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On: ARONSON 3
Sorting out the relations of Matthew and Luke in the reduced data set reached
in ARONSON 2 has its attractions. But however that comes out, the question of
the DDJ as a possible source would seem to remain unaffected. I here take up
that small matter.
If Aronson is right that there is something meaningful in the comparison
between Jesus (or we would rather now say, the Second Tier Gospels) and Laudz
(or as it is more prudent to call it, the DDJ text), there are several ways in
which that relationship could have come about. Among them are: (1) Parallel
development of loser philosophies in different parts of the continent. Already
suggested, and in effect the option which Aronson seems to prefer. As variants,
we have (2) the possibility of invention by Matthew/Luke, in accord with the
local Zeitgeist, and (3) input from a local West Eurasian W (standing for
Wacko) group, previously defined, who are the local Zeitgeist responders. These
three are more or less equivalent. There might (4) also be some sort of contact
between DDJ and the Second Tier Gospels, for which the obvious channel is the
growing trade, mostly of an indirect nature, between Eastern Eurasia and the
Eastern and Western Mediterranean, one branch of which passed through Galilee,
and was taxed as it did so by one of the five original disciples of Jesus,
Suppose we briefly consider the last possibility. If Group W (or their
authorial equivalent) somehow knew of the DDJ, how much and how exactly did
they know it? The Aronson parallels as previously winnowed are 24 in number,
and they involve 21 different DDJ chapters. The DDJ in its final form contains
81 chapters; a rearranged but otherwise complete version is known from a Han
tomb of 0186. Before that, however, we can a 32-chapter sampling made c0288
from a still incomplete DDJ, which had only reached a length of c70 chapters.
These two earlier and shorter versions, the incomplete DDJ and the selection
made from it in Chu, invite comparison with the makeup of our winnowed Aronson
Here are the winnowed Aronson DDJ chapter numbers, repeated when they figure in
more than one parallel, and with an asterisk signifying that all or part of
that DDJ chapter is represented in the c0288 (Gwodyen) tomb florilegia:
7, 7, *13, *16, *20, 22, 22, 28, 28, *32, 34, *35, 42, *46, 47, *48, *52, *59,
*63, *66, 67, 70, 73, 77.
Of these 24 contacts between DDJ and the winnowed Aronson parallels, 11 are
with DDJ chapters represented in the Gwodyen florilegia. Obviously the match is
imperfect. Is it at least suggestive? If 24 hits were distributed over the 81
DDJ chapters, with the Gwodyen 32 chapters as a marked subset within them, and
with repeated use of the same DDJ chapter allowed, we would statistically
expect that the likeliest number of hits within the 32 "marked" chapters would
be 10 (rounded to the nearest whole number). The actual figure of 11 is so
close to this as to indicate that, not only are the Aronson chapters not
confined to the Gwodyen c0288 inventory, but they do not even show a distinct
preference for that inventory.
It is also obvious that several Aronson chapters not only occur outside the
Gwodyen inventory, but so far outside it that those chapters could not in all
probability have been present for the maker of the Gwodyen florilegia; they had
not yet been composed by the home school which produced the DDJ.
The result, then, is that the Aronson chapters, if drawn at any remove from the
DDJ text, represent a selection from across the whole of that text, neither
limited nor influenced by the earlier Chu (Gwodyen) florilegia. It was not very
likely that this would have been the case, but in these matters, there is no
harm checking when, as here, a check is actually possible.
Nor is there a discernible tendency for DDJ chapters to be used in DDJ order
within either Matthew or Luke. In order of their occurrence in Luke, for
example, the DDJ chapters are 7, 20, 46, 34, 16. For Matthew, the first few DDJ
chapters in order of their Matthean occurrence:
67, 28, 63, 32, 47, 73, 77, 48, 22 . . .
So we may safely conclude that even if a full DDJ text was possessed by the
hypothetical W group, its arrangement played no discernible part in the way
that material was used by either Matthew or Luke.
As far as our winnowing process has so far gone, and it is not precluded that
at higher stages of the present study, it may go further, there is also no
strong tendency for DDJ chapters to be clustered within either Matthew or Luke.
The Matthean Sermon on the Mount, the greatest concentration of Nice Jesus
material within Matthew (Mt 5-7), does get 11 of the total 19 Matthean hits,
and the remainder occur also in relatively well-defined segments, one from
11:28 to 12:16 (2 sayings) and the other from 18:3 to 26:51 (5 sayings). The
distribution is not even, but at the same time, no obvious structural principle
apart from the well-known formal layout of Matthew itself (that is, nothing
that relies on the logic or interrelation of the DDJ passages themselves) seems
to be at work.
If the DDJ was in any way, and at any remove, used by Matthew and/or Luke, it
was apparently a complete DDJ, not one of the previously known subsets of it,
and the order and logic of that DDJ did not discernibly affect the final
result; it was drawn on simply as a body of raw material, to be built into the
quite different Matthean and Lukan structures.
As was the case (see Bellinzoni) with Justin's use of Jesus material in the
Synoptics, there may well have been an intermediate form of the DDJ text,
including a textually inchoate lore form, but as far as we have gone, no useful
suggestion can yet be made as to its nature or extent.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
- To: GPG
On: ARONSON 4
We were testing the notion that the DDJ/NT parallels offered by Aronson perhaps
amounted to something, and endeavoring to define and locate the something. A
first skim of his material suggested that the something, if it existed,
amounted to an input from a W (or Wacko) group, whose content was defined in
DDJ terms by Aronson (but that is always available for reconsideration) and the
Gospel sequence minus John (that is, the Syrian and not also the Ephesian
We may note at this point that the operative world of the Syrian (or Synoptic)
Gospels has two layers: (1) a Penalty layer, in which supernatural forces will
penalize wrong behavior, upon which is superimposed (2) a Destruction layer, in
which supernatural forces will presently bring the entire world to an end. The
strategy of the individual is thus to survive, or be "saved" from these future
disasters, like one of the two giraffes on the SS Noah, the effect of the
second idea being to add urgency and intensification to the first idea.
Further, in this worldview, all events of interest (though not all events of
relevance) are future. This of course contrasts with the operative world of the
DDJ, in which neither (1) nor (2) above obtains, and in which, for one thing,
the universe is envisioned as continually present. In estimating the goodness
of fit of any one parallel, some adaptation from the DDJ scheme to the Gospel
scheme must thus be allowed for. Further, other documentation precludes the
idea that (1) and (2) are themselves new ideas in the Gospel world; they are
ideas previously attested locally. It is thus the articulation and perhaps
supplementation of those ideas that we may reasonably look to in the W material
as here defined. Some actual additions may also occur, but need not be
envisioned as a first expectation.
ARONSON 4 (LUKE)
In the skimmed Aronson list, there were 5 passages that Aronson himself linked
with Luke. But it turned out on previous inspection that some of the Luke
passages referenced by Aronson have parallels in Matthew or Mark. We first
determine if there are differences in these Gospel parallels which allow us to
choose one of them as the specific Gospel end of the comparison. The results
DDJ 7. Mk 8:35 = Mt 16:25 = Lk 9:94 "body is preserved"
DDJ 16. Mk 13:31 = Mt 24:35 = Lk 21:33 "not pass away"
DDJ 20. Mk 9:39f = Lk 9:58 "without a home"
As far as the parallel goes, there is not the slightest textual reason to
prefer any of these to any other. We now intrude the Trajectory Theory,
previously stated, according to which the order of the Gospels is
Mk > Mt > Lk > Jn
From this it follows that if there IS an input from W into the Gospel
tradition, that input will in the above three cases have entered at Mk and been
simply retained in the Mt and Lk stages of the tradition. The result of this
consideration is to reinstate Mark as the recipient of W input, not indeed at
the places indicated by Aronson, but at places which he has unnecessarily
attributed to Luke. We may notice in passing their ascetic and itinerant
We have earlier found that the majority of Aronson parallels in which Matthew
is the Gospel term have no equivalents in other Gospels, so that this large
group must be located at the Matthew or second stage of the G tradition; some
of them are retained in Luke, but that we attribute to the intertia of
Finally, we are left with two parallels in which Aronson's Luke reference is
the only Synoptically obvious one. These are:
DDJ 34. Lk 17:21 "[Dau] everywhere; [kingdom] among you"
DDJ 46. Lk 12:15 "life is not possessions"
And we may note, in this subset, which is now the entirety of the Lukan subset
properly so called, the pronounced tone of implied poverty.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amhersdt