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Re: Matthew's sources

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  • Mahlon H. Smith
    Pardon my belated intrusion in this stimulating debate on calculating literary dependence on distinctive language. But I have 2 cents to contribute that cannot
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 5, 1998
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      Pardon my belated intrusion in this stimulating debate on calculating
      literary dependence on distinctive language. But I have 2 cents to
      contribute that cannot wait until I've digested the whole volume of
      backed-up e-mail in my in-box.

      Mark Goodacre wrote:
      >
      > 2.The calculation that the Lucan form of certain Q sayings is
      > prior to the Matthean form is based partly on recognising
      > distinctively Matthean language among such sayings.

      This is true only if one is doing intellectual history. The notion that
      the Lukan version of a saying of Jesus is closer to the original Jesus
      sayings source can be *traced* to critical scholars who observed that
      the Matthean version often contained phrases or ideas that were
      elsewhere typical of Matthew. But for the past 30 years or so it has not
      been "based" even partly on this observation. Recent analysis of the
      original form of Q sayings has been influenced primarily by 2 other
      converging observations:

      1. The first is based on study of the mechanics of orality. The Lukan
      form of Q sayings is generally "simpler" in logic, syntax & vocabulary
      than the Matthean parallel & hence more memorable orally. Thus, it is
      better credited to a residue of oral transmission than to literary
      redaction of Matthew. Where this is not the case, as in the pericope of
      the centurion's son or the parables of the pound & banquet, most Q
      proponents are prepared to grant the priority of the Matthean form in
      the sayings source.

      2. This observation is confirmed by analysis of the gospel of Thomas.
      Luke's form of Q sayings is generally supported by Thomas against
      Matthew. Thomas is an excellent point of reference because it is
      primarily a compilation of oral units & it includes many pericopes that
      otherwise are in Matthew (e.g., parables of weeds, pearl, treasure) but
      not Luke. So Thomas cannot be plausibly held to have an anti-Matthean
      bias. The major flaw in Goulder's analysis is that he totally rejects
      the evidence of Thomas in accounting for the formation of the gospel
      tradition. As one who now admits to leaning towards Thomas' independence
      of the synoptics, you Mark should at least recognize the weight of
      Thomas as evidence of Luke's independence from Matthew.

      Thus, the contemporary argument for the priority of the Lukan form of Q
      sayings is really "based" on evidence that has nothing to do with
      typical Matthean vocabulary. The results would be the same whether the
      wording peculiar to Matthew's version of Q sayings were used nowhere
      else in Matthew. The fact that Matthew echoes his special language
      elsewhere merely confirms a conclusion that now rests on a foundation of
      totally independent research. So Goulder's argument about the Matthean
      vocabulary fallacy doesn't disturb the Q hypothesis one wit. The
      progress in Q studies is analogous to developments in the physical
      sciences. The theories of evolution & relativity can be historically
      traced to the calculations of Darwin & Einstein. But they are no longer
      *based* simply on the initial observations of these pioneers.

      Mark G wrote:

      > The difficulty with this is that Luke, as I have often claimed,
      > *does* show signs of the retention of 'demonstrably redactional
      > elements' of the kind that seem so noticeably lacking in Thomas.
      > Take "hypocrites!" for example. Kevin Johnson was rightly pointing
      > to the lack of this kind of thing in Thomas. Not so with Luke and
      > Matthew: this phrase, characteristic of Matthew's redaction of Mark,
      > crops up in Q, i.e. in Luke's use of Matthew. Likewise "O ye of
      > little faith" and many more such. That is one of the reasons that I
      > am inclining against the Thomas-dependence-on-the-Synoptics theory.
      > Luke's use of Matthew gains strength from the presence of these
      > Matthean redactional elements.

      This is what *I* dub the real Matthean vocabulary fallacy. Just because
      vocabulary is typical of a person does not mean that that person is the
      source for occurrence of parallel wording in other works. My personal
      experience shows that the opposite is more often the case. Someone who
      repeatedly echoes pet phrases is more apt to have derived them from some
      other source than to have invented them. Here are a few test cases:

      1. If you would compare the number of occurrences of academic
      theological jargon in modern scholarship, I bet you would find that
      terms like *heilsgeschichte*, *Sitz im Leben*, hermeneutics,
      eschatological occur LESS frequently in the works of the scholars who
      introduced them than in the works of their successors. I remember as a
      student in seminary showing off my comprehension of my wonderful new
      erudition by using such phrases more than my teachers. I have not
      conducted a scientific study of the matter but I suspect this is
      generally true in most peoples' experience. We all tend to repeat
      striking terminology that we pick up from someone else.

      2. Reading my CrossTalk backlog of e-mail supports this suspicion.
      More than a month ago I intervened in the debate between Bob Schacht &
      Mike Grondin regarding historicity by claiming that a believer has to
      "bracket out" his personal theological convictions when making
      historical judgments if those judgments are to be accepted as anything
      more than faith statements. I used the phrase "bracket out" only once,
      but have counted at least 5 references to that phrase in the posts of
      Mike G. since then. Obviously my phrasing stuck in his mind & he has
      thought about it so much that he has used it over & over again. If one
      judged the source of that phrase merely on the basis of statistical
      frequency, one would conclude that Smith got the phrase from Grondin.
      But this stylistic judgment would be historically in error.

      Hence, Matthew's frequent use of the term hypocrite is not good evidence
      that Matthew is the source of that term in Luke's version of the
      speck/timber aphorism. On the basis of logical analysis, Thomas' wording
      of this logion is more original than either of the synoptic versions.
      "You hypocrite" was obviously inserted as a rhetorical flourish. But on
      the basis of historical analysis the author who inserted it is more
      likely to have been the compiler of Q than Matthew.

      Why? Not just because Matthew uses it more frequently but because
      Matthew regularly uses it in condemnations of the Pharisees (Matt 23)
      whereas the Lukan & Thomas parallels totally omit it. Luke's omission of
      "hypocrites" in these sayings is NOT plausibly credited to Lukan
      redaction, since he has no trouble putting this accusation on Jesus'
      lips in the special Lukan story of the woman with osteoporosis (Luke
      13:15) & more significantly he uses it in his version of the Q/Thom
      saying on meteorological signs (Luke 12:56) whereas it is found in
      neither Thomas (91) NOR MATTHEW (Matt 16:2-3).

      Conclusion: "hypocrite" is a technical epithet introduced into the Jesus
      tradition by the author of Q in the speck/timber logion &
      *independently* echoed in *different* contexts by both Matthew & Luke
      (but not Thomas). If Thomas is not dependent of the synoptic versions of
      these sayings, then it is clear that Luke is not dependent on Matthew.
      Thus, the sole instance of a common use of "hypocrite" in a saying in
      Luke & Matthew is more easily credited to mutual dependence on a common
      source than to editorial fatigue by Luke who otherwise excised every
      instance of the term in Matt only to reintroduce it in 2 non-Matthean
      contexts.

      So much for the use of "typically Matthean" vocabulary to determine
      literary dependence on sources.

      Shalom!

      Mahlon


      --

      *********************

      Mahlon H. Smith,
      Associate Professor
      Department of Religion
      Rutgers University
      New Brunswick NJ

      http://religion.rutgers.edu/mhsmith.html
    • Mark Goodacre
      ... I chose the word partly deliberately. I am aware, of course, that there is more invoved in the calculations about prior forms than simply the issue of
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 16, 1998
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        I wrote:
        > >
        > > 2.The calculation that the Lucan form of certain Q sayings is
        > > prior to the Matthean form is based partly on recognising
        > > distinctively Matthean language among such sayings.

        Mahlon responded:

        > This is true only if one is doing intellectual history. The notion
        > that the Lukan version of a saying of Jesus is closer to the
        > original Jesus sayings source can be *traced* to critical scholars
        > who observed that the Matthean version often contained phrases or
        > ideas that were elsewhere typical of Matthew. But for the past 30
        > years or so it has not been "based" even partly on this observation.
        > Recent analysis of the original form of Q sayings has been
        > influenced primarily by 2 other converging observations:

        I chose the word "partly" deliberately. I am aware, of course, that
        there is more invoved in the calculations about prior forms than
        simply the issue of typical Matthean language, ideas and the like,
        and that is why I brought up the issue of Matthean language and
        interests as one aspect among others. I am surprised that Mahlon
        disagrees with this, for it seems to me to be part of the armoury of
        most Q theorists. Just to give a handful of many possible examples:

        Tuckett on Q 6.46: 'Given Matthew's fondness for the phrase "my
        heavenly father", and his concern for the theme of doing the
        will of God, it seems most likely that Luke's version is more
        original at this point.' (_Q and the History of Early
        Christianity_, p. 214)

        Kloppenborg on Q 6.36, 37-38: "Since Q already has an adequate
        conclusion for 6.27-35 in v. 35c, and since Matthew's OUN in
        5.48 is undoubtedly redactional [OUN Matt. 57x: from Mark 2x;
        from Q 5x; 13x diff Luke; red or Sond.: 37x], it seems advisable
        to regard Luke's formulation -- which includes asyndeton in v.
        36 and KAI connectives in v. 37 -- as original [Since Luke
        otherwise tends to avoid parataxis, the use of KAI in 6.37a
        (twice) is probably traditional. . . .]" (_The Formation of Q_,
        p. 180; square brackets indicate footnotes).

        Koester on Q 11.52: "The notorious Matthean addition
        'hypocrites' (fourteen times in Matthew) is missing in Gos.
        Thom. 39. Thomas preserves the original form of this saying."
        (_Ancient Christian Gospels_, p. 92)

        But Mahlon went on:

        > 1. The first is based on study of the mechanics of orality. The
        > Lukan
        > form of Q sayings is generally "simpler" in logic, syntax &
        > vocabulary than the Matthean parallel & hence more memorable orally.
        > Thus, it is better credited to a residue of oral transmission than
        > to literary redaction of Matthew. Where this is not the case, as in
        > the pericope of the centurion's son or the parables of the pound &
        > banquet, most Q proponents are prepared to grant the priority of the
        > Matthean form in the sayings source.

        I am not aware of the studies that reveal this. I would be grateful,
        therefore, for some references to secondary literature as well as, if
        you have time, some specific examples from Q/Luke. I would only
        comment at this stage that many Q sayings are more obviously
        memorable in their Matthean forms. Consider:

        Matt. 10.27: "What I say to you in the dark, say in the light;
        and what you hear in the ear, proclaim on the housetops."

        Luke 12.3: "What you have said in the dark will be heard in the
        light, and what you have spoken in the ear in the inner chambers
        will be proclaimed upon the housetops."

        or

        Matt. 6.23: "If then the light that is in you is darkness, how
        great the darkness!"

        Luke 11.35-6 "Watch then that the light that is in you is not
        darkness. If then your whole body be light, having no dark
        part, it will all be light, as when the lamp lights you with its
        gleam."

        There are other examples of the same thing in Goulder, _Luke_, pp.
        111-3.
        >
        > 2. This observation is confirmed by analysis of the gospel of
        > Thomas.
        > Luke's form of Q sayings is generally supported by Thomas against
        > Matthew. Thomas is an excellent point of reference because it is
        > primarily a compilation of oral units & it includes many pericopes
        > that otherwise are in Matthew (e.g., parables of weeds, pearl,
        > treasure) but not Luke. So Thomas cannot be plausibly held to have
        > an anti-Matthean bias. The major flaw in Goulder's analysis is that
        > he totally rejects the evidence of Thomas in accounting for the
        > formation of the gospel tradition. As one who now admits to leaning
        > towards Thomas' independence of the synoptics, you Mark should at
        > least recognize the weight of Thomas as evidence of Luke's
        > independence from Matthew.

        I am not sure that I would want to grant the first point here without
        further research. Glancing through Koester's list of Thomas-Q
        parallels, I find several where Koester wants to side with a Matthean
        form over against a Lukan form. The "generally" here seems to me,
        therefore, to be too strong. But thanks for the stimulus for further
        research.
        >
        > Thus, the contemporary argument for the priority of the Lukan form
        > of Q sayings is really "based" on evidence that has nothing to do
        > with typical Matthean vocabulary. The results would be the same
        > whether the wording peculiar to Matthew's version of Q sayings were
        > used nowhere else in Matthew. The fact that Matthew echoes his
        > special language elsewhere merely confirms a conclusion that now
        > rests on a foundation of totally independent research. So Goulder's
        > argument about the Matthean vocabulary fallacy doesn't disturb the Q
        > hypothesis one wit. The progress in Q studies is analogous to
        > developments in the physical sciences. The theories of evolution &
        > relativity can be historically traced to the calculations of Darwin
        > & Einstein. But they are no longer *based* simply on the initial
        > observations of these pioneers.

        I think that this is overstated. To say that the issue of original
        Lukan forms / Matthean forms of Q sayings has "nothing to do" with
        typical Matthean vocabulary is too strong.

        Mahlon also wrote, on the question of Matthean redactional elements
        in Q:

        > This is what *I* dub the real Matthean vocabulary fallacy. Just
        > because vocabulary is typical of a person does not mean that that
        > person is the source for occurrence of parallel wording in other
        > works. My personal experience shows that the opposite is more often
        > the case. Someone who repeatedly echoes pet phrases is more apt to
        > have derived them from some other source than to have invented them.

        In the context of my original post, I was attempting to point to the
        failure of Tuckett to find the same kind of redactional Matthean /
        Lukan material in Thomas that Goulder finds in Luke. But do not take
        this as an argument for Luke's use of Matthew. Note that I do not do
        so among my "Ten Reasons to Question Q", nor do I want to do so here.

        Mahlon's comment here is astute and the examples given are good
        ones. The case was made (believe it or not) by Goulder himself in
        his contribution to C. Tuckett (ed.), _Synoptic Studies_ (?1984) when
        he was arguing against Farmer. The difficulty was that, as I
        commented in my _Goulder and the Gospels_, he did not seem to take
        the criticism of Farmer any further and realise that he needed to
        re-assess his own ideas.

        The first part of my _Goulder and the Gospels_ was largely an attempt
        to test this claim: does the presence of Matthean characteristic
        language among words common to Matthew and Luke demonstrate Goulder's
        thesis? My answer, after a year of counting, testing and
        counter-testing, was no.

        All the best

        Mark
        --------------------------------------
        Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
        Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham
        Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre

        --------------------------------------

        Crosstalk Web Archive: http://www.findmail.com/list/crosstalk
      • Stevan Davies
        ... Luke is evidently using this to elucidate 12:2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. Matthew did
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 16, 1998
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          Mark wrote:

          > many Q sayings are more obviously
          > memorable in their Matthean forms. Consider:
          >
          > Matt. 10.27: "What I say to you in the dark, say in the light;
          > and what you hear in the ear, proclaim on the housetops."
          >
          > Luke 12.3: "What you have said in the dark will be heard in the
          > light, and what you have spoken in the ear in the inner chambers
          > will be proclaimed upon the housetops."

          Luke is evidently using this to elucidate 12:2

          "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or
          hidden that will not be made known."

          Matthew did almost the same thing in the S on M (revising Thomas 5/6)
          although what is concealed and hidden there is disclosed to God
          rather than to people. As it stands in Luke it's something of a
          proverb to the effect that you can't expect things to remain secret.

          Unless some narrative context is attached to it, that's all it means.

          The Matthew version, admittedly nice and succinct, comes from a time
          when the Disciples of Christ are supposed to be going around
          preaching the word and fitting right precisely into the "instructions
          for disciples" speech of Matthew 10.

          However, Thomas 33a has

          33) Jesus said, "Preach from your housetops that which you will
          hear in your ear {(and) in the other ear}.

          Fitting with Matthew against Luke.

          I'm convinced that a high percentage of earliest Jesus sayings were
          proverbs and so when something can be a proverb it probably was one.
          The Luke version is proverbial, albeit more wordy than needed and I'd
          be prone to think it original against Mt and GTh.

          > or
          >
          > Matt. 6.23: "If then the light that is in you is darkness, how
          > great the darkness!"
          >
          > Luke 11.35-6 "Watch then that the light that is in you is not
          > darkness. If then your whole body be light, having no dark
          > part, it will all be light, as when the lamp lights you with its
          > gleam."

          I suppose this does support a thesis that Mt has more succinct things
          sometimes than Lk does. But if we leave out Luke's fanciful attempt to
          make sense of the thing, we have

          > Matt. 6.23: "If then the light that is in you is darkness, how
          > great the darkness!"
          >
          > Luke 11.35-6 "Watch then that the light that is in you is not
          > darkness.

          and then the Luke sentence seems less elaborate and fits into Jesus'
          imperative style.

          > > 2. This observation is confirmed by analysis of the gospel of
          > > Thomas.
          > > Luke's form of Q sayings is generally supported by Thomas against
          > > Matthew.

          But not always! See above.

          > > Thomas is an excellent point of reference because it is
          > > primarily a compilation of oral units & it includes many pericopes
          > > that otherwise are in Matthew (e.g., parables of weeds, pearl,
          > > treasure) but not Luke. So Thomas cannot be plausibly held to have
          > > an anti-Matthean bias. The major flaw in Goulder's analysis is that
          > > he totally rejects the evidence of Thomas in accounting for the
          > > formation of the gospel tradition. As one who now admits to leaning
          > > towards Thomas' independence of the synoptics, you Mark should at
          > > least recognize the weight of Thomas as evidence of Luke's
          > > independence from Matthew.

          > I am not sure that I would want to grant the first point here without
          > further research. Glancing through Koester's list of Thomas-Q
          > parallels, I find several where Koester wants to side with a Matthean
          > form over against a Lukan form. The "generally" here seems to me,
          > therefore, to be too strong. But thanks for the stimulus for further
          > research.

          Yes. We have to look into this. Where is Koester's list?

          Steve
        • Mark Goodacre
          ... _Ancient Christian Gospels_ . I haven t the page refs. because I am at home, but it should be easy to find. It s about ten pages or so in the section on
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 16, 1998
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            Steve wrote:
            >
            > Yes. We have to look into this. Where is Koester's list?

            _Ancient Christian Gospels_ . I haven't the page refs. because I am
            at home, but it should be easy to find. It's about ten pages or so
            in the section on sayings collections.

            Mark
            -------------------------------------------
            Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
            Dept. of Theology, University of Birmingham
            Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre

            --------------------------------------------

            Crosstalk Web Archive: http://www.findmail.com/list/crosstalk
          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... Here are parallels from Harold Attridge s list in SEMEIA 55:231-2 and from Koester ANCIENT CHRISTIAN GOSPELS 133-49. References to the Q1 and Q2 strata
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 16, 1998
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              At 11:25 6/16/98 +0000, Mark Goodacre wrote:
              >Steve wrote:
              >> Yes. We have to look into this. Where is Koester's list?
              >
              >_Ancient Christian Gospels_ . I haven't the page refs. because I am
              >at home, but it should be easy to find. It's about ten pages or so
              >in the section on sayings collections.

              Here are parallels from Harold Attridge's list in SEMEIA 55:231-2 and
              from Koester ANCIENT CHRISTIAN GOSPELS 133-49. References to the Q1
              and Q2 strata according to Attridge are so indicated, and references
              peculiar to Attridge and Koester are respectively marked [A] and [K].
              Additional References from Kloppenborg's Q PARALLELS are marked with
              [P].

              1) Q1 6:20 Th 54
              2) Q1 6:21 Th 69b
              3) Q1 6:23 Th 68
              4) Q1 6:23 Th 69a
              5) Q1 6:30 Th 95[K?]
              6) Q1 6:31 Th 6b
              7) [15:13Mt] Th 40[P]
              8) Q1 6:39 Th 34
              9) Q1 6:44-45 Th 43
              10) Q1 6:44-45 Th 45
              11) Q2 7:24 Th 78
              12) Q2 7:28 Th 46
              13) Q1 9:58 Th 86 [K Q9:57-58]
              14) Q1 10:2 Th 73
              15) Q1 10:16Mt Th 39b
              16) Q1 10:8 Th 14b
              17) Q 10:21 Th 4[P]
              18) Q1 11:9 Th 2[A]
              19) Q1 11:9 Th 92
              20) Q1 11:9 Th 94
              21) Q2 11:18 Th 35 [K Q11:21-22]
              22) Q2 11:27-28? Th 79
              23) Q2 11:33-36 Th 33
              24) Q2 11:33-36 Th 24[K]
              25) Q2 11:39 Th 89 [K Q11:39-41]
              26) Q2 11:52 Th 39
              27) Q2 11:52 Th 102[P]
              28) Q1 12:2-3 Th 5
              29) Q1 12:2-3 Th 6b
              30) Q1 12:2-3 Th 33
              31) Q2 12:10 Th 44
              32) Q 12:13-15Lk Th 72[K]
              33) Q 12:16-21Lk Th 63[K]
              34) Q1 12:22 Th 36 [K Q12:22-34]
              35) Q1 12:34 Th 76b
              36) Q2 12:39-40 Th 103
              37) Q2 12:39-40 Th 21[A]
              38) Q2 12:49? Th 10
              39) Q2 12:49? Th 82[A]
              40) Q2 12:51-53 Th 16
              41) Q 12:54-56 Th 91[K]
              42) Q1 13:18-19 Th 20
              43) Q1 13:20-21 Th 96
              44) Q2 13:28 Th 4[A]
              45) Q2 14:16-24 Th 64
              46) Q1 14:26 Th 55
              47) Q1 14:26 Th 101
              48) Q1 15:4-7 Th 107
              49) Q1 16:13 Th 47a
              50) Q 16:17 Th 11[K]
              51) Q1 17:6 Th 48[A]
              52) Q2 17:20 Th 3[A]
              53) Q2 17:20 Th 113[A]
              54) Q 17:22 Th 38[K]
              55) Q 17:23-24 Th 113[K]
              56) Q2 17:34 Th 61a
              57) Q2 19:26 Th 41

              Stephen Carlson
              --
              Stephen C. Carlson : Poetry speaks of aspirations,
              scarlson@... : and songs chant the words.
              http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/ : -- Shujing 2.35
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