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

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  • 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 1 of 12 , Sep 30, 2009
      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.


      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

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