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Re: [Synoptic-L] Why not Mt used Lk?

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: WSW In Response To: Chuck Jones (PPS) On: Lk Mt Passages (The Refused Invitation) From: Bruce How much general interest there may be in this
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 1, 2006
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      To: Synoptic
      Cc: WSW
      In Response To: Chuck Jones (PPS)
      On: Lk > Mt Passages (The Refused Invitation)
      From: Bruce

      How much general interest there may be in this exchange I cannot tell, but I
      may offer one further addendum to my previous suggestions about passages in
      Mt which have been thought to be secondary to their parallels in Lk.

      McNeile (1915) xxvii, in confidently dating Matthew to after the Roman
      destruction of the Temple in the year 70, relied on Mt 22:1-10 as a post-70
      rewriting of Lk 14:16-24, or its source. Benjamin Bacon, Studies in Matthew
      (1930) 64, explains why McNeile drew this inference. He places the two
      passages side by side (a thing not practicable in E-mail), and italicizes
      the parts in the Mt version that depart from the Lk version. It should be
      said by way of context that this segment is immediately preceded in Mt by a
      parable which Mt, Mk, and Lk all contain: the Parable of the Wicked Tenants.
      The burden of that parable is that the owner of the vineyard, when he comes,
      will kill the wicket tenants and give the vineyard to others entirely. This
      already looks like a symbol of the rejection of the Jewish nation, but in
      all versions it is explicitly explained as having been told "against the
      Pharisees," that is, it means a power displacement within Judaism, not a
      rejection of Judaism in favor of another nation entirely.

      But in the Matthean version, there follows (after the quote from Psa 118,
      "the stone which the builders rejected"), this comment, as spoken by Jesus,
      which is without parallel in Mk or Lk: "Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of
      God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits
      of it" [Mt 21:43]. It would seem to me that this extra and uniquely Matthean
      note DOES envision the turning away of God from Israel as such.

      Now we move on to the next Matthean item. Mark here drops out, and we have
      the parable of the Refused Invitation (some call it the Marriage Feast, but
      that only describes the Matthean version). The Lukan version is at a non-cor
      responding place in Lk. I put in CAPS the material in Mt which differs from
      that in Lk, and otherwise copy Bacon p65f:

      AND JESUS ANSWERED AND SPAKE TO THEM AGAIN IN PARABLES, saying, THE KINGDOM
      OF HEAVEN IS LIKENED UNTO a certain KING WHO made a MARRIAGE supper FOR HIS
      SON. And he sent forth his servants to invite the gueses to the WEDDING, and
      they would not come. AGAIN HE SENT OTHER SERVANTS, SAYING, TELL THE GUESTS,
      LO, I HAVE PREPARED MY BANQUET, MY OXEN AND MY FATLINGS ARE SLAUGHTERED AND
      ALL THINGS ARE READY: COME TO THE WEDDING. But they paid no heed and went
      away, one to his field, another to his merchandise - AND THE REST LAID HOLD
      ON HIS SERVANTS AND MALTREATED AND KILLED THEM. BUT THE KING WAS ANGRY AND
      SENT HIS ARMIES AND DESTROYED THOSE MURDERERS AND BURNED THEIR CITY. - Then
      he saith to his servants, THE WEDDING IS READY, BUT THE INVITED GUESTS WERE
      NOT WORTHY. Go forth they to the partings of the roads and invite all that
      ye find to the WEDDING. So those servants went forth into the highways, and
      gathered all that they found, BOTH BAD AND GOOD, and the WEDDING was
      supplied with guests.

      The "both bad and good" part is to prepare for the unique passage Mt 22:11f,
      where the wedding guest without a wedding garment is bound and "cast into
      the outer darkness; there man will weep and gnash their teeth." One feels
      that the pose of allegory has been here abandoned, and that we have
      dissolved into the Final Judgement itself.

      In terms of basic concinnity, it seems to me obvious that the points of
      difference with the Lk version make a hash of the Matthean version. One
      minute we have a ruler angry with his neighbors, and the next minute that
      ruler has become a distance enemy, who sends his armies to burn their city,
      the teller of the tale evidently forgetting that by the previous narrative
      it is his own city too. The absentee owner of the preceding vineyard has
      evidently impressed itself here on aMk, to the exclusion of aMk's sense of
      where his story has been going. Not to mention that the servants of the king
      are no sooner killed by the unwilling guests than he has a second supply to
      do his further bidding; a gaucherie which was not committed by any version
      of the preceding parable (where successive servants are sent, and finally
      the landlord's own son). The narrative scale is not consistent, and the
      rationality of the dramatis personae also leaves something to be desired.
      Then the Lk version, to which none of these objections apply, would seem to
      be nearer to the original, with the Mt version some sort of variation on it.

      McNeile's point, expanded by Bacon, is that the burning of the city seems
      decisively to refer to the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in the Jewish
      Revolt of 70. I am prepared to concede that point.

      COMMENT

      It would seem to follow, though Bacon did not pause to note this, that if
      the Matthean changes were what made this 70 reference unmistakable, then
      they were NOT unmistakable in the Lk version (or its original), which might
      defensibly be dated to BEFORE the year 70. But there are pretty clear
      indications of the end of Jerusalem in the parallel Lk material, and
      especially in what precedes that material (in Q, what *directly* precedes
      that material) in Lk.

      P45, Alexandrinus, and a few other manuscripts lack Mt 22:1-14, but due to
      damage rather than omission. There is then no warrant for supposing that Mt
      22:1-14 was added after the closing of the text of Mt, and for scenarios, we
      seem to be limited to events occurring during the formation periods of the
      respective Gospels.

      Sequence. In Lk, the Refused Invitation parable does not follow the Wicked
      Tenants parable, but instead comes after a "parable" in which instructions
      are given for guests at formal banquets: not to take the highest place, lest
      you be displaced by a later arriving and more honorable guest. Also, when
      you give a feast, invite the poor, and you will be blessed since they cannot
      repay you. This is not a parable in the usual sense of "parable." Then
      follows the Refused Invitation piece, as though in answer to a remark by a
      guest at a banquet where Jesus was also present (this is spelled out in Lk
      14:1). Are these preceding comments also present in Q? Not at any rate in
      the Critical Edition of Q, where the numbers are given, but then crossed
      out. The preceding thing in that version of Q is Lk 13:34-35, including the
      remark to Jerusalem, "Look, your house is forsaken!" To that warning, as
      noted above, Lk 14:16f as the next Q piece would be thematically relevant,
      IF we take it also in the sense of the rejection of Israel. This is
      countenanced, albeit less dramatically than in Mt, by the concluding line in
      Lk (not paralleled in Mt): "For I tell you, None of those men who were
      invited shall taste my banquet. The rejection of Israel is not necessarily
      the same as the destruction of Jerusalem, though it is possible to imagine
      the difference being bridged by sufficiently skillful argument.

      The Q scenario apparently is that a previous text contained the simple
      (Lukan) form of this story, and that separately (a) Matthew elaborated it
      into a variant of the Wicked Tenants story, and placed it by association
      after that story, and (b) Luke retained it more or less as it was, keeping
      it after the warning to Jerusalem but interpolating a context which makes a
      story about banquet guests apposite. This is a little awkward, though it
      might perhaps be improved by further reconsideration about what one thinks
      was originally contained in Q. The trouble, from a Q point of view, is that
      the more we do this, the more Q and Lk tend to converge.

      There are thus at least modest difficulties in any direction, and I leave it
      at that stage, noting that it is easier to imagine the Matthean version
      having been altered from a Lukan original than vice versa.

      Anyone have a comment?

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Ron Price
      ... Bruce, This focus on the transition seems to me to be unduly narrow, and therefore flawed. It fails to ask about the likelihood or otherwise that the
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 2, 2006
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        Bruce Brooks wrote:

        > I think the sovereign principle in directionality questions, articulated by
        > Metzger and attributed by him to Griesbach, is that "that version is
        > original which can be most readily seen as giving rise to the other."

        Bruce,

        This focus on the transition seems to me to be unduly narrow, and therefore
        flawed. It fails to ask about the likelihood or otherwise that the earlier
        text could have been composed as postulated (see below).

        > Most
        > people, I believe, will find it easier to imagine that Mt has thematically
        > grouped certain sayings from a less organized prior version, than that Lk
        > has merely scattered them, with no other end in view. If instead Lk is
        > actually following the order of a prior source, and merely keeping that
        > order (whatever its own logic or lack of it), whereas Mt is changing that
        > prior order into a more thematically clustered and literarily impressive
        > form, then the logic of both Mt and Lk appears cogent.

        This is what I find nonsensical. If it is difficult to understand the lack
        of order of sayings in Luke, how much more difficult to understand the lack
        of order in those same sayings in the much smaller early sayings source.
        Would anyone have created such a mess? Luke, on the other hand, does have a
        structure, and there are indications for at least some sayings why they were
        moved. For instance the saying about asking (11:9-13) is deliberately placed
        after two passages concerning prayer, and the salt saying (14:34-35) might
        have been deliberately placed next to a brief scene which mentions eating
        (15:1-2). Similarly Luke placed the saying about the greatest (22:24-27,
        with its Lukan addition "But I am among you as one who serves") within the
        passion story in order to present Jesus as the Servant who suffers (c.f. Is
        53). Note that Luke's narrative context provides lots of opportunities for
        non-sequential selection of suitable sayings, and contrast this with a
        (nearly?) pure sayings source where there is little or no such context. The
        idea that Luke retained almost all of the sayings source in its original
        order is, to my mind, incredible.

        > This too gives us Q,
        > along with the additional assumption that the order of Q was that of Lk
        > (otherwise the problem of order in Lk remains unsolved).

        There you go again (though I realize you're following what many others have
        written). How on earth is a perceived problematic order solved by blaming it
        on an earlier source? Is it a case of 'Out of sight, out of mind'?

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

        Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic Cc: Al Cohen; WSW In Response To: Ron Price On: Methodology Points in re Q From: Bruce I had said, BRUCE: I think the sovereign principle in
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 2, 2006
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          To: Synoptic
          Cc: Al Cohen; WSW
          In Response To: Ron Price
          On: Methodology Points in re Q
          From: Bruce

          I had said,

          BRUCE: I think the sovereign principle in directionality questions,
          articulated by Metzger and attributed by him (perhaps a bit too generously)
          to Griesbach, is that "that version is original which can be most readily
          seen as giving rise to the other."

          RON: This focus on the transition seems to me to be unduly narrow, and
          therefore flawed.

          BRUCE: For fine points of variant wording in manuscripts, as well as for
          large points of relationship between whole texts, I think it is the best we
          have. Narrower precepts, such as Griesbach's own "lectio brevior" dictum,
          simply don't cover the ground which philology actually encounters, as
          Sanders was at pains to show, at both the word and the text level, in his
          Tendency of the Synoptic Tradition (1969). And as Housman had long before
          remarked, in terms more caustic than I would care to use in the present
          environment, but those who feel themselves up to that challenge may consult
          him direct (http://www.umass.edu/wsp > Philology > Housman).

          RON: . . . It fails to ask about the likelihood or otherwise that the
          earlier text could have been composed as postulated (see below).

          BRUCE: Not at all. It opens judgement to all the evidence, not merely to the
          wordcount of some fraction of the evidence. As for "below," see below.

          I had next said:

          BRUCE: Most people, I believe, will find it easier to imagine that Mt has
          thematically grouped certain sayings from a less organized prior version,
          than that Lk has merely scattered them, with no other end in view. If
          instead Lk is actually following the order of a prior source, and merely
          keeping that order (whatever its own logic or lack of it), whereas Mt is
          changing that prior order into a more thematically clustered and literarily
          impressive form, then the logic of both Mt and Lk appears cogent.

          RON: This is what I find nonsensical. If it is difficult to understand the
          lack of order of sayings in Luke, how much more difficult to understand the
          lack of order in those same sayings in the much smaller early sayings
          source. Would anyone have created such a mess?

          BRUCE: That is very easy to understand, and I think that it is part of the
          appeal of Q, allegedly a "sayings Gospel," that it offers such an
          understanding. It is a question of genre. Luke, if we take note of its
          manifest form, and/or the intention expressed in the ostensible
          self-introduction, is trying to put together a coherent narrative account; a
          history. If his material appears unordered by that criterion, that is, if it
          doesn't make narrative sense, then there is a problem between the seeming
          intention of Luke and the text that Luke has actually produced. On the other
          hand, Q is supposed to be a "sayings Gospel," for which one model is Thomas.
          Thomas tells no very visible story. It simply gives you wisdom vignettes one
          after the other, though sometimes with keyword or other associational links.
          It has never been perceived as a fault in Thomas that it does NOT tell a
          story, because storytelling is not the formal intent of that kind of text.
          No reasonable and genre-conscious person could possibly object.

          [I have mentioned before that this "sayings collection" genre, though rare
          or even conjectural in the Mediterranean world, is very common in the
          contemporary and slightly earlier classical Chinese world, and that
          experience gained with these EXTANT early Chinese wisdom collection might be
          useful to the NT field. I mention it again, but only in parentheses. Does
          this mean that all seminarians should learn classical Chinese? No. But they
          might manage to lunch occasionally with someone who has a foot on that shore
          of our common lake].

          The "Sermon on the Mount" literature is there in its reverential depth and
          enthusiastic breadth to attest that the Matthean arrangement of the "Q"
          wisdom material is supremely convincing and thus successful. The same
          material is more dispersed in Luke, and most readers seem to have found Luke
          inferior to Matthew in this respect. Thus arises a difficulty for the theory
          that Luke used Matthew: Why (people perpetually ask) would Luke break up the
          Sermon on the Mount, of all things, and that in a way which achieves a
          notably less successful result? A terrible situation, surely. But if Luke is
          NOT using Matthew, but is INSTEAD respecting the order of a wisdom or
          Sayings source for this material, just as he respects the order of the
          narrative material he has taken from Matthew, then (1) any defects in order
          of Luke's wisdom material, as compared to Matthew, are to be attributed to
          the "wisdom" order, which will be at most an associational order, in Luke's
          source, and Luke is not to be faulted for his faithfulness to his source.
          His seeming defect as an author accordingly vanishes. This is a conclusion
          which is likely to be applauded by fans of Luke, and everybody is in some
          degree a fan of Luke.

          RON: Luke, on the other hand, does have a structure, and there are
          indications for at least some sayings why they were
          moved. For instance the saying about asking (11:9-13) is deliberately placed
          after two passages concerning prayer, and the salt saying (14:34-35) might
          have been deliberately placed next to a brief scene which mentions eating
          (15:1-2). Similarly Luke placed the saying about the greatest (22:24-27,
          with its Lukan addition "But I am among you as one who serves") within the
          passion story in order to present Jesus as the Servant who suffers (c.f. Is
          53).

          BRUCE: This is precisely what I mean by "associational" ordering, as
          distinct from the historical ordering which Luke otherwise purports to
          exhibit. Luke as it stands, especially as read by someone who knows Matthew,
          seems to hover between two genres: narrative (things in historical order),
          and wisdom (things in associational clusters). If instead the author of Luke
          is merely alternating between two sources of different genre, and doing his
          best to intercalate the one into the other, then all is well. No?

          [I should add that Ron's suggestions of how Luke might rationally be derived
          from Matthew, without the hypothesis of a separate source Q, may well be
          helpful contributions toward the World Without Q which some at least on this
          list have in mind as the right answer to the question. I don't evaluate
          those possibilities here, but I am aware of their potential].

          RON: Note that Luke's narrative context provides lots of opportunities for
          non-sequential selection of suitable sayings, and contrast this with a
          (nearly?) pure sayings source where there is little or no such context. The
          idea that Luke retained almost all of the sayings source in its original
          order is, to my mind, incredible.

          BRUCE: Well, go argue that one with the Q establishment. I do so myself, and
          I would take up some details on this list, except that the last time I
          offered to do so, no particular interest seemed to exist. Far be it from me
          to bore a large concentration of learned persons, least of all at this
          season of the year.

          Noting, in any case, the attractions of this model for framers or acceptors
          of Q, I had added:

          BRUCE: This too gives us Q, along with the additional assumption that the
          order of Q was that of Lk (otherwise the problem of order in Lk remains
          unsolved).

          RON: There you go again (though I realize you're following what many others
          have written).

          BRUCE: I am indeed; I am in part trying to inhabit the mind of Q acceptors,
          and see what is going on in there. I think that the whole enterprise rests
          on feet of something or other, but that does not mean that there is nothing
          that an approach de novo cannot use, or usefully provide for in other ways.

          RON: How on earth is a perceived problematic order solved by blaming it on
          an earlier source? Is it a case of 'Out of sight, out of mind'?

          BRUCE: Tsk. Already answered, but once again: There is no question of
          "blame," merely a question of trying to find what makes sense of the data in
          front of our noses. If the wisdom material in Lk is even in part
          associational, then to that extent it constitutes a departure from Lk's
          otherwise historical texture. That is one alternative, and it is not very
          flattering to Luke. But If the wisdom material in Lk is associational, not
          because Lk has changed his structural principle in midstream (and back
          again, over and over, like some bipolar idiot), but merely because he has
          changed his source, with a view to completeness, telling the WHOLE story of
          Jesus as best he can with the sources available to him, then our view of Lk
          as a historian is altered for the better, and our view of Lk's sanity
          (faulted already by Streeter and by others since) becomes more benign. I
          suspect that people like this, and I also suspect that their liking it is
          one of the ongoing attractions of the Q idea.

          I like it myself, but I am not prepared to stop there. The editors of the
          Critical Edition of Q have not only given a table of contents of Q as they
          see it, but also a list of Q in Matthean order. In those lists, or in the
          somewhat simpler but largely equivalent table given by Raymond Brown in his
          Introduction, one can see that some sayings or other units which are
          consecutive in Matthew have been, so to speak, broken up and rearranged in
          Q. To their credit, the Documenta Q people consider scholarly opinions, not
          only about the wording of the units they discuss, but also about their
          sequential order. If we take the Matthean and not the Lukan sequence of the
          Q material as more likely to be original (just a thought experiment), then
          we find a whole different picture in front of us; one which, like the other,
          makes sense of the material, but DIFFERENT sense of DIFFERENT PARTS of the
          material. Probably, somewhere in the gigantic Q literature, someone has
          investigated the possible implications and consequences of this. Can anyone
          here present point to such an investigation, or summarize its findings?

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          http://www.umass.edu/wsp
        • Ron Price
          ... Bruce, I don t see how you come to this conclusion. The focus is solely on the process of giving rise to , i.e. on how the author of the later text might
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 3, 2006
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            Bruce Brooks wrote:

            > I think the sovereign principle in directionality questions,
            > articulated by Metzger and attributed by him (perhaps a bit too generously)
            > to Griesbach, is that "that version is original which can be most readily
            > seen as giving rise to the other."
            > ...
            > [This principle] opens judgement to all the evidence

            Bruce,

            I don't see how you come to this conclusion. The focus is solely on the
            process of "giving rise to", i.e. on how the author of the later text might
            have edited the earlier text. There is no mention of assessing the
            plausibility of the behaviour of the author in producing the earlier text.
            This is why I say the principle is too narrow.

            >> If it is difficult to understand the
            >> lack of order of sayings in Luke, how much more difficult to understand the
            >> lack of order in those same sayings in the much smaller early sayings
            >> source. Would anyone have created such a mess?

            > It is a question of genre.
            > ..... Q is supposed to be a "sayings Gospel," for which one model is Thomas.
            > Thomas tells no very visible story.

            The clue is in your words "supposed to be". Q is a mess by comparison with
            GTh because (a) it contains some narratives (b) the distribution of these
            narratives is peculiarly skewed (c) it contains some words attributed to
            John the Baptist. It is indeed a question of genre, and if one looks at the
            contents of Q in an investigative rather than a defensive manner, it will be
            seen that Q doesn't fit any known genre, despite Kloppenborg's strenuous
            attempts to prove otherwise. Q is an oddity. No person in their right mind
            could have produced such an inconsistent mess. When will the NT world wake
            up to this?

            > ..... But if Luke is
            > NOT using Matthew, but is INSTEAD respecting the order of a wisdom or
            > Sayings source for this material, just as he respects the order of the
            > narrative material he has taken from Matthew,

            Presumably you mean Mark.
            You're not making sufficient allowance for the difference between narrative
            and sayings. The order of the former was often constrained by the logic of
            the overall story. Matthew and Luke were both free to make many changes to
            the order of the sayings without thereby showing any disrespect.

            > ..... any defects in order of Luke's wisdom material, as compared to
            > Matthew, are to be attributed to the "wisdom" order,

            Or it could be that the subtlety of Luke's editorial endeavours is beyond
            the comprehension of modern commentators. Why are they so sure of
            themselves? Luke's skill has been vastly underestimated.

            > which will be at most an associational order,

            If you mean 'the wisdom material will only be ordered by word associations
            between adjacent sayings', then I don't agree. In my reconstruction of the
            sayings source there are 46 other links (including seven in a recent
            discovery of one-to-one links between the blessings and the woes), plus a
            clear division into four sections, two of which are each clearly divided
            into two equal halves.

            > ..... Luke is not to be faulted for his faithfulness to his source.

            This is a widely held scholarly assumption. However it is untrue. For
            instance, scholars arguably only reject Lk 10:5b and 10:23 because they make
            this very assumption.

            > ..... everybody is in some degree a fan of Luke.

            Yes. But why? It's in part because he rejected sayings such as Mt 6:7; 7:6;
            10:5b and 10:23, and in two other cases replaced "Gentiles" by a euphemism
            to avoid a slur. Basically Luke is attractive to Gentiles because he tends
            to remove the evidence of authentic pro-Jewish attitudes (which we should
            naturally expect from the original disciples), to play down apocalyptic
            fervour (unpalatable to most Christians from Luke's time onwards), and to
            introduce nice little stories like the Good Samaritan which praises a
            non-Jew.

            > Luke as it stands, especially as read by someone who knows Matthew,
            > seems to hover between two genres: narrative (things in historical order),
            > and wisdom (things in associational clusters). If instead the author of Luke
            > is merely alternating between two sources of different genre, and doing his
            > best to intercalate the one into the other, then all is well. No?

            He was indeed doing his best at intercalation. Unfortunately NT scholarship
            on the whole seriously underestimates the freedom which Luke exercised in
            reordering his sayings source and in creating new parables.

            > ..... I am in part trying to inhabit the mind of Q acceptors,
            > and see what is going on in there. I think that the whole enterprise rests
            > on feet of something or other, but that does not mean that there is nothing
            > that an approach de novo cannot use, or usefully provide for in other ways.

            This is exactly what I've done (my new approach salvaging the majority of
            Q), and what Farrer supporters have conspicuously avoided doing.

            > If the wisdom material in Lk is even in part
            > associational, then to that extent it constitutes a departure from Lk's
            > otherwise historical texture. That is one alternative, and it is not very
            > flattering to Luke. But If the wisdom material in Lk is associational, not
            > because Lk has changed his structural principle in midstream (and back
            > again, over and over, like some bipolar idiot),

            Again I think you underestimate Luke's flexibility. He was extremely skilled
            in several aspects of literature. He could even imitate the style of others,
            whether Hebraic, Septuagintal or formal. There's no reason why he shouldn't
            have made use of association, and I referred to least one example (the theme
            of prayer in Lk 11:2-4; 5-8; 9-13). In any case Luke's "historical texture"
            was somewhat stretched in the artificial 'journey to Jerusalem'.

            > If we take the Matthean and not the Lukan sequence of the
            > Q material as more likely to be original (just a thought experiment), then
            > we find a whole different picture in front of us; one which, like the other,
            > makes sense of the material, but DIFFERENT sense of DIFFERENT PARTS of the
            > material. Probably, somewhere in the gigantic Q literature, someone has
            > investigated the possible implications and consequences of this. Can anyone
            > here present point to such an investigation, or summarize its findings?

            My Web site contains the detailed results of an investigation which adopts
            this as well as other revolutionary approaches. The resulting proposed order
            of the original sayings in relation to their positions in the synoptics can
            best be seen on the following page:

            http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/syno_sQsQ.html

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          • Ron Price
            ... Chuck, That s a fair question. Firstly compared to the nearest documents: the synoptic gospels, all of which have a definite structure and a story line
            Message 5 of 18 , Dec 4, 2006
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              Chuck Jones wrote:

              > Q is a mess compared to what?

              Chuck,

              That's a fair question.

              Firstly compared to the nearest documents: the synoptic gospels, all of
              which have a definite structure and a story line which develops logically
              from a dramatically sensible start to a dramatically sensible end.

              Secondly compared to what are perhaps the theologically closest collections
              of sayings/poetry: the psalms, the proverbs and GTh. All three of these
              appear to exhibit a remarkable uniformity of style. I would expect any
              sayings collection produced by the earliest followers of Jesus to have had
              at least this degree of stylistic uniformity.

              > It seems to me that a natural trajectory of gathering and retaining memories
              > from the career of Jesus would be something like (1) the community told,
              > retold and created stories about the sayings and deeds of Jesus, (2) they
              > began to write the stories down, (3) the stories were gathered into
              > collections, (4) at some point those collections were arranged thematically,
              > and then (4), evidently with Mark, they were arranged into a career/life-of
              > narrative framework.
              >
              > If Mt and Lk drew from a document produced at stage (3), is it fair to call
              > that document a mess?

              I'm not happy with your trajectory, for it seems to me to demand a leisurely
              timescale which would not fit into the time available. Don't forget that
              Paul had met Peter, and Mark was probably written less than ten years after
              Paul's death. Another problem is that the death and destruction associated
              with the Jewish rebellion would have cut across any chain of oral tradition.
              Finally another barrier becomes apparent when we take together the fact that
              Paul showed relatively little interest in the sayings of Jesus, and the fact
              that Pauline Christianity rapidly became the norm. It seems to me that the
              only way a large number of Jesus' sayings could have been reliably
              transmitted to posterity is if the twelve committed them to writing before
              ca. 60 CE whilst Jerusalem was at peace (which indeed is just what I am
              proposing). Furthermore I would expect them to put in the requisite
              expertise and effort to make a good job of it right from the start, once
              they had decided that Jesus' return was not quite so imminent as to make the
              job pointless.

              Ron Price

              Derbyshire, UK

              Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
            • Chuck Jones
              Ron, My reconstruction implies no particular elapsed time. In fact a compressed time frame would make it more likely that Mt and Lk would have a stage 3
              Message 6 of 18 , Dec 5, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                Ron,

                My reconstruction implies no particular elapsed time. In fact a compressed time frame would make it more likely that Mt and Lk would have a stage 3 document (collected sayings that had not been placed into any thematic order) at their disposal.

                Chuck

                Rev. Chuck Jones
                Atlanta, Georgia

                Chuck Jones wrote:

                > It seems to me that a natural trajectory of gathering and retaining memories
                > from the career of Jesus would be something like (1) the community told,
                > retold and created stories about the sayings and deeds of Jesus, (2) they
                > began to write the stories down, (3) the stories were gathered into
                > collections, (4) at some point those collections were arranged thematically,
                > and then (4), evidently with Mark, they were arranged into a career/life-of
                > narrative framework.
                >
                > If Mt and Lk drew from a document produced at stage (3), is it fair to call
                > that document a mess?

                Bruce replied:
                I'm not happy with your trajectory, for it seems to me to demand a leisurely
                timescale which would not fit into the time available. Don't forget that
                Paul had met Peter, and Mark was probably written less than ten years after
                Paul's death. Another problem is that the death and destruction associated
                with the Jewish rebellion would have cut across any chain of oral tradition.
                Finally another barrier becomes apparent when we take together the fact that
                Paul showed relatively little interest in the sayings of Jesus, and the fact
                that Pauline Christianity rapidly became the norm. It seems to me that the
                only way a large number of Jesus' sayings could have been reliably
                transmitted to posterity is if the twelve committed them to writing before
                ca. 60 CE whilst Jerusalem was at peace (which indeed is just what I am
                proposing). Furthermore I would expect them to put in the requisite
                expertise and effort to make a good job of it right from the start, once
                they had decided that Jesus' return was not quite so imminent as to make the
                job pointless.



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