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10031[Synoptic-L] Re: The same Aramaic word "cleanse"?

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  • Ron Price
    May 1, 2005
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      Ken Olson wrote:

      >I suspect that Kloppenborg was aiming at putting forward a stronger case
      >than Wellhausen/Black and was not overly concerned with attempting to
      >demonstrate the impossibility of a scribal error in a hypothetical source.

      My only point was that Kloppenborg had overstated his case here by
      ignoring the possibility of a scribal variation.

      > The main part of the case is his argument that the text of Luke is perfectly
      > understandable as Lukan redaction of his source .....

      If we are to widen the discussion, then I must start by challenging your
      apparent claim that the text of Luke is perfectly understandable. The
      variety of English translations shows that this is not the case. NRSV seems
      to me about as clear as mud. To what do "those things that are within"
      refer? How can they (whatever they are) can be given for alms? JB has "give
      alms from what you have", but "from what you have" seems a rather strained
      reading of TA ENONTA. NEB interprets it as "let what is in the cup be given
      for charity", which would make a sort of sense, but doesn't match the Greek
      text very well. J.B.Phillips interprets it as "If you would only make the
      inside clean by doing good to others ....." seems to be closer to your
      understanding, but "If you would only" and "make clean" don't appear in the
      Greek, and why the plural TA ENONTA if this is what Luke meant?
      My argument is that there is no reason why the process of redaction should
      lead to a nonsensical sentence, whereas mistranslation could well do so (and
      indeed the "you build" in 11:48 also doesn't make proper sense and is
      another candidate for mistranslation).

      > To vastly oversimplify Luke's position: almsgiving cleanses the
      > soul or, perhaps more accurately, is the sign of a clean soul.

      I'm not going to disagree with this and your subsequent explanation of
      Luke's position. From my point of view it simply made the mistranslation
      more likely, i.e. Luke saw in the text what he wanted to see. Your
      understanding still leaves the odd co-incidence of the similarity of the
      Aramaic words for "cleanse" and "give alms".

      Widening the discussion even further, I think the Farrer Theory gives a
      less than optimum explanation of the woes. Have you noticed the revealing
      comment by Morna Hooker on Mark 12:38 (_The Gospel According to St.Mark_,
      p.38)? Commenting on "And in his teaching he said" (her own translation) she
      writes: "Mark's new introduction gives the impression that he has picked
      this passage out of a longer section of teaching." This is very neatly
      explained if Mark selected this woe from the set of seven in the early
      sayings source of which (on other grounds) I now believe Mark had a copy.

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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