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

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Mar 21, 2008
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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 2 of 5 , Mar 21, 2008
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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 3 of 5 , Mar 22, 2008
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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 4 of 5 , Mar 22, 2008
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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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