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Re: Luke's authorial procedures [was Source Theories and the HHB Concordance]

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  • gentdave1
    ... LEONARD: This last comment is an overstatement. What you do not find between Matthew and Luke, in terms of the sayings of Jesus they offer, is perfect
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 27, 2010
      > However, if you take out the narrative parts of the
      > hypothetical "Q" (which I suspect have a different history than the
      > sayings), you find that the order of the sayings in Matthew and Luke do
      > not correlate at all.

      This last comment is an overstatement. What you do not find between
      Matthew and Luke, in terms of the sayings of Jesus they offer, is
      perfect alignment. On the other hand, there certainly is significant
      correlation, as well as some non-correlation, between Matthew and Luke in the sayings material as a whole. For instance, if you begin with focusing on the five major discourses in Matthew, Luke generally has material corresponding to these -- in parts of his Gospel that also correspond generally to their sequence in Matthew (sermon on the mount/plain, commissioning of the twelve, eschatological discourse, etc.).

      Dave: It was a precise statement, indicating something that is mathematically true about the ordering of the non-narrative "Q" sayings. If you simply number the sayings, the order of the sayings do not correlate significantly.

      Of course it is still possible that what you say is also true. We could achieve a zero total correlation by taking blocks of sayings and moving them around, but still have perfect correlation within the blocks. So this is not really a test for "zero information" in common between the two sets. It might be interesting to test some of these blocks. Does the order of sayings within the blocks correlate? Another test would be to see how often pairs are in the same order, etc...

      Let's suppose we find a relation (or without bothering to do any math, look at the sermons, for example, and note what seems to be a fair amount of common content. What would this tell us? If Luke was using Matthew then we still have him doing a fairly rigorous job of rearranging the sayings. On the other hand, if they both work from a saying source it tells us that, to some extent at least, sections of the list of sayings seemed to group together in the source. Possibly we could suppose that there was even some sort of sub-list, which constituted a sermon in the source. Although, my speculation would be that this structure is something Luke picked up after contact with Matthew. If Luke-A was re-written to Luke-B after Matthew as Bruce suggests, then my guess would be that the sermon is added to Luke at this point, and that Luke borrows some things that might previously have been elsewhere in his text and adds them here.

      Outside of the sermons, what commonalities in ordering do you perceive?

      The hypothesis that sayings
      believed to preserve words that Jesus actually spoke would for that
      reason be recorded by Luke without alteration also rests on modern (not
      to say Protestant/fundamen talistic) presuppositions that are probably
      quite irrelevant to the behavior of the Evangelists.

      Dave: I'm relying more on Luke's opening, when he tells us he wants to go back to the beginning. I think he does have respect for what he regards as historical facts. He is certainly not above inventing things to suit his literary and Theological needs, but he may feel somewhat constrained to present as history, what he (and probably much of his audience) regard as established history.

      How could Luke's audience be expected to concur with this evaluation of Matthew, and yet an ecclesiastical consensus emerges, without
      challenge, just a few years later, to the effect that Matthew was the
      first Gospel written?

      Dave: My thesis is this:

      A list of saying appears on the scene, say around 80 AD for example, it is in Aramaic and Greek "translation" (although it may be in large part back translation) which claims to be words spoken by Jesus as remembered by "Matthew" and written down by him at the time, in Aramaic. From this list, and from Mark, the gospel of Matthew is composed around the year 80.

      Luke knows the gospel of Matthew is contemporary, and is convinced (incorrectly I believe) that the saying list is authentic. His behavior of quoting the sayings, while paying relatively little attention to the rest of Matthew then seems very intelligible.

      The later ecclesiastical consensus is then explicable too. Matthew's gospel is regarded as the most authoritative, relying on both the supposed first written source, and Mark (which it "corrects"). A short hand of this gets passed down as "Matthew wrote first".


      The evidence of strangely different treatment by
      Luke of Matthew and Mark respectively is most convincingly handled by
      the assumption that Luke did not know or use Mark, and that the
      symmetry between Luke-Mark double tradition and Matthew-Mark double
      tradition results from a single author, Mark, making use of the two
      traditional gospels, one Jewish-Christian and the other
      Gentile-Christian, for his own conciliatory, catechetical- liturgical
      and dramatic purposes.

      Dave: The statistical study is nearly proof that this did not happen.

      Dave Gentile
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