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Re: [Synoptic-L] Alternating Primitivity (#11-12)

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Alternating [Mt/Lk] Primitivity (#11-12) From: Bruce CASE 11 (Lk 17:6, moving the sycamine tree). I had
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 22, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG
      In Response To: Ron Price
      On: Alternating [Mt/Lk] Primitivity (#11-12)
      From: Bruce

      CASE 11 (Lk 17:6, moving the sycamine tree). I had suggested Mk 17:20, which
      includes both a tree and a mountain as objects for faith to move.

      Ron: Mt 21:21 is dependent on Mark, and I posit that it was Mark who first
      introduced the "mountain" into the saying on faith, using the mountain to
      replace the sycamine tree. Matthew later remembered and preferred the vivid
      "mountain" when editing the 'faith-can-move-a-tree' saying.

      Bruce: Ron here assumes that his prior source, whether Q or his own variant,
      not only precedes Mt/Lk, which is the usual formulation, but also precedes
      Mk. I am not prepared to go that far. I rest content with the use made of Mk
      by Mt/Lk, a fact which puts their different examples (one a tree, the other
      a mountain) in a new and useful perspective. Mk introduced the topos; Mt
      took one branch of it, and Lk, ever the perverse and unwilling learner, took
      the other. It is futile, in such a three-way situation, however construed,
      to try to decide matters with a two-way model.

      Ron [on my suggestion to look at Matthean doublets]: Not a bad idea!
      Doublets, along with Alternating Primitivity, constitute two of the
      strongest arguments for the existence of an early sayings source behind the
      synoptic gospels.

      Bruce: I would need to see that demonstrated. As for alternating
      primitivity, as far as my results on this list of Twelve goes, I am still
      looking. And thus we come to the last of them:

      CASE 12 (Lk 17:24 || Mt 24:27, Lk OUTWS ESTAI O UIOS TOU ANQRWPOU EN TH
      HMERA AUTOU, "the day of the Son of Man'). Another Son of Man saying, and I
      am with difficulty withholding my analysis of that phrase in all the
      Synoptics (plus once in Acts).

      Ron: . . . and the main choice here is between Matthew's "coming" and Luke's
      "day". The former is the generic description of the expected phenomenon. The
      latter is the poetic metaphor, and therefore seems more likely to be

      Bruce: As before, I doubt that there is any reliable directionality
      indicator as between more or less poetic. If we find Lk to be a poet, and
      certainly some have been willing to testify in his behalf, then we will see
      the poetic metaphor as typical of Lukan processing of more pedestrian
      Matthean originals. Or, with almost equal ease, vice versa. I don't trust
      these isolated single-bit determinations, especially when decided by very
      general criteria, without regard to the information lying next door to the
      saying(s) in question. Who has written a paper on Poetic Quality in Luke's
      Parallels to Matthew? Who has a book about to be published on the logic of
      Luke's travel narrative? I, for one, would like to hear from those people.

      Luke is here nearing the end of his Travel Narrative, such as it is, and we
      have gotten to the end of Ron's list of proposed Lk > Mt examples. I must
      confess that I end as I began, finding that none of them is very
      consequential, and that some of them are downright indeterminate. I think
      that the question of Synoptic priority needs to wait for a decision on more
      decisive, less gossamer, materials, and with less general, more specific,

      But such as the twelve cases here considered may be, and to the best of my
      doubtless limited ability in looking for directionality indications among
      them, I don't see anything that would seriously challenge or threaten to
      modify the FGH view of things: Mk > Mt >> Lk.


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst

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