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Was Matthew's Sermon broken up?

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  • Ron Price
    Farrer Theory supporters are often asked why, if Luke used Matthew, would he break up Matthew s impressive Sermon on the Mount. Of course the judgement as to
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 20, 2010
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      Farrer Theory supporters are often asked why, if Luke used Matthew, would he
      break up Matthew's impressive Sermon on the Mount. Of course the judgement
      as to whether Matthew's placement of sayings is more artistic than Luke's
      placement of sayings is a subjective one. But this defence is rather weak if
      it lacks a comparison of the placements and a portrayal of the merits of
      Luke's placement (virtually impossible for anyone who doesn't know what
      structure Luke had in mind for his gospel).

      The Three-Source Theory has an additional defence: Luke didn't break it up,
      at least not directly. Because on the 3ST, for the aphorisms of Jesus the
      scholarly Luke went back to his oldest source, namely the logia mentioned by
      Papias, and translated them from there (and there are a couple of
      translation errors to back this up). He didn't need to copy any material
      directly from the part of Matthew we know as the Sermon on the Mount. (For
      Lk 16:13, in which the wording is virtually identical in Greek to Mt 6:24,
      Luke had probably remembered the Matthean wording.)

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • Jeff Peterson
      ... One problem for this proposal is that by *logia* Papias doesn t mean sayings ; he means divine oracles or teachings. He describes Mark as having set
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 20, 2010
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        On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 3:15 AM, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:

        > Because on the 3ST, for the aphorisms of Jesus the scholarly Luke went
        > back to his oldest source, namely the logia mentioned by Papias, and
        > translated them from there (and there are a couple of
        >
        > translation errors to back this up).
        >

        One problem for this proposal is that by *logia* Papias doesn't mean
        "sayings"; he means "divine oracles" or "teachings." He describes Mark as
        having set these down, though not in order, by having written up "things
        said or done by the Lord," and Matthew as having "made a [pleasing]
        arrangement of the *logia*." Papias understands the *logia* to have been
        embodied in biographical narratives like those transmitted under the names
        of Matthew and Mark, not in sayings collections like the *Gospel according
        to Thomas*.

        Jeff Peterson
        Austin Graduate School of Theology
        Austin, Texas


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • brooks@asianlan.umass.edu
        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Was Matthew s Sermon Broken Up? From: Bruce As usual, I agree a good part of the way with Ron. There is no
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 21, 2010
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          To: Synoptic
          Cc: GPG
          In Response To: Ron Price
          On: Was Matthew's Sermon Broken Up?
          From: Bruce

          As usual, I agree a good part of the way with Ron. There is no point
          here rehashing yet again the small zones of divergence. I might pick
          up just one of his points.

          RON: Farrer Theory supporters are often asked why, if Luke used
          Matthew, would he
          break up Matthew's impressive Sermon on the Mount. Of course the judgement
          as to whether Matthew's placement of sayings is more artistic than Luke's
          placement of sayings is a subjective one. But this defence is rather weak if
          it lacks a comparison of the placements and a portrayal of the merits of
          Luke's placement (virtually impossible for anyone who doesn't know what
          structure Luke had in mind for his gospel).

          BRUCE: Artistic, schmartistic. The real question here has always been
          the emotional one. It is not "Why did Luke break up Matthew's Sermon,"
          but rather, "Why did Luke break up Jesus's sermon?" If it could be
          established beforehand that the sermon is Matthew's assemblage and not
          Jesus's lecture notes, the thing could be approached with a more
          appropriate level of mental equilibrium than heretofore.

          So can that be established? I should think with a fair degree of
          operational probability. Never mind this or that Sermon; the whole of
          Matthew is obviously an assemblage, a construct, a piece of artifice
          and a personal design, from its five-part Pentateuch-referential large
          structure to its instence on "every jot" of the Law, not to mention
          its slavish and imperceptive misreading of Hebrew parallelism in a
          certain Psalm, leading to a screamingly funny picture of Jesus riding
          into Jerusalem on - get this - not one animal but two. Matthew is
          Christianity crammed back as far as was then possible, and in the case
          of the two animals, perhaps a little farther than was possible, into
          an OT framework.

          Once the beholder gets the idea of Matthew as constructing his
          account, rather than blindly transcribing it from one or seventeen
          conjectural "sources," the Sermon question (which is really, let us be
          reminded, just the first of Five sermon questions in Matthew) can
          perhaps be taken up at a more suitable pulse rate.

          There is maybe hope. In my experience people don't get all hot under
          the collar or red in the face, they don't pound on the table or fling
          disparagements at persons, on the question, "Why did 2 Peter break up
          the symbolism of Jude?"

          Which is not to say that they get even *that* directionality right.
          Surveying commentaries over the past century or so, I find that
          opinions turn out to be divided: better, but not a whole lot better,
          than a random result. The standard treatment of these questions, I
          grieve to discover (I came here hopefully from classical China, hat in
          hand and ready to be enlightened, looking to the elder sister
          discipline for examples of problems convincingly solved) turns out to
          be not exactly conspicuous for its mastery of philological technique.

          But still, calmness of spirit is doubtless the right weather in which
          to seek for skill of hand, and I conclude by recommending both the
          calmness and the seeking.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • Ron Price
          ... Jeff, Thanks for your comments. Two points in reply. Firstly your conclusion as explained above depends on interpreting the wording of the short statement
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 22, 2010
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            I had written:

            >> Because on the 3ST, for the aphorisms of Jesus the scholarly Luke went
            >> back to his oldest source, namely the logia mentioned by Papias, and
            >> translated them from there (and there are a couple of
            >> translation errors to back this up).

            Jeff Peterson replied:

            > One problem for this proposal is that by *logia* Papias doesn't mean
            > "sayings"; he means "divine oracles" or "teachings." He describes Mark as
            > having set these down, though not in order, by having written up "things
            > said or done by the Lord," and Matthew as having "made a [pleasing]
            > arrangement of the *logia*." Papias understands the *logia* to have been
            > embodied in biographical narratives like those transmitted under the names
            > of Matthew and Mark, not in sayings collections like the *Gospel according
            > to Thomas*.

            Jeff,

            Thanks for your comments. Two points in reply.

            Firstly your conclusion as explained above depends on interpreting the
            wording of the short statement about Matthew in the light of the longer
            statement about Mark. But the styles of these two statements are quite
            different. The latter has the appearance of much-embellished apologetic, and
            some of it (such as Mark being Peter's interpreter) is now known to be
            mistaken. The former reads like a modest historical claim. I think we should
            consider the possibility that Papias was not always entirely consistent in
            his terminology.

            Secondly I'm not sure how you interpret: "made a [pleasing] arrangement of
            the *logia*". You may be assuming it refers to the five pairs of
            discourse/narrative sections in Matthew's gospel. But my reconstruction of
            the aphorism collection (see the web page below), with its poetry, its
            arrangement in 36 linked pairs, and division into four themed sections,
            surely presents a source which would have been much more likely to attract
            the commendation: "pleasing arrangement".

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_sQet.html
          • Chuck Jones
            Bruce wrote: The real question here has always been the emotional one. It is not Why did Luke break up Matthew s Sermon, but rather, Why did Luke break up
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 22, 2010
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              Bruce wrote:
              "The real question here has always been the emotional one. It is not "Why did Luke break up Matthew's Sermon," but rather, "Why did Luke break up Jesus's sermon?" If it could be established beforehand that the sermon is Matthew's assemblage and not Jesus's lecture notes, the thing could be approached with a more appropriate level of mental equilibrium than heretofore."

              Bruce,
              You are definitely on to something here.  Recognizing that Mt crafted sayings material into five sermons, including the famous Sermon on the Mount, certainly should free one from some emotional baggage.
              It also, though, creates a methodological probability that would favor Lk's not knowing Mt.  Mt is an example of arranging previously random materials to suite his rhetorical purposes.  Mk does the same thing with his narrative materials.  Likewise, Lk creates his trip to Jerusalem motif.
              Do we have any examples of the evangelists dis-assembling material, other than the Sermon on the Mount?  I believe I recall that Mt and Lk tend to leave Mk's order of events alone, but beyond that don't recall having read anything on the topic.
              Chuck
              Rev. Chuck JonesInterim Executive DirectorWestar InstituteThe Jesus Seminar       




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • brooks@asianlan.umass.edu
              To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Chuck Jones On: Order in Matthew From: Bruce [Chuck began by agreeing with me on the deleterious effects of approaching
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 22, 2010
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                To: Synoptic
                Cc: GPG
                In Response To: Chuck Jones
                On: Order in Matthew
                From: Bruce

                [Chuck began by agreeing with me on the deleterious effects of
                approaching the Mt Sermon #1 as though it were ipsissima, which is
                always nice. I had perhaps just a few doubts from there on / EBB].

                CHUCK: Recognizing that Mt crafted sayings material into five sermons,
                including the famous Sermon on the Mount, certainly should free one
                from some emotional baggage.
                It also, though, creates a methodological probability that would favor
                Lk's not knowing Mt.

                BRUCE: What Mt did to Mk (or any conjectural source) has, as such,
                nothing whatever to do with Lk. I would think we are free to approach
                that problem separately. And probably should. Time's a-wastin'

                CHUCK: Mt is an example of arranging previously random materials to
                suite his rhetorical purposes.

                BRUCE: Tilt. "Previously random" is not warranted. The only source for
                Mt we have to look at, right there in front of us, is Mk, and I would
                not call Mk "random." I would call it highly purposive and
                intentional. Rearrangements can occur when a later user of this
                material is operating with *different* purposes and intentions. With
                Mt, as he goes along and (as he fancies) improfes on Mk, some of those
                are obvious. The one that chiefly screams out at me (see previous
                post) is reJudaization. Brother Jacob would have been *much* less
                unhappy with Mt than with Mk (of for that matter with his brother
                Jesus); of that I feel certain. And probably plenty of conservative
                Diaspora Jews, the probable Syrian audience of Mt, felt that way too.
                Hence, in fact, Mt. Mt was the expression, in revised Authority
                Narrative form, of just that sensibility.

                CHUCK: Mk does the same thing with his narrative materials.

                BRUCE: Not in evidence. That Mk is a digest of even earlier material
                is not apparent; it needs to be demonstrated. My own studies of Mk
                suggest that it is a primary original narrative, largely factual and
                consecutive (though with some points at which one might look for the
                kind of thing Chuck here asserts), and thus probably coming, on the
                whole, from someone who knew Jesus, into which various later invented
                incidents were inserted for theological and other late communitarian
                reasons. Leading to some inconcinnities which commentators have
                noticed, and by which Pierson Parker was so vastly, if as it seems
                inappropriately, amused.

                When you stick something into a previously consecutive narrative (I am
                thinking ruefully of my own Chapter 6, still being debugged in the
                computer), there are usually bad secondary side effects. These side
                effects (not signs of ignorance, but signs of update) abound in Mk.
                You mess up the original continuity, you mess up your previously
                composed Index, and you mess up your previously composed Index
                Locorum. Mk as a whole, at least to my eye, does not have the
                character of a single selection from unordered previous materials. It
                has the character of my Chapter 6.

                CHUCK: Likewise, Lk creates his trip to Jerusalem motif.

                BRUCE: No he doesn't. Absolutely not correct. He expands it from
                parallel (if shorter) trip to Jerusalem sequences in Mk and (already
                somewhat expanded) in Mt. In Lk, it becomes a major constructional
                principle, occupying about a third of the whole work. This does not
                make Lk independent of Mk, and by the same token, it does not make Lk
                independent of Mt. It gives him credit for taking a strong hand on
                what was already available in the bookstores, as well as stuff he knew
                from his own experience as a Christian (the formulaic bits which are
                the chief post-Goulder exhibits for the Q hypothesis) and probably
                some other stuff, not presently attested because no longer surviving.

                Lk looked at the results of his buying spree in the bookstores, and
                said to himself, Hm, a trip occurs here. I could do something nice
                with that.

                A little like Beethoven with Diabelli's inane little waltz. He did
                not, as he had been assigned to do (people like Like and Ludwig simply
                *hate* being told what to do), write one variation on it, as one page
                in a collaborative enterprise. He wrote a whole set of variations on
                it, every one of them his own. He assaulted the heights of the
                Goldberg Variations, and scaled them with the feather in his cap still
                flying. He ennobled the theme in the process of demolishing it. Luke's
                travel narrative is a little like that. It was for him an expansion
                zone, a free hour and a half of open sermon time. He took one look at
                the Matthean travel section, and he said to himself (as he had earlier
                done with Mt's rather sparse Birth and Infancy narrative), "Buddy, you
                just don't get it. You've got it, but you don't get it. Let me show
                you how these things should be done."

                Sassy, I admit, but it's the sassy people who write the books. No?

                Anyway, surveying the whole scene with the requisite Olympian calm: If
                we like to think of a Trip Trajectory, then the sequence of
                progressive expansion and elaboration and carrying of expositional
                weight in the respective Trip secions strongly suggests Mk > Mt >> Lk,
                where the double arrow means "aware of both the preceding." I have
                reached this result before, but here is another and essentially
                independent demonstration.

                CHUCK; Do we have any examples of the evangelists dis-assembling
                material, other than the Sermon on the Mount?

                BRUCE: Lots. I have several times pointed to Lk's rearrangement of
                material in Mt, the extreme obvious unavoidable instance being the
                Nazareth scene, which he put at the front in his second version (in
                his first version, demonstrably, he had followed Mark) in order to
                stress his "alienation from Judaism" guiding motif. That motif is
                likely to have arisen when Lk later undertook to write Acts, and felt
                the need of a different distribution of material in his Gospel in
                order to provide the proper background and thematic continuity. So he
                went back and reshaped it, and my Goodness, what a mess he made of it
                in some places.

                CHUCK: I believe I recall that Mt and Lk tend to leave Mk's order of
                events alone, but beyond that don't recall having read anything on the
                topic.

                BRUCE: Simply not true, and that fact has been out for decades now. I
                recommend reading the literature. A good start would be Fitzmyer's
                Luke, in the vicinity of p70 and following. Fitzmyer has got Luke's
                major rearrangements of Mk correctly identified, and indeed for the
                most part plausibly explained. He has then not ventured to follow
                where those facts lead, but hey, it was generous of him to leave
                something for those of us who come after. The whole section beginning
                at p63 is well worth a visit, but those in a hurry for the
                rearrangements can start at p71 and go back later.

                Other than my own paper at SBL 2007, I don't know that this basis has
                been built on. Those who have references to share will incur, by
                sharing them, the gratitude of the undersigned.

                Bruce

                E Bruce Brooks
                Warring States Project
                University of Massachusetts at Amherst
              • Chuck Jones
                Bruce, This has inadvertently become a case study in how much our presuppositions affect our analysis. I believe Mt and Lk used Q and Mk, separately.  In
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 22, 2010
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                  Bruce,
                  This has inadvertently become a case study in how much our presuppositions affect our analysis.

                  I believe Mt and Lk used Q and Mk, separately.  In which case Mt and Lk left Mk's narrative structure alone, except when a change suited their purposes, (a dramatic example being Lk's relocation and considerable reworking of the Nazareth rejection story).  Likewise, they arranged the material in Q to suite their purposes, Mt having much greater ambitions in this case, creating his 5 sermons.

                  I also believe that Mk created the first gospel narrative, out of pieces of tradition that had previously circulated separately or as collections of incidents and teachings that claimed no chronological relationship to each other.

                  Even in the absence of a source, the evidence for Mk's doing this is quite strong:
                  Ch 1 contains a collection of healing stories in which Jesus quickly becomes rock-star famous.
                  Ch 2 contains a collection of conflict stories in which religious leaders reject him and by 3:6 are planning to kill him (3:6 concludes Act 1).
                  Act 2 begins with a unit comprised of chs 4 and 5, easily titled "A Day in the Life of Jesus," where Mk is careful to specifically link the episodes together not with a vague "kai" but with "and immediately, or "when they reached the other shore," or etc.
                  Act 3 is the passion week, and Mk has saved several conflict stories and set them in the temple court to increase dramatic tension during the week between J's arrival and the arrest.  These stories stand alone and there is no internal indication in any of them that they took place in the temple.

                  I'll stop here, but am struck by the extent to which our suppostions feed our analysis, which reinforces our suppositions....  And more importantly, makes it difficult to communicate!

                  Chuck
                  Rev. Chuck JonesInterim Executive DirectorWestar InstituteThe Jesus Seminar

                  --- On Mon, 2/22/10, brooks@... <brooks@...> wrote:

                  From: brooks@... <brooks@...>
                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Was Matthew's Sermon broken up?
                  To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                  Cc: "GPG" <gpg@yahoogroups.com>
                  Date: Monday, February 22, 2010, 4:07 PM
















                   









                  To: Synoptic

                  Cc: GPG

                  In Response To: Chuck Jones

                  On: Order in Matthew

                  From: Bruce



                  [Chuck began by agreeing with me on the deleterious effects of

                  approaching the Mt Sermon #1 as though it were ipsissima, which is

                  always nice. I had perhaps just a few doubts from there on / EBB].



                  CHUCK: Recognizing that Mt crafted sayings material into five sermons,

                  including the famous Sermon on the Mount, certainly should free one

                  from some emotional baggage.

                  It also, though, creates a methodological probability that would favor

                  Lk's not knowing Mt.



                  BRUCE: What Mt did to Mk (or any conjectural source) has, as such,

                  nothing whatever to do with Lk. I would think we are free to approach

                  that problem separately. And probably should. Time's a-wastin'



                  CHUCK: Mt is an example of arranging previously random materials to

                  suite his rhetorical purposes.



                  BRUCE: Tilt. "Previously random" is not warranted. The only source for

                  Mt we have to look at, right there in front of us, is Mk, and I would

                  not call Mk "random." I would call it highly purposive and

                  intentional. Rearrangements can occur when a later user of this

                  material is operating with *different* purposes and intentions. With

                  Mt, as he goes along and (as he fancies) improfes on Mk, some of those

                  are obvious. The one that chiefly screams out at me (see previous

                  post) is reJudaization. Brother Jacob would have been *much* less

                  unhappy with Mt than with Mk (of for that matter with his brother

                  Jesus); of that I feel certain. And probably plenty of conservative

                  Diaspora Jews, the probable Syrian audience of Mt, felt that way too.

                  Hence, in fact, Mt. Mt was the expression, in revised Authority

                  Narrative form, of just that sensibility.



                  CHUCK: Mk does the same thing with his narrative materials.



                  BRUCE: Not in evidence. That Mk is a digest of even earlier material

                  is not apparent; it needs to be demonstrated. My own studies of Mk

                  suggest that it is a primary original narrative, largely factual and

                  consecutive (though with some points at which one might look for the

                  kind of thing Chuck here asserts), and thus probably coming, on the

                  whole, from someone who knew Jesus, into which various later invented

                  incidents were inserted for theological and other late communitarian

                  reasons. Leading to some inconcinnities which commentators have

                  noticed, and by which Pierson Parker was so vastly, if as it seems

                  inappropriately, amused.



                  When you stick something into a previously consecutive narrative (I am

                  thinking ruefully of my own Chapter 6, still being debugged in the

                  computer), there are usually bad secondary side effects. These side

                  effects (not signs of ignorance, but signs of update) abound in Mk.

                  You mess up the original continuity, you mess up your previously

                  composed Index, and you mess up your previously composed Index

                  Locorum. Mk as a whole, at least to my eye, does not have the

                  character of a single selection from unordered previous materials. It

                  has the character of my Chapter 6.



                  CHUCK: Likewise, Lk creates his trip to Jerusalem motif.



                  BRUCE: No he doesn't. Absolutely not correct. He expands it from

                  parallel (if shorter) trip to Jerusalem sequences in Mk and (already

                  somewhat expanded) in Mt. In Lk, it becomes a major constructional

                  principle, occupying about a third of the whole work. This does not

                  make Lk independent of Mk, and by the same token, it does not make Lk

                  independent of Mt. It gives him credit for taking a strong hand on

                  what was already available in the bookstores, as well as stuff he knew

                  from his own experience as a Christian (the formulaic bits which are

                  the chief post-Goulder exhibits for the Q hypothesis) and probably

                  some other stuff, not presently attested because no longer surviving.



                  Lk looked at the results of his buying spree in the bookstores, and

                  said to himself, Hm, a trip occurs here. I could do something nice

                  with that.



                  A little like Beethoven with Diabelli's inane little waltz. He did

                  not, as he had been assigned to do (people like Like and Ludwig simply

                  *hate* being told what to do), write one variation on it, as one page

                  in a collaborative enterprise. He wrote a whole set of variations on

                  it, every one of them his own. He assaulted the heights of the

                  Goldberg Variations, and scaled them with the feather in his cap still

                  flying. He ennobled the theme in the process of demolishing it. Luke's

                  travel narrative is a little like that. It was for him an expansion

                  zone, a free hour and a half of open sermon time. He took one look at

                  the Matthean travel section, and he said to himself (as he had earlier

                  done with Mt's rather sparse Birth and Infancy narrative), "Buddy, you

                  just don't get it. You've got it, but you don't get it. Let me show

                  you how these things should be done."



                  Sassy, I admit, but it's the sassy people who write the books. No?



                  Anyway, surveying the whole scene with the requisite Olympian calm: If

                  we like to think of a Trip Trajectory, then the sequence of

                  progressive expansion and elaboration and carrying of expositional

                  weight in the respective Trip secions strongly suggests Mk > Mt >> Lk,

                  where the double arrow means "aware of both the preceding." I have

                  reached this result before, but here is another and essentially

                  independent demonstration.



                  CHUCK; Do we have any examples of the evangelists dis-assembling

                  material, other than the Sermon on the Mount?



                  BRUCE: Lots. I have several times pointed to Lk's rearrangement of

                  material in Mt, the extreme obvious unavoidable instance being the

                  Nazareth scene, which he put at the front in his second version (in

                  his first version, demonstrably, he had followed Mark) in order to

                  stress his "alienation from Judaism" guiding motif. That motif is

                  likely to have arisen when Lk later undertook to write Acts, and felt

                  the need of a different distribution of material in his Gospel in

                  order to provide the proper background and thematic continuity. So he

                  went back and reshaped it, and my Goodness, what a mess he made of it

                  in some places.



                  CHUCK: I believe I recall that Mt and Lk tend to leave Mk's order of

                  events alone, but beyond that don't recall having read anything on the

                  topic.



                  BRUCE: Simply not true, and that fact has been out for decades now. I

                  recommend reading the literature. A good start would be Fitzmyer's

                  Luke, in the vicinity of p70 and following. Fitzmyer has got Luke's

                  major rearrangements of Mk correctly identified, and indeed for the

                  most part plausibly explained. He has then not ventured to follow

                  where those facts lead, but hey, it was generous of him to leave

                  something for those of us who come after. The whole section beginning

                  at p63 is well worth a visit, but those in a hurry for the

                  rearrangements can start at p71 and go back later.



                  Other than my own paper at SBL 2007, I don't know that this basis has

                  been built on. Those who have references to share will incur, by

                  sharing them, the gratitude of the undersigned.



                  Bruce



                  E Bruce Brooks

                  Warring States Project

                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst






























                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Steve Runge
                  Chuck, I appreciate your candidness about presuppositions on the Was Matthew s Sermon broken up? thread. I am new to the list, with a background primarily in
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 23, 2010
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                    Chuck,

                    I appreciate your candidness about presuppositions on the "Was Matthew's Sermon broken up?" thread. I am new to the list, with a background primarily in biblical languages and discourse studies. I have been doing research tangential to the synoptic problem, but woould like to work more formally on the issue in the coming year.

                    In surveying the synoptic literature, I am struck by how much presuppositions held about sources and compositional history direct the conclusions reached. This raises a practical question about claiming Q as a source regarding macro-level versus micro-level departures from Mark, based on Markan priority.

                    Macro: Where there are entire pericopes found in the double tradition that are lacking in Mark, appealing to a sayings source can account for where the material came from. Where there is agreement between Matthew and Luke against Mark within the triple tradition, there is again appeal to a source to explain the departure from Mark. This provides an explanation about the source of the material, but sidesteps the issue of motivation. Q is established based on how it differs from Mark. Does Q ever agree with Mark? Why should the evangelists follow Q (or special L or M for that matter) against Mark?

                    At the other end of the spectrum, scholars seem quite willing to explain smaller departures (e.g. changes within a clause, delection/addition of individual words or phrases) as made by the writer/redactor based on his compositional purposes. In other words, the changes become too small to make;an appeal to a source necessary or prudent.

                    Why do I raise this question? I have been comparing synoptic differences for the last few years as a means of illustrating the pragmatic effects achieved by wording a proposition one way versus another for a forthcoming introduction to discourse grammar. I plan on proposing a paper this fall about the exegetical significance of these minor differences, and how they might inform discussions about the macro-level issues relating to compositional purposes. Regardless of whether Q actually exists or not, the compositional issue remains. I expect the discussion has moved beyond picturing the gospel writers as bumbling redactors, mindlessly copying their sources without stylistic or compositional considerations, at least I hope so.

                    At any rate, I would appreciate hearing your opinions regarding at what point appealing to a source becomes impractical. As Chuck noted, answers will inevitably be based on one's presuppositions. If there are relevant sources (no pun intended) that you could recommended, this too would be appreciated.

                    Kind regards,

                    Steven E. Runge, DLitt
                    Scholar-in-Residence
                    Logos Bible Software
                    srunge@...
                    www.ntdiscourse.org



                    From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Chuck Jones
                    Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 2:17 PM
                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Was Matthew's Sermon broken up?

                     
                    Bruce,
                    This has inadvertently become a case study in how much our presuppositions affect our analysis.

                    I believe Mt and Lk used Q and Mk, separately.  In which case Mt and Lk left Mk's narrative structure alone, except when a change suited their purposes, (a dramatic example being Lk's relocation and considerable reworking of the Nazareth rejection story).  Likewise, they arranged the material in Q to suite their purposes, Mt having much greater ambitions in this case, creating his 5 sermons.

                    I also believe that Mk created the first gospel narrative, out of pieces of tradition that had previously circulated separately or as collections of incidents and teachings that claimed no chronological relationship to each other.

                    Even in the absence of a source, the evidence for Mk's doing this is quite strong:
                    Ch 1 contains a collection of healing stories in which Jesus quickly becomes rock-star famous.
                    Ch 2 contains a collection of conflict stories in which religious leaders reject him and by 3:6 are planning to kill him (3:6 concludes Act 1).
                    Act 2 begins with a unit comprised of chs 4 and 5, easily titled "A Day in the Life of Jesus," where Mk is careful to specifically link the episodes together not with a vague "kai" but with "and immediately, or "when they reached the other shore," or etc.

                    Act 3 is the passion week, and Mk has saved several conflict stories and set them in the temple court to increase dramatic tension during the week between J's arrival and the arrest.  These stories stand alone and there is no internal indication in any of them that they took place in the temple.

                    I'll stop here, but am struck by the extent to which our suppostions feed our analysis, which reinforces our suppositions....  And more importantly, makes it difficult to communicate!

                    Chuck
                    Rev. Chuck JonesInterim Executive DirectorWestar InstituteThe Jesus Seminar
                  • brooks@asianlan.umass.edu
                    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Chuck Jones On: Mark s Sources From: Bruce CHUCK: This has inadvertently become a case study in how much our
                    Message 9 of 11 , Feb 23, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      To: Synoptic
                      Cc: GPG
                      In Response To: Chuck Jones
                      On: Mark's Sources
                      From: Bruce

                      CHUCK: This has inadvertently become a case study in how much our
                      presuppositions affect our analysis.

                      BRUCE: Trouble with statements like this is that they trivialize the
                      whole enterprise. If all we find is what we thought in the first
                      place, then those concerned might as well take up a more useful
                      pastime. Birdwatching. Computer solitaire. Whatever.

                      My own sense, quite to the contrary, is that it is sometimes possible
                      to decide between several possible conclusions, and that progress in
                      the subject is made by doing so. I take up the matter in that spirit.

                      On the specific point:

                      CHUCK: I believe Mt and Lk used Q and Mk, separately. In which case Mt
                      and Lk left Mk's narrative structure alone, except when a change
                      suited their purposes, (a dramatic example being Lk's relocation and
                      considerable reworking of the Nazareth rejection story).

                      BRUCE: No problem with Mt and Lk making changes when it suited their
                      purposes. That was my earlier point exactly. Lk in changing Mk does so
                      for reasons. I am glad we now agree that Lk did in fact change Mk.
                      Point gained. Knowledge advanced.

                      CHUCK: Likewise, they arranged the material in Q to suit their
                      purposes, Mt having much greater ambitions in this case, creating his
                      5 sermons.

                      BRUCE: It seems to me that there is a danger of circularity here,
                      since the supposed arrangement of Q is itself an inference. The
                      conventional Q wisdom, I gather, is that Q was ordered as in Lk. I
                      don't find that likely, or at any rate not persuasively argued, and am
                      accordingly not prepared to say that Matthew treated this material
                      more freely, rearranging it out of its original Lukan order. If
                      someone wanted to posit that Q order was Matthean order, then it would
                      turn out that *Luke* treated the material more freely. Goulder's
                      findings, repeatedly and politely urged in the literature, is that the
                      wording of the common Mt/Lk sayings is basically Matthean, and that
                      the Q people have removed those traits to produce their Q
                      reconstruction, producing an artifact text from which Mt and Lk can be
                      argued to have diverged. But the artifact may have been produced by
                      de-Mattheanizing the material in the first place. In which case we are
                      dealing with a chimera.

                      In general, I would rather acquire an understanding of Lukan and
                      Matthean proclivities by seeing what they did with material which (or
                      very close to which) we can also see. I would thus like to bypass this
                      point for the time being. I don't think the world is ready for it.

                      CHUCK: I also believe that Mk created the first gospel narrative, out
                      of pieces of tradition that had previously circulated separately or as
                      collections of incidents and teachings that claimed no chronological
                      relationship to each other.

                      BRUCE: Agreed that Mark created the first Gospel narrative. But the
                      rest of the sentence gets into a description of the character,
                      aetiology, and internal relationships of material that is not directly
                      visible to us: a description of an assumption. Here too, I would
                      rather pass the point for the moment and look at something we can
                      actually see. To understand the invisible, look carefully at the
                      visible. This, fortunately, Chuck proceeds to do. To save space here,
                      I will not take up his Markan Acts 2 and 3 (though agreeing in general
                      that Mk had some sort of groundplan in mind), and look only at his
                      first two points. The first was:

                      CHUCK: Even in the absence of a source, the evidence for Mk's doing
                      this is quite strong:

                      Ch 1 contains a collection of healing stories in which Jesus quickly
                      becomes rock-star famous.

                      BRUCE: Literarily speaking, it presently stands as a narrative, not
                      precisely an anthology, albeit a narrative that includes healings.
                      Close enough to discuss. Along in somewhere, though, I think we have
                      to take note of the likelihood that the Healing of the Paralytic is an
                      intrusion into the Capernaum synagogue scene, and that several of the
                      other healings in this vicinity have been either added or touched up
                      by later hands. There are too many classic signs of interpolation in
                      Mark to argue from Mark, as we have it, to the author's intentions or
                      propensities. I wish it were simpler, and I myself began (like
                      everybody else, I suppose) by approaching it as though it *were*
                      simpler, but on long acquaintance I have had to relinquish that
                      initial expectation. So it goes.

                      To continue:

                      CHUCK: Ch 2 contains a collection of conflict stories in which
                      religious leaders reject him and by 3:6 are planning to kill him (3:6
                      concludes Act 1).

                      BRUCE: Let's look. I would class 2:1-12 (including the Healing of the
                      Paralytic) chiefly as a healing story, and thus in the same type class
                      as 1:40-45 (the Cleansing of the Leper). A conflict over doctrine (the
                      power to forgive sins) was later inserted into this healing miracle
                      (notice how narratively awkward 2:6 is - "Now some of the scribes were
                      sitting there"). But if we disregard the later addition, we can say
                      that the narrative which is studded with healings (not the same as an
                      anthology of healings) extends to 2:12.

                      What follows? I find:

                      2:13-14. [Calling of Levi. Narrative material].
                      2:15-17. Conflict with Pharisees about eating with unclean persons.
                      2:18-20. Conflict with "people" over not keeping fast days.
                      2:21-22. [Sayings about new not fitting old - not a conflict story].
                      2:23-28. Conflict with Pharisees about work on the Sabbath.
                      3:-6. Conflict with Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath.

                      Here too, I think we have to prune a bit before we can see Mark's
                      tree. I mentioned 2:18-20 earlier, as a manifest case of legislation
                      for the later Church (when fasting had been reintroduced into
                      community practice), and thus as an intrusion. I suggest removing it
                      for the nonce, if we want to get at Mark's original structure.

                      Having removed it, we have . . .

                      2:13-14. [Calling of Levi. Narrative material].
                      2:15-17. Conflict with Pharisees about eating with unclean persons.
                      2:21-22. [Sayings about new not fitting old - not a conflict story].
                      2:23-28. Conflict with Pharisees about work on the Sabbath.
                      3:-6. Conflict with Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath.


                      . . . a narrative studded, not with healings, but with conflicts. This
                      is not quite an anthology, but it would be fair to call it a
                      concentration: the stories seem to have been grouped to make a point,
                      the point being that Jesus's healings and other doings (previous
                      narrative) produced tension with the Pharisees (this narrative).

                      Assuming these incidents genuine, was this their original order? I
                      would guess not; there has very probably been an authorial
                      concentration for narrative effect. The Markan narrative is not a life
                      of Jesus, it is an explanation of what led to his death, and so we
                      have an early emphasis on the success and power of Jesus, and next a
                      sense of the opposition which that aroused, specifically among the
                      Pharisees.

                      Did these incidents happen, or are they inventions? If the latter,
                      invented by who? I don't see a way of answering this directly. If Mark
                      made them up, he will have said to himself, I will now compose my
                      Conflict section. If they were real and Mark somehow had access to
                      them, he has arranged them to suit his narrative purpose.

                      Suppose first that the stories existed before he arranged them.
                      Existed where? Among the options are: (1) In Mark's memory, as a
                      follower of Jesus. (2) In the memory of some other follower, somehow
                      accessed by Mark. (3) In the collective memory of more than one
                      person, in which case we must posit a previous effort of collection,
                      most likely resulting in a text. But if we adopt this option, we are
                      going to find ourselves positing a Healing Collection for Mk 1, a
                      Conflict Collection for Mk 2, and so on to the end. Some intermediary
                      person, or more likely half a dozen, have done what Mark will need as
                      background for his Gospel, without himself (themselves) going on to
                      compose Mark's Gospel. Are these six previous monothematic collections
                      plausible? For me, it is about at this point that the supposition
                      appears to lead to a highly schematic and improbable situation. I then
                      go back and take the other fork: This material was available to Mark
                      because as a follower of Jesus he remembered it. And then bunched it
                      in his narrative according to his intentions and purposes with that
                      narrative.

                      MORE

                      These instances will do to raise the question of the anthology, and
                      thus of the possibility of a prior group or groups of material. But to
                      my eye, the clearest example of the type comes a little later, with
                      the Kingdom parables of 4:1-33 (omitting the intrusion 4:10-20, about
                      which I have recently written). And why? Because at the end, it says,
                      "With many such parables he spoke the Word to them." The preceding
                      parables, some of which cause very great trouble to later
                      interpreters, and are for that reason more likely to be genuine, are
                      here explicitly offered as "the kind of thing Jesus used to say to the
                      crowds." The impression which I at least get from this is that Mark
                      knows even more of them, but he has given us a sufficient sample for
                      his purposes, and he is going to move on to his next topic.

                      So do we now posit a previous person interested only in Kingdom
                      stories and nothing else, who traveled up and down Galilee/Syria
                      gathering such stories from people, each of whom remembered only one
                      of them, and combining them into a text which Mark later used (with
                      several other texts of similar type but different theme) a a source?
                      The assumption that one follower of Jesus collected them in memory,
                      not as an monothematic enterprise of oral history but simply as an
                      incident of being one of the party, does the same work of explanation
                      and it uses about five less people in the dramatis personae.

                      For the present, I prefer it. Not as an assumption, but after due
                      inspection of the material, the different explanatory possibilities
                      for the material, and the implications in real life to which each of
                      those explanatory possibilities leads. In short, the usual way of
                      testing hypotheses and fixing on one of them as one's working
                      conclusion.

                      I don't think gMk was written by a later ethnographer, let alone a
                      team of later ethnographers plus a subsequent staff writer. I think
                      that the core narrative (into which later Church Teachings were
                      inserted as validation authority for later practices and issues) was
                      the work of one person, and that that person used his own experience
                      in the Jesus movement as his principal, and perhaps his only, source.

                      I have earlier noted that it may be fruitful to consider that Luke was
                      a Christian. To that apparently radical proposal, I now add the
                      possibility that Mark may have been a Jesus follower. Not, like
                      ourselves, a searcher of previous documents who knows only what he
                      finds in the documents, and nothing more.

                      Respectfully suggested,

                      Bruce

                      E Bruce Brooks
                      Warring States Project
                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                    • Chuck Jones
                      Steve, Excellent post.  Thanks for sharing it. I have been struck by Lk s insertion of the phrase holy spirit in his gospel.  Each time he does it, it adds
                      Message 10 of 11 , Feb 24, 2010
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                        Steve,
                        Excellent post.  Thanks for sharing it.

                        I have been struck by Lk's insertion of the phrase "holy spirit" in his gospel.  Each time he does it, it adds only three words (and is therefore an excellent example of an editorial change not based on a source), and no single one of them profoundly changes the meaning of its passage.  But the way the cumulative effect sets the stage for Acts is remarkable.

                        Likewise, why does Mt have "kingdom of heaven" rather than "kingdom of god"?

                        I think you're on to something with your thesis.  One of my professors used to say, "he who frames the terms wins the debate."

                        Chuck

                        Chuck Jones
                        Interim Executive Director
                        Westar Institute
                        The Jesus Seminar
                        --- On Tue, 2/23/10, Steve Runge <srunge@...> wrote:

                        Chuck,

                        I appreciate your candidness about presuppositions on the "Was Matthew's Sermon broken up?" thread. I am new to the list, with a background primarily in biblical languages and discourse studies. I have been doing research tangential to the synoptic problem, but woould like to work more formally on the issue in the coming year.

                        In surveying the synoptic literature, I am struck by how much presuppositions held about sources and compositional history direct the conclusions reached. This raises a practical question about claiming Q as a source regarding macro-level versus micro-level departures from Mark, based on Markan priority.

                        Macro: Where there are entire pericopes found in the double tradition that are lacking in Mark, appealing to a sayings source can account for where the material came from. Where there is agreement between Matthew and Luke against Mark within the triple tradition, there is again appeal to a source to explain the departure from Mark. This provides an explanation about the source of the material, but sidesteps the issue of motivation. Q is established based on how it differs from Mark. Does Q ever agree with Mark? Why should the evangelists follow Q (or special L or M for that matter) against Mark?

                        At the other end of the spectrum, scholars seem quite willing to explain smaller departures (e.g. changes within a clause, delection/addition of individual words or phrases) as made by the writer/redactor based on his compositional purposes. In other words, the changes become too small to make;an appeal to a source necessary or prudent.

                        Why do I raise this question? I have been comparing synoptic differences for the last few years as a means of illustrating the pragmatic effects achieved by wording a proposition one way versus another for a forthcoming introduction to discourse grammar. I plan on proposing a paper this fall about the exegetical significance of these minor differences, and how they might inform discussions about the macro-level issues relating to compositional purposes. Regardless of whether Q actually exists or not, the compositional issue remains. I expect the discussion has moved beyond picturing the gospel writers as bumbling redactors, mindlessly copying their sources without stylistic or compositional considerations, at least I hope so.

                        At any rate, I would appreciate hearing your opinions regarding at what point appealing to a source becomes impractical. As Chuck noted, answers will inevitably be based on one's presuppositions. If there are relevant sources (no pun intended) that you could recommended, this too would be appreciated.

                        Kind regards,


                        Steven E. Runge, DLitt
                        Scholar-in-Residenc e
                        Logos Bible Software
                        srunge@logos. com

                        www.ntdiscourse. org






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Chuck Jones
                        Bruce, Thanks for the thoughtful response.  Rather than going line by line or paragraph by paragraph, here are a few thoughts: 1.  It is indeed progress for
                        Message 11 of 11 , Feb 24, 2010
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                          Bruce,

                          Thanks for the thoughtful response.  Rather than going line by line or paragraph by paragraph, here are a few thoughts:

                          1.  It is indeed progress for us to agree that Mk arranged material thematically to suit his literary and rhetorical purposes.  The key point is that we can see this through an examination of Mk, even in the absence of a source with which to make comparisons.  (A topic for another day:  I do not believe that Mk as we have it is the result of multiple editions or major redactions.)
                          2.  Let's pretend we didn't have Lk for a moment.  Using the same literary analysis, we would conclude, I think, that it is highly likely that Mt created five sermons by grouping teachings together thematically.

                          3.  A principle is at work in the above points:  the more thematically a set of materials is arranged in a synoptic gospel, the more likely it is the work of the redactor, especially when we can see the arrangement advancing the author's cause.  Mk wants to set his plot dilemma as quickly as possible, establishing in chs. 1 and 2 that even though Jesus is wildly popular with the people, religious leaders oppose him and are trying to kill him.  Mt wants to frame Jesus as the new Moses.
                          4.  I have no idea what in what order the material in Q might have been.  One certainly sees sections of Lk in which themes are addressed.  Does it seem a safe hypothesis than when we come across double tradition material in Lk that has not been thematically arranged, it probably reflects its original order in Q?  This would be a simple appeal to Lk and Mt's use of the order of Mk, which they left alone when they were not pursuing literary or rhetorical goals.

                          I'll stop here.  I'm enjoying the dialogue.

                          Chuck

                          Chuck JonesInterim Executive DirectorWestar InstituteThe Jesus Seminar

                          --- On Tue, 2/23/10, brooks@... <brooks@...> wrote:

                          In Response To: Chuck Jones

                          On: Mark's Sources

                          From: Bruce



                          CHUCK: This has inadvertently become a case study in how much our

                          presuppositions affect our analysis.



                          BRUCE: Trouble with statements like this is that they trivialize the

                          whole enterprise. If all we find is what we thought in the first

                          place, then those concerned might as well take up a more useful

                          pastime. Birdwatching. Computer solitaire. Whatever.



                          My own sense, quite to the
                          contrary, is that it is sometimes possible

                          to decide between several possible conclusions, and that progress in

                          the subject is made by doing so. I take up the matter in that spirit.



                          On the specific point:



                          CHUCK: I believe Mt and Lk used Q and Mk, separately. In which case Mt

                          and Lk left Mk's narrative structure alone, except when a change

                          suited their purposes, (a dramatic example being Lk's relocation and

                          considerable reworking of the Nazareth rejection story).



                          BRUCE: No problem with Mt and Lk making changes when it suited their

                          purposes. That was my earlier point exactly. Lk in changing Mk does so

                          for reasons. I am glad we now agree that Lk did in fact change Mk.

                          Point gained. Knowledge advanced.



                          CHUCK: Likewise, they arranged the material in Q to suit their

                          purposes, Mt having much greater ambitions in this
                          case, creating his

                          5 sermons.



                          BRUCE: It seems to me that there is a danger of circularity here,

                          since the supposed arrangement of Q is itself an inference. The

                          conventional Q wisdom, I gather, is that Q was ordered as in Lk. I

                          don't find that likely, or at any rate not persuasively argued, and am

                          accordingly not prepared to say that Matthew treated this material

                          more freely, rearranging it out of its original Lukan order. If

                          someone wanted to posit that Q order was Matthean order, then it would

                          turn out that *Luke* treated the material more freely. Goulder's

                          findings, repeatedly and politely urged in the literature, is that the

                          wording of the common Mt/Lk sayings is basically Matthean, and that

                          the Q people have removed those traits to produce their Q

                          reconstruction, producing an artifact text from which Mt and Lk can be


                          argued to have diverged. But the artifact may have been produced by

                          de-Mattheanizing the material in the first place. In which case we are

                          dealing with a chimera.



                          In general, I would rather acquire an understanding of Lukan and

                          Matthean proclivities by seeing what they did with material which (or

                          very close to which) we can also see. I would thus like to bypass this

                          point for the time being. I don't think the world is ready for it.



                          CHUCK: I also believe that Mk created the first gospel narrative, out

                          of pieces of tradition that had previously circulated separately or as

                          collections of incidents and teachings that claimed no chronological

                          relationship to each other.



                          BRUCE: Agreed that Mark created the first Gospel narrative. But the

                          rest of the sentence gets into a description of the character,

                          aetiology, and
                          internal relationships of material that is not directly

                          visible to us: a description of an assumption. Here too, I would

                          rather pass the point for the moment and look at something we can

                          actually see. To understand the invisible, look carefully at the

                          visible. This, fortunately, Chuck proceeds to do. To save space here,

                          I will not take up his Markan Acts 2 and 3 (though agreeing in general

                          that Mk had some sort of groundplan in mind), and look only at his

                          first two points. The first was:



                          CHUCK: Even in the absence of a source, the evidence for Mk's doing

                          this is quite strong:



                          Ch 1 contains a collection of healing stories in which Jesus quickly

                          becomes rock-star famous.



                          BRUCE: Literarily speaking, it presently stands as a narrative, not

                          precisely an anthology, albeit a narrative that includes healings.

                          Close
                          enough to discuss. Along in somewhere, though, I think we have

                          to take note of the likelihood that the Healing of the Paralytic is an

                          intrusion into the Capernaum synagogue scene, and that several of the

                          other healings in this vicinity have been either added or touched up

                          by later hands. There are too many classic signs of interpolation in

                          Mark to argue from Mark, as we have it, to the author's intentions or

                          propensities. I wish it were simpler, and I myself began (like

                          everybody else, I suppose) by approaching it as though it *were*

                          simpler, but on long acquaintance I have had to relinquish that

                          initial expectation. So it goes.



                          To continue:



                          CHUCK: Ch 2 contains a collection of conflict stories in which

                          religious leaders reject him and by 3:6 are planning to kill him (3:6

                          concludes Act 1).



                          BRUCE: Let's look. I
                          would class 2:1-12 (including the Healing of the

                          Paralytic) chiefly as a healing story, and thus in the same type class

                          as 1:40-45 (the Cleansing of the Leper). A conflict over doctrine (the

                          power to forgive sins) was later inserted into this healing miracle

                          (notice how narratively awkward 2:6 is - "Now some of the scribes were

                          sitting there"). But if we disregard the later addition, we can say

                          that the narrative which is studded with healings (not the same as an

                          anthology of healings) extends to 2:12.



                          What follows? I find:



                          2:13-14. [Calling of Levi. Narrative material].

                          2:15-17. Conflict with Pharisees about eating with unclean persons.

                          2:18-20. Conflict with "people" over not keeping fast days.

                          2:21-22. [Sayings about new not fitting old - not a conflict story].

                          2:23-28. Conflict with Pharisees about work on the
                          Sabbath.

                          3:-6. Conflict with Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath.



                          Here too, I think we have to prune a bit before we can see Mark's

                          tree. I mentioned 2:18-20 earlier, as a manifest case of legislation

                          for the later Church (when fasting had been reintroduced into

                          community practice), and thus as an intrusion. I suggest removing it

                          for the nonce, if we want to get at Mark's original structure.



                          Having removed it, we have . . .



                          2:13-14. [Calling of Levi. Narrative material].

                          2:15-17. Conflict with Pharisees about eating with unclean persons.

                          2:21-22. [Sayings about new not fitting old - not a conflict story].

                          2:23-28. Conflict with Pharisees about work on the Sabbath.

                          3:-6. Conflict with Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath.



                          . . . a narrative studded, not with healings, but with conflicts. This

                          is not quite an
                          anthology, but it would be fair to call it a

                          concentration: the stories seem to have been grouped to make a point,

                          the point being that Jesus's healings and other doings (previous

                          narrative) produced tension with the Pharisees (this narrative).



                          Assuming these incidents genuine, was this their original order? I

                          would guess not; there has very probably been an authorial

                          concentration for narrative effect. The Markan narrative is not a life

                          of Jesus, it is an explanation of what led to his death, and so we

                          have an early emphasis on the success and power of Jesus, and next a

                          sense of the opposition which that aroused, specifically among the

                          Pharisees.



                          Did these incidents happen, or are they inventions? If the latter,

                          invented by who? I don't see a way of answering this directly. If Mark

                          made them up, he will have said to himself,
                          I will now compose my

                          Conflict section. If they were real and Mark somehow had access to

                          them, he has arranged them to suit his narrative purpose.



                          Suppose first that the stories existed before he arranged them.

                          Existed where? Among the options are: (1) In Mark's memory, as a

                          follower of Jesus. (2) In the memory of some other follower, somehow

                          accessed by Mark. (3) In the collective memory of more than one

                          person, in which case we must posit a previous effort of collection,

                          most likely resulting in a text. But if we adopt this option, we are

                          going to find ourselves positing a Healing Collection for Mk 1, a

                          Conflict Collection for Mk 2, and so on to the end. Some intermediary

                          person, or more likely half a dozen, have done what Mark will need as

                          background for his Gospel, without himself (themselves) going on to

                          compose Mark's Gospel.
                          Are these six previous monothematic collections

                          plausible? For me, it is about at this point that the supposition

                          appears to lead to a highly schematic and improbable situation. I then

                          go back and take the other fork: This material was available to Mark

                          because as a follower of Jesus he remembered it. And then bunched it

                          in his narrative according to his intentions and purposes with that

                          narrative.



                          MORE



                          These instances will do to raise the question of the anthology, and

                          thus of the possibility of a prior group or groups of material. But to

                          my eye, the clearest example of the type comes a little later, with

                          the Kingdom parables of 4:1-33 (omitting the intrusion 4:10-20, about

                          which I have recently written). And why? Because at the end, it says,

                          "With many such parables he spoke the Word to them." The preceding


                          parables, some of which cause very great trouble to later

                          interpreters, and are for that reason more likely to be genuine, are

                          here explicitly offered as "the kind of thing Jesus used to say to the

                          crowds." The impression which I at least get from this is that Mark

                          knows even more of them, but he has given us a sufficient sample for

                          his purposes, and he is going to move on to his next topic.



                          So do we now posit a previous person interested only in Kingdom

                          stories and nothing else, who traveled up and down Galilee/Syria

                          gathering such stories from people, each of whom remembered only one

                          of them, and combining them into a text which Mark later used (with

                          several other texts of similar type but different theme) a a source?

                          The assumption that one follower of Jesus collected them in memory,

                          not as an monothematic enterprise of oral
                          history but simply as an

                          incident of being one of the party, does the same work of explanation

                          and it uses about five less people in the dramatis personae.



                          For the present, I prefer it. Not as an assumption, but after due

                          inspection of the material, the different explanatory possibilities

                          for the material, and the implications in real life to which each of

                          those explanatory possibilities leads. In short, the usual way of

                          testing hypotheses and fixing on one of them as one's working

                          conclusion.



                          I don't think gMk was written by a later ethnographer, let alone a

                          team of later ethnographers plus a subsequent staff writer. I think

                          that the core narrative (into which later Church Teachings were

                          inserted as validation authority for later practices and issues) was

                          the work of one person, and that that person used his own experience


                          in the Jesus movement as his principal, and perhaps his only, source.



                          I have earlier noted that it may be fruitful to consider that Luke was

                          a Christian. To that apparently radical proposal, I now add the

                          possibility that Mark may have been a Jesus follower. Not, like

                          ourselves, a searcher of previous documents who knows only what he

                          finds in the documents, and nothing more.



                          Respectfully suggested,



                          Bruce



                          E Bruce Brooks

                          Warring States Project

                          University of Massachusetts at Amherst







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