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

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  • 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 1 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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