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Re herring or red flag?

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  • Ron Price
    In his The Case against Q , pp. 165-69, Mark Goodacre argues that if the Minor Agreements were to be accepted as valid evidence that Luke knew Matthew, then
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 21, 2009
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      In his "The Case against Q", pp. 165-69, Mark Goodacre argues that if the
      Minor Agreements were to be accepted as valid evidence that Luke knew
      Matthew, then this would vindicate his case against Q. In a footnote (p.167,
      n.51), he claims that the fact that a handful of scholars [Simons et al.]
      accept Luke's dependence on both Q and Matthew is a red herring because
      these scholars had reasons other than Mt/Lk independence for postulating Q.
      He goes on to claim that Luke's knowledge of Matthew would take away the
      very reason for postulating Q.

      I see no red herring. Indeed the fact that even a handful of scholars have
      other reasons for accepting Luke's dependence on both Q and Matthew should
      have acted as a red flag, for it plainly contradicts Mark's claim in the
      last sentence of my previous paragraph.

      The heart of the problem is semantic. "Q" is a hypothetical and secondary
      construct which means a whole range of different things to different
      scholars. To get back to basics, we should surely try to minimize our
      references to "Q".

      Therefore, given the priority of Mark's gospel, I would like to see the
      'case against Q' presented instead as (1) the case for Luke's knowledge of
      Matthew (the details of which Mark G. presents very well, but regrettably
      not in a distinct section) and (2) the case for/against the existence of a
      written sayings source. Farrer supporters tend to avoid facing up to the
      latter, preferring to hide behind the semantically confusing mantra that
      Luke's knowledge of Matthew 'takes away the very reason for positing Q'. If
      the intention is to claim that Luke's knowledge of Matthew 'undermines the
      case for a written sayings source', then they should say so, and present the
      arguments against the 'other reasons' for such a source. Perhaps they are
      reluctant to choose between abandoning the claim that Sanders & Davies are
      on the side of Farrer (for they expressed confidence in [unspecified]
      sources for the sayings material), and admitting that there is/are such
      source(s) and therefore there is no 'undermining'.

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • Graham Budd
      Surely one argument for some sort of Q is that of Bussmann, rehashed entertainingly by Casey: ie that the Q material can be seen to fall into two types: one
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 21, 2009
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        Surely one argument for some sort of Q is that of Bussmann, rehashed
        entertainingly by Casey: ie that the Q material can be seen to fall
        into two types: one where verbal agreement is tight (implying a common
        Greek source, which could of course be Matthew!) and one where the
        greek agreement is much less close, implying a common non-greek source
        (ie in the mind of both of these authors, an Aramaic source). Casey
        says in his monograph on Aramaic sources and Q that it is important to
        pay attention to the distinction between these two types of "Q" and
        its relationship to the order of the Q material in Matthew and Luke,
        which sounds very intriguing but is not expanded further as far as I
        can see. Any suggestions here gratefully received!

        In extremis, one could use this to shrink Q down to i) passages of
        Matthew that Luke inserted (including Mark-Q overlap) and ii) common
        knowledge of an Aramaic source that they either independently
        translated or had access to different translations of. Given that
        there is precise linguistic contact in the Passion narrative twice
        ("who was it who struck you?" and "Peter went out and wept
        bitterly"*), the suggestion would be that passion narrative minor
        agreements would be from Matthew, not a Q source.


        Graham Budd

        *the latter of which has some textual "issues" however...

        _____________________________________
        On 21 sep 2009, at 16.16, Ron Price wrote:

        > In his "The Case against Q", pp. 165-69, Mark Goodacre argues that
        > if the
        > Minor Agreements were to be accepted as valid evidence that Luke knew
        > Matthew, then this would vindicate his case against Q. In a footnote
        > (p.167,
        > n.51), he claims that the fact that a handful of scholars [Simons et
        > al.]
        > accept Luke's dependence on both Q and Matthew is a red herring
        > because
        > these scholars had reasons other than Mt/Lk independence for
        > postulating Q.
        > He goes on to claim that Luke's knowledge of Matthew would take away
        > the
        > very reason for postulating Q.
        >
        > I see no red herring. Indeed the fact that even a handful of
        > scholars have
        > other reasons for accepting Luke's dependence on both Q and Matthew
        > should
        > have acted as a red flag, for it plainly contradicts Mark's claim in
        > the
        > last sentence of my previous paragraph.
        >
        > The heart of the problem is semantic. "Q" is a hypothetical and
        > secondary
        > construct which means a whole range of different things to different
        > scholars. To get back to basics, we should surely try to minimize our
        > references to "Q".
        >
        > Therefore, given the priority of Mark's gospel, I would like to see
        > the
        > 'case against Q' presented instead as (1) the case for Luke's
        > knowledge of
        > Matthew (the details of which Mark G. presents very well, but
        > regrettably
        > not in a distinct section) and (2) the case for/against the
        > existence of a
        > written sayings source. Farrer supporters tend to avoid facing up to
        > the
        > latter, preferring to hide behind the semantically confusing mantra
        > that
        > Luke's knowledge of Matthew 'takes away the very reason for positing
        > Q'. If
        > the intention is to claim that Luke's knowledge of Matthew
        > 'undermines the
        > case for a written sayings source', then they should say so, and
        > present the
        > arguments against the 'other reasons' for such a source. Perhaps
        > they are
        > reluctant to choose between abandoning the claim that Sanders &
        > Davies are
        > on the side of Farrer (for they expressed confidence in [unspecified]
        > sources for the sayings material), and admitting that there is/are
        > such
        > source(s) and therefore there is no 'undermining'.
        >
        > Ron Price
        >
        > Derbyshire, UK
        >
        > Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
        >
        >



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      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price From: Bruce I feel we are in deja vu country here, but sometimes repetition has its point, especially if nothing
        Message 3 of 12 , Sep 21, 2009
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          To: Synoptic
          Cc: GPG
          In Response To: Ron Price
          From: Bruce

          I feel we are in deja vu country here, but sometimes repetition has its
          point, especially if nothing happened last time. Let me then repeat my
          earlier agreement with Ron, that the removal of the assumption that Lk did
          not know Matthew DOES NOT not necessarily entail the vanishing of the Q
          hypothesis. What it does probably do is require the Q hypothesis to be
          reformulated, and Q to be reconstructed entirely de novo, consistently on
          the new assumptions.

          As I have earlier remarked, my own take on the extended Goulder explanation
          of Luke from Matthew, which let me again say seems to me one of the
          important monuments of 20c NT, is that not all the explanations on the model
          Mt > Lk are equally convincing. There are a few cases where, to the neutral
          philological eye, the other sequence is more convincing. What someone needs
          to do next, it has always seemed to me, is (a) Agree in at least a
          preliminary way on the identity of these passages, what I will call the
          Goulder Residue. (b) Examine them to see if they make a plausible text, or
          if they appear to be disparate. (c) Frame a hypothesis or hypotheses to
          account for the existence of this material prior to both Lk and Mt.

          Any takers?

          I have separately called for more attention to the question of how Mt uses
          Mk. There were no replies to my request for previous studies on this. My own
          range of awareness includes Bacon, Farrer, and again Goulder. If someone
          recalls another, I would still be interested to know of it. In my mind, this
          study should precede the other, as clearing the ground, introducing
          ourselves to Matthew and his way with previous texts, and the points at
          which he was, and was not, comfortable with the narrative and theological
          points reached by his chief predecessor.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          Bruce wrote: I have separately called for more attention to the question of how Mt uses Mk. There were no replies to my request for previous studies on this.
          Message 4 of 12 , Sep 21, 2009
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            Bruce wrote:


            I have separately called for more attention to the question of how Mt uses
            Mk. There were no replies to my request for previous studies on this. My own
            range of awareness includes Bacon, Farrer, and again Goulder. If someone
            recalls another, I would still be interested to know of it. In my mind, this
            study should precede the other, as clearing the ground, introducing
            ourselves to Matthew and his way with previous texts, and the points at
            which he was, and was not, comfortable with the narrative and theological
            points reached by his chief predecessor.


            An inauspicious day to make the above comment, the feast-day of Saint Matthew, who I am sure resents the idea that he was largely a plagiarist any day of the year, but would hope for?relief?from this hypothesis once a year, at least,?on September 21. Requiescat in pace!



            L.M.




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          • John Lupia
            My dear brother Leonard Matthew does not rest in peace but beholds the glory of Jesus Christ forever. As for Matthew using Mark, huh! Prove it! As far as I am
            Message 5 of 12 , Sep 21, 2009
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              My dear brother Leonard

              Matthew does not rest in peace but beholds the glory of Jesus Christ forever.

              As for Matthew using Mark, huh!

              Prove it!

              As far as I am concerned all markers (pun intended) and pointers show Matthew was written well before Mark.

              BTW, this is not a contest, or protest. Since all four Gospels were written by the Catholic Church by the original eyewitnesses by the authority of the Church in concert there is no Synoptic Problem, and obviously a solution to your perceptions is very easy to document and explain.

              John



              John N. Lupia III

              New Jersey, USA; Beirut, Lebanon

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News/

              God Bless Everyone

              --- On Mon, 9/21/09, Maluflen@... <Maluflen@...> wrote:

              From: Maluflen@... <Maluflen@...>
              Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Re herring or red flag?
              To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Monday, September 21, 2009, 7:53 PM






               





              Bruce wrote:



              I have separately called for more attention to the question of how Mt uses

              Mk. There were no replies to my request for previous studies on this. My own

              range of awareness includes Bacon, Farrer, and again Goulder. If someone

              recalls another, I would still be interested to know of it. In my mind, this

              study should precede the other, as clearing the ground, introducing

              ourselves to Matthew and his way with previous texts, and the points at

              which he was, and was not, comfortable with the narrative and theological

              points reached by his chief predecessor.



              An inauspicious day to make the above comment, the feast-day of Saint Matthew, who I am sure resents the idea that he was largely a plagiarist any day of the year, but would hope for?relief?from this hypothesis once a year, at least,?on September 21. Requiescat in pace!



              L.M.



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]































              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • E Bruce Brooks
              To: Synoptic In Response To: Leonard On: Matthew From: Bruce LEONARD: . . .Saint Matthew, who I am sure resents the idea that he was largely a plagiarist . . .
              Message 6 of 12 , Sep 21, 2009
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                To: Synoptic
                In Response To: Leonard
                On: Matthew
                From: Bruce

                LEONARD: . . .Saint Matthew, who I am sure resents the idea that he was
                largely a plagiarist . . .

                BRUCE: No matter whose feast day this may chance to be, this remark is
                completely uncalled for. Is it customary to refer to Vergil as a plagiarist
                because his work is massively shaped around, and extrapolated from,
                something by Homer? Is the only term of approbation for an Evangelist going
                to be that every word in his work is made up completely out of his own head?
                It would surely create something of a revolution in systematic theology, to
                mention no other areas, if this attitude were adopted.

                Maybe we could use a more workmanlike list of days.

                As a start on one, I might note that 19 Sept 1740 was the birthday of Tswei
                Shu, the most systematic critic of ancient texts and historical traditions
                that traditional China ever produced. His moment of untruth (he tells us)
                occurred before the age of twenty, when he began to doubt the authenticity
                of certain Analects passages, but he went far beyond mere authenticity
                questions, and far beyond the focus on one text. He took up the whole of
                ancient tradition, and asked how much of it was credible. His lifework,
                collectively titled Kau-syin Lu (Investigations in Credibility), was his
                answer to that question. Tswei Shu worked in poverty all his life. He died
                leaving a few published sections of his work. His one disciple, Chvn Li-hv
                (1761-1825), devoted the remaining ten years of his own life to trying to
                publish a few more.

                So far my old Philology Calendar, now offline. Tswei Shu is not exactly an
                encouraging model, and better so. It would be wrong to be encouraging, since
                this is a hard business. It does not run parallel, for any great distance,
                with the way of the great world. But I intend it to be an inspirational
                model. Tswei Shu inherited a scholarly tradition almost totally stultified,
                and he let some air of reason into it. The moral is that the thing can be
                done. By anyone, or by any six, who are prepared to make the effort, and to
                pay the price.

                But name-calling is not going to get us there. Would anyone who is
                interested in taking up these matters in an analytical vein care to get in
                touch with me privately?

                Bruce

                E Bruce Brooks
                Warring States Project
                University of Massachusetts at Amherst
              • Ron Price
                ... It s true that I ve made this general case before, but not in exactly this way. In making a measured criticism of a passage in Mark s most important book
                Message 7 of 12 , Sep 22, 2009
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                  Bruce Brooks wrote:

                  > I feel we are in deja vu country here, but sometimes repetition has its
                  > point, especially if nothing happened last time.

                  It's true that I've made this general case before, but not in exactly this
                  way. In making a measured criticism of a passage in Mark's most important
                  book on the Synoptic Problem, I was (maybe even 'am') hoping to provoke a
                  response from Mark himself (if you're reading this, greetings from
                  Derbyshire!).

                  > Let me then repeat my
                  > earlier agreement with Ron, that the removal of the assumption that Lk did
                  > not know Matthew DOES NOT not necessarily entail the vanishing of the Q
                  > hypothesis.

                  Thanks for the expression of agreement, though the assessment would be less
                  ambiguous if "Q hypothesis" were replaced by "hypothesis of a written
                  sayings source" if indeed that's what you mean, Bruce, according to the 'get
                  back to basics' principle I tried to advocate in my original post in this
                  thread.

                  > What it does probably do is require the Q hypothesis to be
                  > reformulated, and Q to be reconstructed entirely de novo, consistently on
                  > the new assumptions.

                  This I have done, and it's all set out on my Web site.

                  Ron Price

                  Derbyshire, UK

                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                • fathchuck@aol.com
                  I don t know where to begin! First, little or none of Mr.Lupia s post is the official teaching of the Catholic Church and as I understand it not the common
                  Message 8 of 12 , Sep 26, 2009
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                    I don't know where to begin! First, little or none of Mr.Lupia's post is the official teaching of the Catholic Church and as I understand it not the common position of Catholic scripture scholars. But a note or two:



                    1. Many of us Catholics -- both those of us trained in Scriptures and those not -- would argue for Markan priority, and in my case preach it.



                    2. He also says "Since all four Gospels were written by the Catholic Church by the original eyewitnesses by the authority of the Church
                    in concert". None of this is offical Church teaching and?is a rather odd understanding of the way that the Gospels were written. No one would claim they were written BY the Church as official Church documents are today. It's not like Pope Peter or Linus called Matthew Mark Luke and John and said -- hey guys write me some Gospels. And the fact is that, as we all?know,?they were not all written by eyewitnesses.



                    I want tobe sure everyone is clear: This is not in any way shape or form the official position of the Catholic Church.



                    Rev. Charles M. Schwartz, administrator

                    Saint Dorothea

                    Eatontown, NJ



                    My dear brother Leonard

                    Matthew does not rest in peace but beholds the glory of Jesus Christ forever.

                    As for Matthew using Mark, huh!

                    Prove it!

                    As far as I am concerned all markers (pun intended) and pointers show Matthew
                    was written well before Mark.

                    BTW, this is not a contest, or protest. Since all four Gospels were written by
                    the Catholic Church by the original eyewitnesses by the authority of the Church
                    in concert there is no Synoptic Problem, and obviously a solution to your
                    perceptions is very easy to document and explain.

                    John







                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Tony Buglass
                    Charles Schwarz wrote: He [John Lupia] also says Since all four Gospels were written by the Catholic Church by the original eyewitnesses by the authority of
                    Message 9 of 12 , Sep 27, 2009
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                      Charles Schwarz wrote:
                      He [John Lupia] also says "Since all four Gospels were written by the Catholic Church by the original eyewitnesses by the authority of the Church
                      in concert". None of this is offical Church teaching ...

                      To be honest, when I read John's words, I thought it was a joke. It really does look like a total cariciature (you know, on the lines of "if St Paul used the KJV, it's good enough for me..."). The problem is that humour doesn't always translate clearly in email, and especially across cultures. He was responding to Leonard Maluflen, who has argued Matthean priority on this list for a very long time, and (while he has himself done so from a clear academic standpoint) has occasionally given the impression that it is or should be RC orthodoxy. His final comments about the feast of St Matthew and "requiescat in pacem" may have been the ones which pressed John's button to make the comment he did.

                      Perhaps I should have said a long time ago, if you really want to get it right, you have to ask the Methodists. (Grabs coat, and runs for cover...)

                      Cheers,
                      Rev Tony Buglass
                      Superintendent Minister
                      Upper Calder Methodist Circuit

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Ron Price
                      ... Graham, I m sure there is some truth in this. However degree of verbal agreement as a criterion is not as useful as one might think. If there is very
                      Message 10 of 12 , Sep 27, 2009
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                        Graham Budd wrote:

                        > Surely one argument for some sort of Q is that of Bussmann, rehashed
                        > entertainingly by Casey: ie that the Q material can be seen to fall
                        > into two types: one where verbal agreement is tight (implying a common
                        > Greek source, which could of course be Matthew!) and one where the
                        > greek agreement is much less close, implying a common non-greek source
                        > (ie in the mind of both of these authors, an Aramaic source).

                        Graham,

                        I'm sure there is some truth in this. However 'degree of verbal agreement'
                        as a criterion is not as useful as one might think. If there is very close
                        and reasonably extensive verbal agreement, we can be confident that the
                        source was Greek (and Luke could have been using Matthew). But the opposite
                        is not necessarily true, for a synoptic writer could have chosen to vary
                        considerably from his source. Also if Luke used Matthew as well as an
                        Aramaic source (which I believe), and if these sources overlapped (as they
                        probably did), there may be a few cases in which Matthew had translated a
                        saying from Aramaic, then Luke made use of Matthew's translation. One such
                        case seems to be the Signs saying (where the 'Queen of the South' and 'men
                        of Nineveh' passages are especially closely worded). Matthew's text would
                        have been open at the right place after copying 'Unclean Spirit' (Mt
                        12:43-45 // Lk 11:24-26).

                        A more useful criterion for separation is on the one hand Semitic aphorisms
                        (indicated e.g. by the use of parallelism), and on the other hand narrative,
                        and/or the presence of Matthean style in Luke.

                        > ..... Given that
                        > there is precise linguistic contact in the Passion narrative twice
                        > ("who was it who struck you?" and "Peter went out and wept
                        > bitterly"*), the suggestion would be that passion narrative minor
                        > agreements would be from Matthew, not a Q source.

                        And most other minor agreements, for that matter.

                        Ron Price

                        Derbyshire, UK

                        Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                      • David Mealand
                        Ron s web page does list some of the problems with some of the theories. There are problems esp over minor agreements on the Q view. There are also problems
                        Message 11 of 12 , Sep 29, 2009
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                          Ron's web page does list some of the problems with
                          some of the theories.

                          There are problems esp over minor agreements on the Q view.
                          There are also problems over why Luke should have done what he did
                          on the view that Luke used Matthew. To propose the latter
                          view AND some kind of sayings source retains the second set
                          of problems and adds the problem of multiplying hypotheses
                          by positing a further entity.

                          If I changed my view that the difficulties for Q are less
                          weighty than the difficulties in holding that Luke used
                          Matthew, then I think I would go for the latter "straight".

                          So my first question is why go the trouble of proposing
                          a further source if one thinks that Luke used Matthew?

                          My second question is this:
                          Is it really the case that where there are cogent
                          arguments for some sort of sayings source these
                          do not also reveal some of the
                          difficulties for the view that Luke used Matthew?

                          David M.



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


                          --
                          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                        • Ron Price
                          ... David, You don t spell out the latter problems. If you refer to Luke s treatment of Matthew s birth and resurrection narratives, then my explanation would
                          Message 12 of 12 , Sep 30, 2009
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                            David Mealand wrote:

                            > There are problems esp over minor agreements on the Q view.
                            > There are also problems over why Luke should have done what he did
                            > on the view that Luke used Matthew.

                            David,

                            You don't spell out the latter problems. If you refer to Luke's treatment of
                            Matthew's birth and resurrection narratives, then my explanation would be
                            similar to that provided by advocates of the Farrer Theory.

                            If you refer to Luke's treatment of the Sermon on the Mount, then my
                            explanation is different. For on the Three-Source Theory Luke did what any
                            good scholar would have done, namely to base his document primarily on the
                            earliest sources available. These were Mark's gospel (ca. 70 CE) for his
                            narrative, and the logia (ca. 45 CE) for the sayings. Thus his 'destruction'
                            of Matthew's sermon was simply a side-effect of good practice.

                            Luke's preference for the Markan order over the Matthean order (Kloppenborg)
                            was also because Luke had chosen Mark as his primary source for narratives.

                            > To propose the latter
                            > view AND some kind of sayings source retains the second set
                            > of problems and adds the problem of multiplying hypotheses
                            > by positing a further entity.

                            If this 'further entity' were entirely hypothetical like Q, then you would
                            have a valid point here. But the source is historically attested. For the
                            most natural understanding of Papias' "logia" or 'oracles' is that it was a
                            collection of sayings attributed to Jesus. I am aware that Kloppenborg calls
                            Papias' statement "legendary at best" ("Excavating Q", p.80). But I can't
                            help thinking that his conclusion was influenced by the fact that it doesn't
                            match his deduction of a Q which originated in Greek.

                            This last deduction was based mainly on texts which the Three-Source Theory
                            can take as cases of Luke copying Matthew directly. Thus for example the
                            Temptation story with its quotations from the Septuagint, the only two
                            probable cases of genitive absolute (Mt 11:7 par.; Mt 9:33 par.), and the
                            majority of passages with a high degree of verbal agreement, all occur in
                            texts which I assign to Luke's direct dependence on Matthew. The removal of
                            such texts as candidates for the sayings source will almost certainly
                            undermine any case against the translation hypothesis. The remainder of the
                            Double Tradition texts will be seen to be aphorisms, many of which exhibit
                            Semitic parallelism, and a few of which exhibit either paronomasia, or signs
                            of mistranslation in the Greek of Matthew and/or Luke. There is thus no bar
                            to their Aramaic origin, and no reason to disparage Papias' statement.

                            > If I changed my view that the difficulties for Q are less
                            > weighty than the difficulties in holding that Luke used
                            > Matthew, then I think I would go for the latter "straight".
                            >
                            > So my first question is why go the trouble of proposing
                            > a further source if one thinks that Luke used Matthew?

                            On the page cited below under "Evidence that Luke also used a sayings
                            source" I've given a set of reasons for thinking there was a sayings source,
                            and longer set indicating Luke's use of it. Even if the odd reason is
                            rejected, the cumulative set of reasons is surely weighty.

                            > My second question is this:
                            > Is it really the case that where there are cogent
                            > arguments for some sort of sayings source these
                            > do not also reveal some of the
                            > difficulties for the view that Luke used Matthew?

                            Not as far as I know. On the contrary, positing that the Double Tradition
                            was dual-sourced not only leads to the solution of the main problems
                            associated with both the 2ST and the FT, but by removing the barriers to an
                            Aramaic source it opens up again a perspective which has been gradually
                            stifled during the last 50 years or so, and brings to light a crucial
                            historical link between the Aramaic-speaking Jesus community in Jerusalem
                            and the authors of the Greek-language synoptic gospels.

                            Ron Price

                            Derbyshire, UK

                            http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_LkMt.html
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