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Re: [Synoptic-L] Alternating Primitivity (#3-4)

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Ron Price On: Twelve Proposed Lk Mt Passages (#3-4) From: Bruce I guess I should apologize twice: once for the
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 20 6:46 AM
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      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG, WSW
      In Response To: Ron Price
      On: Twelve Proposed Lk > Mt Passages (#3-4)
      From: Bruce

      I guess I should apologize twice: once for the overlong previous message,
      and a second time for the fact that it was not quite long enough. I see now
      that I sort of stopped in the middle of something. Herewith a PS.

      We were discussing the second of Ron's list, Lk 10:4 par.

      CASE 3 (Lk 10:5 || )

      Ron: "The phrase here was LEGETE EIRHNH. The EIRHNH (as opposed to Matthew's
      ASPASASQE) makes better sense of Mt 10:13 // Lk 10:6."

      I think I have showed why it does not; see previous. As to other parts of
      the prescriptions for missionaries, I had noted previous Synoptic
      discussion, and the question of whether the practical Markan "take a staff"
      or the consistent but severe Mt/Lk "no staff" were earlier. In which
      discussion I found the austerity to be impractical, and thus not likely to
      be original. All this was years ago.

      Ron: . . . But perhaps most commentators think the austerity is plausible
      (these folk were dedicated to their cause), and that it's more likely that a
      later editor would alleviate the austerity than introduce more austerity.

      And other commentators not. I am with the other commentators. Mark allows
      the essential, and refuses only those standard travel preparations which
      imply a capacity to survive independent of the hospitality of those the
      missionaries visit. The missionaries are to be entirely
      destination-dependent. That part I understand, and the fact that this
      intention is spelled out in the adjacent text of Mk gives me confidence in
      my understanding of Mk. Lk, first time round (Lk 9:3), and not, as I
      understand the situation, yet knowing Mt, austeritizes Mk by dropping the
      previously permitted staff. Mt, independently, not only excises that but
      picks up on the other item Mk specifically allows, and forbids sandals. Lk,
      coming back to the question in his second compositional phase, at 10:4, is
      stung by his newfound colleague's greater parsimony, and picks up on this
      and also forbids sandals. Nobody is going to outdo Luke at the craft of
      writing Gospels, be the result rational or not.

      But if one is really looking for efficiency of transit over the none too
      well surfaced roads of 1c Palestine, is this a rational move? No, but I
      think it may have been appealing to the emotional tenor of the times. Which
      seem to have been full of privation for the communities of believers; is
      this not the period when the Cult of Poverty was developing, and indeed
      producing whole Gospels of its own? Whatever the success of that development
      in a soteriological sense (and to that point I cannot speak), the early
      church, or a significant segment of it, seems to have been none too well off
      economically. Paul, indeed, makes a major point of the poverty of the early
      church, and hopes to ingratiate himself with the Jerusalem biggies by
      bringing in money from outside.

      Was poverty the chosen lot of the early converts from Day One, or did it
      come over them gradually? I am inclined to suspect the latter, in which case
      the above considerations may apply more strongly to Luke, coming later, than
      they did to Mark, writing earlier. I think they apply, and that Mt and
      separately Lk are accordingly inclined to toughen up, even beyond the point
      of transportational realism, on the travel gear allowed by Mk, because it
      would get a reaction from their audiences. Is there supporting evidence for
      this? Yes, in their new material, Mt and Lk repeatedly emphasize the
      hardships of the disciple lot.

      [I mention this because I am not presently prepared to conjecture that Mt
      knew Lk, so that his dropping of the staff requirement needs to be
      independent of Luke A's doing the same thing. That is, the austerity model
      of the time in which they wrote needs to have weighed on both of them. I
      herewith suppose that it did, and that their similar change in Mk is
      similarly motivated, in fact Zeitgeist motivated, rather than mutually
      influenced].

      Ron also introduced this new note, a propos the Sending of the Seventy,
      which I had argued was intrinsically a late idea: "Yes. But it's not quite
      so simple. I agree with Q scholars that to get back to the original mission
      instructions we need to assess the texts phrase by phrase, or perhaps even
      word by word. It turns out that the introduction, with its mention of the
      *number* of missionaries, was probably an editorial addition (Markan?!) to
      the original set of instructions (though I think the "twelve" as recipients
      may have been implicit in the mind of the original speaker/author)."

      If the second Sending was not conceived of by Luke (and only he *has* a
      second one) as a Sending of Seventy, but originally as a Sending of Twelve,
      as Ron seems here to imply, then surely he is seriously forgetful of what he
      has already written (and only one chapter previously, for Goodness' sake),
      and he probably needs to seek medical help. There is no point to the second
      Sending unless it be a symbolic widening of the narrower Jesus mission to
      the whole Gentile world, and the label "seventy" (symbolically "all," and
      specifically so in "nations of the world" contexts) is the way Luke
      telegraphs that significance to us. The Seventy, in the text, are not sent
      to Antioch and Ephesus, they are sent to Samaria under pretext of arranging
      accommodations for when the Jesus party (presumably slowed down by not
      wearing any sandals either) finally arrive. We have only the emblematic
      number "seventy" to clue us in. Ron would sacrifice it as an "editorial
      addition." I am not prepared to follow him. It may not be Luke's happiest
      thought (we are in Luke's very extended "travel narrative," where he is
      operating without specific models at several points, and a lot of his less
      happy thoughts seem to occur here), but I can't see how the passage
      following is going to work, symbolically, unless it *was* his original
      thought. I thus posit that it *was* his original thought.

      CASE 4 ( Lk 11:30 || Mt 12:40, the Sign of Jonah)

      Ron has singled out OUTWS ESTAI KAI O UIOS TOU ANQRWPOU TH GENEA TAUTH ("so
      will be the Son of Man to this generation"), and added, "Most commentators
      seem to think that Matthew transformed this phrase into his imaginative
      three days and three nights analogy. This is surely much more likely than
      the opposite direction of influence."

      The actual parallels are the following:

      Mt: "for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale,
      so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the
      earth."

      Lk: "For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of
      Man be to this generation."

      They are both symmetrical and shapely. Mt has more detail, Lk points more
      directly to the moral for the present age. He is less retrospective and more
      hortatory. Take your pick. I have earlier suggested (in connection with
      "greet") that Lk's text, wherever it may come in some Synoptic sequence,
      presupposed in its readers a certain amount of Septuagint acquaintance. I
      think that same statement will cover the present case, and in order to leave
      some of the morning (my own and everybody else's) for other work, I here
      rest my case.

      I have so far found nothing that inclines me, philologically speaking, to a
      firm conclusion Lk > Mt, or to a sense that a prior text, apart from Mk,
      must be posited behind Lk and Mt.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      http://www.umass.edu/wsp

      Copyright © 2008 by E Bruce Brooks
    • Ron Price
      ... Bruce, This is an easy one for anyone not constrained by their synoptic theory. We know Matthew is sufficiently credulous to believe that a person could
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 21 7:01 AM
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        Bruce Brooks wrote:

        > CASE 4 ( Lk 11:30 || Mt 12:40, the Sign of Jonah)
        >
        > Ron has singled out OUTWS ESTAI KAI O UIOS TOU ANQRWPOU TH GENEA TAUTH ("so
        > will be the Son of Man to this generation"), and added, "Most commentators
        > seem to think that Matthew transformed this phrase into his imaginative
        > three days and three nights analogy. This is surely much more likely than
        > the opposite direction of influence."
        >
        > The actual parallels are the following:
        >
        > Mt: "for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale,
        > so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the
        > earth."
        >
        > Lk: "For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of
        > Man be to this generation."
        >
        > They are both symmetrical and shapely. Mt has more detail, Lk points more
        > directly to the moral for the present age. He is less retrospective and more
        > hortatory. Take your pick.

        Bruce,

        This is an easy one for anyone not constrained by their synoptic theory.

        We know Matthew is sufficiently credulous to believe that a person could
        survive for three days and three nights in the stomach of a fish because he
        also thought lots of bodies could miraculously emerge from tombs (Mt
        27:51-53). He also coined a fish miracle of his own (Mt 17:27) - please
        excuse the pun! Thus we can reasonably regard Mt 12:40 as a typically
        Matthean composition. By contrast Luke's words which I had quoted above
        (accepted as original by CrEdQ and Fleddermann) make good sense, do not show
        signs of Lukan composition, don't involve a miracle, and are therefore
        almost certainly very close to the original meaning.

        Luke's actual words are not of course original. For most 2ST supporters are
        also constrained by their synoptic theory, or more accurately an inevitable
        deduction from it, to believe the original words were in Greek. But the
        contents and attribution of the saying suggest otherwise.

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

        Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
      • Chuck Jones
        Ron, I m not so sure this one is as easy as you suggest. Lk may have edited the story to focus on Nineveh s shocking repentance at the preaching of a Jewish
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 21 8:45 AM
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          Ron,

          I'm not so sure this one is as easy as you suggest. Lk may have edited the story to focus on Nineveh's shocking repentance at the preaching of a Jewish prophet. Which foreshadows the development of Gentile Xnty Lk will document in Acts.

          On the other hand, Mt loves to upbraid the Jews for rejecting Jesus, and the 3 days and 3 nights part of the story is when Jonah is getting his comeuppance for rebellion against God's command. (And it's a command to preach to Gentiles, cf. Mt's great commission!)

          So I think a case can be made for either direction. Heck, maybe they both fiddled with the source.

          (In reading Acts, which contains bodily ascensions, visions, myriad healings, miraculous earthquakes, the raising of Tabitha from the dead, etc., I do not see Lk as less credulous than Mt.)

          Rev. Chuck Jones
          Atlanta, Georgia



          Ron Price wrote:
          Mt: "for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
          Lk: "For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation."

          Bruce,

          This is an easy one for anyone not constrained by their synoptic theory.

          We know Matthew is sufficiently credulous to believe that a person could survive for three days and three nights in the stomach of a fish because he also thought lots of bodies could miraculously emerge from tombs (Mt 27:51-53). He also coined a fish miracle of his own (Mt 17:27) - please excuse the pun! Thus we can reasonably regard Mt 12:40 as a typically Matthean composition. By contrast Luke's words which I had quoted above (accepted as original by CrEdQ and Fleddermann) make good sense, do not show signs of Lukan composition, don't involve a miracle, and are therefore
          almost certainly very close to the original meaning.

          Luke's actual words are not of course original. For most 2ST supporters are also constrained by their synoptic theory, or more accurately an inevitable deduction from it, to believe the original words were in Greek. But the contents and attribution of the saying suggest otherwise.


          .





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        • Ron Price
          ... Chuck, Your argument considers only how one version could have been edited and changed into the other. We should also consider which version is more likely
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 22 1:31 AM
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            Chuck Jones wrote:

            > I'm not so sure this one is as easy as you suggest. Lk may have edited the
            > story to focus on Nineveh's shocking repentance at the preaching of a Jewish
            > prophet. Which foreshadows the development of Gentile Xnty Lk will document
            > in Acts.
            >
            > On the other hand, Mt loves to upbraid the Jews for rejecting Jesus, and the 3
            > days and 3 nights part of the story is when Jonah is getting his comeuppance
            > for rebellion against God's command. (And it's a command to preach to
            > Gentiles, cf. Mt's great commission!)
            >
            > So I think a case can be made for either direction. Heck, maybe they both
            > fiddled with the source.

            Chuck,

            Your argument considers only how one version could have been edited and
            changed into the other. We should also consider which version is more likely
            to have been produced by the original author (whoever that was). Matthew and
            Luke both attribute the saying to Jesus. I am generally a sceptic, but I
            can't see any reason to deny this attribution *except* for the bit about 3
            days and nights in a fish's stomach, which was clearly introduced to
            illustrate the resurrection of Jesus. Thus (unless you introduce another
            piece of magic, namely Jesus prophesying the time his body would remain
            entombed) Matthew's version is inconsistent with the attribution of the
            saying to Jesus. When we add to this the fact that there are two other
            authentic-looking sayings with a similar message but no trace of magic (Mt
            13:16-17 // Lk 10:23-24; and Lk 12:54-56), it surely becomes obvious that Lk
            11:30 was most likely part of an authentic saying of Jesus, and therefore
            that Mt 12:40 was a Matthean embellishment of the saying.

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          • E Bruce Brooks
            To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron Price On: The Sign of Jonah From: Bruce In responding to Chuck Jones, about the Sign of Jonah saying (#4 of the Twelve list),
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 22 9:58 AM
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              To: Synoptic
              In Response To: Ron Price
              On: The Sign of Jonah
              From: Bruce

              In responding to Chuck Jones, about the Sign of Jonah saying (#4 of the
              Twelve list), Ron had said:

              Ron: Matthew and Luke both attribute the saying to Jesus. I am generally a
              sceptic, but I can't see any reason to deny this attribution *except* for
              the bit about 3 days and nights in a fish's stomach, which was clearly
              introduced to illustrate the resurrection of Jesus. Thus (unless you
              introduce another piece of magic, namely Jesus prophesying the time his body
              would remain entombed) Matthew's version is inconsistent with the
              attribution of the saying to Jesus. When we add to this the fact that there
              are two other authentic-looking sayings with a similar message but no trace
              of magic (Mt 13:16-17 // Lk 10:23-24; and Lk 12:54-56), it surely becomes
              obvious that Lk 11:30 was most likely part of an authentic saying of Jesus,
              and therefore that Mt 12:40 was a Matthean embellishment of the saying.

              Bruce: We seem to be substituting, for the old criteria, a new and to me
              worrisome one: the probability that a given saying goes back to the
              historical Jesus. I'm only a stranger in these parts, so what do I know, but
              frankly, I would recommend keeping these thoughts in abeyance for the time
              being. Proper methodology, as I understand it, is seeing what the sources
              give us, as to whatever they may contain, whether Jesus or any other figure,
              rather than reading them on the assumption that we already know the answer
              to that question. The danger of wishful circularity is too great. Ne nos
              inducas in tentationem.

              Just as an experiment, though I normally try to keep my responses clear by
              avoiding "Q," I sat down and read straight the thing that the IQP has now
              officially defined. Did I get the sensation of a historical person speaking
              to his own times? Not a bit of it. I got the sensation of advice to later
              times being retro-attributed to the movement founder.

              One gets exactly the same thing, by the way, at enormously greater length,
              in the Pali Buddhist canon, where in sutta after sutta some question of
              monastic discipline comes up for decision, and is referred to the Buddha.
              Are those authentic utterances of the Buddha, or can they be seen as going
              back to the Buddha? Not very credibly. Buddhism began in an early phase of
              Ganga urbanization, and it wasn't until a hundred years later that things
              had progressed to the point where sufficient excess money was available to
              fund such a thing as a monastery. Buddha himself (like other people I might
              mention) was an itinerant, enjoying progressive hospitality at a series of
              houses (let me tell you, those who know this material get a special
              resonance out of certain recently discussed Mt/Lk sayings), but not himself
              permanently resident, or serving as the abbot of a permanent monastic
              residence.

              The leading NT workers of the early 20c, now a hundred years ago, had by and
              large come to the conclusion that the Gospels, under the rubric of Jesus,
              tell us chiefly about the early Church. The further down the Mk > Mt > Lk >
              Jn line we go, as it seems to me, the more obviously true that gets (and the
              Church about which they tell us becomes itself more and more advanced).
              Here, I suggest, is the expectation to hang onto. People are naturally
              curious as to any earlier stages, but all I can offer them is the advice to
              be patient. We have not yet finished assessing the texts, and taking full
              account of what in them is directed to their readers. There will come a time
              to consult the residue for hints as to what might have come before, but I
              can't myself see that time as arriving within the present weekend.

              Best wishes of which to all present,

              Bruce

              E Bruce Brooks
              Warring States Project
              University of Massachusetts at Amherst

              http://www.umass.edu/wsp
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