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