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RE: [Synoptic-L] Aphorism

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic / GPG In Response To: David Mealand On: Legalism From: Bruce David had recapitulated a bit of my previous note to Ron, and then added his own
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 5, 2012
      To: Synoptic / GPG
      In Response To: David Mealand
      On: Legalism
      From: Bruce

      David had recapitulated a bit of my previous note to Ron, and then added his
      own comment. Here is the entire group, beginning with my quote of Ron's
      saying A4:

      (A4). It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke in
      a letter of the law to be dropped.

      Bruce (or at least [David's] extract from [that] posting) ...Matthew is then
      a Torah Reactionary...

      David: The version of the saying under discussion was the one found in Luke,
      and the issue what it might have been before Matthew phrased his version as
      he did.

      Bruce (now): I think the issue is the directionality. Is Luke B taking on a
      Matthean saying, or is Matthew incorporating a Lukan A one?

      Matthew's Sermon on the Mount is at its core a transfer (and
      middle-classification) of Luke's Sermon on the Plain, Beatitudes and all
      (though not the Woes), and so my default presumption is that the other bits
      of the Matthean Sermon which have parallels in Luke were all scrounged by
      Matthew from Lukan A originals. But the default presumption is not always
      the final conclusion, and I think the present case is a good example.

      On the Matthean side, we have a continuous exposition, from Mt 5:17 (our
      passage) to 5:48 inclusive, showing how one must exceed the conventional
      law: not only love your neighbor, but love even your enemy (this detail is
      indeed from Luke). The theme of this whole section of the Matthean Sermon is
      given at the end of the 5:17-20 passage (no Lukan parallel): "Unless your
      righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never
      enter the Kingdom of Heaven." This is what I call "extreme legalism." There
      is here no question of a Lukan or other outside original.

      On the Lukan side, we have three sayings which come from nonconsecutive
      places in Mt:

      Lk 16:16. Law and prophets were until John ( ~ Mt 11:12-13)
      Lk 16:17. Easier for Heaven/Earth to pass away ( ~ Mt 5:18, SM)
      Lk 16:18. Against divorce ( ~ Mt 5:32, SM)

      M Goulder (2/629-632) argues for Lukan secondarity, as of course he would.
      He makes some perhaps useful points about Luke cleaning up Matthew's
      diction. The meaning of "violently" in Lk 16:16 has exercised the
      commentators greatly; I can't solve it either. But on the larger scale, I
      think MG misses, or rather gets wrong, the most impressive bit of evidence
      for Lukan secondarity of all three of these short passages, which is that as
      a group they interrupt a very consecutive sequence in Luke, on the theme of
      contempt for worldly riches and concern for heavenly riches. Thus:

      Lk 16:1-13. The Canny Steward (give away money)
      Lk 16:14-15. The money-loving of the Pharisees is an abomination in the
      sight of God
      - - - -
      16:19-31. Dives and Lazarus (the rich will go to hell)

      I have put in a little dotted line where the three verses under discussion
      go. I think it is obvious that the main sweep of Lk 16 is on the riches
      theme, and that the three verses now coming between the Avaricious Pharisees
      and the Condemned Rich Man are thematically (and given their brevity, also
      formally) intrusive.

      Then the implied order is here Mt > Lk for all three. If the Lukan saying on
      the tittles of the Law is milder than the Matthean thundering on the same
      subject (and thus perhaps more attractive for a modern florilegium), it is
      still a Matthean theme, which Luke A as a whole did not share, and which in
      Luke B is formally intrusive. It represents Luke B moving toward the
      Matthean position, as he does at many other places also, not least the
      Gentile Mission (where again, its introduction causes formal and thematic
      inconsecutivity in the final Luke).

      We can't really get next to the Sermon on the Mount until we can distinguish
      its borrowed and transfigured Lukan A elements from its firm and confident
      and portly Matthean additions. There may be a presentation on this subject
      at SBL in November; time will tell.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • David Mealand
      Bruce (now): I think the issue is the directionality. Is Luke B taking on a Matthean saying, or is Matthew incorporating a Lukan A one? Reply Well to focus on
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 6, 2012
        Bruce (now): I think the issue is the directionality.
        Is Luke B taking on a Matthean saying, or is Matthew
        incorporating a Lukan A one?

        Reply
        Well to focus on just this and not the other 650 words
        in the response:

        You think that Mark included this in his text first
        \O OURANOS KAI \H GH PARELEUSONTAI \OI DE LOGOI MOU
        OU MH PARELEUSONTAI

        (Matthew and Luke both presumably know that, as they both
        include it with minimal changes.)

        Then your assertion is that either one, or the other,
        of these writers _created_ either the version of the aphorism
        that we find in Luke (the one under discussion), _ or_ the
        one found in Matthew, (which are differently formulated),
        and you consider the latter more likely.

        Have I understood you correctly?

        I am not demanding what I am told is the brevity some
        tea party or other specifies, but I would appreciate
        the focus being on the aphorism.

        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 In Response To: David Mealand On: Directionality From: Bruce ... Bruce (earlier): I think the issue is the directionality. Is Luke B taking on a
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 6, 2012
          To: Synoptic
          In Response To: David Mealand
          On: Directionality
          From: Bruce

          David had set up the problem of the "shall not pass away" saying this way:

          ------------

          Bruce (earlier): I think the issue is the directionality. Is Luke B taking
          on a Matthean saying, or is Matthew incorporating a Lukan A one?

          David: You think that Mark included this in his text first
          \O OURANOS KAI \H GH PARELEUSONTAI \OI DE LOGOI MOU OU MH PARELEUSONTAI
          (Matthew and Luke both presumably know that, as they both include it with
          minimal changes.)

          Then your assertion is that either one, or the other, of these writers
          _created_ either the version of the aphorism that we find in Luke (the one
          under discussion), _ or_ the one found in Matthew, (which are differently
          formulated), and you consider the latter more likely.

          Have I understood you correctly?

          Bruce: Yes, except that I would not call the Tittle saying a version; I
          would call it a derivative. Jesus's word in Mk 13, coming at the end of a
          vivid description of the Last Days, has its context here: [13:30] "Truly I
          say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take
          place. [31] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass
          away."

          This promises two things: (1) The End Days will occur within the present
          generation, and some now living will see it, and (2) Despite the end of all
          other things, Jesus's word (his promise as to the survival of the elect)
          will not pass away, but will hold firm. There is nothing in this about the
          Law.

          Mt 5:17, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the End Days, it has to
          do with the permanence of the Law (right to the end of the End Days. The
          same can be said of the briefer but similar Lk 16:17. One of the two has
          then taken a guarantee about Jesus's promise to the faithful, whose
          permanence he guarantees, and borrowed a sonorous phrase from it to make a
          saying about the permanence of the Law.

          Of Mt and Lk, which one did this borrowing and adaptation? We can look at
          two kinds of evidence: (1) the characteristic emphases of Matthew and Luke,
          for which see my previous post, or (2) the structure of the respective
          sayings in context, which I venture to repeat. The point here is that Lk
          16:7 and its two neighbors, all with counterparts in Mt, are as a group
          intrusive into a series of poverty pronouncements and parables in Lk. Notice
          that Lk 16:14-15, criticizing the avarice of the Pharisees, segues very
          smoothly into Lk 16:19-31, the Dives and Lazarus parable, which illustrates
          it by showing that it is poverty, not wealth, which goes to Heaven. Then Lk
          16:17 and its neighbors are later introductions into Lk 16, while Mt 5:17,
          which is perfectly consecutive in its Matthean context, is original.

          This makes it a Matthean creation, based on a phrase picked up from Mark and
          used to quite a different end.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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