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

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  • 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 1 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


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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