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Re: [Synoptic-L] Mark and Aramaic

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  • David Mealand
    Just on the first example cited (about validity in relation to the time when heaven & earth come to an end) surely the triple tradition and the double
    Message 1 of 35 , Nov 24, 2009
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      Just on the first example cited (about validity
      in relation to the time when heaven & earth come
      to an end) surely the triple tradition and
      the double tradition sayings are making quite
      different points, so I am not sure we can just
      tot up word changes in the Greek (which _is_ valid
      when comparing like with like).

      The double tradition pair raise the issue of the
      continuing validity of the torah (Lk16.17//Mat).
      The triple set on the other hand assert the
      continuing validity of the utterances of Jesus
      (Mk13.31//Mat//Lk).

      The triple set is something all three of the
      evangelists are agreed on, and have no wish to
      amend or reinterpret, so they don't change it.

      The double tradition pair reveal a different
      attitude to the law in Matthew as against Luke
      (the context in Luke 16.16a about the law and the
      prophets being "until John" is important for
      Luke). It is no surprise that Matthew (and quite
      probably the tradition he represents) insists on
      the continuing validity of the torah in entirety.

      Luke 16.17 is, however, more intriguing. It could
      well be an example of exasperated irony in prophetic
      mode - objecting to opponents insisting on every
      last mark on the text of the torah. If we hear
      the tone of the saying that way then one could
      put forward an argument like Casey's _Sitz im Leben_
      arguments for it fitting the first stage of the
      Jesus tradition. (Casey's arguments do not rely
      solely on reconstructing Aramaic, but do also invoke
      claims about likely _Sitz im Leben_, some more
      persuasive than others.)

      We might then reconstruct the series as follows:
      a) a prophetic utterance ironically denouncing
      excessive insistence on every last mark in the torah.

      b) an early Christian modification that the words
      of Jesus do have lasting significance - no controversy
      over that within the community, so hardly altered in
      the triple version.

      c) A rival version of a) in a torah affirming line
      preserved in Matthew (5.18) upholding rather than
      ironically criticizing the smallest points of the torah.

      If this is right then there is a further irony in
      people who insist on proposition b) but use it
      to miss the tone in which the words of Jesus were
      uttered. His wit and humour are often also missed.

      David M.


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







      ---------

      --
      The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
      Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
    • Ron Price
      ... Jack, I can t comment on Matthew s knowledge of Hebrew, but Matthew s retention of debts could have been for other reasons than his lack of understanding
      Message 35 of 35 , Nov 25, 2009
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        Jack Kilmon wrote:

        > I am convinced that Matthew was neither Aramaic nor Hebrew competent and
        > used Mark and a Q document in translational Greek. Luke, however, was
        > Aramaic competent and used Mark and an Aramaic Q which he translated
        > himself. This is why Luke explains the Hoybyn/"debts"/"sins" idiom in his
        > version of the LP and Matthew does not.

        Jack,

        I can't comment on Matthew's knowledge of Hebrew, but Matthew's retention of
        "debts" could have been for other reasons than his lack of understanding of
        the Aramaic word. Both Matthew and Luke transliterate and thus retain the
        Aramaic words "mammon" (Mt 6:24 // Lk 16:13) and "saton" (Mt 13:33 // Lk
        13:21).

        Also, Matthew's gospel is widely thought to have been written in Antioch of
        Syria. Wasn't the Syrian dialect of Aramaic the main language of that town?
        Wouldn't it follow that Matthew probably had some understanding of Aramaic?

        Ron Price,

        Derbyshire, UK
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