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the predictive value of a theory

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    The ability of a scientific hypothesis to predict results is thought to confirm its validity. I am currently studying the passion accounts in the Synoptic
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 1998
      The ability of a scientific hypothesis to predict results is thought to
      confirm its validity. I am currently studying the passion accounts in the
      Synoptic Gospels, and have the following discovery to report, illustrating how
      my hypothesis regarding the way in which Luke used the Gospel of Matthew,
      alluded to in recent posts, is able to predict results.

      The person who draws and wields his sword at the time of Jesus arrest in the
      garden is referred to in Matt as one of those with Jesus (HEIS TOON META
      IEESOU: Matt 26:51). I noted for the first time today that a similar phrase,
      partially identical in fact, occurs as the identifying predicate of Peter in
      the scene of the denials in Matt: you too were with Jesus of Galilee (..META
      IEESOU..: Matt 26:69, and in v. 71, a similar predicate, including the phrase
      META IEESOU is again found). This could qualify as a structural element in
      the text of Matt which has the effect of linking these two passages together
      and perhaps suggesting that Peter was the one in the garden who drew his sword
      in defence of Jesus (John, at least, seems to have interpreted the evidence in
      this way: Jn 18:10). In any case, my hypothesis about the way Luke used Matt
      should at this point enable me to predict the following:

      1. that Luke would have noticed this structural element in Matt (even though
      most modern interpreters, including myself till today, have missed it!);

      2. that Luke would not have literally reproduced this structure;

      3. that Luke would, however, have linked the two passages through the use of a
      device analogous, but not identical, to that employed by Matthew.

      Mirabile dictu! Luke comes through for me again.

      In the final denial by Peter in Matt, a different phrase is used as a
      predicate of Peter to suggest his association with Jesus: KAI SU EX AUTOON EI.
      So Peter is not only one of those with Jesus, but he is also one of them.
      Is it possible that Luke will employ this latter expression to make the
      connection between the two gospel incidents that Matt has made by the use of
      the expression with Jesus?

      We go now to Lk to see how he will formulate the subject of the violent action
      taken in Jesus defence in the garden. (In Matthew, remember, the subject here
      was one of those with Jesus.) Sure enough, we find the phrase HEIS TIS EX
      AUTOON in Lk 22:50 as the subject of this misguided action. Immediately, this
      refers back to the phrase in the previous verse HOI PERI AUTON, but
      nonetheless, it corresponds exactly to what we predicted, establishing as it
      does a link in Lukes text to the story of the denials, through the use, not
      of an identical phrase to the one used for this purpose by Matthew, but an
      analogous one, taken also from the text of Matthew itself. Indeed, the central
      denial of Peter in Luke is a response to a charge formulated in a phrase taken
      verbatim from Matthews final denial scene: KAI SU EX AUTOON EI (and this
      phrase is not found in Mark!). So Luke has no problem about literally
      reproducing words (matter) from Matt, but never will he literally duplicate a
      structural device (form). Instead he will resort to an analogous device to
      achieve the same ends.

      In sum, Matt connects the two scenes of the assault with the sword and the
      denial of Peter through the phrase [one of those] with Jesus. Luke achieves
      the same purpose by the use of the single other expression that is used as a
      predicate for Peter in the words that trigger his denials [one] of them
      (heis... ex auton). Since Matthew connects the first text with TWO denials of
      Peter (the first two), Luke makes the connection only with ONE, but places
      that one in the center of the three to highlight it. All of this is very
      typical (and therefore predictable) of the way Luke uses Matt.

      Leonard Maluf
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