Re: Luke, Matthew, and John
- Dear Frank and Peter,
Sorry, I've been away for a week involved in a Summer School (God's
Unfailing Mercy for All Creation). It will take me a couple of days
still to respond to you both but I will. I had never thought of it,
but Mk, Lk and Mt's single journey to Jerusalem does limit their
options with the cleansing of the temple. Simple but obvious
explanation! I have another reason as well which has just become
evident over the last week but I'll include it in a fuller response.
- Dear Frank,
Sorry for the delay. You wrote:
>>> If I understand you correctly, you think that there are threemajor gospel traditions. First, there is the Markan tradition, which
consists of the material in Mark. Second, there is the Johannine
tradition, which consists of the material in John. Third, there is
the Q tradition, which consists of all (or, at least, almost all) of
the remaining material.>>>
If Q is John's leftovers, as I suspect, then it might be better to
say that there are two traditions, Markan and Johannine, with the
excess Johannine material being added to the markan framework by
Matthew and Luke.
It may be even more accurate to say that there is one tradition
expressed from four different perspectives, each of which allows the
variations that the others might include. By that I mean that Mark
was written first to support the Church during the (expected)
persecutions of Nero. Following the death of Nero (and failure of the
perousia) the remaining apostles and eyewitnesses met and collated
their recollections of Jesus' teachings which they intended to add to
the Markan account. That combined effort abandoned teh Markan
framework, uding instead Genesis 1&2 and became the Gospel of John.
Still requiring much of the matreial collatd but not included in
John, Matthew and Luke took the remaining material (Q) with the
intention of writing their respective gospels.
Mark (64), then, was only expected to be required for a short term
until the parousia and was for rapid distribution to the whole Church
(i.e. Jew and Gentile). John (68) was similarly for the whole Church
and to encourage it to continue in the faith following the failure of
the expected parousia. Matthew and Luke (both 68/69) were to provide
the extra material lacking in Mark and John but which would be
necessary for a Church which might (and did) outlast the apostles and
eyewitnesses who, until that time, had been the primary sources of
that information. Matthew and Luke were written with particular
consideration for, respectively, Jewish and Gentile mindsets.
>>> As (1) the standard definition of Q is narrower than your own,and as (2) your third tradition consists of material that is unique
to Matthew and Luke, you might consider re-naming your third
tradition the Lukan-Matthean tradition.>>>
I'd rather call it John's leftovers, but that doesn't sound too
scholarly, does it.
>>> One of the major differences between John and Mark is that thetemple incident is placed near the beginning of Jesus' ministry in
John, but near the end of Jesus' ministry in Mark.......If, as you
hypothesise, both Matthew and Luke were aware of John, then why do
they follow Mark rather than John, in placing the temple incident
near the end of Jesus' ministry? Could it be that it actually
happened near the end of Jesus' ministry and that it is deliberately
shifted to near the begiining of Jesus' ministry in John for
theological reasons and that both Matthew and Luke were aware of this?
>>>Peter has given the obvious answer why the Synoptics could not have
it early, i.e. because, in the framework they used, Jesus did not go
to Jerusalem until the end of his ministry.
I think there are theological/literary reasons why John has it early,
but that neither proves nor disproves the actual timing of the event.
It would not surprise me, however, if John's chronology is correct.
>>> In John 12:36, around where, judging by the other three gospels,one would expect the author of John to narrate the temple incident,
(s)he, rather, cryptically states that Jesus, "going away, was hid
from them." Might this be a cipher telling the discerning reader
that the incident which historically occurred next (i.e., the temple
incident) has been hid away in a much earlier section of the gospel
for theological reasons?>>>
Jesus' hiding himself in 12:36 is likely to have more to do with the
pressure he was under, cf. 12:27 "Now is my soul toubled..." than any
cipher for 'discerning reader(s)'.