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Re: [Synoptic-L] Was Matthew's Sermon broken up?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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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