Re: [Synoptic-L] The Achilles heel of the Farrer Theory?
There's a ready-made pair of greaves to strap onto Farrer to guard against
any fatal wound at this point. Aphorisms are the likeliest form in the
Jesus tradition to have enjoyed wide oral circulation (as the saying goes,
an aphorism can get halfway round the world before a discourse laces it
shoes up). If there were variant forms of several of Jesus' aphorisms in
oral circulation (some reflecting alternative Greek translations of
statements originally passed around in Aramaic), the phenomena you point to
can readily be accounted for without positing a lost document: Matthew
sometimes preferred the oral version of an aphorism he also know from Mark,
and so with Luke vis-�-vis both his predecessors.
Farrer in fact did not leave himself defenseless in this regard but held
that Matthew and Luke derived much of their knowledge of Jesus' teaching
from oral tradition. Michael Goulder and John Drury tried a rather
thoroughgoing literary version of FH, but Mark Goodacre has revived and
developed Farrer's own approach. I doubt that between them Farrer and
Goodacre have dealt in detail with every passage you'd regard as
problematic for FH, but in principle I'd suggest their work serves to blunt
Austin Graduate School of Theology
On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 1:13 PM, Ronald Price <ron-price@...>wrote:
> The aphorisms constitute the Achilles heel of the FT.
> For the FT deals very well with narratives and lengthy parables.
> But it fails to provide satisfactory explanations for the aphorisms, many
> which have versions in more than one of the synoptic gospels. In
> it fails to account for the following observations:
> (a) Most aphorisms in Mark have more primitive parallels in the much later
> gospels of Matthew and/or Luke (c.f. H.T.Fleddermann, "Q: A Reconstruction
> and Commentary", p.182).
> (b) Many aphorisms in Matthew have more primitive parallels in Luke.
> (c) Mark, Matthew and Luke each contain blocks of aphorisms. This suggests
> that each writer was making use of a written collection of aphorisms, for
> they had been in the author's memory, they would probably have been better
> integrated into the story of the respective gospels.
> (d) Aphorism doublets occur in Matthew and Luke, but hardly at all in Mark
> (c.f. Udo Schnelle, "The History and Theology of the New Testament
> Writings", p.181). As Mark was a source for these later gospels, and as one
> member only of each doublet is generally derived from Mark, this
> distribution of doublets suggests that most of them were created by the
> later author copying one member from Mark and the other from an early
> written source.
> (e) There are a few peculiar variations in wording between Matthew and Luke
> in aphorisms common to both which are best explained as translation errors
> (e.g. "give alms" in Lk 11:41 & "you build" in Lk 11:48). This explanation
> is incompatible with the Farrer Theory, which only recognises Greek
> Goulder mentioned many of the synoptic aphorisms in the course of his
> A New Paradigm", but his defence of Lukan dependence on Matthew is much
> weaker in the case of the aphorisms than for other literary forms in the
> Double Tradition. (Where scholars support the 2T and are thus 'free' to
> argue that all or part of Luke's version of an aphorism is the more
> primitive, then in very many cases they do so most convincingly.)
> Diagrammatically the problem would be solved by simply adding to the Farrer
> diagram a box labelled e.g. "sayings source" or even "logia", with arrows
> pointing to each of the other boxes. But then, of course, it wouldn't be
> called the Farrer Theory. ;-)
> Ron Price,
> Derbyshire, UK
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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- Jeffrey Gibson wrote:
> How do you know for certain that 1 Cor 1:22 is an allusion to Mt 12:39Jeffrey,
> // Mt 16:4 c.f. Mk 8:12? After all, as we see in Josephus, "Jews"
> /did/ seek "signs". So Paul may be making a statement about his
> co-religionists that is based upon his experience/knowledge of them
> rather than upon anything Jesus said, just as his statement about what
> Greeks seek is based upon his experience of Greek culture and not
> anything Jesus said.
I don't know for certain.
But there are two arguments that indicate a *probable* link.
The first involves the immediate context. 1 Cor 1:21-22 includes 'SOFIAS
..... KHRUGMATOS ..... IOUDAIOI SHMEIA AITOUSIN .....',
with which we can compare the logia saying C5 (c.f. Q 11:29-32):
'... H GENEA AUTH ... SHMEION ZHTEI ..... SOFIAN ..... KHRUGMA .....'
Thus we have Jews (implicit in the original context of "this generation")
requesting signs, and we have wisdom and preaching, all three together in
both Paul and the logia.
The second involves the wider context of 1 Cor chs. 1-4. This contains a
cluster of apparent allusions to the logia.
In addition to 1:21-22 there is 1:26-29 in which Paul wrote "consider your
call" followed by the threefold repetition of "not many" and "God chose"
(c.f. the logia saying C2, Mt 22:14).
Then 1 Cor 2:4 refers to PEIQOIS SOFIAS LOGOIS (persuasive words of wisdom),
which aptly describes the whole collection of wisdom sayings attributed to
Then there are several echoes of the logia: laying a foundation (1 Cor
3:10-13, c.f. saying A22 'Rock/sand'); being filled, becoming rich and
reigning (1 Cor 4:8, c.f. saying A1, Blessings); when reviled we bless (1
Cor 4:12, c.f. saying A8 about loving enemies); kingdom of God associated
with power (EN DUNAMEI, 1 Cor 4:20, c.f. saying C12, Mk 9:1). [For the first
three of these Paul/synoptic echoes I am indebted to the section "Paul and
Q" in Allison's "The Jesus Tradition in Q". Dale Allison surveys several
possible links, but in the end is not convinced.]
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