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Re: [Synoptic-L] Lk 1:5f

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron Price On: John Birth Narratives From: Bruce I had said, with respect to the Lukan dual birth stories: BRUCE: 2. The addition
    Message 1 of 41 , Oct 2, 2005
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      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Ron Price
      On: John Birth Narratives
      From: Bruce

      I had said, with respect to the Lukan dual birth stories:

      BRUCE: 2. The addition of Births material. The motive would be to extend the
      contact point of Jesus with the higher divinity back from the Baptism (which
      is where Mark has it) to an earlier, indeed, a prenatal stage.

      RON: Maybe. But I have a simpler explanation of the motive. Some readers of
      the first edition probably criticized the new gospel for not having birth
      stories like Matthew. The rivalry between the two influential Christian
      communities where the respective gospels were written would then have been
      enough to trigger the creation of new and better birth stories for the new
      gospel.

      BRUCE: This seems to assume very modern conditions of book production and
      crowd pleasing. In particular, it seems to assume that the audience for Luke
      and Matthew was the same, and that its collective reaction forced changes in
      a later version of Luke.

      I would have thought it more probable that the "communities" were not merged
      (as far as publisher agendas were concerned), but separate, according to the
      Lachmann-Streeter local text hypothesis. Example (from memory): When Origen
      went from Alexandria to Caesarea, his quotations from Mark also change, from
      an Alexandrian type text to a recognizably different Caesarean type text.
      Then the respective communities, even in his time, were still functionally
      distinct, and the only people to bridge those differences were people at
      Origen's level: those in authority. They were also the text producers (we
      have many of Origen's writings), and a felt disability in one such person
      might produce, in that person, a desire to repair the deficiency, but on the
      Origen model, only if that one person changed locality between one stage of
      the text and the next. If the author was an institution in the first place,
      this scenario fails. If it was a person, at least for these two stages of
      the process, then a plausible relocation scenario for that person needs to
      be proposed.

      Ron's suggestion also doesn't suggest why the later added Lukan birth
      stories didn't merely parallel the Matthean ones, with suitable literary
      improvements, but instead went a notch further to include JtB in the list.
      For this, some motive beyond mere competition with (or emulation of) Matthew
      seems to be required. What would be Ron's (or anyone's) suggestion as to
      that that might have been? I have made my own suggestion, which I am
      disposed to let stand. Are there others that would suggest a different
      authorship scenario, whether the one Ron here proposes or any other?

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Ron Price
      ... Bruce, I don t know what you think was narratively promised but not delivered. If you are referring to the promises in 14:28 and 16:7, then I understand
      Message 41 of 41 , Oct 2, 2005
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        Bruce Brooks wrote:

        > Thinking about Ron's suggestion, just now, reminded me of something possibly
        > relevant, which I toss in as a sort of second reply to at least that aspect
        > of his comment. It concerns the degree to which local communities and
        > traditions were in mutual contact in the 1st century.
        >
        > I start with the ending of Mark, and I note that those who feel it is
        > interrupted in the middle of a sentence seem to have the better of the
        > argument. Parallels can be found, with extreme effort, for ending a sentence
        > or even a segment with gar, but not a whole work, and anyway, the point with
        > Mark is that if it ends at Mk 4:8 [16:8], it does not narratively deliver what
        > it has narratively promised, and that is a no-no.

        Bruce,

        I don't know what you think was narratively promised but not delivered. If
        you are referring to the promises in 14:28 and 16:7, then I understand your
        point, but would answer it by arguing that both these verses were
        interpolated into the text. Anyway you'll have to make a very good case if
        it's to outweigh the overwhelming consensus of recent critical scholars that
        16:8 is the original ending.

        Mark is the subtlest of the synoptic authors. His picture of an empty tomb
        is quite enough to suggest the resurrection of Jesus. He avoids presenting
        any of the original disciples as seeing the risen Jesus, for this would add
        to their status, contravening his persistent denigration of Peter et al..

        Of course, as we know, later generations did try to plug what they saw as an
        omission (Mk 16:9-20 etc.), but all such later additions can be shown to be
        inauthentic.

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

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