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Re: [Synoptic-L] Goulder on Mt to Luke directionality

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  • Jeff Peterson
    On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:33 PM, E Bruce Brooks ... perspective of FH: Order in the Double Tradition and the Existence of Q, in the volume *Questioning Q*
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 2, 2011
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      On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 11:33 PM, E Bruce Brooks
      <brooks@...>wrote:

      > [snip] some difficulties with the present order of pericopes in Luke
      > (not addressed in any Synoptic theory I ever heard of).
      >
      > On this point I can recommend an article by your scribe from the
      perspective of FH: "Order in the Double Tradition and the Existence of Q,"
      in the volume *Questioning Q* (ed. Mark Goodacre and Nicholas Perrin).

      Executive summary: To the extent that Luke's arrangement can be accounted
      for in literary/compositional/rhetorical terms (a project which recent Lucan
      scholarship has advanced considerably, as cf. Tannehill, Green, Johnson),
      the need to account for it via docile retention of a source's order is
      reduced (especially as Luke shows himself willing to reorder and alter his
      Marcan source for the sake of a point, e.g. in Luke 4:16ff).

      Jeff Peterson
      Austin


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    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic (Cc: GPG) On the question of Lukan order, we had: Jeff Peterson: On this point I can recommend an article by your scribe from the perspective of
      Message 2 of 13 , Jun 3, 2011
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        To: Synoptic (Cc: GPG)

        On the question of Lukan order, we had:

        Jeff Peterson: On this point I can recommend an article by your scribe from
        the perspective of FH: "Order in the Double Tradition and the Existence of
        Q," in the volume *Questioning Q* (ed. Mark Goodacre and Nicholas Perrin).
        Executive summary: To the extent that Luke's arrangement can be accounted
        for in literary/compositional/rhetorical terms (a project which recent Lucan
        scholarship has advanced considerably, as cf. Tannehill, Green, Johnson),
        the need to account for it via docile retention of a source's order is
        reduced (especially as Luke shows himself willing to reorder and alter his
        Marcan source for the sake of a point, e.g. in Luke 4:16ff).

        Bruce: Very nice, but that was not the point. The purpose of Questioning Q
        is to argue for Luke's arrangement, and all other details of Luke, as (a)
        authorially valid in their own terms, and (b) intelligible, in the Mt/Lk
        material, as secondary to Mt. The paper above cited had its role in that
        demonstration. The whole book assumes a conventional definition of the
        Synoptic Problem, and the papers are written on that assumption. But that
        definition was not adequate in the first place. Here is why.

        Imagine three points on a sheet of paper, labeled Mk, Mt, Lk. The problem is
        to connect the points with arrows, showing in which direction the literary
        indebtedness flows. We have an arrow pointing from Mk to Mt, and another
        from Mk to Lk. Good. One more arrow, and we are done. This is the arrow that
        must connect Mt and Lk. Which way does it point? More or less everything
        turns on the answer to this question.

        (a) Some find that it points now in one direction and now in another; that
        is, it is bidirectional. This makes the puzzle unsolvable in the terms
        stated, and those people (or most of them) go outside those terms to posit a
        fourth point Q, with arrows separately pointing to Mt and Lk, and nothing at
        all connecting Mt and Lk. This solves the bidirectionality problem (all
        arrows are unidirectional, and all three Synoptics are included), while
        creating a few others in its wake. These (eg, Minor Agreements, which are
        most easily seen as artifacts of Mt/Lk contact) are the residue of this
        solution.

        (b) Others argue that all the directionalities can be taken as pointing from
        Mt to Lk (Farrer and several others). This keeps the puzzle within its
        original boundaries, which allow only unidirectional arrows. This solves the
        problem, as long as one accepts the argument for such passages as the
        Beatitudes or the Lord's Prayer or a couple of others, where to the
        untutored reader Luke seems to be more primitive. These places are the
        residue of this solution.

        We thus have two solutions, but each solution has a stubborn residue of
        unexplained or unconvincingly explained material. So we look at the rules of
        the problem again. It requires unidirectional arrows. Is there any reason to
        think that this unidirectional arrow requirement may be invalid? Yes, there
        is. The question of Lk reordering of Mk material (see the nice if
        incomplete list in Fitzmyer 71f) has not been dealt with. The reasons
        Fitzmyer gives for the different placement of several passages in Luke are
        reasonable enough, and if all we have to account for is Luke's original
        selection process, where he rearranges some of his material at the same time
        that he selects it, there is no problem. But there IS a problem, because in
        their present positions, those passages create narrative inconcinnities, a
        fact which Fitzmyer has not noticed. And some of the inconcinnity comes from
        words that Luke has added to his Markan original. If Luke modified these
        passages at the time when he took them over (with rewriting) from Mark, then
        he has created inconcinnities in what he has written at that moment, and
        this is not a very attractive supposition. We now notice that if instead we
        transfer those passages back to their Markan position in Luke, there is no
        longer a narrative inconcinnity. That is, the passages, as we have them, are
        better placed in Luke in their Markan order. This can be explained if we
        suppose that, at first, they WERE in fact in their Markan order.

        Then the better explanation is that Luke kept very closely to Mark's order
        in his first version of his Gospel, but at some later point, and for some
        reason or reasons (those in Fitzmyer will do for the time being) he
        relocated them, unconsciously creating narrative inconcinnities in the
        process (since he was attending to another point, it is easier to suppose
        that he overlooked these problems).

        What this requires us to posit is at least two stages of Lk, which for the
        time being we may distinguish as Luke A and Luke B. That is, the place of
        the "Lk" position on our Synoptic chart must now be taken by two things, LkA
        and LkB. It may then be that the Lk > Mt directionality passages in the
        common material may be accommodated by a unidirectional line from LkA to Mt,
        and the others, of opposite tendency, may be accommodated by a
        unidirectional line from Mt to LkB. There is no longer a bidirectional
        relation between any two points on the chart, and also no need to assume a Q
        type of new entity. There is also no great difficulty with the Minor
        Agreements, which only arise as an issue if we assume no literary contact
        between Mt and Lk. That is, this model solves the residue problems attending
        both of the above two solutions.

        Of course it is required to show that this works out in detail, just as M
        Goulder sought to show that the unidirectional Mt > Lk solution worked out
        in all relevant details. I made a beginning on this project at SBL/NE a
        month or so ago, dealing with the Sermon on the Plain as an original Lukan
        construction, and showing how it drew on Jesus Tradition material which is
        still visible in the early layers of Mk and, a step later, in the Epistle of
        James, with a few new additions of Luke's very own. There was no refutation
        at the session (about 22 people; I ran out of handouts), but we shall see.
        That paper and its handout are available online for anyone who would like to
        offer a refutation, or for that matter an improvement.

        http://www.umass.edu/wsp/biblica/current/sbl.html

        E Bruce Brooks / Warring States Project
      • Jeff Peterson
        On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 1:10 PM, E Bruce Brooks ... Not if one allows a role for oral tradition like that I cited from personal experience in my earlier post:
        Message 3 of 13 , Jun 3, 2011
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          On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 1:10 PM, E Bruce Brooks
          <brooks@...>wrote (inter multa alia):

          >
          > (a) Some find that it points now in one direction and now in another; that
          > is, it is bidirectional. This makes the puzzle unsolvable in the terms
          > stated
          >

          Not if one allows a role for oral tradition like that I cited from personal
          experience in my earlier post: Luke reads a saying in Matt, he thinks,
          "That's not the way Paul [or Timothy or whoever] used to quote that logion,
          and as I'm on record as holding that 'The old is pleasing,' I think I'll go
          with the version I heard before," and so redacts Matthew accordingly. On
          that supposition, the primitivity of Lucan logia where it can be identified
          doesn't defeat FH. My question in the earlier post was whether advocates of
          3ST or a more complicated source theory can suggest how that might be
          falsified; that seems to me worth discussion.

          As to order of pericopes, Luke (on the terms of FH) undertakes his revision
          of his predecessor Evangelists under two constraints: (1) the necessity of
          choosing between Mark and Matthew as supplying the skeleton of his
          narrative; and (2) the intention to minimize great speeches that tax the
          auditors' stamina and instead present the bulk of Jesus' teaching in
          digestible anecdotes of the Marcan type. In deciding to follow the narrative
          of Mark (a Gospel he's known and used in teaching for perhaps two decades),
          he also commits himself to non-Matthaean order for most any pericope he's
          going to take from Matt 3�11 (which depart considerably from Marcan order,
          unlike Matt 12�28). As to the teaching that Luke derives from Matt's five
          discourses (and from Mark's two, in chaps. 4 and 13), the question Luke set
          for himself by adopting the plan on which he wrote the Gospel (clarified by
          the work of Tannehill et al. cited earlier) was how most effectively to
          present those pericope to advance his understanding of Jesus' mission and
          message; one device he settled on to sustain reader interest was to
          alternate between crowds, disciples, and opponents as addressees of Jesus'
          instruction (as David Moessner details).

          Such an account of Luke's procedure, while involving hypothesis, depends
          ultimately on close attention to patterns of arrangement evident in the text
          of Luke and clarified by literary interpreters for whom commitment to a
          particular Synoptic theory is of nearly zero relevance to their exposition
          of Luke. Once again, I'd be interested in how one would undertake to falsify
          it.

          Jeff


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        • E Bruce Brooks
          To: Synoptic (Cc: GPG) Jeff Peterson: . . . [the Synoptic Problem is not insoluble as a set of unidirectional arrows] if one allows a role for oral tradition
          Message 4 of 13 , Jun 3, 2011
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            To: Synoptic (Cc: GPG)

            Jeff Peterson: . . . [the Synoptic Problem is not insoluble as a set of
            unidirectional arrows] if one allows a role for oral tradition like that I
            cited from personal experience in my earlier post: Luke reads a saying in
            Matt, he thinks, "That's not the way Paul [or Timothy or whoever] used to
            quote that logion, and as I'm on record as holding that 'The old is
            pleasing,' I think I'll go with the version I heard before," and so redacts
            Matthew accordingly.

            Bruce: That Paul (or Timothy, or whoever) ever quoted sayings of Jesus,
            other than those applying to church order and church discipline including
            divorce, is not supported by the genuine Pauline epistles. Quite the
            contrary; see Koester or any other adequate list of those quotations (plus
            Paul's explicit statement that he is not concerned to know Jesus "after the
            flesh"). Further, that Luke was a follower of Paul depends solely on Acts
            plus DeuteroPauline evidence (his name appears in the NT only in three
            pieces of that spurious literature), and propositions unsupported by best
            evidence are unsound. There is thus (1) no evidence that Paul ever quoted
            such things, and (2) no evidence that, if he had, Luke would have been there
            to hear him. Should not Synoptic theories be current with the results of
            careful investigation of other NT texts?

            And I think there are other problems with this "reprimitivization" scenario.
            According to Jeff's version of it, Luke is moved to mention something
            nonMarkan by seeing it in Matthew, and only then being reminded of other
            versions he knows, which he proceeds to substitute. I should think it
            likelier that Luke writes in the first place out of what he knows from his
            own experience as a Christian, including the Lord's Prayer. That Matthew
            takes these Lukan items and rephrases them according to his own ideas of
            completeness and sonority (the LP) or standard morality (the attenuated
            Beatitudes) is a more natural assumption. The Beatitudes are an especially
            fine example: Did the "spiritualized" version come first, and did Luke for
            some reason translate it into terms of genuinely poor people? Or did Luke
            himself come out of a church which had been through the same opposition of
            rich and poor that is expressed, sometimes violently, in James, and did
            Matthew (here as everywhere else in his Gospel) avoid mentioning, let along
            privileging, the poor, and speak instead of more affluent people, and, in
            his Parables, in terms of larger sums of money? Given the clear trends of
            both authors, as evidenced from their treatment of Mark and from their own
            additions (passages without parallel in the other), the latter looks like
            the better bet.

            There, it seems to me, in the experience of at least some churches as
            recorded in Mark (dimly) and James (loudly), is the real "oral tradition"
            available to Luke. He did not get it from Matthew, and he did not need to be
            reminded of its existence by Matthew. It was in his bones, his ear, his
            reflexive responses to regular preaching. If one stops to look at the Sermon
            on the Plain in its own terms, and allowing for the omission of some no
            longer pressing issues, it is interesting that in general outline it is not
            all that far from the circular sermon preserved for us as the "Epistle" of
            James. I think we have here (though not widely recognized by commentators on
            James) more than one piece of evidence for a certain style of early
            Christian preaching or exhortation.

            SUPPORTING EVIDENCE

            1. I have derived Luke from the tradition also represented by James. James
            is famous for directly opposing Paul's doctrine (in Romans) of faith vs
            works. We can test the supposed James continuity by asking, What is Luke's
            stand on this issue? Answer: We can see it in how he treats Mark. Mark has
            only two passages expressing Paul's faith doctrine (that Jesus's death
            ransoms others from sin). Luke, who uses most of Mark, repeats neither of
            those passages. Then in this matter, Luke visibly, albeit quietly, sides
            with James on one of the most divisive issues of the day. He cleans up Mark
            in just that sense.

            It has been noticed by many (and prominently by Kloppenborg) that "Q"
            contains no mention of the Resurrection or its associated doctrines, and on
            that basis, K identifies it as the original Galilean Gospel. If for "Q" I
            substitute "certain specified passages in Luke, for whose order and wording
            Luke is naturally our best authority," then I think we may reasonably say,
            "Luke includes many concepts going back to the early and probably indeed
            Galilean days of Jesus's ministry, and like other known writings of similar
            character (eg, the original Didache), it makes no reference to, and places
            no soteriological weight on, the supposed Resurrection of Jesus. In this
            included nonMarkan material, as in his pair of Markan suppressions, Luke
            shows a strong continuity with what on its merits is probably the oldest
            Jesus tradition - the preaching of Jesus before his death."

            This concerns Luke's antecedents. I now turn to his consequents, with a view
            to seeing who in later times might still have found Luke, and particularly
            these portions of Luke, definitive.

            2. At least one commentator takes the time to refute the idea (based on
            Luke's well known special interest in the poor) that Luke was an Ebionite.
            Or we might more carefully say, a proto-Ebionite. That idea happens to be
            testable, and we may phrase the test this way: Does Luke's radical notion
            (expressed in the Woes of his Sermon, but also, separately, in a passage not
            subject to suspicion as inspired by Matthew, in his Parable of Lazarus) that
            the poor will be saved simply because they are poor, and vice versa, find
            any expression in later literature? And if so, in what kind of later
            literature? Answer: The Clementine Homilies, agreed to be an Ebionite text,
            takes time to refute precisely these propositions, and to substitute for
            them others more agreeable to standard moral sensibilities (eg, only the
            *virtuous* poor will be saved). Then the Lukan Sermon remained not only
            alive, but problematic, for the later Ebionites. There, I submit, is
            substantial evidence for the association. See my handout (complete with
            unidirectional arrows) to the paper whose URL was given previously.

            And yes, neither the Clementine Recognitions nor the Clementine Homilies
            (both very long texts, featuring almost endless preaching and doctrinal
            disputation by Peter) mentions the Resurrection, or attributes salvation to
            any other factor than the good or evil deeds of the individual - that is,
            both keep strictly within the theological limits which James also observes;
            the soteriology of the Two Ways document, without admixture or adulteration.
            The probable Galilean Gospel.

            E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          • David Mealand
            Bruce wrote-------------- Bruce: Needs proof. I would prove it this way: gThos 47:3 = Lk 5:39, nobody after drinking old wine wants new wine. This violently
            Message 5 of 13 , Jun 5, 2011
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              Bruce wrote--------------
              Bruce: Needs proof. I would prove it this way: gThos 47:3 = Lk 5:39, nobody
              after drinking old wine wants new wine. This violently reverses the meaning
              of what precedes it in Luke, and it is absent in Mark, Matthew, and, I think
              suggestively, in Bezae. Then it is a late addition to Lk, and most plausibly
              an anti-Marcionite addition (defending old = OT tradition, which Marcion had
              sought to jettison), perhaps c150. Given this origin of Lk 5:39 in the
              history of 2c dispute about the text of Luke, it is not likely to have been
              drawn from Thomas or anywhere else, and we thus have not only a
              directionality, but a date (and probably a place, namely Rome). If gThos
              were a single text, we would have to date it to the latter 2c at earliest.
              But Thos may not be a single text, as witness the many stratification
              proposals.
              ------------------------

              Phew! And I just thought that Luke knew his wine and perhaps
              also had a sense of irony.

              David M.


              ---------
              David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


              --
              The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
              Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
            • E Bruce Brooks
              To: Synoptic (cc: GPG) My explanation of Lk 5:39 (as an anti-Marcionite addition to Lk) seems to have been too much for some recipients, as witness: Phew! And
              Message 6 of 13 , Jun 5, 2011
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                To: Synoptic (cc: GPG)

                My explanation of Lk 5:39 (as an anti-Marcionite addition to Lk) seems to
                have been too much for some recipients, as witness:

                "Phew! And I just thought that Luke knew his wine and perhaps also had a
                sense of irony."

                The preference for aged over new wine is standard for modern Western
                drinkers, and if we view Luke as a connoisseur of that sort, we make him a
                familiar figure, a man of vintages and with a certain budget at his
                disposal. A portly but likeable figure; very nice. But in the process, we
                may be doing some damage to the text:

                (1) Lk 5:39 apparently reverses the sense of the previous text, or at least
                that is what many readers have thought; this is not what we expect from a
                consecutive story or saying. It is therefore narratively suspect. (2) The
                preceding passage, Lk 5:36-38 ||, reported in all the Synoptics, and thus
                not suspect in the same way, seems to favor new wine, not over old wine, but
                as not being containable in old wineskins. For what is this a metaphor?
                Seemingly, the doctrines of Jesus, as not being capable of accommodation
                within older beliefs. Since Mk in particular (largely followed by Mt and
                indeed by Lk) is widely concerned to demonstrate and document the
                incompatibility of Jesus's teachings with those of the Pharisees (also
                identified as the doctrines of the fathers, that is, old tradition), this
                reading seems to be entirely in keeping, and not problematic. No commentator
                so far has suggested that this earlier part of the story is defective, or
                unintelligible, without an equivalent of Lk 5:39, so we may take it that Lk
                5:39 is at minimum extraneous. (3) WH bracket 5:39, and well they might.
                Here is why. Lk 5:39 is absent, not only from Mk and Mt (not your usual
                Minor Agreement), but from Bezae and the Old Latin, a pattern we find again
                in the Western Non passages, which also tend to cluster in Lk, and which
                seem to modernize Lk in several ritual respects; that is, they are early
                additions to Lk (and only to Lk; not also to Mt or Mk). Fitzmyer finds the
                attestation of 5:39 (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and some papyri) to be
                overwhelming, and so in this case does the usually sagacious Metzger, but
                this amounts to saying that Vaticanus is a pure text, without admixture, and
                not to be contradicted by any other witness. Careful attention to text
                criticism details, across all the Synoptics (to mention only the Synoptics)
                will tend not to support that impression: there are places where
                Varticanus/Sinaiticus do not after all give the best reading. Nobody who
                knows the TC scene will wish to claim that Vaticanus is in all cases the
                archetype for all the texts it contains. I agree with Keith Elliott, up to a
                point, in the thought that mechanical Vaticanus assent is not a sufficient
                doctrine of text criticism. Here, as with the Western Non, we have a case
                where an assumption of Vaticanus primacy seems to go against the grain, the
                Tendenz, of the respective readings. (4) Metzger, who took a valiant stand
                against the reintroduction of the Western Non passages, but accepts 5:39,
                does suggest that "its omission from several Western witnesses may be due to
                the influence of Marcion, who rejected the statement because it seemed to
                give authority to the Old Testament." Well, that is exactly what it does, on
                any perceptive reading. But Marcion's excisions, detailed by Tertullian and
                others, are not made in our Luke, or in any major witness to Luke. That this
                one Marcion excision got into the text stream (and that our Luke preserves
                the Vorlage of Marcion) is not the pattern we find with other attested
                Marcion excisions. (5) So Marcion and Lk 5:39 are at odds, and at a point
                vital to the program of Marcion: getting rid of the Jewish background of
                Christianity was pretty much the whole ballgame to him. Accepting this as
                the field of contention, then either we have an original passage inimical to
                Marcion and accordingly excised by a hostile Marcion, or a passage inserted
                because it was hostile to Marcion. Either scenario is possible, but which is
                more likely? I cannot but suspect that the better attested reading (without
                5:39, the other Synoptics plus Bezae and Old Latin), which happens also to
                be the narratively coherent and unproblematic reading, is the correct one.
                (6) That the preceding story (about the incompatibility of Jesus doctrine
                and the old understanding) would have suited Marcion down to the ground,
                would indeed have virtually defined his approach to Scripture, is obvious.
                Suppose someone after 150 thought to curb Marcion, by removing this passage
                as a whole from *their* text of Luke. But that would be tactically
                impossible: Marcion himself was vilified by the orthodox for taking stuff
                out of Luke, and it would not be practical to imitate him, to inaugurate a
                war of excisions. Better then to add something, as a sort of stopper to the
                clear implications of Lk 5:36-38. This is exactly what 5:39 does, and it is
                all that 5:39 does. Unless we call in modern literary doctrines to read it
                differently.

                As for "irony," among those doctrines, I seem to see that word cropping up
                whenever it is desired to have a passage mean more or less the opposite of
                what it says. A sort of freely insertable smiley face. I don't find that
                device typical of Jesus rhetoric. I don't even find it within the range of
                Jesus rhetoric. Paul is likely enough to use a term in a sort of sarcastic
                reverse sense (eg, "super-Apostles"), but Jesus? I would need to see a
                convincing second example. Is there one?

                E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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