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Re: [GTh] The Utilization of Th 45 by Matthew and Luke

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  • fmmccoy
    INTRODUCTION Many scholars accept the theory that the non-Markan material that is common to both Matthew and Luke comes from a lost source that has been given
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2005
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      INTRODUCTION

      Many scholars accept the theory that the non-Markan material that is common
      to both Matthew and Luke comes from a lost source that has been given the
      label of Q. According to this theory, Matthew and Luke independently used
      Mark and Q as sources.

      However, there are a number of alternative explanations. One is that
      Matthew used Mark as a source, while Luke used both Matthew and Mark as
      sources. In this case, the need for Q disappears because the non-Markan
      material common to Matthew and Luke becomes non-Markan Matthean material
      utilized by Luke.

      Another is that Matthew used Mark and Thomas as sources, while Luke used
      Matthew, Mark, and Thomas as sources. This is the explanation that, IMO,
      best fits the bill.

      An example of where this third alternative finds important support is in the
      relationships between Luke 6:43-45, Matthew 7:16-20, Matthew 12:33-35, and
      Thomas 45.

      APPLYING THE Q THEORY

      As far as I am aware, all scholars who accept the Q theory think that Luke
      6:43-45 comes from Q. Indeed, many are so certain of this that they refer
      to this passage as Q 6:43-45.

      As for Matthew 7:16-20 and Matthew 12:33-35, there is controversy among Q
      proponents as to just how much of each of them comes from Q. The
      uncertainty is over how much of each is the invention of Matthew rather than
      a part of Q.

      In Q Parallels (p. 45), John S. Kloppenborg places brackets ( [ ] ) around
      the parts of Mt 7:16-20 and Mt 12:33-35 that are likely to be Matthean
      inventions, producing this result:

      *Mt 7:16-20*
      [16 From their fruits you will know them.]
      Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
      [17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the rotten tree bears bad
      fruit.]
      18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, not can a rotten tree bear good
      fruit.
      [19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the
      fire.]
      [20 Therefore from their fruits you will know them.]
      *Matt 12:33-35*
      [33 Either suppose that the tree is good, and its fruit good;
      or suppose that the tree is bad, and its fruit bad;]
      for by its fruit the tree is known.
      [34 You brood of vipers! how can you speak good, if you are evil?]
      For what overflows the heart the mouth speaks
      35 The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man
      out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

      As a result, the parts of Mt 7:16-20 & 12:33-35 that, under the Q theory,
      almost certainly come from Q are these:
      16b Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
      18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, not can a rotten tree bear good
      fruit.
      33c for by its fruit the tree is known.
      34b For what overflows the heart the mouth speaks
      35 The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man
      out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

      Of these five lines, three have parallels in Th 45:
      Pair # 1
      Mt 16b Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?
      Th 45:1 Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs gathered from
      thistles, for they do not produce fruit.
      Pair # 2
      Mt 34b For what overflows the heart the mouth speaks
      Th 45:4 For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil things.
      Pair #3
      Mt 35 The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil
      man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
      Th 45:2-3 A good man brings forth good from his storehouse; an evil man
      brings forth evil things from his evil storehouse, which is in his heart,
      and says evil things.

      There are a number of possibilities. One is that Thomas knew Matthew.
      Another is that Thomas knew Q. A third is that the author of Q knew Thomas.
      A fourth is that Matthew knew Thomas.

      However, since there are also Lukan analogs to each of the three pairs, and
      since Thomas is commonly thought to have been written later than the
      Synoptic gospels, the most commonly accepted possibility is that Thomas knew
      of both Matthew and Luke and conflated them.

      So, in the Secret Sayings of Jesus (p. 157), Robert Grant and David Noel
      Freedman state that "the saying in Thomas can be explained as based simply
      on a combination of Matthew 7:16-19 with Luke 6:44-45.

      THE MARK WITHOUT Q THEORY

      That the Q proponents have trouble separating out what from Q and what is
      Matthean in Mt 7:16-20 & 12:33-35 leads one to wonder if these two passages
      aren't totally Matthean. In this case, whatever we find in Luke that
      parallels them is simply borrowed from Matthew by Luke.

      One great advantage of this theory is its utter simplicity. There is no
      need to invoke a hypothesised lost gospel. There even isn't a need to take
      Thomas 45 into account--it presumably being later than both Matthew and
      Luke.

      THE MARK AND THOMAS WITHOUT Q HYPOTHESIS

      Still, it is plausible to think that at least a first edition of Thomas
      pre-dates both Matthew and Luke. So, in The Five Gospels (p. 128), the
      Jesus Seminar, Robert W. Funk and Roy W Hoover estimate that the first
      edition of Thomas was published c. 50-60 CE.

      So, perhaps the Mark Without Q Theory is over-simplistic. Perhaps Matthew
      not only had a copy of Mark, but a copy of a version of Thomas containing
      45. Perhaps, further, Luke not only had a copy of Mark and a copy of
      Matthew, but a copy of a version of Thomas containing 45. This can be
      called the Mark and Thomas without Q hypothesis.

      Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that this hypothesis might be correct.

      THE MATTHEAN PASSAGES

      Particularly important is the relationship between Matthew 12:33-35 (Mt 1)
      and Matthew 7:16-20 (Mt 2) in a line grid:

      Line 1--The fruit of a tree reflects what it is
      Mt. 1 Either make the tree good and the fruit of it (will be) good, or make
      the tree rotten and the fruit of it (will be) rotten. For by the fruit the
      tree is known.
      Mt 2 By their fruits you will know them.

      line 2. Based on the beginning of Mt 3:7-10 or of Th 45
      Mt 1 Offspring of vipers,
      Beg. of Mt 3:7-10 Children of vipers!
      Mt 2 Thorns are not gathered from grapes or thistles from figs.
      Beg. of Th 45 Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs gathered
      from thistles,

      Line 3 So, something cannot produce what it is not but, rather, produces
      what it is
      Mt 1 how are you able to speak good, being evil?
      Mt 2 A good tree is not able to produce bad fruit, nor a rotten tree to
      produce good fruit. So every good tree produces good fruits, but the rotten
      tree produces bad fruit

      Line 4 Based on the end of Th 45 or of Mt 3:7-10
      Mt 1 --for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
      End of Th 45 For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil
      things.
      Mt 2 Every tree not producing good fruit is cut off and into fire is thrown.
      End of Mt 3:7-10 Therefore, every tree not producing good fruit is cut down
      and into fire is thrown.

      Line 5 Therefore, something is known by what it produces
      Mt 2 Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.
      Mt 1 The good man out of the good treasure brings forth good and the evil
      man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil.

      As can be seen, Matthew puts both passages into a basic seven line grid,
      thereby relating them to each other. Further, he interlocks them in that he
      has Mt 7:16-20 have an earlier line based the beginning of Mt 3:7-10 and a
      later line based on the ending of Th 45, while he has has Mt 12:33-35 have
      an earlier line based on the beginning of Th 45 and a later line based on
      the ending of Mt. 3:7-10. Their interlocking is also demonstrated in their
      common line of argumentation in lines 1,3, and 5: (1) The fruit of a tree
      reflects what it is, (2) So, something cannot produce what it is not but,
      rather, produces what it is, and (3) Therefore, something is known by what
      it produces.

      For the purposes of the present discussion, the key point is that Matthew
      appears to be aware of Thomas 45. This is demonstrated in how he links the
      the beginning of Th 45 and the beginning of Mt 3:7-10 in line 2 and the
      ending of Th 45 and the ending of Mt 3:7-10 in line 4. A further
      demonstration comes in the ending of Mt 12:33-35 (i.e., "The good man out of
      the good treasure brings forth good and the evil man out of the evil
      treasure brings forth evil."), which is *very* closely related to the center
      portion of Th 45 (i.e., "A good man brings forth good from his storehouse;
      an evil man brings forth evil things from his storehouse, which is his
      heart, and says evil things.").

      I cannot see how the argument can be credibly reversed, so that Thomas
      creates 45 out of line 2 for Matthew 7:16-20 and out of a reversal of lines
      4 and 5 for Matthew 12:33-35.

      So, it appears, neither the Q theory nor the Mark without Q theory can
      credibly explain this situation. Rather, it appears, only the Mark and
      Thomas without Q hypothesis can credibly explain this situation.

      ADDING IN LUKE

      Here is how Luke 6:43-45 reads, "For there is no good tree producing bad
      fruit, nor, again, a bad tree producing good fruit. For each tree will be
      known by its own fruit. For they do not gather figs from thorns, nor do
      they pick grapes from a thorn bush. The good man from the good storehouse
      of the heart produces good, and the evil from evil produces evil.--for from
      (the) abundance of (the) heart speaks his mouth"

      According to the Q theory, this is a passage from Q.

      In this case, Matthew followed this procedure:
      1. He used the first sentence in Q (For there is no good tree producing bad
      fruit, nor, again, a bad tree producing good fruit.) as the basis for Mt
      7:17 (A good tree is not able to produce bad fruit, nor a rotten tree to
      produce good fruit).
      2. He used the second sentence in Q (For each tree will be known by its own
      fruit) as the basis for Mt 12:33b (For by the fruit the tree is known).
      3. He used the third sentence in Q (For they do not gather figs from thorns,
      nor do they pick grapes from a thorn bush) as the basis for Mt 7:16b (Thorns
      are not gathered from grapes or thistles from figs.)
      4. He used the first part of the fourth sentence in Q (The good man from the
      good storehouse of the heart produces good, and the evil from evil produces

      evil) as the basis for Mt 12:35 (The good man out of the good treasure
      brings forth good and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth
      evil.).
      5. He used the last part of the fourth sentence in Q (--for from (the)
      abundance of (the) heart speaks his mouth) as the basis for Mt 12:34b (--for
      out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.)

      The problem here is that there is no readily perceivable non-random
      procedure being utilized by Matthew is splitting the Q passage and
      shuffling its components around between two different passages he is
      creating.

      According to the Mark without Q theory, this is a passage created by Luke
      out of Matthean material he found in Mt 7:16-20 and Mt 12:33-35.

      In this case, Luke basically does the reverse of the five steps above. For
      example, in the first step, he bases the first sentence in Lk 6:43-45 on Mt.
      7:17.

      The problem here is that there is no readily perceivable non-random
      procedure being utilized by Luke in taking components from two Matthean
      passages, but ignoring others, and using them to create a single passage.

      According to the Mark and Thomas without Q hypothesis, this is a passage
      created by Luke out of Mt 7:16-20 and Thomas 45.

      In this case, Luke used this procedure:
      1. He bases the the first sentence in Lk 6:43-45 (For there is no good tree
      producing bad fruit, nor, again, a bad tree producing good fruit.) on Mt
      7:17 (A good tree is not able to produce bad fruit, nor a rotten tree to
      produce good fruit).
      2. He bases the second sentence in Lk 6:43-45 (For each tree will be known
      by its own fruit) on Mt 12:33b (For by the fruit the tree is known).
      3. He bases the rest of Lk 6:43-45 (For they do not gather figs from thorns,
      nor do they pick grapes from a thorn bush. The good man from the good
      storehouse of the heart produces good, and the evil from evil produces
      evil.--for from (the) abundance of (the) heart speaks his mouth) on Th 45
      (Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs gathered from thistles,
      for they do not produce fruit. A good man brings forth good from his
      storehouse; an evil man brings forth evil things from his storehouse, which
      is his heart, and says evil things. For out of the abundance of the heart
      he brings forth evil things.)

      This follows a simple and rational plan. Luke bases the first sentence on
      an excerpt from the earlier Matthean passage he utilizes, bases the second
      sentence on an excerpt from the later Matthean passage he utilizes, and then
      bases his remaining two sentences on the Thomas passage.

      Because of this, the Mark and Thomas without Q hypothesis appears to have an
      advantage here over both the Q theory and the Mark without Q theory because
      both of them involve five steps rather than three steps and the five steps
      do not appear to be in any sort of rational order.

      It also shares another advantage over the Q theory (although not over the
      Mark without Q theory) in that it involves no necessity to invoke a
      hypothetical document for which there is no tangible evidence that it ever
      existed.

      Frank McCoy
      1819 N. English Apt. 15
      Maplewood, MN USA
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