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Re: [Synoptic-L] Red herring or red flag?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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