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

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  • 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 1 of 18 , Dec 3, 2006
      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 2 of 18 , Dec 4, 2006
        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 3 of 18 , Dec 5, 2006
          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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