## Distinguishing Sources in 3ST

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• To: Synoptic On: Distinguishing Sources in 3ST From: Bruce The statistical interpretation of string behavior seems to have reached a lull. Perhaps I might take
Message 1 of 1 , Dec 20, 2007
To: Synoptic
On: Distinguishing Sources in 3ST
From: Bruce

The statistical interpretation of string behavior seems to have reached a
lull. Perhaps I might take up the strings from a slightly different angle.

PROBLEM

GIVEN: The Matthew/Luke common material. CONJECTURED: That the Lukan form of
that material comes from two sources: (a) an Aramaic sayings source,
accessed directly, and (b) Matthew's version of some of the Aramaic
material, accessed from Matthew. PREVIOUSLY DONE: A division between the two
has previously been made, on other grounds than those here inspected. TO
INQUIRE: Whether anything in the proportion of identical words between Mt
and Lk conforms to, and thus supports, that proposed division.

DATA: Here are Ron's statistics (as rearranged by myself):

A. Luke draws on A [Ron's "sQ"]: 12 strings in 7 units

A1. Sermon on the Mount
6:24 // 16:13 / sQ / 26 [no man can serve two masters]
6:29-30 // 12:27-28 / sQ / 13 [not even Solomon . . .]
7:3 // 6:41 / sQ / 14 [the speck in your brother's eye]
7:7-8 // 11:9-10 / sQ / 24 [ask and it will be given you]
7:11 // 11:13 / sQ / 11 [if you know how to give good gifts . . .]
A2. Foxes Have Holes
8:20 // 9:58 // sQ / 24
A3. The [Missionary] Laborers are Few
9:37-38 // 10:2 / sQ / 15
A4. He Who Is Not With Me
12:30 // 11:23 / sQ / 15
A5. Curses By:
12:41 // 11:32 / sQ / 24 [the men of Nineveh]
12:42 // 11:31 / sQ / 16 [the Queen of the South]
A6. The Good Fortune of the Disciples
13:17 // 10:24 / sQ / 11 [many desired to hear what you hear]
A7. Simile of the Leaven
13:33 // 13:21 / sQ / 13

B. Luke uses Matthew's translation of A [Ron's xQ]: 23 strings in 13 units

B1. Preaching of John
3:7-8 // 3:7-8 / xQ / 12
3:9-10 // 3:8-9 / xQ / 24
3:10 // 3:9 / xQ / 20
B2. Baptism of Jesus by John
3:11-12 // 3:16-17 / xQ / 15
B3. Temptation of Jesus by Satan
4:6 // 4:11 / xQ / 11
B4. Tale of the Centurion
8:9 // 7:8-9 / xQ / 25
B5. Signs of Jesus's Power, as Message to John
11:5-6 // 7:22-23 / xQ / 11 [the blind see, etc]
B6. Jesus Speaks of John
11:7-8 // 7:24-25 / xQ / 19
11:8-10 // 7:25-27 / xQ / 18
11:10 // 7:27 / xQ / 14 [Isaiah quotation]
B7. Woes to Galilean Churches
11:21 // 10:13 / xQ / 12
11:21 // 10:13 / xQ / 12
B8. Thanks to the Father
11:25 // 10:25 / xQ / 11
11:25-27 // 10:21-22 / xQ / 27 [ . . who has concealed it from the wise]
B9. All Things are Delivered to Jesus
11:27 // 10:22 / xQ / 11
B10. Beelzebul Controversy
12:27 // 11:19 / xQ / 15
12:28 // 11:20 / xQ / 13 [then the Kingdom of God has come upon you]
B11. The Unclean Spirit Returns
12:43 // 11:24 / xQ / 14
12:45 // 11:26 / xQ / 14
B12. Lament for Jerusalem
23:37 // 13:34 / xQ / 14
23:37-38 // 13:34-35 / xQ / 12 [cursing of Jerusalem]
B13. Parable of the Evil Servant
24:47-48 // 12:44-45 / xQ / 14 [cursing of Israel]
24:50-51 // 12:46 / xQ / 26 [the Master will condemn the faithless]

FREQUENCY PROFILES

I extract from the above the information about number and length of strings
of identical wording. An X equals one instance of a string of that length:

A. From the Aramaic Source (12 strings)

11wds: X X
12wds:
13wds: X X
14wds: X
15wds: X X
16wds: X
17wds:
18wds:
19wds:
20wds:
21wds:
22wds:
23wds:
24wds: X X
25wds:
26wds: X X
27wds:

B. Via Matthew (23 strings)

11wds: X X X X
12wds: X X X X
13wds: X
14wds: X X X X X
15wds: X X
16wds:
17wds:
18wds: X
19wds: X
20wds: X
21wds:
22wds:
23wds:
24wds: X
25wds: X
26wds: X
27wds: X

INTERPRETATION

1. The two profiles are rather similar, are they not? A big cluster at the
low end of the scale, and a less pronounced cluster at the high end of the
scale, and nothing much in between. Nothing emerges from visual inspection
of the profiles which immediately suggests that these two samples are drawn
from different populations. On the contrary, in this form, and allowing for
the difference in sample size, they look much the same.

2. The only feature of the profiles that might attract interest as violating
the expectation that the instances of long strings will taper off at the
high end of the range is the presence, in both lists, of visually noticeable
numbers of very long strings, following virtual lacunae in the middle range.
Interest thus attaches to those particular strings. Whatever is at work here
seems to be equally at work in both inventories, but just what is at work?
The identifications of those two groups of four strings each is here
restored, as supporting data:

(A: From the Conjectured Aramaic Source)

Sermon on the Mount:
6:24 // 16:13 / sQ / 26 [no man can serve two masters]
7:7-8 // 11:9-10 / sQ / 24 [ask and it will be given you]
Foxes Have Holes
8:20 // 9:58 // sQ / 24
Curses By:
12:41 // 11:32 / sQ / 24 [the men of Nineveh]

[Comment: The Sermon on the Mount is a long section, unless it be proposed
to subdivide it, and in a long section, the chance of longer identical
strings is probably greater. This tends to reduce the apparent significance
of the first two cases. So also the fourth: the Nineveh paragraph is
followed by a Queen of the South paragraph, and from this longish piece two
strings were found, though only one of them made the 10wd experimental
cutoff. One might then suspect that in most of this material, the size of
the source passage may be a factor in the number and distribution of long
strings].

(B: Via Matthew)

Preaching of John
3:9-10 // 3:8-9 / xQ / 24
Tale of the Centurion
8:9 // 7:8-9 / xQ / 25
Thanks to the Father
11:25-27 // 10:21-22 / xQ / 27 [ . . who has concealed it from the wise]
Parable of the Wicked Servant
24:50-51 // 12:46 / xQ / 26 [the Master will condemn the faithless]

[Comment: Again we have the pattern that three of the four long strings come
from long stories, that is, stories long enough to have more than one
qualifying string drawn from them. Only the Tale of the Centurion is
represented by only one string. Is this because it consists of a relatively
high proportion of narrative as against sayings material?].

Without pushing this further at this moment, I seem to find that not only
are the two frequency profiles rather similar, but the material which is
perhaps distributionally significant in both cases seems to have the same
explanation: they are drawn from relatively long original story units.
Further investigation should probably focus on the type of material (saying,
narration, whatever) as well as its probable post-Crucifixion Sitz im Leben
(fixed anecdote, liturgically conditioned text, whatever).

Dave G's modified report was that the pattern to which Ron had pointed does
not reach the industrial standard significance level, and thus does not
strongly support the idea of two sources. The present overview, though made
from a different perspective, seems to reach a similar conclusion.

What then do we have here, beyond the statistically likely fact that long
stories will on average tend to produce longer identically worded strings in
the derived text, and the often made observation that Luke tends to copy
dialogue more faithfully than the narrative connective tissue?

Respectfully submitted,

Bruce

E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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