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

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  • 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 1 of 11 , Feb 22 7:17 AM
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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 2 of 11 , Feb 22 1:07 PM
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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 3 of 11 , Feb 22 2:16 PM
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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 4 of 11 , Feb 23 6:03 PM
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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 5 of 11 , Feb 23 8:24 PM
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              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 6 of 11 , Feb 24 5:12 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 11 , Feb 24 5:36 AM
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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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