Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [Synoptic-L] Dave's proposal and Ron's xQ/sQ

Expand Messages
  • Ron Price
    ... Dave, But his first argument contains more than this. On careful examination, Mark s presentation is confusing. The core of the mission (Mk 6:8-11) says
    Message 1 of 8 , May 17, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Dave Gentile wrote:

      > .......
      > Next I'm going to look at Mark 6:7-13, because I like this one.
      >
      > Fleddermann offers three "arguments" that the text of Mark is later than the
      > text of "Q" here. I put arguments in quotes because I don't think two of them
      > really deserve that title, and he really only offers one argument.
      >
      > First he tells us that Mark seems to summarize Q, but this just tells us what
      > is true if his hypothesis is correct. It is fully reversible and we can just
      > as easily say that Mark was expanded.

      Dave,

      But his first argument contains more than this. On careful examination,
      Mark's presentation is confusing. The core of the mission (Mk 6:8-11) says
      nothing directly about its purpose. There is an indirect indication that the
      mission involves proclaiming a message (v.11: "if ... they refuse to hear
      you"). This lack in clarity of purpose for such a key event is a good
      indication of the likely dependence on an earlier source. The surrounding
      verses (7 & 12) are clearly secondary. One of Mark's primary aims here was
      to introduce the motive of healing in order to lend support to the many
      healing miracles which Mark chose to put into his gospel.

      > Secondly he points out that Q uses direct discourse and that Mark has provided
      > a narrative frame of indirect discourse, again, fully reversible.

      You've missed Fleddermann's main point here, which is that Mark switches
      from indirect speech (vv.8-9) to direct speech (vv. 10-11). Such a mixture
      is less likely to be original as compared with the consistent direct speech
      in Luke.

      > Thirdly we come to an actual argument. Mark allows a staff and sandals for the
      > journey Matthew and Luke deny even this. Mark has a "denial of a denial". He
      > argues that if Mark is second, he is just softening the very strict "Q"
      > version. But if Mark were first, why would he even bother to specifically say
      > you can take shoes and a staff, if they had not already been mentioned as
      > excluded items?
      >
      > This is a reasonable argument, but there is a very good response to it.
      >
      > Mark includes these items because he means this to be analogous to Exodus
      > 12:11. "This is how you must eat it: with a belt around your waist, your
      > sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand" Here the 12 tribes of Israel
      > of being sent out.

      Ex 12:11 refers to the celebration of the Passover. The participants are
      commemorating an escape, not planning a mission.

      > Finally Mark 13:31.
      >
      > This text seems fairly secure in Mark, and does not look like an insertion, or
      > at least not a late one since it is found in this location in both Matthew and
      > Luke. Fleddermann offers two points here, one again fully reversible. The
      > other point seems valid, however. The "Q" saying is about the law not passing
      > away, and the Mark saying is about Jesus's words not passing away. The words
      > of Jesus replacing the law looks like a Christian progression.
      >
      > However, he is considering two alternatives. Either "Q" is first and Mark
      > second, or the reverse. His argument seems to be a valid one for choosing
      > between these alternative. But my alternative is that there is no "Q" and
      > Matthew's version comes later than Mark's.
      >
      > Matthew's gospel is a conservative reaction in my view.

      Well, yes it is in some ways. But in this case your argument becomes overly
      complex unless you can make a case that "my words will not pass away" is
      something Jesus might have said, or even that the original disciples might
      have attributed to him. I cannot believe either of these.

      Besides, if Matthew's version of the saying about the law was his
      conservative reaction, why did Luke retain it? The pro-Gentile Luke must
      have been very tempted to reject the saying, and the only justification for
      his not doing so, as far as I can see, is that he found it in an earlier
      source for which he had a fairly high degree of respect.

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic Cc: GPG; WSW In Response To: Ron P (and Dave G) On: Mark 6:7-13 From: Bruce I am not going to go all the way into this (the principals are already
      Message 2 of 8 , May 17, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        To: Synoptic
        Cc: GPG; WSW
        In Response To: Ron P (and Dave G)
        On: Mark 6:7-13
        From: Bruce

        I am not going to go all the way into this (the principals are already
        there, and may good fortune attend them), but a few general points caught my
        eye in passing.

        Our issue is: Is the text of Mark at 6:7-13 earlier or later than its Mt/Lk
        parallels (or some composite construction based on them)?

        DAVE: First [Fleddermann] tells us that Mark seems to summarize Q, but this
        just tells us what is true if his hypothesis is correct. It is fully
        reversible and we can just as easily say that Mark was expanded.

        RON: But his first argument contains more than this. On careful examination,
        Mark's presentation is confusing. The core of the mission (Mk 6:8-11) says
        nothing directly about its purpose. There is an indirect indication that the
        mission involves proclaiming a message (v.11: "if ... they refuse to hear
        you"). This lack in clarity of purpose for such a key event is a good
        indication of the likely dependence on an earlier source.

        BRUCE: I'm not so sure this can be erected into a general principle of
        directionality. Luke, for example, is constantly touching up Mark's wording,
        improving Mark's narrative flow, filling in the missing inner motivations
        for Mark's characters. How Mark got the way he did in the first place, is
        another question (answered below). But the general principle with Mark's
        clunky Greek seems to me to obtain somewhat in these substantive cases also:
        If Mark copied Luke, all he had to do to get good Greek on his paper was to
        shut up and write what was in front of him. That he would compose in his own
        clunky Greek seems inevitable. But that he would transpose somebody else's
        good Greek into clunky Greek is not a plausible proposition. Or so Raymond
        Brown thought, and I have to concur. To me, that argument is one of the
        relatively irreversible ones.

        RON: The surrounding verses (7 & 12) are clearly secondary. One of Mark's
        primary aims here was to introduce the motive of healing in order to lend
        support to the many healing miracles which Mark chose to put into his
        gospel.

        BRUCE: Hmm. Mk 6:7 (" . . . and gave them authority over the unclean
        spirits") and 6:13 ("and they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil
        many that were sick and healed them") are, to my eye, clearly related to
        each other, and they frame all that lies between. Notice that "healing
        miracles" are not actually involved - as far as I recall, those are reserved
        to Jesus in this Gospel, or at any rate its earlier layers. What the
        disciples are here said to do (here and in a few other places, though not in
        the Return of the Twelve, 6:30-) is not to heal - the sick under their care
        are cured by more pedestrian means, just as they are in the Epistle of
        Jacob - but to exorcise. And not always so successfully, as the longest
        Markan narrative of that type makes embarrassingly plain.

        I never know what people mean by "secondary," but it seems to me that a case
        could be made here that Mark originally portrayed the disciples as sent out
        to preach, not to heal or exorcise. 6:30, describing their return, says "The
        Apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all they had done and taught." That
        "done" could cover a multitude of wonderful things, but the only real
        specific here is "taught." Nor are the disciples, in the specific
        instructions of the earlier passage, invited to do an attention-getting
        exorcism or healing in order to attract notice before seeking a place to
        stay; hospitality is going to be forthcoming on other grounds. Not to
        explore this to the ends of the earth on this occasion, I conclude with the
        thought that 6:7b and 6:13 might be later Markan embellishments on the rest
        of the passage.

        I hope nobody thinks that we are dealing with Historical Jesus Transcripts
        here: this whole nexus of Twelve sayings is meant to prospectively
        legitimize and authenticate the actions of the later leaders of the movement
        after Jesus's death. Then it might be that at first these later Apostles
        simply preached, and that a capacity for healing or exorcism (exorcism is
        actually a little easier than healing, in your basic applied crowd
        situation) came up later. If so, then the Markan adjustment in 6:7-13 would
        make sense as taking account of that development.

        How might one at the time - somewhat after the year 30 - explain such a new
        power? Maybe the invention of the Myth of the Holy Spirit would have done
        it. By Luke's time, which on most accounts is at least a generation later,
        and perhaps two, that myth would very likely have gotten much in grain, and
        been much elaborated. Luke even has Peter passing death miracles (poor
        Sapphira), which is probably a late administrative development. (We have all
        known administrators like that).

        RON: . . . Fleddermann's main point here . . . is that Mark switches from
        indirect speech (vv.8-9) to direct speech (vv. 10-11). Such a mixture is
        less likely to be original as compared with the consistent direct speech
        in Luke.

        BRUCE: Again, I have to wonder if this is an ironclad, watertight,
        rock-ribbed and copper-bottomed principle of directionality. One should not
        use oneself as evidence, but for what it may be worth nevertheless, I find
        that in dramatizing things for a class or other audience, I am likely to
        slip for a moment into direct speech for vividness purposes (one's tone of
        voice tends to change also; notice the ubiquitous "I'm, like" idiom of the
        cell phone crowd; it tends to introduce just such a direct speech segment),
        in the middle of a more sedate third-person standard historical tale. It
        bothers me not at all to see Mark doing the same thing. But I think that it
        would have bothered my fourth-grade English teacher, and I notice that this
        sort of thing also bothers Luke. It is the kind of exuberant stylistic
        device that, in his pedantic teacherish way, Luke is usually on the alert to
        correct or improve or smooth out, or whatever.

        I sometimes get drafts of my articles back from outside readers, marked up
        the way Luke would have marked them. Nothing in the revised draft is
        inconcinnitous or erroneous, or offends against grammatical agreement, or
        departs from propriety. All of it could go straight into the Congressional
        Record, and no questions asked. But somehow all the push and zing and, in a
        word, the style of the original has been completely flattened out. On such
        occasions, having the last word as I do, I tend to put the style back in
        (and I just won a tug-of-war with Hong Kong, the people there not liking my
        bits of Markan colloquial, but I liking them quite a bit; they are preserved
        at http://www.umass.edu/wsp/reviews/watson.html). Mark, the Historical Mark,
        did not have the option of the final word. But as a fellow creature, I have
        to say I rather like Mark's original version - its life, its vividness, its
        character of immediacy - better than Luke's, which has combed the hair of
        Mark's version, and straightened its tie, and taken all the life and energy
        out of it.

        What, to return to the point for a moment, does Fleddermann think Mark was
        up to, in mixing the modes of his sedate and consistent original? What is
        the basis of the notion (to use a peanut butter metaphor) that chunky must
        always derive from a smooth original? What would be one, just one,
        well-attested and unambiguous example?

        As for the staff and sandals stuff, that has earlier been talked into the
        ground. I stand, on that one, wherever the archive says I stood, last time
        it came up.

        RON: Besides, if Matthew's version of the saying about the law was his
        conservative reaction, why did Luke retain it? The pro-Gentile Luke must
        have been very tempted to reject the saying, and the only justification for
        his not doing so, as far as I can see, is that he found it in an earlier
        source for which he had a fairly high degree of respect.

        BRUCE: Well, temptation is there to be resisted. More generally: Positing
        sources on the basis of what we imagine was or was not going on in Luke's
        head seems to me a risky business. But I think there are some relatively
        nonimaginary grounds for reconstructing at least parts of Luke's head. Here
        would be two, both based on what I see Luke doing, and not on what I fancy
        Luke thinking. (1) Like Matthew before him, Luke had respect for Mark. Not
        as one version among many, but as the only written account of Jesus that
        existed. People imagine Luke as working in a nice urban setting, near to
        bookstores. I see both him and Matthew as inhabiting a bombed-out waste,
        history-of-Jesus-wise. Mark was all they had, tattered though it was; that
        and some oddments of tradition and local practice (including various prayers
        and formulas). Of course they respected it; anybody in the Gospel business
        had no choice but to respect it. (2) And Luke also respected Matthew, though
        with a core of envy and resentment and cussedness mixed in, which is where
        it gets psychologically complicated. (More complicated than Streeter was
        apparently capable of conceiving, but familiar to anybody who has just
        finished Chapter 2 of the Great American Novel, only to see by a sudden
        E-mail that Barnes and Noble is already booming a competitor, who finished
        his six weeks ago).

        Luke, as I intuit him from his text, admired Matthew's accomplishment, and
        at the same time, he was determined to do better. If we take the Prologue
        seriously, we can I think reasonably interpret his message to his readers
        (the emblematic Theophilus) not just as offering them something interesting,
        out of the blue, but more precisely as offering them something *more
        authoritative* than what they already had. Matthew was probably already
        known, and it was probably already well regarded by those who knew it (as it
        still is today, not necessarily within a geographically wide circle. Here,
        then, would have been a practical limiting factor. Luke, as an author, was
        not free to disregard Matthew at all points; he could not assume tabula
        rasa, rather, he had to cope with his readers' familiarity with Matthew. I
        think this angle may account for some otherwise seemingly against-the-grain
        retentions of Matthew in Luke.

        And it seems to me that Luke could afford to concede Matthew some points of,
        what shall we call it, re-Judaization, passé though he doubtless thought
        that whole approach to be. Luke's larger sweep indeed takes the movement
        into Jerusalem, and then, moving grandly on beyond Matthew, takes it out of
        Jerusalem again, and into the wider world. Luke's final message is not much
        imperiled by letting Matthew have his way with the medium phase; he has the
        whole of his final phase to establish his own message in. Did you ever see a
        master chessplayer offer odds of a rook to a novice opponent? That is the
        feeling I sometimes get with Luke on a few of these seemingly either/or
        doctrinal matters. Yes, Luke believed that the Gentiles were the future of
        Christianity (in which thought he seems to have been correct, and by the
        time he wrote, it will have been sufficiently obvious that he was correct).
        But he was artist enough, and market-smart enough, to include on his canvas
        some incidents along the way to that conclusion, as they would have seemed
        to people at that time, even if their views were ultimately going to be
        swept away in the larger development.

        There was more for Luke to be gained, tactically, by keeping the readers who
        were already happy with Matthew, than by alienating them through a too
        rigorous excision policy, in just the places where Matthew was still
        speaking to certain segments of his mixed readership. Inclusiveness, it
        seems to me, was a better policy for Luke than a shootout confrontation over
        details that were going to come out in the wash anyway.

        Plus, hey, nobody is consistent ALL the time. I am trying to get the TOC of
        v2 of our journal cleaned up, this morning, it having undergone many changes
        over the last few months, and you can't imagine (unless you have done
        something of the kind yourself, in which case my sympathies) the tangles you
        get into, and the things that against your best intentions wind up at the
        end of the day still standing, as perky as you please, in the same computer
        file where they stood last Thursday.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • Dave Gentile
        Ron, My responses are in-line. Ron: But his first argument contains more than this. On careful examination, Mark s presentation is confusing. The core of the
        Message 3 of 8 , May 17, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Ron,


          My responses are in-line.


          Ron: But his first argument contains more than this. On careful examination,
          Mark's presentation is confusing. The core of the mission (Mk 6:8-11) says
          nothing directly about its purpose. There is an indirect indication that the
          mission involves proclaiming a message (v.11: "if ... they refuse to hear
          you"). This lack in clarity of purpose for such a key event is a good
          indication of the likely dependence on an earlier source. The surrounding
          verses (7 & 12) are clearly secondary. One of Mark's primary aims here was
          to introduce the motive of healing in order to lend support to the many
          healing miracles which Mark chose to put into his gospel.

          Dave: I think the surrounding verses are only clearly secondary if you have in mind that Mark is working from a saying source, which presumes the conclusion.

          Ron: You've missed Fleddermann's main point here, which is that Mark switches
          from indirect speech (vv.8-9) to direct speech (vv. 10-11). Such a mixture
          is less likely to be original as compared with the consistent direct speech
          in Luke.

          Dave: I note that Bruce has some detailed ideas about how this text might have developed over time, and I won't argue with that. But keeping things simple – one of the principles of text criticism is that difficult texts tend to get fixed, rough edges get smoothed. If anything, noting that Mark's text is rougher might be a directional indicator in favor of Mark being first, although I would still tend to say it is not much of an indicator at all.

          Also, while not identical, I see something similar just scanning down the page in Mark. In the intro to the 5000 we have: "…and they told him all they had done and taught and he said to them `Come away to some lonely place…" The speech of the characters is indirect, and then direct. If I was hearing this as a story, I would picture camera moving from wide focus to narrow focus here. Thus this technique might be seen as part of Mark's style. If as I have claimed Mark is pointing us to Exodus 12 in the sending of the 12, then it seems appropriate for the camera to be "at a distance" while the details of Exodus are recalled, and move to "narrow focus" when we move to Jesus speaking in the present day.

          Ron: Ex 12:11 refers to the celebration of the Passover. The participants are
          commemorating an escape, not planning a mission.

          Dave: The text is both in a way. Yes, the instructions are here for all future celebrations of Passover, but the story of the original is also being told here. The next line is: "That night I shall go through Egypt and strike down all the first born of Egypt…" something that does not take place annually.

          Ron: Well, yes it is in some ways. But in this case your argument becomes overly
          complex unless you can make a case that "my words will not pass away" is
          something Jesus might have said, or even that the original disciples might
          have attributed to him. I cannot believe either of these.

          Dave: I don't believe either of those scenarios either. But I think Mark evolved over time starting in the very early days, and maybe evolving until say 70 AD. I wouldn't place this line in an inventory of things likely to be in the earliest pats of Mark, but if it was added in 65 AD that is still decades before Matthew.

          Ron: Besides, if Matthew's version of the saying about the law was his
          conservative reaction, why did Luke retain it? The pro-Gentile Luke must
          have been very tempted to reject the saying, and the only justification for
          his not doing so, as far as I can see, is that he found it in an earlier
          source for which he had a fairly high degree of respect.

          Dave: In my list of scenarios, I started with a proposition we agree on – Luke believed he was looking at the original words of Jesus in this material. This would explain his retaining it even at times if it seemed at odds with his agenda. We differ on how Luke came to that belief. I think the simplest solution is that the author of the gospel of Matthew successfully passed off the story that his new gospel was based on direct interviews with the disciple Matthew who remembered and wrote down in his own language sayings of Jesus.

          Dave Gentile
          Riverside, IL
        • Ron Price
          As so often, Bruce writes so much that it would be impracticable to challenge it all. So I ll just take up one point. ... Bruce, This is not what I did. There
          Message 4 of 8 , May 18, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            As so often, Bruce writes so much that it would be impracticable to
            challenge it all. So I'll just take up one point.

            I had written:

            >> Besides, if Matthew's version of the saying about the law was his
            >> conservative reaction, why did Luke retain it? The pro-Gentile Luke must
            >> have been very tempted to reject the saying, and the only justification for
            >> his not doing so, as far as I can see, is that he found it in an earlier
            >> source for which he had a fairly high degree of respect.

            Bruce Brooks replied:

            > Well, temptation is there to be resisted. More generally: Positing
            > sources on the basis of what we imagine was or was not going on in Luke's
            > head seems to me a risky business.

            Bruce,

            This is not what I did.

            There are seven reasons why I posit a source behind part of the Double
            Tradition, and these are set out clearly on my Web site on the page
            identified below.

            > ..... Luke had respect for Mark .....
            > ..... Luke also respected Matthew, though
            > with a core of envy and resentment and cussedness mixed in .....

            Can these really be the words of someone whose criticism of me, quoted
            above, included 'imagin[ing] what was or was not going on in Luke's head'?

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_LkMt.html
          • Ron Price
            ... Dave, I think they re secondary because as it stands 6:7-13 does not present the reason for the mission clearly enough, as compared with what we would
            Message 5 of 8 , May 18, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              I had written:

              >> ..... The surrounding
              >> verses (7 & 12) are clearly secondary. One of Mark's primary aims here was
              >> to introduce the motive of healing in order to lend support to the many
              >> healing miracles which Mark chose to put into his gospel.

              Dave Gentile replied:

              > I think the surrounding verses are only clearly secondary if you have in
              > mind that Mark is working from a saying source, which presumes the conclusion.

              Dave,

              I think they're secondary because as it stands 6:7-13 does not present the
              reason for the mission clearly enough, as compared with what we would expect
              if these verses had been composed by a single author with no source to
              constrain him.

              > ....... one of the principles of text criticism is that difficult texts
              > tend to get fixed, rough edges get smoothed.

              I think text critics put too much emphasis on this principle, belitling the
              skills of the original author. But that's another story. Here we're talking
              about source criticism. In source criticism the principle may hold when an
              editor makes superficial changes to a text such as improving the grammar.
              But it surely doesn't hold where major changes are being made. In the latter
              case even the skilful Luke can often make a mess of things - see e.g.
              Goulder on Luke's adaptation of the Parable of the Talents.

              > Also, while not identical, I see something similar just scanning down the page
              > in Mark. In the intro to the 5000 we have: "…and they told him all they had
              > done and taught and he said to them `Come away to some lonely place…" The
              > speech of the characters is indirect, and then direct.

              I see a difference in the amount of detail involved. In Mark's presentation
              of the mission instructions, both the indirect speech and the direct speech
              refer to details. In the intro to the 5000, the indirect speech has only
              summary information, which can't be put into direct speech anyway.

              >> Ex 12:11 refers to the celebration of the Passover. The participants are
              >> commemorating an escape, not planning a mission.

              > ..... The next line is: "That night I shall go through Egypt and strike down
              > all the first born of Egypt…" something that does not take place annually.

              I don't see the relevance of this.

              > ....... But I think Mark
              > evolved over time starting in the very early days, and maybe evolving until
              > say 70 AD.

              I've already explained to Bruce on Synoptic-L why I don't accept this
              scenario, so we'll just gave to agree to differ here.

              >> Besides, if Matthew's version of the saying about the law was his
              >> conservative reaction, why did Luke retain it? The pro-Gentile Luke must
              >> have been very tempted to reject the saying, and the only justification for
              >> his not doing so, as far as I can see, is that he found it in an earlier
              >> source for which he had a fairly high degree of respect.

              > ..... In my list of scenarios, I started with a proposition we agree on – Luke
              > believed he was looking at the original words of Jesus in this material. This
              > would explain his retaining it even at times if it seemed at odds with his
              > agenda.

              Bearing in mind that Luke does not contain all the words which Matthew
              attributed to Jesus, how do you think Luke distinguished between those which
              he thought genuine and those he didn't?

              Ron Price

              Derbyshire, UK

              Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
            • E Bruce Brooks
              To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Lukan Strategy From: Bruce The last of Ron s recent points to Dave G was: RON: Bearing in mind that Luke
              Message 6 of 8 , May 18, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                To: Synoptic
                Cc: GPG
                In Response To: Ron Price
                On: Lukan Strategy
                From: Bruce

                The last of Ron's recent points to Dave G was:

                RON: Bearing in mind that Luke does not contain all the words which Matthew
                attributed to Jesus, how do you think Luke distinguished between those which
                he thought genuine and those he didn't?

                BRUCE: Are we sure we are asking the right question? This presumes that Luke
                saw his job primarily as weeding out the authentic from the inauthentic
                sayings of Jesus in Matthew; that is, acting as a historical critic of
                Matthew, and aiming at a purified Jesus picture. But the end of a process
                with that as its guiding motive would have been a revised edition,
                presumably a slightly shorter edition, of Matthew. What we have instead in
                the Gospel of Luke is a drastically different account of Jesus, which at
                many points has nothing to do with either Mark or Matthew; it goes off for
                long stretches into territory all its own. This being so, I think that the
                hypothesis of critical edition has to be rejected. Something else has a
                larger role in Luke's thinking than just winnowing Matthew. Maybe we should
                focus on that something else.

                And what was the something else? If instead of speaking immediately of
                "Sondergut" and relegating things to ill-defined "sources," as is standard
                practice for the last century or so, if somebody, just once, just for fun,
                before another century ends, would analyze "M" as the innovations of Matthew
                which Luke rejected, and "L" as the ideas Luke wanted which had no precedent
                in either Matthew or Luke, and referred the results of both analyses to the
                inside of Luke's head, I think we would know more about the inside of Luke's
                head than we do at present.

                From all the signs apparent to me, Luke was an advocate and an innovator. So
                had Matthew been, but Luke didn't like the way it was going. He wanted to
                reshape the tendency of contemporary Christianity so as to obsolete (omit)
                certain things, and to innovate (add in) certain others. And lest people
                mistake the direction he thought things were taking, or should take, Luke
                wrote a whole history of the large-scale direction. Which makes it clear,
                albeit within the literary conventions of an account respectful to the
                previously known ones, that the Gentiles, not the Jews, were where it was at
                for still nascent Christianity.

                Seen that way, Luke had a literary challenge in front of him: to maintain
                contact with previously known or accepted tradition, and still steer the bus
                down a somewhat different road. It seems to me that if we adopt that primary
                motive as a working hypothesis, a lot of things that are puzzling on other
                assumptions become less puzzling.

                Personally, if I were trying to figure Luke out, I would start with the
                things we are most sure reflect him, namely, the material unique to him. As
                his own.

                From that perhaps useful perspective (and we don't know until we try), I
                would rephrase Luke's question of Matthew's Jesus material this way: Is this
                going to help us or is it going to hurt us?

                Bruce
              • Dave Gentile
                Ron, More comments in-line. Ron: Bearing in mind that Luke does not contain all the words which Matthew attributed to Jesus, how do you think Luke
                Message 7 of 8 , May 18, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Ron,

                  More comments in-line.


                  Ron: Bearing in mind that Luke does not contain all the words which Matthew
                  attributed to Jesus, how do you think Luke distinguished between those which
                  he thought genuine and those he didn't?

                  Dave: Here we are moving from the simple yes/no of what was in the texts to the complexities of what was in someone's mind. Obviously we can say for sure. However, if my proposal is correct, here is what we would know: Luke has a copy of Matthew. He disagrees with Matthew's agenda and has his own agenda. He also believes the newly created gospel of Matthew is based on an interview with the disciple Matthew and thus contains authentic words of Jesus. How does he respond to this? At times we can see this would cause internal conflict. He might find something in Matthew that seemed to go against his agenda, and yet quotes Jesus. He'd want to remove it on one hand, and keep it on the other. If he rejects it, it is possible he would see himself as knowingly promoting his agenda, but alternately he might simply convince himself, perhaps not unreasonably that, "Jesus would never have said THAT, the author of Matthew must have just made it up to support his agenda", and thus he would feel justified in omitting it.

                  So, in short, for any given passage in Matthew which quotes Jesus and seems to work against Luke's agenda, before we look at the details, we have a candidate plausible explanation if he keeps it, and a candidate plausible explanation if he rejects it. And As Bruce said, if we looked at each of these carefully, we'd probably learn a bit more about what was going on in his head.

                  > ....... But I think Mark
                  > evolved over time starting in the very early days, and maybe evolving until
                  > say 70 AD.

                  Ron: I've already explained to Bruce on Synoptic-L why I don't accept this
                  scenario, so we'll just gave to agree to differ here.

                  Dave: O.K. I don't recall the arguments, but we need not bring them up again. But in my recent note to Stephanie pointed out something I have never explicitly noticed before. It seems to make a good case for at least two editions of Mark. (See below). Also, one problem people seem to have with multiple versions is that they don't think you can "put the genie back in the bottle". That is – once an edition is out there, they think we should have a record of it. But if the same author or authors released expanded versions over time, perhaps decades, then people who cared would end up with more than one copy. And when the scroll got old and it was time to make new copies, which one got copied? If someone wanted to make a copy of your scroll, which would they copy? In most cases we would expect the latest version from that author to be the one preserved, and thus we would most likely get the fully evolved version handed down to us.

                  Form note to Stephanie: "In thinking about this, however, something that has always been in the back of my mind here became explicit. There are approximately 9 pericopes in the great
                  omission. Luke retains most of Mark's pericopes. (Let's just say 90%, the exact
                  number is not important). If we suppose that Luke goes through Mark, retaining
                  most pericopes and rejecting those that displease him (10%), what are the
                  chances that Mark would have placed 9 such pericopes in a row? Something on the
                  order of 100,000,000 to 1. Again the exact number is not important, but just by
                  order of magnitude calculations this is not a random event. Even if we can argue
                  that all 9 displeased Luke, why were they all together like this in Mark?
                  Combined with other observations, like those by Streeter, and my own
                  observations that lead me to think that much of this insertion is about
                  extending the message of Jesus to include not only Jews, but also Gentiles, I am
                  left very convinced that this text (or at least much of it) was inserted into an
                  earlier version of Mark".

                  >> Ex 12:11 refers to the celebration of the Passover. The participants are
                  >> commemorating an escape, not planning a mission.

                  > ..... The next line is: "That night I shall go through Egypt and strike down
                  > all the first born of Egypt…" something that does not take place annually.

                  Ron: I don't see the relevance of this.

                  Dave: The point is that in Exodus God is sending the 12 tribes out of Egypt. In Mark Jesus is sending out the 12 disciples. In both cases we have 12 being sent forth with sandals and a staff. "This is how you must eat it: with a belt around your waist, your sandals on
                  your feet and your staff in your hand"

                  As for what to make of this, it is not important in this context since all we have to know here is that Mark's text points to Exodus. But moving off topic, what I would say Mark is doing here is one of a number of examples of an event showing a new covenant, not replacing the old, but extending it to non-Jews. After he is rejected in his home town Jesus sends out the 12 to spread the word to all. Mark does not specifically say "to the Gentiles" here, but we have evidence that some people must have been reading it that way since Matthew feels compelled to add "Do not make your way into Gentile territory". Luke then, who wants a mission to the Gentiles, and sees that Matthew says that the 12 didn't go to the Gentiles, just creates two separate sendings.

                  But again, exactly how we interpret Mark pointing us to Exodus is not important, only the fact that he does is relevant here.

                  Ron:

                  I see a difference in the amount of detail involved. In Mark's presentation
                  of the mission instructions, both the indirect speech and the direct speech
                  refer to details. In the intro to the 5000, the indirect speech has only
                  summary information, which can't be put into direct speech anyway.

                  Dave: I agree there is a difference, but there is a transition from indirect to direct. In the 5000 as you point out, only the summary information is indirect. In the sending of the 12, I argued there is reason to keep the focus in direct a bit longer, while the Exodus details are being recalled, before turning the camera directly on Jesus and his current words.

                  Ron:

                  > ....... one of the principles of text criticism is that difficult texts
                  > tend to get fixed, rough edges get smoothed.

                  I think text critics put too much emphasis on this principle, belitling the
                  skills of the original author. But that's another story. Here we're talking
                  about source criticism. In source criticism the principle may hold when an
                  editor makes superficial changes to a text such as improving the grammar.
                  But it surely doesn't hold where major changes are being made. In the latter
                  case even the skilful Luke can often make a mess of things - see e.g.
                  Goulder on Luke's adaptation of the Parable of the Talents.

                  Dave: I tend to agree there is no directional indicator here. The only argument I thought had merit was the one relating to the staff and the sandals.

                  Ron:

                  I think they're secondary because as it stands 6:7-13 does not present the
                  reason for the mission clearly enough, as compared with what we would expect
                  if these verses had been composed by a single author with no source to
                  constrain him.

                  Dave:

                  Mark my have had a different idea of what the mission was about than Matthew (and then Luke) had. In Mark it seems they are to cast out unclean spirits or devils, anoint people with oil and cure them, and proclaim repentance, which is pretty much what Jesus is doing in most of Mark. But in addition, if Mark is pointing us to Exodus, then that is the reason that this pericope is here. What they are teaching or doing would be of little real importance to Mark, the important point being that they were sent out in a way that invokes the 12 tribes being sent out of Egypt.

                  Dave Gentle
                  Riverside, IL
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.