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Re: [Synoptic-L] explanations for the two versions of the LP

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Jeffrey Gibson On: LP in NT From: Bruce I don t at all deprecate surveys of previous scholarship such as the LP one that
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 28, 2008
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      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG
      In Response To: Jeffrey Gibson
      On: LP in NT
      From: Bruce

      I don't at all deprecate surveys of previous scholarship such as the LP one
      that Jeffrey has embarked on; quite the contrary. I am glad to have them. I
      plan to look up a few of the articles mentioned, which is not going to be
      easy at my institution. My own primary interest, though, remains in solving
      the problem, and I can't help responding in that sense to Jeffrey's
      preliminary list of scholarly positions so far surveyed. Thus:

      JG 1. The Lord's Prayer did not originate with Jesus but was composed later
      on the basis of Jesus' teaching about prayer and his activity in prayer.

      EBB: Red herrings galore. It suffices to posit that the LP did not originate
      with Jesus. What it *was* based on involves a second positing. Confining
      ourselves to Mark for the moment (for reasons heretofore mentioned), I note
      that Jesus is several times shown at prayer, and that none of them has the
      slightest typological resemblance to the LP. My hunch is that this basic
      position is correct, but that the actual sources of the LP might well remain
      unspecified for the moment.

      JG 2. Jesus gave the Prayer on two distinct occasions, the earlier probably
      preserved in Matthew, the later in Luke.

      EBB: This type of explanation is very familiar to me; it is used by Han
      dynasty commentators (that would be around the end of the 2nd century AD) to
      account for diverse doctrines in the supposedly consistent Analects of
      Confucius. In my field we call it the multidisciple hypothesis. Explanations
      of this type tend to be too easy. Absent a more specific formulation, indeed
      a scenario, they don't carry much convincement. I now take up the scenario
      itself. Suppose Jesus had dictated the prayer twice, would he have forgotten
      his own wording in the meantime? There is no a priori answer to that; we
      need to examine the actual differences in the wording. The Mt version, as I
      think many will agree, is a sort of footnoted version of the Lk version. So
      the idea that Mt is the earlier version will not very readily withstand
      scrutiny of the respective texts. For the other aspect, see next.

      JG 3. Matthew preserves the original words of Jesus, which were later
      modified by Luke for his audience.

      EBB: As before, the Lk version is manifestly primary, and the Mt version is
      an expanded gloss on it. The Lk version is definitely in line with Lk's
      preferences elsewhere, but that the Lk LP was produced by diminution from
      the Mt LP doesn't have literary probability. I have already suggested that
      Lk was a church member, not a visiting correspondent, and he will have known
      the primary LP from his own membership experience. He didn't have to look it
      up in some book (whether or not by Matthew) and then cut it to suit his
      agenda preferences. It will have been a given for him.

      JG 4. Luke preserves the original form of the Prayer of Jesus which was
      liturgically expanded in Matthew.

      EBB: On the literary merits of the two versions, I think this is the only
      tenable inference. But again, it is here bundled with the idea that the LP
      stems direct from Jesus. That is two ideas in one hypothesis, and it is not
      best procedure. The relation between the two versions is logically separate
      from the question of the origin of the earlier version.

      JG 5. The forms in Luke and in Matthew represent developments in two diverse
      worshiping communities.

      EBB: Note that this is not inconsistent with the preceding (at least as
      slimmed down in my restatement), save that the development in the Lk version
      may easily be assumed to be zero.

      Note that the basic statement in #1 is at bottom compatible with certain
      senses of #4 and #5. The only really irreconcilable points are #2 and #3.
      This being so, I would find it easier to take Jeffrey's summary if the
      options were arranged accordingly. Perhaps:

      1. Jesus did not teach the LP; it was a later creation
      a. The Mt/Lk forms evolved separately
      b. The Mt Lk forms are mutually dependent, and
      b1. The Mt form is original
      b2. The Lk form is original

      2. Jesus did teach the LP
      a. He gave it in two forms, respectively preserved in Mt and Lk
      b. He gave it in one form, of which
      b1. The Mt form is original and Lk is derivative
      b2. The Lk form is original and Mt is derivative

      Notice the symmetry. Isn't this easier? It is for me.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Ron Price
      ... Bruce, Surely there s a fundamental methodological error here in having the major division centred around whether or not Jesus taught the LP. Our primary
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 29, 2008
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        Bruce Brooks wrote:

        > ....... I would find it easier to take Jeffrey's summary if the
        > options were arranged accordingly. Perhaps:
        >
        > 1. Jesus did not teach the LP; it was a later creation
        > a. The Mt/Lk forms evolved separately
        > b. The Mt Lk forms are mutually dependent, and
        > b1. The Mt form is original
        > b2. The Lk form is original
        >
        > 2. Jesus did teach the LP
        > a. He gave it in two forms, respectively preserved in Mt and Lk
        > b. He gave it in one form, of which
        > b1. The Mt form is original and Lk is derivative
        > b2. The Lk form is original and Mt is derivative
        >
        > Notice the symmetry. Isn't this easier? It is for me.

        Bruce,

        Surely there's a fundamental methodological error here in having the major
        division centred around whether or not Jesus taught the LP. Our primary
        evidence involves working backwards from extant written texts, hence the
        major division should relate to the first step (what is immediately behind
        the gospel texts) and not the last step.

        I would categorize the major options for the first step behind the LP as
        follows:

        (a) Many traditionalists appear to hold this view, and as far as I can see
        it is also essentially the viewpoint of Mark Goodacre on the LP.

        oral_source_1 --> Luke

        oral_source_2 --> Matthew

        (oral_source_3 --> Mark)

        Exploring further back there seem to be three main sub-options: the LP does
        not go back to Jesus; the LP goes back to a single saying of Jesus; the
        synoptic variations are explained by the LP going back to multiple sayings
        of Jesus.

        (b) The majority of modern critical scholars hold the view that the LP was
        incorporated in:

        { --> Luke
        a single_written_source { --> Matthew
        ( { --> Mark )

        Probing back a step further there are four sub-options:
        (i) it represents the culmination of a series of editorial changes, each
        stage being in Greek (Kloppenborg et al.)
        (ii) it was composed in Greek in a form more or less identical to the forms
        used by Matthew and Luke (Fleddermann et al.)
        (iii) it was composed in Aramaic, then translated into Greek, in which form
        the synoptic writers made use of it
        (iv) it was composed in Aramaic and translated directly into Greek by each
        synoptic writer (my own conclusion, and the only sub-option with patristic
        support)

        The last two sub-options would make an origin with Jesus more credible.

        (c) Michael Goulder and perhaps a tiny minority propose the following view:

        Mark --> Matthew --> Luke

        As these are all written sources, and oral input is deemed unnecessary to
        explain the later synoptic developments, this model rules out Jesus as the
        originator.

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

        Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron Price On: Arranging LP Explanations From: Bruce I had suggested that there was a more transparent way of arranging previously
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 29, 2008
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          To: Synoptic
          In Response To: Ron Price
          On: Arranging LP Explanations
          From: Bruce

          I had suggested that there was a more transparent way of arranging
          previously published LP theories than the one that Jeffrey Gibson had
          previously displayed.

          RON: Surely there's a fundamental methodological error here in having the
          major division centred around whether or not Jesus taught the LP.

          BRUCE: If so, the quarrel is with the people who wrote the papers, not with
          me. Jeffrey surveyed them, and I rearranged his findings. The structure is
          in the material. If I were proposing a method of study for the LP de novo, I
          would probably take into account the texts on which the various theories
          were based, somewhat as Ron goes on to suggest. It is obvious to me that
          here as elsewhere (see my previous note), people have been mixing the
          Gospels together as evidence; I don't think that is valid. But the task here
          is arranging other people's theories, no matter how, or how validly, they
          were arrived at.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • David Mealand
          Several of the ?explanations? of the different versions on the LP are already adumbrated by Bengel, and I am fairly sure he is not the first to make most of
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 4, 2008
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            Several of the ?explanations? of the different versions on the LP are
            already adumbrated by Bengel, and I am fairly sure he is not the first
            to make most of these points. (With apologies for delay in responding
            to the thread.)

            This is what is in my 1855 copy of the 3rd Edition of Bengel?s Gnomon
            on p.248 ad Luc. xi.2 (1st ed was 1742).

            Formulam incomparabilem alio tempore Matthaeus populo pluribus verbis;
            alio Lucas discipulis rogantibus brevius praescriptam recenset.
            Itaque summa orationum semper est eadem: sed alio tempore omnia
            aitemata sive capita precum, alio quaedam ex omnibus, libero verborum
            rerumque delectu exercentur. Neque necesse habuit Lucas in numero
            rogationum, cum Matthaeo, qui tamen non expresse eas septem esse ait,
            congruere. nam idem beatitudines cap. 6,20. fs. aliter ac Matthaeus;
            idem decalogum aliter ac Moses, enumerat.

            Quick rough summary
            Different audiences at different times, Luke more concise, gist the
            same, sometimes all the petitions sometimes some, using free choice of
            words and topics. Luke didn?t have to agree with Matthew in the number
            of petitions, and anyway M doesn?t expressly number them as seven, and
            anyway Luke enumerates the beatitudes differently compared with
            Matthew, and he numbers the decalogue differently compared with Moses.

            Plus ca change?

            David M.






            ---------
            David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


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