Re: [Synoptic-L] No Luke: a thought experiment about Q
- In a message dated 6/22/2005 6:03:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ron.price@... writes:
How would we tackle the Synoptic Problem if we did not have Luke's gospel?
This scenario should be easy to imagine for those of us who accept that
there was a time when Mark and Matthew existed and Luke was not yet written.
It would still be quite easy to work out that Matthew was dependent on Mark.
Would we glean anything from a study of the non-Markan material in Matthew
(let's call it 'MM' for short)?
It would be easy to "work out" that Matthew was dependent on Mark only if one presupposed a basically supplemental concept of Gospel writing, meaning that a Gospel writer has as a primary aim to reproduce and transmit all Jesus-material available to him or her. On the face of it, this is an illegitimate presupposition -- and once it is removed, the problem of the relationship between Matt and Mark would be much more complicated than you suggest. In the common material, there is certainly an enormous amount of evidence that signals Mark as a later, developed and dramatized version of Matthew, rather than a dependency in the reverse direction.
MM might have been labelled a 'source', though hardly a *written* source.
But Q would surely have been totally invisible. Would anyone in these
circumstances be able to define a logical method by which they would be able
to reconstruct something like Q?
The invisibility of Q under these hypothesized circumstances would be due largely to the fact that Q (Matt) is so seamlessly related not only to the rest of MM but to the rest of Matt as well that the three chunks of material are virtually impossible to distinguish by any objective criteria. And this in turn suggests Matthean priority.
If Q is so amorphous that it would have been totally invisible in spite of
having the whole of Mark and Matthew to work on, does it not follow that Q
as usually understood must be a figment of the imagination arising out of
some intersection between Luke and the other two synoptic gospels?
Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Karel Hanhart" <k.hanhart@...>
To: "John Lupia" <jlupia2@...>
Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2005 11:51 PM
Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] No Luke: a thought experiment about Q
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John
> To: "Karel Hanhart" <face="Times New Roman" size=3>k.hanhart@...>
> Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 9:44PM
> Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] No Luke: a thought experiment aboutQ
In a previous reply (July 3) I objected to your exegesis below because you
stated among other items that the rolling away of the stone (by Jacob in Gn
29) "prefigures" Christ. May I remind you that this discussion began with my
thesis that my midrash exegesis of Mark's opened monumental tomb appears to
be confirmed in the critical saying "on this Rock I will build my ecclesia"
in Matthew (16:17-20) . Thus Matthew knew Mark and confirmed the meaning of
the climactic ending to his gospel. Briefly: - Based on the reference to LXX
Isa 22,16 1) the "monumental tomb" [mnemeion] in both passages appears to be
a metaphor of the temple, built on the Rock [petra] of Zion, Israel's
central place of worship. Both Arimathea, member of the Sanhedrin, in Mark
and the high priest Sebna in Isa 22 stand condemned. 2) Simon Peter
[Petros - Rockman] is the last named and emphatically selected apostle in
the Gospel (Mk 16,7). If Arimathea is convicted like Sebna was by the
prophet Isaiah, then Peter is elevated to replace him in his office like
Eljakim in Isaiah. 3) The 'keys' passage in Mt 16:19 is probably paralleled
in that same pericope in Isaiah (Isa 22,22).
The Matthean passage [the only one in the four gospels in which the term
ekklesia occurs] appears like a meteor in the Markan//Mathean sequence of
Peter's confession and Jesus' rebuke of Simon's misconception. Suddenly we
read, "Blessed are you Simon...". In light of the above notes on the meaning
of Mark's ending, the conclusion is warranted a) Matthew closely followed
Mark in his sequence of Simon's confession and b) Matthew ADDS and CONFIRMS
Mark's intention expressed in the tomb story that from now on Simon (who was
martyred in Rome) would be heading, the ecclesia, the people of God. The
temple was destryed, the high priestly office non-functional, hope for
Israel seem to have vanished. Both Mark and Matthew build their hope of the
risen Christ and his ecclesia now in exile.
Your answer below is not a rebuttal at all to the thesis that Mark wrote
a midrash. This failure stems from your approach to the Bible which differs
sharply from my own.. To you the Bible is the text book of the Christian
church and thus you claim exegetically a) that "the rolling of the stone in
Gen 29 "prefigures" Christ" and "Eliachim (in Isa 22) prefigures Christ
with the robe his sindon (tallit) used as his burial shroud". You may or may
not have deduced this from patristic interpretations.
My objection is that this kind of interpretation ignores the basic fact that
when Mark and Matthew were writing their Gospel in the aftermath of the
Judean revolt, the ecclesia was still largely Jewish - the NT was not
written - the Torah and the prophets were the guiding lights of all Judean
authors, whether or not they were Christian. One century later the tables
were turned; the synagogue was dismissed as totally erroneous, inimical to
Jesus Christ and to God's revelation through him. Thus the Hebrew Bible
became dogmatically the Christian's bible.
However, the exegete must attempt first of all to be true to history and not
to later dogma. To give a modern example. Today one may not, as a
Protestant, discuss the Reformation, while excluding the claims of the Roman
Catholic Church in his/her deliberation - their roots drink from the same
Source. So also one cannot, as a Christian, discuss the Gospel at the
exclusion of the Jewish people and the Hebrew Bible. -
their roots drink from the same Source.
That is why I tend to dismiss your exegesis as inadmissable in the forum of
exegetical scholarship. I realize, however, that with this staement I also
dismiss the agelong supersessionist interpretation in the history of the
We will come nearer to the truth about the origins of the Church if we begin
to take the Judean historical context fully into account.
Looking forward to your reply,
Below follows the previous discussion:
Karel wrote to Lupia:
May I test your "resounding YES" a bit further? I asked a precise question
concerning Mark's tomb story: To sum it all up, John, would you agree Mark
was citing the Greek texts of Isa 22,16; 33,16 and Gen 29, 2ff.?
>>> >When I said all of the evangelists did cite theLXX
>>> (I realize some doreference to the Septuagint or
>>> > not like LXX as a
>>> > Hebrew Bible) I thought itwas a resounding YES!
>>> > If you read my posts it >wouldthat
>>> > have been clear enough that my position is
>>> nearly every >verse in allGospels are couched in references to the LXX and
>>> > 4
>>> >Graeco-Roman texts.enough in my
>>> > I apologize if I was not clear
>>> >initial response toyou.
>>>still dodging my precise question, ....
>>> Hanhart's reply:
>>> You are
>>> Letrephrase it: Is the
>>> opened tomb story 'couched' inspecific references,
>>> namely, to lxx Isa33,16 and Gen 2?
>>33:16 and Gen 29:2.
>> You mean Is 22,16;
>version of these verses.
> Hanhart - No I did mean the Septuagint
>Isaiah 22 includes the destruction of Juda, Sobna
> Lupia continued:
>> (Shebna) aprefigure of Joseph of Arimathea, and
>> Eliachim a prefigure ofChrist. The tomb carved by
>> Sobna (Shebna) is surely seen by Mk as aparallel but
>> within the context of the entire sectionparalleling
>> the destruction of Jerusalem in 72 AD ; andEliachim
>> prefiguring Christ with the robe his sindon(tallit)
>> used as his burial shroud; and keys, a symbol ofhis
>> absolute power, which builds on the Matthean text torefer to Peter as his vicar.
>>wrath of God against the
>> Isaiah 33 parallels the
>> enemies of His Church and the eternal ruleof justice
>> of Christ in His Church (Church militant,suffering
>> and triumphant)parallels of Gen 29 are the rolling away of the
>> stone to water theflock of sheep, prefiguring the
>> Risen Christ who feeds the Churchwith His salvific
>> grace and sacraments (earlier echoed in Jn21:15-17).
>> The marriage to Lia instead of Rachel prefiguresthe
>> Church given to the Gentiles for salvation (as Lia)and Lia's four sons prefigure the 4 Gospels confirming
>> Mk is the 4thand final one.
>interpret texts from the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint
> I have learnt to
> on their ownmerits. Prefiguration is not found in my exegetical toolbox.
> It is, inmy view, not permissable to state that Jacob rolling away the
> stonefrom the well "prefigures Christ". This approach to the Hebrew Bible
>may have been practices by certain Church Fathers, but our first task is
> to read such passages as much as possible in their own historicalcontext
> as part of Israel's tradition.admit that Mark deliberately referred to the
> However, you appear to
> passages mentioned above.Did you already come to the above
> interpretations previous to myquestioning? Or did you formulate an answer
> on the spur of the moment?For I was surprised to read your statement:
> "The tomb carved bySobna (Shebna) is surely seen by Mk as a parallel but
> within thecontext of the entire section paralleling
> the destruction of Jerusalemin 72 AD ...". How did you come to that
> conclusion? And what doyou think is the parallel between Sebna and
> Joseph ofArimathea?
> I am also puzzled by your
>infallible you know. They
>> "The editors [of Nestle-Aland] are not
>> probably rejected the evidence of theseparallels since they
> show the things I pointed out."am sorry, but that answer doesn't make sense to me. You first appear to
>admit Mark referred to Isa 22, 33 and Gn 29; but now you appear to agree
> with the rejection (?) of these parallels by the editors of Nestle"since
> they show the things I pointed out.should let the matter rest. For there is a wide gulf between
> Perhaps we
> what youmean by "prefigure" and by my own understanding of midrash. It
>would take a long conversation to clarify the issues at stake which cannot
> be adequately dealt with in this list.cordially
> Karel Hanhart