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Mt 16:13-16 par; Mk 1:11 par

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic In Response To: Eric Eve On: Mt 16:13-16 par; Mk 1:11 par From: Bruce I had proposed examining one group of parallels, on the initial assumption
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2005
      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Eric Eve
      On: Mt 16:13-16 par; Mk 1:11 par
      From: Bruce

      I had proposed examining one group of parallels, on the initial assumption
      that all Synoptists invented independently, and that by preference, they
      used other Synoptists as sources. The idea was to see when the idea of a
      non-Synoptic source becomes inevitable, and at those points, what kind of a
      source is implied. I had noted that the initial assumption of authorial

      BRUCE: . . . fails, for instance, with the Question at Caesarea Philippi (Mt
      16:13-16 || Mk 8:27-29 || Lk 9:13-20), where the theory of independent
      invention is not plausible, since the coincidences would be too great. Some
      reliance of two of them ultimately on a third is (on those assumptions)
      unavoidable. If so, then we can proceed, with this one arbitrarily selected
      passage, to ask: in terms of directionality theory, where do the lines of
      connectedness lie? And at the same time, what motive can be assigned to the
      authorial departures from what is explained by that connectedness? If
      directionality can be consistently assigned, AND if intelligible motives can
      be found for departures from directionality, then the Synoptic Problem
      (insofar as it is represented by this passage) would be solved, and the
      solution could then
      be checked for evidence of outside, non-Synoptic, sources - things remaining
      unexplained by the solution.

      ERIC: The trouble is that arguments about authorial motives so often turn
      out to be reversible, at least, that's how it's often appeared to me in
      previous debates on this list. . .

      BRUCE: That's why I put the directionality question first. If there is an
      objective indication of directionality, AND if a plausible motive can be
      assigned for what changes the second author makes in the text of the first
      author, THEN we have a situation.

      I agree that authorial motives are not strong in and of themselves, at least
      not in open debate. Too much imagination is involved. Authorial plausibility
      however, as it seems to me, is an important element in a complete proposal.
      If a hypothesis is really inconceivable as the act of some imaginable person
      holding the pen, then it is probably wrong. The catch is that those making
      the evaluation must educate their sense of the conceivable, by study of what
      actually happens in the period. One of the strong things about Ed Sanders'
      thesis (to my eye) is that he tested Synoptic proposals against the things
      that happen, observably, in the later copying of Synoptic manuscripts.
      That's one way of inscenating oneself into the mind of the time, or at any
      rate of a nearer time than our own.

      I can't tempt Eric on Mt 16:13-16 par, and so I now change the subject,
      still looking for a way to introduce some objective precision into this
      overintuitive subject.

      Harnack (if I remember right) argued for Q because, among the many common
      Mt/Lk stories, neither text seemed always to have the earlier form. It thus
      seemed to him necessary to posit an outside source consisting of the earlier
      forms of all those stories, and to allow now AMt, now ALk, the liberty of
      departing from that earliest form. Q, on this view, would simply be the sum
      of all the earliest forms in such cases. If all the earliest forms were in
      (eg) Matthew, then we would not have an implied Q, but an implied literary
      indebtedness Mt > Lk. It is the failure of all directionality markers to
      point in the same direction (as Harnack reads the signs) that makes the Q
      hypothesis preferable. Here, I should think, is a serious philological
      argument, that is open to philological discussion.

      Somewhat similarly, Ed Sanders, as a pendant to his thesis (in its published
      form, "Tendencies"), listed passages where either Mt or Lk is thought (by
      one of a sampling of scholars) to have an earlier form of a story than does
      Mk. These situations have to do not with Q but with Markan Priority. Either
      way, I should suppose that one thing the FG people would routinely attend to
      is: What is the state of the items on that list? Are there any which are
      truly difficult to explain on the FG basis?

      And to that I do not know the answer. I take up as a sample the first item
      on that list (from the Bellinzoni reprint, p200). It is not a Mt/Lk
      parallel, but a Mk/Lk parallel. Ed's comment runs as follows:

      "1. Mk 1:11 cf Lk 3:22 (D). D has the original reading in Luke, and Lk 3:22
      depends on Q. Mart here also depends on Q, but gives it in a weakened form.
      J Weiss, Das älteste Evangelium, 133."

      In other words, the proposed order is Lk > Mk, with the Lukan version
      (according to D) actually borrowed intact from the pre-Markan Q source, and
      better representing that source.

      Mk 1:11 "and a voice came from Heaven, Thou are my beloved Son; with thee I
      am well pleased." (RSV)
      Lk 3:22 "and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove,
      and a voice came from Heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well
      pleased." (RSV)

      To the latter, RSV adds "Some ancient authorities read, Today have I
      begotten thee." The ancient authorities in question are solely D (Bezae) and
      Clement of Alexandria. This is not an imposing lineup of witnesses. May that
      reading not be secondary within Luke? I borrow from Peter Head (Christology
      p196) the thought of a "Western variant conforming Luke 3:22 more closely to
      the LXX of Psalm 2:7 (and therefore unlikely to be original)." This strikes
      me as a good directionality argument.

      Separately, I would have thought that the Holy Spirit was a relatively late
      conception, and that its presence in Lk 3:22 would tend to mark that version
      as a theological reworking of Mark, with D (Bezae) a further reworking of


      And if so, then pending an examination of Weiss's position (not seen), one
      of Sanders's passages is eliminated, as not after all troublesome to the FG
      Hypothesis. Forty-five more to go.


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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