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Re: [XTalk] Luke's Greek

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  • FMMCCOY
    ... From: Bob Schacht To: Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2001 12:42 AM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Luke s Greek ...
    Message 1 of 27 , Oct 8, 2001
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
      To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2001 12:42 AM
      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Luke's Greek


      > At 04:24 PM 10/3/01 -0400, ABuglass1@... wrote:
      > >In a message dated 02/10/01 23:59:07 GMT Daylight Time, FMMCCOY@...
      > >writes:
      > > >
      > > > This appears to regard the Essenes' Branch of David: the descendent of
      > > David
      > > > who will will someday rule over Israel.
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >Dear Frank,
      > >I'm absolutely fascinated by all the connections you find between the
      > >various christologies in the NT. I have to confess I've never read any
      > >Philo, and you've wetted my appetite to explore in that direction. ...
      > >
      > >However, I have a niggling doubt over this part of your argument. I can
      > >see that the Essenes would be interested in the Branch of David (I'd be
      > >very suprised at any Messianic movement which had *no* interest in the
      > >Branch of David). But I would rather say that Luke (and maybe Mark) got
      > >the idea from Isaiah, rather than from a radical offshoot of
      > >Judaism. Isn't it more likely that the Gospel writers and the Essenes
      > >both got the idea independently from Isaiah? What evidence is there that
      > >Luke was influenced by the Essenes rather than Isaiah?
      > >
      > >Thanks,
      > >Tony Buglass
      >
      > Tony,
      > I think you are making an excellent point much too modestly ;-)
      >
      > That is, it is not sufficient that an argument be plausible; it must also
      > be stronger than rival hypotheses.
      > Thus, it seems to me that for Frank's argument to prevail, he needs to
      show
      > that there are distinctive Philonic (non-Isaianic) fingerprints in Luke.
      Of
      > course, the picture is complicated because Philo may also have been
      > influenced by Isaiah.
      >
      > I think perhaps we need to differentiate between philosophical or
      > theological influence vs. literary dependence. If, for example, it can be
      > shown that the Lukan verses in question have a literary dependence on
      > Isaiah (LXX), e.g., by virtue of relatively long identical word sequences,
      > then it seems to me that literary dependence trumps possible philosophical
      > or theological influence.
      >
      > Of course there is always the possibility that Luke is dependent on Isaiah
      > on the literary level, but was influenced by Philo on the
      > philosophical/theological level in the way that he uses the Isaiah
      > material. But for that we may need a "smoking gun," some kind of
      > distinctive Philonic fingerprint that cannot be derived from Isaiah.
      >

      Bob:

      Contrary to what you state above, I have not (at least to the best of my
      knowledge), as respects any Lukan passages, raised the issue of whether, in
      them, Luke is being influenced by Isaiah. I
      have, of course, raised the issue of a Philonic influence in some Lukan
      passages. Don't get me wrong, I do think that many Lukan passages betray an
      influence from Isaiah--it's just that I don't recall ever raising this point
      on XTalk.

      You state, "If, for example, it can be shown that the Lukan verses in
      question have a literary dependence on Isaiah (LXX), e.g., by virtue of
      relatively long identical word sequences, then it seems to me that literary
      dependence trumps possible philosophical or theological influence."

      Since I haven't raised the specific issue of Isaiah, I would prefer to
      generalize your statement to this, "If, for example, it can be shown that
      the Lukan verses in question have a literary dependence on a LXX passage,
      e.g., by virtue of relatively long identical word sequences, then it seems
      to me that literary dependence trumps possible philosophicalor theological
      influence."

      I suggest that this ought to be decided on a case by case basis rather than
      laid down as some sort of an absolute rule..

      For example, I suggest, if a Lukan passage has a literary dependence on
      some LXX passage, this literary dependence might, given the right set of
      circumstances, actually support the hypothesis of a philosophical or
      theological influence from Philonic thought on this Lukan passage.

      Evidence that this might be so is found in the example of Luke 1:76-79,
      where Zechariah is pictured as stating, "And
      you. child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go
      before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his
      people in the forgiveness of their sins, through the tender mercy of our
      God, when the day (*anatole*) shall dawn upon (or: the dayspring (*anatole*)
      will visit) (or: since the dayspring (*antole* has visited) us from on high
      to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to
      guide our feet into the way of peace (RSV)."

      In a post of 30/9/01, I point out that there appears to be a literary
      pattern in Chapter 1 of Luke which indicates that both the Lord and the
      Anatole of this passage are Philo's Logos. In line with this, both Lord and
      Anatole are titles of Philo's Logos.

      Is there any evidence of literary dependency in Luke 1:76-79? If so, does
      it support or does it not support the hypothesis that both the Lord and the
      Anatole of this passage are Philo's Logos?

      Well, I am aware of at least one case where there appears to be a literary
      dependency in Luke 1:76-79. This is the phrase, "en skotei kai skia
      thanatou kathemenois" (in darkness and shadow of death sitting). In my
      opinion, this has a literary dependency on the opening phrase in Psalm
      106(107):10 (LXX), "Kathemenous en skotei kai skia thanatou". (I am assuming
      that the version of the Greek New Testament I have follows the generally
      received text for this particular phrase from Luke 1:76-79. As I have
      learned the hard way, it doesn't always follow the generally received
      text!).

      *Why*, in Luke 1:76-79, does Luke write a phrase (i.e., "en skotei kai skia
      thanatou kathemenois" (in darkness and shadow of death sitting)) apparently
      based on the opening phrase in Psalm 106(107):10 (LXX)?

      Well, in Luke 1:76-79, it is the Anatole who brings light or (or:shines on)
      those "sitting in darkness and shadow of death". That is to say, it is
      the Anatole who saves these people.

      Therefore, I suggest, Luke writes the phrase "en skotei kai skia
      thanatou kathemenois" (in darkness and shadow of death sitting), apparently
      based on the opening phrase in Psalm 106(107):10 (LXX), to clue in his
      intended readers that the identity of the Anatole who saves these people
      sitting in darkness and the shadow of death is explicitly identified in
      Psalm 106(107) (LXX).

      Who, then, is it, in Psalm 106(107) (LXX), who saves those sitting in
      darkness and the shadow of death?

      For answering this question it perhaps is useful to begin with verses 8-13,
      "Let them acknowledge to the Lord His mercies, and His wonderful works to
      the children of men. For he satisfies the empty soul, and fills the hungry
      soul with good things, even them that sit in darkness and the shadow of
      death (kathemenous en skotei kai skia thanatou), fettered in poverty and
      iron; because they rebelled against the words (logoi) of God, and provoked
      the counsel of the Most High. So their heart was brought low with troubles;
      they were weak and there was no helper. Then they cried to the Lord in
      their affliction, and he saved them out of their distresses. And he brought
      them out of darkness and the shadow of death (ek skotous kai skias
      thanatou), and broke their bonds asunder."

      Here, we learn, those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death are those
      who have not obeyed the words (logoi) of God and, as a result, are in
      spiritual distress without a helper. However, if they appeal to God, He
      will save them from this darkness and shadow of death, i.e., this spiritual
      distress.

      Next, let us turn to 19-20, "Then they cried to the Lord in their
      affliction, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His Word
      (Logon) and healed them, and delivered them out of their destructions."

      Here, we learn God saved these people from their spiritual afflictions,
      i.e., from "the darkness and the shadow of death" mentioned earlier in this
      Psalm, by sending a helper, His Logos, to them.

      So, I suggest, in Luke 1:76-79, Luke apparently makes this literary
      borrowing from the opening phrase in Psalm 106(107):10 (LXX) in order to
      "clue in" his intended readers that the Anatole who saves those "in darkness
      and the shadow of death", i.e., in spiritual affliction, is the Logos--the
      divine being through whom God saves those "in darkness and the shadow of
      death", i.e., in spiritual affliction..

      Therefore, I conclude, this particular case of of an apparent literary
      dependency of a Lukan passage on a LXX passage supports the hypothesis that,
      in this Lukan passage, the Lord and the Anatole are the Logos spoken of by
      Philo and identified, by him, as being both Lord and the Anatole. That is
      to say, this particular case of an apparent literary dependence of a Lukan
      passage on a LXX passage supports the hypothesis of a theological or
      philosophical influence of Philonic thought on this Lukan passage.

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 17
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • mgrondin@tir.com
      ... What am I missing here, Frank? You first point out that Ps106-107 mentions Lord, Anatole, and Logos, and you conclude from this that Luke was influenced by
      Message 2 of 27 , Oct 9, 2001
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        --- Frank McCoy wrote:
        > Therefore, I conclude, this particular case of of an apparent
        > literary dependency of a Lukan passage on a LXX passage supports
        > the hypothesis that, in this Lukan passage, the Lord and the
        > Anatole are the Logos spoken of by Philo and identified, by him,
        > as being both Lord and the Anatole. That is to say, this particular
        > case of an apparent literary dependence of a Lukan passage on a LXX
        > passage supports the hypothesis of a theological or philosophical
        > influence of Philonic thought on this Lukan passage.

        What am I missing here, Frank? You first point out that Ps106-107
        mentions Lord, Anatole, and Logos, and you conclude from this that
        Luke was influenced by Philo? I don't get it. Are you claiming that
        Luke personifies or objectifies 'anatole' in a way that Philo does
        also, but Psalms does not? That hardly seems tenable, particularly
        in view of the fact that the child in Lk1:78-79 seems to be likened
        to the light that comes from the daybreak, rather than the daybreak
        itself. But if we're talking about phrases which really are titles,
        Luke's Benedictus also refers to the child as 'a horn of salvation
        in the house of ... David' and 'the prophet of the Most High'. Do
        you think these terms also derive from Philo?

        Mike
      • mgrondin@tir.com
        ... Sorry about that. I was looking at the RSV. There s no such distinction in the Greek. The remainder of my note seems OK. Mike
        Message 3 of 27 , Oct 9, 2001
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          --- In crosstalk2@y..., mgrondin@t... wrote:
          > That hardly seems tenable, particularly in view of the fact that
          > the child in Lk1:78-79 seems to be likened to the light that comes
          > from the daybreak, rather than the daybreak itself.

          Sorry about that. I was looking at the RSV. There's no such
          distinction in the Greek. The remainder of my note seems OK.

          Mike
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