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Luke's use of Matthew

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    Chuck wrote: Thanks for your faith in me. I d be interested in a couple of examples. Chuck, you said in your original post: different, incompatible accounts
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2011
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      Chuck wrote:
      Thanks for your faith in me. I'd be interested in a couple of examples.

      Chuck, you said in your original post: "different, incompatible
      accounts of the same event" are found only in the early and final
      chapters of Matt and Lk. This shows that you still read the Gospels
      primarily as a series of accounts of events. I would argue that Luke
      did not read Matt primarily this way, and his reading of Matt was both
      more mature and more accurate than yours. Luke read Matthew primarily
      as a document of (Jewish-)Christian propaganda, making primarily
      theological-ideological points through a series of what we call
      pericopes that employ a wide range of literary genera. That a prominent
      one of these genres is that of "narrative", to speak very generally,
      did not translate for Luke immediately into the idea that the stories
      were intended as descriptions of events. And I believe Luke was right.
      I do not mean to suggest that the notion of an "event" is entirely
      foreign to the Gospel of Matthew in Luke's reading; just that it is
      probably hardly ever primary.

      Example: if you read Matt 3:14 as an "event" that happened at the time
      of Jesus' baptism, then you might think that Luke never saw Matt's
      account of the baptism of Jesus. The verses are absent entirely from
      Lk's "account" of this event. On the other hand, if you read these
      verses (more plausibly, I would argue) as a way in which Matthew
      narratively conveys the idea of the subordination of John to Jesus (the
      latter, the greater, "coming to" the lesser, with all that this
      symbolically implies) then Lk 1:43 is readily seen as Luke's version of
      this Matthean idea: Jesus' mother, the greater "coming to" Elizabeth,
      John's mother, and the anomaly articulated in the narrative, in both
      cases, by the family of JB itself. Hence, to assume that the dependence
      of Lk 1-2 on Matt can only be established by a fastidious comparison
      between Lk 1-2 and Matt 1-2 is flawed by the very terms of the

      Similarly within the gospel, one should not think of Lk 3 as primarily,
      or exclusively Luke's version of an "event" described in Matt 3. Luke 3
      rather shows a knowledge of many of the well-known texts and ideas on
      JB found in Matt (perhaps particularly those not already exploited by
      Luke in Lk 1-2). For example, Luke has no generally acknowledged
      "parallel" to Matt 21:32 in situ. But Lk 3:10-14 can well be taken as
      Luke's elaboration of the point made in those Matthean verses regarding
      John's "coming": namely, that it was "in the way of righteousness," and
      with a positive response from, among others, "tax-collectors". (Luke
      didn't learn this from the Gospel of Mark, by the way). Similarly, Lk
      3:19 shows a knowledge of Matt 14:3f. The suggestion by Luke here that
      John's criticism of Herod's marital status was only the straw that
      broke the camel's back, and that John therefore had leveled a series of
      criticisms against "all" the evil things done by Herod could
      conceivably also allude to the evil doings of the house of Herod in
      Matt 2 (of which of course there is no parallel in Lk 2).

      Examples of this kind abound, and I would be happy to oblige with
      supplying more. I will grant you, however, that my approach to Luke is
      more natural and more obvious on the basis of the Two-Gospel Hypothesis
      than it is on the terms of the Markan Hypothesis. Unburdened by the
      latter, one feels great freedom and exhilaration in reading Luke as a
      thorough rewriting and updating of Matthew for a new Gospel audience.
      However, others on this list, even with the assumption of Markan
      priority, have managed to recognize a good deal of Luke's creative
      re-reading and re-fashioning of Matthean texts. Goulder has undoubtedly
      been a positive influence here.

      Leonard Maluf
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