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Re: [John_Lit] Another Luke-John Connection -- Reply

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  • Keith Yoder
      Reply to:  Paul Anderson, Mark Matson Regarding:  Directionality of Lazarus Narrative Influence Between Luke and John From:  Keith Yoder    
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 29, 2011
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      Reply to:  Paul Anderson, Mark Matson
      Regarding:  Directionality of Lazarus Narrative Influence Between Luke and John
      From:  Keith Yoder
      Paul said:
      I'm not convinced that any of the larger set of parallels in your essay confirm a Luke>John directionality of influence. That Luke (or his tradition) would create a moralizing story from the memory of Lazarus in the afterlife, the inferred roles of Mary and Martha, and the motivation of the woman anointing Jesus more plausibly suggests Luke's didactic expansion upon less paraenetic Johannine narratives. So, do show me why Luke>John is compelling as opposed to John>Luke.
      Mark said:
      The issue of directionality is very difficult. In many cases one can argue either way -- and have....For my part I thought a careful exegetical analysis of material in Luke and John would be most helpful. So in my "In Dialogue with Another Gospel" I deal with the series of similarities between Lk and Jn in the passion narrative testing John to Luke directionality. And I find it reasonable for this direction...My main point here is that directionality requires some careful work. For instance, is there a linguistic basis (i.e., does Luke use Johannine words, or does John use Lukan words)?
      My response:
      I will respond to Paul only to the issue of the Lazarus and Mary-Martha narratives, keeping in mind Mark Matson's advice to test directionality based on exegetical analysis and comparison of the texts.  To make my case I will need to borrow material from my previously mentioned paper on the subject, for which (pardon my repitition) see http://www.umass.edu/wsp/project/senior/FromLukeToJohn.pdf
      1.  Paul, you seem to agree with me that there is a connection between Luke and John's respective Lazarus and Mary-Martha narratives, but you see it as based on shared oral tradition rather than written text.  I see a literary rather than oral-based connection here for two basic reasons:
      a.  All but 2 of the 18 parallel elements that I detail in my paper fall in the correct textual order in Luke and in John, and those two out-of-order elements (both dealing with Mary) are in correct order relative to each other.  None of these elements display any mnemonic sort of pattern that might have assisted oral/aural memory, so to me the volume and the well-ordered pattern of the parallel elements on both the Luke and John sides of the array favors a literary connection.
      b.  The complexity and/or subtlety of several of the parallel elements seems very unlikely to have occured based on oral memory:
      i.  the parallel 3-part complaint of Martha "Lord"/"if/don't you..."/"my brother/sister..." (Lk 10:40/Jn 11:21)
      ii. the passive and silent character of Lazarus throughout both Luke and John
      iii. Luke's "5 brothers" (16:28) parallelled by John's 5 uses of "brother" (ἀδελφὸς) and "sister" (ἀδελφής)
      iv. the twice-repeated denial/granting of a petition to send back Lazarus from the dead, each time in both texts based on "hearing" (Lk 16:29,31/Jn 11:41,42).
      c.  Finally I would note here that this connection does occur within your partition of distinctive Lukan material (chapters 10-19) which you say "show very few contacts with the Gospel of John".

      2.  Regarding directionality, following Mark's advice, I will offer these linguistic and exegetical considerations:
      a.  Two linguistic features strongly characteristic of Luke show up in John:
      i.  Narrative description of Jesus as "Lord" (κύριος) in pre-resurrection narration (Lk 10:39,41/Jn 11:2) - Luke does this 11 other times, John only once in the probably interpolated Jn 6:23.
      ii. Incipit use of relative pronound "a certain" (τις) at beginning of narrative (Lk 10:38,38 and 16:19,20/Jn 11:1) - Luke does this 32 other times, John only twice (4:46 and 5:5), and one of those is parallel with another Luke narrative (Jn 4:46 -- Lk 7:2).  The probability of influence here tips toward Luke > John.
      b.  "Five Brothers" - the way John replicates the "five brothers" (πέντε ἀδελφούς) of Lk 16:28 by using the word "brother" (ἀδελφός) and the related word "sister" (ἀδελφής) exactly five times each in his Lazarus narrative - but without mention of the actual number "five" - seems more likely to have developed from Luke to John.  Plus, as I noted in my paper, the last "sister" in Jn 11:39 is redundant since he immediately adds the name "Martha", which indicates to me that John was counting his words to make the total come out to 5 - otherwise you would have to say this whole brother/sister complex is completely coincidental.  Again, stronger probability for Luke > John.
      c.  The "brother/sister" relationship (disregarding the "five") itself is emphasized throughout John's text, indeed over-emphasized to the point of being "awkward" and "forced" (that's von Wahlde's description of 11:2).  So I ask, why all the excessive fuss over Lazarus being the "brother" of Mary and Martha, and Martha (at least) being Lazarus' "sister"?  I suggest that John goes to all this trouble precisely because in his predecessor text in Luke 10 and 16 these two parties (Lazarus and Mary-Martha) are totally and completely un-related.   It makes more sense to me that John went to these lengths to emphasize the "brother/sister" issue to convince a readership that knew of  a prior Lazarus un-related to Mary/Martha from Luke, rather than than Luke taking apart a brother-sister relationship that he knew from a prior John, without comment.  Probability favors Luke > John.
      d.  Appealing to the broader context of John's Lazarus account, it is clear that John makes the Raising of Lazarus into the immediate occasion and cause for the Jewish leaders to make the decision that Jesus must die (cf Caiaphas' famous remarks in the council meeting in Jn 11:49-53).  In my opinion, this radical change from all three Synoptics would demand an explanation of how Luke could completely disregard this factor if he knew John as a prior text.  However, this factor fits in quite well with a Luke > John directionality in their Lazarus texts, and it also fits in with the way John displaces his Cleansing of the Temple as far away from the crucifixion as possible, all the way back to chapter 2 (where I also find Luke--John parallels, but that's another story).

      Keith Yoder
      Research Fellow
      UMass Amherst

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