [Mary] will bear a son
              and {he|she} is instructed to call him "Jesus"? The scene is radically
              altered, but it looks to me like basically the same scene. What about the
              scene in which the risen Jesus appears to some of his disciples and tells
              them that the gospel is to be preached "to all nations" in the name of
              {Christ|the Son} and {|authorized by} the Father with the help of the {Holy
              Spirit|promised power from on high} (see also Eric Eve's deeper comparison
              in this thread)?

              Ron Price

              Derbyshire, UK

              Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
            • gentile_dave@emc.com
              The point is that moving from Matthew to Luke, and looking at what sort of material we have, and how it is arraigned in both sources, indicates the material
              Message 6 of 22 , May 16, 2008
                The point is that moving from Matthew to Luke, and looking at what sort
                of material we have, and how it is arraigned in both sources, indicates
                the material almost certainly existed at some stage in the form of a
                list of items.



                If it was only in Luke's workshop, then, no, it does not need a name,
                but we still need it as part of our explanation for what we see.
                Certainly if one is trying to persuade Q folks to a Mark-without-Q
                position, this composition process is worth mentioning.



                Example of material brought over late from Matthew to Luke - John B's
                special preaching.

                Example of material that existed in sayings form at least momentarily -
                Salt and Light sayings.



                Dave Gentile

                Riverside, IL









                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Chuck Jones
                Ron wrote, you and I must have different criteria for deciding when two passages reflect the same scene. What about the scene in which a divine angel is sent
                Message 7 of 22 , May 20, 2008
                  Ron wrote,

                  "you and I must have different criteria for deciding when two passages reflect the same scene. What about the scene in which a divine angel is sent to {Joseph|Mary} , who is then told that [Mary] will bear a son and {he|she} is instructed to call him "Jesus"? The scene is radically altered, but it looks to me like basically the same scene. What about the scene in which the risen Jesus appears to some of his disciples and tells them that the gospel is to be preached "to all nations" in the name of {Christ|the Son} and {|authorized by} the Father with the help of the {Holy Spirit|promised power from on high}."

                  Ron,

                  You've correctly zeroed in one of the only bits of tradition in common between Mt and Lk about J's birth--that an angel announced a virgin birth with words that included "bear a son, and name him Jesus." (The other bits are the two characters Joseph and Mary, and the two towns Bethlehem and Jerusalem.)

                  A scene has context, characters, setting, dialog and action.

                  Mt and Lk's announcements share the character of an angel and the six words above. Different settings, context and additional characters.

                  Imagine a composition teacher assigned students to write a short story with the three characters, two settings and one announcement listed above. Would you accuse Mt or Lk of plagiarism? What if the teacher had instructed them to use each other's work to what ever extent it would be helpful. Do you think they would have some explaining to do? Again, we need a hypothesis for why Lk ignored Mt.

                  Regarding the Great Commission tradition. Lk and Mt have three words in common "of all nations." Setting, characters, context, action and the remainder of the dialog have nothing in common.

                  Hope this helps,

                  Rev. Chuck Jones
                  Atlanta, Georgia
                • Chuck Jones
                  All, My post should have read the two towns Bethlehem and Nazareth. It is corrected below. Thanks, Chuck Ron wrote, you and I must have different criteria
                  Message 8 of 22 , May 20, 2008
                    All,

                    My post should have read "the two towns Bethlehem and Nazareth. It is corrected below.

                    Thanks,

                    Chuck

                    Ron wrote,



                    "you and I must have different criteria for deciding when two passages
                    reflect the same scene. What about the scene in which a divine angel is
                    sent to {Joseph|Mary} , who is then told that [Mary] will bear a son
                    and {he|she} is instructed to call him "Jesus"? The scene is radically
                    altered, but it looks to me like basically the same scene. What about
                    the scene in which the risen Jesus appears to some of his disciples and
                    tells them that the gospel is to be preached "to all nations" in the
                    name of {Christ|the Son} and {|authorized by} the Father with the help
                    of the {Holy Spirit|promised power from on high}."



                    Ron,



                    You've correctly zeroed in one of the only bits of tradition in common
                    between Mt and Lk about J's birth--that an angel announced a virgin
                    birth with words that included "bear a son, and name him Jesus." (The
                    other bits are the two characters Joseph and Mary, and the two towns
                    Bethlehem and Nazareth.)



                    A scene has context, characters, setting, dialog and action.



                    Mt and Lk's announcements share the character of an angel and the six
                    words above. Different settings, context and additional characters.



                    Imagine a composition teacher assigned students to write a short story
                    with the three characters, two settings and one announcement listed
                    above. Would you accuse Mt or Lk of plagiarism? What if the teacher had
                    instructed them to use each other's work to what ever extent it would
                    be helpful. Do you think they would have some explaining to do? Again,
                    we need a hypothesis for why Lk ignored Mt.



                    Regarding the Great Commission tradition. Lk and Mt have three words in
                    common "of all nations." Setting, characters, context, action and the
                    remainder of the dialog have nothing in common.



                    Hope this helps,



                    Rev. Chuck Jones

                    Atlanta, Georgia
                  • E Bruce Brooks
                    To: Synoptic In Response To: Chuck Jones On: Mt/Lk Birth Narratives From: Bruce This is a spectator comment on recent dialogue. RON: You and I must have
                    Message 9 of 22 , May 20, 2008
                      To: Synoptic
                      In Response To: Chuck Jones
                      On: Mt/Lk Birth Narratives
                      From: Bruce

                      This is a spectator comment on recent dialogue.

                      RON: You and I must have different criteria for deciding when two passages
                      reflect the same scene. What about the scene in which a divine angel is sent
                      to {Joseph|Mary} , who is then told that [Mary] will bear a son and {he|she}
                      is instructed to call him "Jesus"? The scene is radically altered, but it
                      looks to me like basically the same scene.

                      BRUCE: Exactly so. The alterations are important (and their narrative and/or
                      theological drift can be detected, and they help to establish the respective
                      authorial agendas), but the scene is surely the same. I earlier gave (from
                      Fitzmyer) a list of the *particulars in which* they are the same, but it
                      shouldn't need that list.

                      CHUCK: A scene has context, characters, setting, dialog and action. / Mt and
                      Lk's announcements share the character of an angel and the six words above.
                      Different settings, context and additional characters.

                      BRUCE: Here, as it seems to this bystander, we have a discussion at
                      loggerheads. Would it not be useful, in this interchange and in general, for
                      all parties to agree to distinguish between (a) a scribal copy, which is
                      what Chuck seems to have in mind, and (b) a free adaptation, which is what
                      Ron seems to be envisioning? Disqualifying the Birth Narratives as category
                      (a) does not preclude category (b).

                      And I think that distinction is functional, in the sense that we can do
                      something with it. Specifically, I think we may validly ask of this pair of
                      passages what we may ask of any other Mt/Lk pair, whether closely or freely
                      related, namely: what is the one doing to the prototype which he found in
                      the other? Why, for instance, to pick on the detail singled out by Ron's
                      summary above, does the angel in Mt address Joseph, but in Lk, instead Mary?
                      Why does Mt have the newborn Jesus visited by magi, and Lk by shepherds? Do
                      these and other differences cohere with each other, the Mt ensemble
                      consistently defining one authorial stance or emphasis, and the Lk ensemble
                      another?

                      I think they might, but would not venture to say what at this juncture.

                      Bruce

                      E Bruce Brooks
                      Warring States Project
                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                    • Chuck Jones
                      Bruce, Thanks for the excellent thoughts. I would make two observations: First, certainly it is possible that Lk chose your option (b) and freely adapted the
                      Message 10 of 22 , May 21, 2008
                        Bruce,

                        Thanks for the excellent thoughts. I would make two observations:

                        First, certainly it is possible that Lk chose your option (b) and freely adapted the story of an announcement by an angel in Bethlehem to Joseph. The problem with this theory is that the method the synopticists used in creating their works was in fact your option (a), scribal copying. So we have to ask why Lk would use (b) in this single case.

                        (It's worth noting that if Lk freely adapted Mt in this scene, it would be the most radically any synopticist ever changed another scene. As significant as Lk's alternations of the Nazareth rejection passage are, it's at least still the same setting, the same characters, the same outcome. It's not the story of Jesus' rejection by camel traders in a marketplace in Jericho.)

                        Second, we also have to place this question in context. The announcement passage is a one scene of about a dozen verses surrounded in both books by scores of verses that present two coherent "short stories"--completely different stories with no elements in common and therefore no evidence of scribal copying or free adaptation.

                        Looking, then, at all of Mt 1-2 and Lk 1-2, it seems to me that what makes most sense is this: Mt and Lk freely composed their birth stories, aware of a birth legend with these elements: an angel announced a baby would be virgin born and was to be named Jesus; the parents were Mary and Joseph; the birthplace was in Bethlehem even though the hometown of Jesus was widely known to be Nazareth.

                        This last point seems the strongest piece in this line of thought, as it is obvious that Lk and Mt solve the geography puzzle in completely different and incompatible ways.

                        Bruce, maybe the most important question for us is, which solution would we embrace if we didn't have a pre-existing source theory preference?

                        Rev. Chuck Jones
                        Atlanta, Georgia__,_._,__
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