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Re: Dave's proposal and Ron's xQ/sQ

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  • 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 1 of 8 , May 18, 2009
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      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
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