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Re: [Synoptic-L] A synoptic idea

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    Following Dave s logic here, would it not also be true to say that Luke most likely used not only the LXX OT, but also a hypothetical sayings source containing
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 9, 2006
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      Following Dave's logic here, would it not also be true to say that Luke most likely used not only the LXX OT, but also a hypothetical sayings source containing the sayings of OT characters when he composed, say, Acts 7? He shows great "lack of respect" to his LXX source, with regard to the way he (1) completely omits large segments of the story from his source (say, Exodus), and (2) completely re-writes the stories he does tell from this source. However, he shows "respect" for his other source, when he cites words said by these characters, including God, verbatim! Or is there something wrong with Dave's argument?

      Leonard Maluf
      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
      Weston, MA
      -----Original Message-----
      From: gentile_dave@...
      To: kenolson101@...; Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Fri, 8 Sep 2006 4:12 PM
      Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] A synoptic idea



      For the choice between "Mark without Q" and my suggestion, we have to ask if
      there is enough evidence to support the idea that Luke used a saying source
      at all. I know that many who favor the 2SH find Luke's scattering behavior
      somewhat implausible in the "MwQ" hypothesis, as well as his omission of the
      birth narrative.

      Let me ask and answer a few simple questions -
      Q: Is Luke's omission of Matthew's birth narrative more consistent with
      respect for the text of Matthew or lack of respect?
      A: Lack of respect.
      Q: Is Luke's rearrangement of Matthew's text more consistent with respect
      for Matthew's text, or lack of respect?
      A: Lack of respect
      Q: Is Luke's close copying of the words of Matthew and or Q, more consistent
      with respect for that text, or lack or respect?
      A: Respect.

      Thus we have at least some evidence of both respect for Matthew and or Q,
      and some evidence of lack of respect for Matthew's text (assuming Luke knew
      it). Thus two texts one of which had Luke's respect, and one of which did
      not, would have more explanatory power than one text here.








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    • Dave Gentile
      ... reasoning here that I tried and apparently failed to bring to your attention in my last post. So let me ask a few simple questions in return. Is
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 9, 2006
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        Ken Olsen wrote:
        >
        > There is an unstated, and I believe incorrect, assumption in your
        reasoning here that I tried and apparently failed to bring to your
        attention in my last post. So let me ask a few simple questions in
        return. Is" respect" a relative or an absolute term, and is it
        uniformly distributed or might it vary from place to place? If Luke
        had two or more sources should we expect him to respect them all
        equally or some more than others? And within an individual document
        should we expect him to respect all aspects and all parts of the
        document equally, or should we expect his level or respect to vary
        for different aspects (e.g., he might in theory repect its sequence
        of events more than he respected the quality of its Greek) and from
        part to part. In fact, might he not respect some specific aspect or
        part of one document more than some specific part or aspect of
        another document even though, in general, he respects the other
        document more? Your argument that if Luke (ever?) respected
        Matthew's wording, he would also have respeted his order is a non
        sequitur.

        Dave: Let's try a word other than "respect", that might capture my
        meaning better. Does Luke regard the gospel of Matthew as an older
        source with better knowledge of actual events than Luke himself has?
        Or does Luke regard Matthew as a contemporary with an actual
        knowledge of events similar to Luke's own? I think Luke, in general,
        can only have one opinion of the author's position to know. I
        suppose that we might make a rather special exception for the birth
        narrative, but other than that, I think Luke's view has to be fairly
        consistent regarding Matthew's ability to know.

        Now could Luke have regarded Matthew as an authoritative source and
        still rewritten him? Yes. Although I think we would want to see
        argument as to why he would want to, before we considered this the
        most likely possibility. In other words, this does not strike us as
        the most probable apriori. Could Luke have viewed Matthew as
        relatively unauthoritative and still used his wording for quotes?
        Yes, although this last idea seems somewhat unlikely to me.

        Ken:

        >
        > > We also know that sayings sources existed (Thomas), And we know
        that Luke
        > > has treated the material as individual unit sayings. Just given
        that
        > > information, if we had to guess at the nature of Luke's source,
        we would
        > > guess Luke had a saying source.
        >
        > I am unable to follow the argument here. If it is true that Luke
        has "treated the material as individual unit sayings" doesn't that
        mean he is not following the order of his source, whether it was
        Matthew or a sayings source? If not, what does it mean?

        Dave: Maybe I can improve that slightly. The fact that Matthew and
        Luke present the material in different orders, in pieces the size of
        individual sayings and pericope, suggests, on the face of it, that
        the material does not have any authoritative order. This in turn
        brings to mind a saying source, which could have authoritative
        wording, without authoritative ordering.

        Of course one could argue that Luke chose to change what he regarded
        as an authoritative order. But, then this does need argumentation in
        order to contradict the face-value suggestion.

        Ken: To use a (somewhat) common expression, you are assuming a
        spherical cow.

        Dave: O.K. that's not completely inapt here. The arguments above are
        extremely high level and not at all detailed. I would argue they are
        empirical, but at a universal level rather than a detailed one.

        Without looking back at your original post, your position seems to
        me to have been that the idea of a saying source has no merit at
        all. I do think my high level arguments are enough to contradict
        that idea.

        You also seemed to be saying that Luke could have done what he did
        without a saying source, and I agreed.

        Now, if you are saying that based on detailed study of Luke's
        behavior in all cases, you think there is enough evidence to do away
        with a saying source as a serious contender, then I'm certainly
        willing to accept that as your view based on your study of those
        individual details.

        Dave Gentile
        Riverside, IL
      • Dennis Dean Carpenter
        snip We also know that sayings sources existed (Thomas) snip There was a sayings source (Thomas), but we don t really know that it was any earlier than the
        Message 3 of 12 , Sep 10, 2006
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          snip "We also know that sayings sources existed (Thomas)" snip

          There was a sayings source (Thomas), but we don't really know that it was any earlier than the second century, or for that matter, that the fourth century Coptic manuscript we have points us in a trajectory toward the first century.

          Dennis Dean Carpenter
          Dahlonega, Ga. USA

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        • Ken Olson
          ... meaning better. Does Luke regard the gospel of Matthew as an older source with better knowledge of actual events than Luke himself has? Or does Luke regard
          Message 4 of 12 , Sep 11, 2006
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            On 10 September 2006, Dave Gentile wrote:

            >>Dave: Let's try a word other than "respect", that might capture my
            meaning better. Does Luke regard the gospel of Matthew as an older
            source with better knowledge of actual events than Luke himself has?
            Or does Luke regard Matthew as a contemporary with an actual
            knowledge of events similar to Luke's own? I think Luke, in general,
            can only have one opinion of the author's position to know. I
            suppose that we might make a rather special exception for the birth
            narrative, but other than that, I think Luke's view has to be fairly
            consistent regarding Matthew's ability to know.<<

            It's not the word I'm objecting to, it's the method. You make a bunch of
            initial assumptions and then you propose a bunch of hypothetical sources to
            fit them and you wait for everything to click into place. When your
            assumptions are criticized, you restate them and hypothesize new and
            different hypothetical sources to do away with the difficulties. It doesn't
            seem to have dawned on you that you may just be using the wrong approach.

            Perhaps you could read Jubilees and then tell me whether the author
            considered the Torah an "authoritative" text or not. Or make a list of
            biblical quotations in John and then tell me if John regarded the OT as an
            "authoritative" text. Or tell me why Plutarch assigns certain sayings to
            different characters in his Lives. Not everything can be accounted for by
            assuming variant source texts. Mark Goodacre has used the ways modern
            filmmakers adapt the gospels to film to illustrate the different ways that
            purpose and medium affect the final product. He's been criticized for using
            an anachronistic analogy. But that is much of the point--we may be
            committing anachronisms ourselves if we assume that the gospel authors went
            about their business with the same purposes and the same methods modern
            historians do.

            >>Now could Luke have regarded Matthew as an authoritative source and
            still rewritten him? Yes. Although I think we would want to see
            argument as to why he would want to, before we considered this the
            most likely possibility. In other words, this does not strike us as
            the most probable apriori.<<

            If by "we" you mean contemporary systems analysts and statisticians who try
            to reduce the synoptic problem to a multivariable equation, project modern
            ideas of historiography and investigative journalism onto first century
            authors, and have not engaged in study of how ancient authors used their
            sources or what the term "authoritative source" might mean in an ancient
            context, I might agree.

            >>Could Luke have viewed Matthew as
            relatively unauthoritative and still used his wording for quotes?
            Yes, although this last idea seems somewhat unlikely to me.<<

            Can you give the reasons that it seems unlikely to you? Or do you mean for
            us to take the fact that it seems unlikely to you as having probative value?
            At least you're using the first person here.

            >>Dave: Maybe I can improve that slightly. The fact that Matthew and
            Luke present the material in different orders, in pieces the size of
            individual sayings and pericope, suggests, on the face of it, that
            the material does not have any authoritative order. This in turn
            brings to mind a saying source, which could have authoritative
            wording, without authoritative ordering.<<

            Explain to me how you know that sayings source (and only sayings sources),
            have authoritiative wording but not authoritative order. Do you mean this
            is intuitively obvious to you, or have you done a study of ancient
            literature that shows authors kept the wording of order and sayings found in
            narrative sources but kept the only the wording but changed the order of
            sayings sources? Which literature shows this? While you're at it explain
            to me why Luke departs from the Markan order for most of the so-called
            Mark/Q overlaps (everything after the Temptation).

            >>Of course one could argue that Luke chose to change what he regarded
            as an authoritative order. But, then this does need argumentation in
            order to contradict the face-value suggestion.<<

            Aaaargh! The meaning of the word "authoritative" needs to be
            contextualized. It does not have a "face-value" applicable to all times and
            places.

            >>Ken: To use a (somewhat) common expression, you are assuming a
            spherical cow.

            Dave: O.K. that's not completely inapt here. The arguments above are
            extremely high level and not at all detailed. I would argue they are
            empirical, but at a universal level rather than a detailed one.<<

            The assumptions you make are neither empirical nor universal.. You state a
            bunch of a priori principles that you expect the evangelists to have
            followed. When problems with these assumptions are pointed out to you, you
            try hypothesizing new lost sources that don't have to face them rather than
            admit that your assumptions may be wrong. Your "universal" level is not
            universal, it grew up in a particular time and place. I do not mean to
            suggest that modern epistemological methods are bunk--I'm kind of fond of
            them. However, you seem to be assuming not just that modern epistemological
            methods work, but that ancient authors used them in the same way you would.
            And you're wrong.

            >>Without looking back at your original post, your position seems to
            me to have been that the idea of a saying source has no merit at
            all. I do think my high level arguments are enough to contradict
            that idea.<<

            Actually, it's the "high level arguments" to which I am objecting.

            >>You also seemed to be saying that Luke could have done what he did
            without a saying source, and I agreed.<<

            Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.

            >>Now, if you are saying that based on detailed study of Luke's
            behavior in all cases, you think there is enough evidence to do away
            with a saying source as a serious contender, then I'm certainly
            willing to accept that as your view based on your study of those
            individual details.<<

            OK. I have, in fact, put these arguments to you before. When I point out
            that Luke may have rearranged Matthew's order in response to the conditions
            he faced in trying to combine Markan and Matthean material, your response
            has invariably been to try to do away with the conditions I describe by
            hypothesizing further lost sources for which those conditions did not exist.
            But I'll give it one more shot. I should, perhaps, add that I can speak only for myself and other proponents of the Farer theory may well disagree with me.

            Luke has two main written sources, Mark and Matthew. He and the Christian
            community he knows have had Mark for a while before Matthew comes along.
            Luke knows Mark well and can tell where Matthew has changed it by adding,
            omitting, or recasting material. Some of the additional material he likes a
            great deal, particulary some of Jesus' ethical teachings (which Mark does
            not have a lot of), other material is less pleasing, and some of it is
            awful. Where Matthew has recast Mark, he generally, but not always, prefers
            the original that he and his church have used for a long time. But he
            recognizes the potential of what Matthew has done in rewriting and
            "updating" Mark and making it fit the needs of his target audience better.
            He decides to do the same thing.

            Luke decides he's going to follow Mark, the older and usually fuller [in the
            overlapping material] source for as far as Mark goes, taking over its basic
            narrative and keeping it in its Markan order. He will use Matthew's
            additional material primarily to supplement Mark. The question is: how will
            he go about adding the supplementary material to his Markan framework?
            There are two considerations that must be made before addressing this
            question.

            First, close conflation of two different written sources at the level of
            wording is a diffiuclt procedure. The consensus among classicists is that
            that most ancient authors did not attempt close conflation but wrote with
            one source in front of them at one time. In The Four Gospels, Streeter
            notes that Luke follows Mark and his other source (which Streeter took to be
            Proto-Luke, a combination of Q and L) in fairly large alternating blocks for
            a few chapters at a time. He also noted that Luke's sources overlapped (the
            so-called Mark-Q overlaps) and that when this happened, Luke followed one or
            the other and didn't try to conflate them. Streeter noted that in the case
            of the Mark-Q overlaps Luke chose to follow the version in his non-Markan
            source instead of that of Mark. He admitted that he could not tell where
            the reverse might have happened (i.e., if Luke was following Mark's version,
            how would we tell if there were also a version in his non-Markan source?).
            So if Luke's sources are Mark and Matthew we might reasonably expect that he
            would use them in alternate blocks and not try to conflate them closely.

            Second, one of the most widely acknowledged characteristics of Luke is his
            dislike of doublets. He does indeed have about ten doublets, all sayings
            and none more than two verses in length. Whether he did not care enough to
            take the the time to edit them out, or he especially liked these sayings
            enough to use them twice I don't know. But in general, he does not like
            doublets. We do not have two Temptations, two Beelzebul pericopes, two
            Parables of the Mustard Seed, or two Feeding Miracles in Luke, despite te
            fact that he would have had more than one version of each in his sources.
            So we might reasonably expect a Luke who knew Mark and Matthew generally not
            to reuse the same material in both its Matthean and Markan forms.

            Now if Luke follows these two principles (as major scholars who accept the
            2DH argue he does) it will be almost impossible to follow Matthew's order,
            and undesirable to try. Matthew's order depends on Mark. His settings for
            his five sermons are taken from Markan settings, which Luke has already used
            and doesn't want to repeat. He also isn't going to attempt close conflation
            by trying to stick all of Matthew's additions into the closest possible
            Markan parallel location. Further, except for the Sermon on the Mount,
            Mathew's sermons are expanded versions with a core of Markan material, which
            Luke has already used. This leaves Mark with a bunch of Matthean material
            removed from its Markan context, and Luke arranges it as best he can. The
            Sermon on the Mount is a special case, being more than twice as long as any
            speech in Luke-Acts. It is a "masterpiece" when read by one studying it at
            his leisure, but a horror to anyone forced to listen to it read aloud from
            beginning to end (something no modern lectionary attempts). Luke, like
            modern filmmakers who have portaryed the Sermon, keeps a trimmed form of the
            Beatitudes and a few other things in nearly the same location and
            redistributes the rest to other parts of his gospel. When combined with
            Luke's other Matthean and special material, the final result is one that "no
            one has ever doubted may make good (Lukan) sense." Or so Tuckett says.

            Best,

            Ken

            Kenneth A. Olson
            MA, History, University of Maryland
            PhD Student, Religion, Duke University

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