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Re: [Synoptic-L] The living stream of oral tradition

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  • Ron Price
    ... Mark, I already admitted the presence of *some* oral tradition in the message which opened this thread. I don t know of anyone who would deny the existence
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 24 9:50 AM
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      Mark Goodacre wrote:

      > It's not a question of my "version of the FT" but a question of
      > whether or not we accept the presence of oral traditions in antiquity,
      > or whether one thinks that people only communicated via texts.

      Mark,

      I already admitted the presence of *some* oral tradition in the message
      which opened this thread. I don't know of anyone who would deny the
      existence of some oral tradition, nor the existence of verbal communication
      in the first or any other century.

      As I see it, the question as it applies to 'alternating primitivity' is
      whether the oral tradition available to Luke would have included
      sufficiently accurate memories of the relevant primitive aphorisms (probably
      originating in a different language in a different country and at least 60
      years old by his time) to allow him to make corrections to the corresponding
      texts in Matthew. This is what I find difficult to believe.

      Anyway, thanks for the interesting discussion!

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • Mark Goodacre
      ... OK, so we are agreed on that dynamic. ... As I understand the argument from alternating primitivity, it is stated with respect to relative primitivity and
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 2, 2010
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        On 24 February 2010 12:50, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > I already admitted the presence of *some* oral tradition in the message
        > which opened this thread. I don't know of anyone who would deny the
        > existence of some oral tradition, nor the existence of verbal communication
        > in the first or any other century.
        >

        OK, so we are agreed on that dynamic.

        >
        > As I see it, the question as it applies to 'alternating primitivity' is
        > whether the oral tradition available to Luke would have included
        > sufficiently accurate memories of the relevant primitive aphorisms
        > (probably
        > originating in a different language in a different country and at least 60
        > years old by his time) to allow him to make corrections to the
        > corresponding
        > texts in Matthew. This is what I find difficult to believe.
        >

        As I understand the argument from alternating primitivity, it is stated with
        respect to relative primitivity and not absolute antiquity. I would share
        your scepticism of the notion that Luke had some pipeline going back to the
        30s. But we know that he had access to traditional material in addition to
        what he found in Mark / Matthew for a range of reasons, his preface, the
        traditions in Acts, the similarities between his eucharistic tradition and 1
        Cor. 11, comparisons of his unique material with details in Josephus and so
        on.

        All best
        Mark
        --
        Mark Goodacre
        Duke University
        Department of Religion
        Gray Building / Box 90964
        Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
        Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

        http://www.markgoodacre.org


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ron Price
        ... Mark, Of course. What I failed to mention was the evidence of antiquity in many of the aphorisms, especially Semitic parallelism which appears alien to the
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 3, 2010
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          Mark Goodacre wrote:

          > As I understand the argument from alternating primitivity, it is stated with
          > respect to relative primitivity and not absolute antiquity.

          Mark,

          Of course. What I failed to mention was the evidence of antiquity in many of
          the aphorisms, especially Semitic parallelism which appears alien to the
          Greek language in which they are presented to us. So I see (relative)
          primitivity in the aphorisms as being a likely indication of the antiquity
          of the older variant.

          > I would share your scepticism of the notion that Luke had some pipeline going
          > back to the 30s.

          My scepticism applies to the availability and reliability of oral tradition.
          Actually I think Luke did have a pipeline, but it was back to the 40s - a
          written collection of the aphorisms of Jesus. I think the rehabilitation of
          Papias' statement on Matthew is long overdue.

          > But we know that he had access to traditional material in addition to
          > what he found in Mark / Matthew for a range of reasons, his preface, the
          > traditions in Acts, the similarities between his eucharistic tradition and 1
          > Cor. 11, comparisons of his unique material with details in Josephus and so
          > on.

          My investigations have unearthed extra evidence which leads me to confirm my
          suspicions that Lk 22:19b-20 was not in the original text of Luke, so I beg
          to differ in regard to the eucharistic tradition. The rest of your point is
          well taken. Nevertheless the traditions available to Luke were limited. He
          still probably had to make up speeches for his heroes as some previous Greek
          writers had done. Also the traditions seem to have varied greatly in
          reliability. It appears to me that there is a great gulf in this respect
          between the aphorisms, which seem to have great antiquity, and the remainder
          of the gospel material, the detail of which is occasionally credible, but is
          often late and/or unreliable. This gulf is readily explained on the one hand
          by a written source of aphorisms, and on the other by a broadly sceptical
          attitude to the reliability of oral tradition in the context of the synoptic
          gospels.

          Ron Price

          Derbyshire, UK

          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
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