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

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    Here I would only mention that these assumptions only seem o be invoked in the case of the synoptic problem. No one ho thinks that the Fourth Gospel used
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 21, 2010
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      Here I would only mention that these assumptions only seem
      o be invoked in the case of the synoptic problem. No one
      ho thinks that the Fourth Gospel used Luke seems to be
      roubled by all the stuff that the Fourth Gospel omitted (or
      rearranged). And no one who thinks that Thomas used the
      ynoptics seems to be troubled by all the stuff that Thomas
      mitted (or rearranged). Why is Luke the only one that
      cholars hold to this criterion?

      John, you make good points here, with all of which I strongly agree, but your final question above has a rather simple answer. It is the generally accepted, and fearfully retained theory of Marcan priority which best explains why Luke as a gospel redactor is held to standards of copying -- without drastic revision -- that are not applied elsewhere (the argument being an argument by analogy). I assume you know this quite well, but I thought it worth mentioning, in case anyone missed it. If Luke had only the Gospel of Matthew (and of course nearly the whole Greek OT) in front of him when he wrote, then he did nothing remotely surprising when he broke up and rewrote Matthew's great sermon. He did the same, consistently, with each of the other four major discourses in Matthew.

      Leonard Maluf
      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
      Weston, MA






      -----Original Message-----
      From: poirier <poirier@...>
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sun, Feb 21, 2010 6:37 am
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] Re: Matthew's Sermon broken up?


      Here we are in 2010 and people are *still* assuming
      hat if one evangelist followed another, then we have to
      xplain why he departed from his source's order, or failed
      o include something found in that source. Those
      ssumptions should have died a long, long, long, long, long
      ime ago. What is keeping them alive?
      Here I would only mention that these assumptions only seem
      o be invoked in the case of the synoptic problem. No one
      ho thinks that the Fourth Gospel used Luke seems to be
      roubled by all the stuff that the Fourth Gospel omitted (or
      rearranged). And no one who thinks that Thomas used the
      ynoptics seems to be troubled by all the stuff that Thomas
      mitted (or rearranged). Why is Luke the only one that
      cholars hold to this criterion?
      And why should we expect Luke to keep things in order?
      oesn't he more or less tell us that he's reacting to other
      ospels, and that that's the reason he's writing his own?
      ouldn't we expect him to restructure his sources, just for
      he sake of making his gospel distinct from his
      ompetitors'?
      John C. Poirier



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    • brooks@asianlan.umass.edu
      To: Synoptic In Response To: Leonard Maluf On: Breaking Up Matthew From: Bruce In responding to John Poirier s question, Leonard had said: LEONARD: If Luke had
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 21, 2010
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        To: Synoptic
        In Response To: Leonard Maluf
        On: Breaking Up Matthew
        From: Bruce

        In responding to John Poirier's question, Leonard had said:

        LEONARD: If Luke had only the Gospel of Matthew (and of course nearly
        the whole Greek OT) in front of him when he wrote, then he did nothing
        remotely surprising when he broke up and rewrote Matthew's great
        sermon. He did the same, consistently, with each of the other four
        major discourses in Matthew.

        BRUCE: Excellent point, Leonard, and indeed akin to one I made a bit
        ago. It is easier to explain Luke at many points than at only one. Our
        guesses at one point may be many; our experience of what Luke does at
        other points usefully narrows the range of possibilities. The large is
        easier to understand than the small.

        Now let me explain to you about the Trajectory Arguments for Synoptic
        order . . .

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • brooks@asianlan.umass.edu
        To: Synoptic Cc: WSW, GPG In Response To: Mark Matson On: Breaking Up Matthew From: Bruce] The issue here is the importance of order. MARK: the whole term
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 21, 2010
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          To: Synoptic
          Cc: WSW, GPG
          In Response To: Mark Matson
          On: Breaking Up Matthew
          From: Bruce]

          The issue here is the importance of order.

          MARK: the whole term "order" is suspect anyway.

          BRUCE: Not to me. Is this a touch of the old Lachmann allergy?

          MARK: Is it "chronological order?" (no).

          BRUCE: We don't know that the order of events presented in any of the
          Gospels corresponds to the true Historical Jesus order. So much may be
          granted. But I should think it is obvious that each of the Gospels
          *purports* to tell that story in the order in which it happened. No
          Gospel but begins the working life of Jesus with the Baptism, has a
          middle section of more or less length in which Jesus makes the
          transition from Galilee to Jerusalem, and ends with his Crucifixion at
          Jerusalem. If any of these major elements occurred in a different
          sequence, we might fairly say that we were dealing with a mere
          collection of anecdotes. But they don't, and we aren't. What Matthew
          gives us, in his highly formalized way, is still something that offers
          itself to us as a chronology, a consecutive account, of Jesus.

          MARK: Is it simply Matthew's order? (why?).

          BRUCE: Because that is what we have in front of us. How that order
          differs in detail from that of the other Gospels is also in front of
          us; it is a perfectly objective fact, and a perfectly valid topic of
          investigation.

          MARK: What order are we talking about?

          BRUCE: See the archive. The initial question concerned the order of
          Luke, and whether it is construable as a rearrangement of that of
          Matthew.

          MARK: The assumption always starts with a presumed superiority of
          Matthew's version.

          BRUCE: "Superiority" begs the question. Superiority is a matter of
          taste, and it has been known since antiquity that arguing tastes leads
          nowhere.

          "Priority" is the real question, and that is surely investigable.
          Thus: If we had only the texts of Matthew and Luke, with no
          information or presuppositions, it would not take us long to discover
          that the two cover much the same narrative ground, though with many
          differences. One of the differences is in the tone and tendency of the
          common incidents; much there to work on. Another is the difference in
          the order in which some of the incidents are presented; much there as
          well. The original question directs our attention to the latter data
          set.

          At first glance, the differences in order between the two bring us up
          short: each order is by implication an implied real chronological
          order (see above), but at points where they differ, at least one of
          them must be chronologically wrong. We then do a directionality study
          of each of those places, and see what we come up with. Are there
          reasons why, given the A sequence, another author might have
          rearranged it as the B sequence? Or is it easier to see the B sequence
          as an intentional rearrangement of the A sequence? In this area, all
          of us are students of Tischendorf: The version which can most readily
          be seen as giving rise to the other is presumptively prior to the
          other. And proceeding in that way, we should eventually be able to
          say, This text, at all points in question (or at all points where with
          present knowledge a plausible sequence can be inferred), is prior to
          that other text.

          Then we have learned something useful. And the technique of learning
          it finds wider uses also. Thus, Fitzmyer does a pretty good job of
          showing why Luke moved certain parts of Mark from their Markan
          position to a different one. It's not all that difficult, and it's not
          a priori futile. So also with Matthew and Luke; Luke's propensities
          are readily discoverable from a reading of his entire text, and it can
          be seen in at least some cases that his differences of order from
          Matthew are consonant with those propensities. This leads toward the
          conclusion Mt > Lk.

          Which is surely a useful point to have reached, no?

          No author, no musician, no performer of any stripe, thinks order of
          presentation irrelevant. For example, a symphony should end briskly,
          not to leave the audience in a gloomy state of mind. There are thus
          conductors who will not touch Tchaikovsky's Sixth, where this rule is
          grossly violated. For a church organist to do something equally
          downbeat at end of the service is to court instant dismissal, for
          reasons that pastor and people do not even need to put into words.

          Sequence is powerful. Climax is powerful. Interlude, as it relates to
          climax, is powerful in its own kind of way. Bizet's intermezzi. The
          Greek tragedians liked to fill their transitions and interludes with
          certain kinds of material. And the way the Japanese "no" play writers
          treat the "michiyuki" portion of their groundplan would have delighted
          Luke. I get the impression that the Gospel writers understood these
          things superlatively well. Why is it irrelevant, or "suspect," to
          notice this aspect of their art?

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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