Re: [Synoptic-L] Luke would never have done THAT to Matthew.
One problem with all of this might come down to fist principles and how we are approaching these questions in the first place.
But without having that discussion, I'd note that I'm not convinced that Jesus was this sort of teacher at all, i.e. someone who tried to put together material for others to remember, that is - a dispenser of sagely wisdom. And unless we already know that Jesus was this sort of person, then discovering something which someone who rehearsed oral material would use, only gets us closer to the conclusion that some material was once passed orally, it does not get us closer to the historical Jesus.
In short form:
The idea that "memorable sayings" moves us closer to the historical Jesus, only works if we already think the historical Jesus was a crafter of memorable sayings.
--- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@...> wrote:
> But don't you see, Dave? You have just described the difference between an
> orator in an oral society versus a literate society. A good speaker/teacher
> incorporated mnemonic meter, tone, assonance, alliteration and paronomasia
> for his audience to remember parables and short aphorisms. If the 30-odd
> people listening to Jesus' parables did not remember them to pass them on,
> they would soon forget and Jesus may just as well have spent his day playing
> Galilean stickball. I don't think the carrier had to remember it word for
> word but certainly the sense and meaning. There is a parable that just came
> to my mind in Aramaic where the KEY words were in paronomasia. I hope you
> don't mind. I have to do this in Aramaic to make my point:
> So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
> haKANna-y MALkutha d'aLAha ak nash d'yarMA zar'A bar'A
> Now I am a tad literate in Aramaic and if I wanted to study this and
> remember it by rote, I could but what I actually remember (as I believe
> people in that small audience did) is:
> ZAR'A (seed) and `AR'A (ground)
> And should sleep, and rise night and day,
> w'YIDmak w'yiQUM b'LILya w'b'YOMama
> LILya (night) YOma (day)
> and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
> w'zar'A (seed) yirBA (grow)
> For the earth bringeth forth fruit of itself, first the stalk,
> ar'a ger MAYtya leh l'PER'a w'LUQdam HAwe 'ESba
> AR'a (earth) PER'a (fruit)
> then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
> w'BAtreh SHYbla chaRAYat den CHIT-ta m'shamLAYta b'SHYbla
> SHYbla (ear) CHITta (grain) b'SHYbla (in the ear)
> But when the fruit is brought forth,
> Kadh yehibha 'ibbah
> immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
> Shallah magla dah'sadha 'abbibh
> So I can remember zar'a...a'ra (seed-earth); lilya...yoma (night-day);
> zar'a..yirBA (seed-grow); ar'a...per'a (earth to fruit);
> shybla...chitta...b'shybla (ear-grain-in the ear)
> From the mnemonic puns even a dummy like me can remember the Aramaicsense of
> the parable but having gone through this exercise with you explaining how I
> remember this parable (and how the first audience remembered it) I can see
> how the wording connecting the puns can change from individual to
> individual, preserving the main sense and meaning but probably not the
> precise wording. The "Jesus stuff" then becomes "close to Jesus stuff." So
> oral transmission was probably not verbatim. Don't tell Bruce and Bob I had
> this epiphany.
> Jack Kilmon
> San Antonio, TX
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dave Gentile" <gentile_dave@...>
> To: <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 7:21 PM
> Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Luke would never have done THAT to Matthew.
> > Jack,
> > A song-like list of sayings to me, tells of a person who sat down and took
> > considerable time to put them in that form. I would not tend to see these
> > as the words of a speaker in real-time. So, a song like list is not the
> > historical Jesus, in my view. An early author? Perhaps. But then again,
> > there is also the possibility of a later author, competent in Aramaic.
> > Dave Gentile
> > Riverside, IL
> > --- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@> wrote:
> >> ----- Original Message -----
> >> From: "E Bruce Brooks" <brooks@>
> >> To: <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
> >> Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2009 3:52 AM
> >> Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Luke would never have done THAT to Matthew.
> >> > To: Synoptic
> >> > In Agreement With: Jeffery Hodges
> >> > On: Rhyme as Mnemonic
> >> > From: Bruce
> >> >
> >> > I think Jeffery's point is very well taken. Rhyme may be a mnemonic
> >> > aid,
> >> > though whole traditions including the Homeric seem to have gotten along
> >> > nicely without it, but when present, it does not protect the maxim in
> >> > question from literary abrasion and change. The most famous poem of the
> >> > Chinese poet Li Bwo, a little thing of four short lines, can be shown
> >> > by
> >> > early copies to have been worn down and trivialized from what is more
> >> > likely
> >> > to have been its original form to the form in which millions can recite
> >> > it
> >> > at the present moment. In much the way that Jeffery's improvisation
> >> > suggests. Quotations, rhymed as well as unrhymed, from the early
> >> > Chinese
> >> > classics in the later Chinese classics, are sometimes inexact, not to
> >> > mention quotations in less exalted contexts. Mediterranean examples
> >> > might
> >> > be
> >> > multiplied as well.
> >> >
> >> > For one reason and another, some types of material may survive
> >> > repetition
> >> > and transmission better than others, but there can be no guarantee,
> >> > whether
> >> > by genre or by form, of invariance under repetition and transmission.
> >> > Life
> >> > is simple, but not *that* simple.
> >> >
> >> > Bruce
> >> >
> >> > E Bruce Brooks
> >> > Warring States Project
> >> > University of Massachusetts at Amherst
> >> Bruce:
> >> Homeric Greek may have gotten along without rhyme as a mnemonic device
> >> but
> >> it used another device....song. Homeric Greek was sung. I remember a
> >> time
> >> from my youth when my professorial uncle was teaching me from a
> >> boustrephedon of the Iliad and as I look/hear back, it sounded an awful
> >> lot
> >> like Chinese...hence to your point. Aramaic gives indications, as well,
> >> of
> >> a tonal quality that may have been inherited. The rhyme and meter of
> >> Jesus'
> >> sayings in Aramaic are very "song-like." We of the literary age know
> >> very
> >> little, it seems, of the oral period that goes back into the dark mists
> >> of
> >> pre-history for hundreds of thousands of years versus our literary
> >> millennium, an infancy compared to orality. There is a possibility that
> >> Neandertal may have sung his language. Literists believe that orality
> >> was
> >> very inaccurate but how do they know? They have never experienced it.
> >> I once sat with a shaman of a tribe I stayed with for a while in the
> >> central
> >> Highlands of New Guinea. These are people whose language goes back
> >> 50,000
> >> years, unmolested by the west. The story he was telling of the history
> >> of
> >> this tribe was sung to me as a friend interpreted into Pidgin. It
> >> preserved
> >> names and events that I have no doubt have been similarly sung since the
> >> upper paleolithic. Oral cultures still exist in places not yet invaded
> >> by
> >> murderous modern literates.
> >> Jack
> >> Jack Kilmon
> >> San Antonio, TX
> > ------------------------------------
> > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
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