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Re: Thomas 79 // Luke 11.27-28

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  • Stevan Davies
    I ve found this long-lasting discussion quite stimulating and so I hope Mark will be willing to continue on a bit. ... You write at considerable length
    Message 1 of 7 , May 10, 1999
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      I've found this long-lasting discussion quite stimulating and so I
      hope Mark will be willing to continue on a bit.

      Mark Goodacre:

      > > (a) regarding foil questions and comments from anonymous individuals
      >
      > A key point that Steve does not consider is the presence of TIS (a certain one,
      > someone). This specific feature is strikingly Lukan: the five instances listed
      > are the only occasions in the synoptic tradition to feature a foil question
      > from an anonymous individual described as TIS. This is a sign of Luke's hand.

      You write at considerable length discussing this matter and
      dismissing my comments on the subject as not focusing on the
      precise point you are making (which I thought, evidently mistakenly)
      had to do with people speaking from crowds.

      > > 3. 13:23 "someone said to him" again does not give us a Lukan
      > > tendency for the claim "a person from the crowd said" is Lukan.
      > > No "crowd" appears here.
      >
      > This shifts the goalposts. 13.23 is an anonymous interlocutor, introduced by
      > TIS, asking a foil question, as in the passage under discussion. The fact
      > that there is no "crowd" here is not relevant to the case for the Lukan
      > character of anonymous interlocutors, introduced by TIS, asking foil questions
      > / making foil comments.

      It seems to come down to TIS. Very well. So I look at the Thomas
      passage and I simply cannot find a TIS anywhere. Since the argument
      is that TIS is characteristically Lukan, yet Thomas doesn't have TIS
      in 79 (or 72, or anywhere?) I just don't follow. Or is there a TIS
      that I fail to recognize in Thomas 79? This is entirely possible as
      my philological competencies are slim.

      But if there isn't one, surely the
      conclusion of your own argument is that this characteristically Lukan
      feature is conspicuously lacking in Thomas and so Thomas' dependence
      on Luke is questionable at best.

      > > Mark says that "this feature" comes at least five times in Luke
      > > defining "this feature" as "teaching "introduced by anonymous
      > > individuals." It occurs (according to Mark) twice in Thomas and
      > > the overlap with Luke reduces the Luke occurances to three
      > > (if we are not to beg the question). And it appears that one of the three
      > > appeared also in Q, reducing the potential "Lukan distinctiveness" number to
      > > two. [Other instances are taken by Luke from Mark.]
      >
      > This attempt to reduce the impact that the evidence makes is not persuasive
      > partly for reasons given above in relation to individual verses. But further,
      > evidence of a 0/0/5 (occurrences in Matthew / Mark / Luke) feature should not
      > be so lightly dismissed. Note here that there is some troubling movement away
      > from the one thing that everyone agrees we need in order to demonstrate
      > Thomasine knowledge of Luke: that Thomas should share with Luke some of the
      > latter's distinctive, redactional features. It won't do to say that Luke's
      > distinctive features are not distinctive because they are shared in a given
      > instance with Thomas. That is the very thing that is under discussion. If
      > every feature is held to be less distinctive because of a given parallel under
      > discussion in Thomas, then one is placed in a no-win situation in which one
      > begins to suspect that no evidence, however persuasive, will be allowed to
      > count in favour of Thomasine knowledge of Luke.

      Not so fast. Luke 12:13-14 // Thomas 72 is an independent case. If it
      otherwise shows evidence of Luke's distinctive features, then your argument
      will work. But it doesn't because, except for the rather dissimilar "one of
      the crowd said to him" (Lk) and "a man said to him," (Th) the
      sayings are really very different throughout. To say that this is
      definitively Lukan because of that slight and inexact overlap begs
      the question. I can't locate a TIS in Thomas here either and, again,
      if TIS is the distinctive Lukanism you focus on, and it is absent in
      Thomas 72 and 79, what's your point?

      > Actually the IQP reconstruct with TIS at Q 9.57, probably for the kind of
      > reason you mention, a good example of how easy it is to miss distinctively
      > Lukan terminology

      But if the IQP has judged correctly, then TIS is not distinctively
      Lukan terminology.

      If there are 4 cases in Luke, 1 in Q, 1 in Thomas, then to say
      therefore the fifth instance in Luke means that the second instance
      in Thomas is clearly Luke-redactional must be methodologically
      unsound. Won't you have to show that the other instance in Thomas
      is Luke-redactional for your thesis to hold?

      > I am not sure that the matter of "narrative" here in Thomas solves the problem.
      > Even if it is the case that we have what one might call some kind of narrative
      > progression (from saying 78 to 79), it is not clear to me that mention of a
      > "crowd" becomes inevitable. For where crowds are a key element in the whole
      > Synoptic portrait, they can hardly be a natural feature in a text that stresses
      > the communication of secret sayings.

      I haven't the foggiest notion why Thomas' incipit mentions "secret"
      sayings. Much of the text transmits Jesus-sayings that surely were
      known to anybody on earth with any interest in Jesus-sayings.

      > > I don't think Mark's argument against contradiction will fly. Either
      > > Elizabeth has got it right, or not. Jesus' answer in Luke, to
      > > blessings upon his mother is, "Blessed RATHER are those...."
      > > which DENIES blessings are due to his mother.
      >
      > Here we come back to the question of the interpretation of MENOUN in Luke. I
      > think that perhaps I was too defensive about this in the article. It is quite
      > legitimate to take this not necessarily as "Blessed, on the contrary, are those
      > . . ." but as "Yes indeed, and blessed are . . ."

      Oh dear. Let me see. We have RSV, NRSV, KJ, NIV with "rather" and
      New English with the even stronger, "No,...." I don't think an
      argument that goes "well, I will translate it differently so that it
      fits my case" is very persuasive. Do you have ANY NT translation by
      anybody else that runs "Yes indeed,...."?

      > Indeed; but the fact that this is something of a cliche does not make it any
      > the less Lucan in the Synoptic tradition. What we need to ask about is: (1)
      > what cliches are preferred by individual synoptic writers? and (2) is there
      > anything distinctively Lukan about the specific wording. The answer to (1) is
      > that this cliche, if it is one, is beloved of Luke and not used at all by the
      > other synoptists -- see the article. (2) The specific wording is
      > characteristically Lukan and can be paralleled in agreed redactional reworkings
      > of Mark. This is the strongest element in the case in my opinion.

      reworkings? I know of one. Are there more than one?

      > > In my estimation two things prove Luke did not invent this
      > > saying. First, its failure to have any literary connection with
      > > its surroundings in chapter 11 indicates that it came to Luke
      > > from tradition and he stuck it where he did... rather than he
      > > created it to fill a literary purpose in the composition of that
      > > sequence. Second, it flatly contradicts the Holy Spirit's
      > > blessing through Elizabeth which blessing is conceded to be
      > > itself a Lukan construction.
      >
      > I hope that I have addressed these questions a little more carefully in my
      > responses in this Email.

      You have addressed the second, certainly. But I still do not
      think you have addressed the first by asserting that it fits the
      context of chapter 10 etc.. It sure doesn't make sense to me
      in the context of 11:24-32. Generally, when an author invents a
      saying, he does so in order to further the argument made
      just prior, or introduce the argument to come. For example,
      Luke adds 11:24-26 at an entirely appropriate place, after other
      demon material. Then 11:27 follows, having zero to do with
      11:24-26. After 11:28 we suddenly hear Jesus complaining about
      this generation asking for a sign which, if it relates to anything at
      all, must relate to 11:27-28... which, of course, it doesn't. So
      between two somewhat coherent units (demons) (wicked generation)
      we have the passage in question... one said to be invented by
      Luke himself. But for what contextual purpose? I think the anomalous
      character of the saying in its context indicates that Luke has taken
      it from previous tradition and just stuck it in... Evangelists seem
      to do that sort of thing with traditional material. Evangelists do
      not seem to invent anomalous things and stick them into places
      where they don't fit.... and if you take 11:27-28 out the whole
      thing flows much more smoothly.

      Steve
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... As I discussed in the related thread on B-Greek, the King James (Authorized) version has Yea rather. To argue that the KJV meant on the contrary is to
      Message 2 of 7 , May 10, 1999
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        At 03:16 PM 5/10/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:
        >Mark Goodacre:
        >> Here we come back to the question of the interpretation of MENOUN in Luke. I
        >> think that perhaps I was too defensive about this in the article. It is quite
        >> legitimate to take this not necessarily as "Blessed, on the contrary, are those
        >> . . ." but as "Yes indeed, and blessed are . . ."
        >
        >Oh dear. Let me see. We have RSV, NRSV, KJ, NIV with "rather" and
        >New English with the even stronger, "No,...." I don't think an
        >argument that goes "well, I will translate it differently so that it
        >fits my case" is very persuasive. Do you have ANY NT translation by
        >anybody else that runs "Yes indeed,...."?

        As I discussed in the related thread on B-Greek, the King James
        (Authorized) version has "Yea rather." To argue that the KJV
        meant "on the contrary" is to miss the word "Yea."

        Stephen Carlson
        --
        Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
        Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
      • Mark Goodacre
        ... I reckon that we should regard the indefinite article (OU) in OUC2IME ( a woman ) as equivalent to Luke s indefinite pronoun in TIS GUNH ( a certain
        Message 3 of 7 , May 18, 1999
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          On 10 May 99 at 15:16, Stevan Davies wrote:

          > It seems to come down to TIS. Very well. So I look at the Thomas
          > passage and I simply cannot find a TIS anywhere. Since the argument
          > is that TIS is characteristically Lukan, yet Thomas doesn't have TIS
          > in 79 (or 72, or anywhere?) I just don't follow. Or is there a TIS
          > that I fail to recognize in Thomas 79?

          I reckon that we should regard the indefinite article (OU) in OUC2IME
          ("a woman") as equivalent to Luke's indefinite pronoun in TIS GUNH ("a certain
          woman"). Cf. Greeven's re-translation of Thomas 79 into Greek, which begins
          EIPEN AUTWi TIS GUNH EK TOU OXLOU. This is very close to Luke 11.27.
          Likewise also Bethge's retranslation -- identical to Greeven's except that we
          have GUNH TIS rather than TIS GUNH. I think that this is likely to be correct
          and I note that similar moves from TIS to OU occur in Coptic versions of the NT
          (perhaps Mike would like to look this up on his new CD?)

          > Not so fast. Luke 12:13-14 // Thomas 72 is an independent case. If it
          > otherwise shows evidence of Luke's distinctive features, then your argument
          > will work. But it doesn't because, except for the rather dissimilar "one of
          > the crowd said to him" (Lk) and "a man said to him," (Th) the sayings are
          > really very different throughout. To say that this is definitively Lukan
          > because of that slight and inexact overlap begs the question. I can't locate a
          > TIS in Thomas here either and, again, if TIS is the distinctive Lukanism you
          > focus on, and it is absent in Thomas 72 and 79, what's your point?

          This has the same feature: TIS in Luke 12.13 and OU . . . in Thom. 72.
          There is another hint that Thomas might be following Luke in Thom. 72 // Luke
          12.13-15. Jesus replies to the man ANQRWPE (Man!, Luke 12.14), a form of
          address found on three other occasions in Luke and never elsewhere in the
          Gospels: 5.20, 22.58 and 22.60 (all redactional additions to Mark). Thomas has
          W PRWME in parallel, found in elsewhere only at Thom. 61. But this is a hint
          rather than a clear indicator.

          > > Actually the IQP reconstruct with TIS at Q 9.57, probably for the kind of
          > > reason you mention, a good example of how easy it is to miss distinctively
          > > Lukan terminology
          >
          > But if the IQP has judged correctly, then TIS is not distinctively
          > Lukan terminology.
          >
          > If there are 4 cases in Luke, 1 in Q, 1 in Thomas, then to say
          > therefore the fifth instance in Luke means that the second instance
          > in Thomas is clearly Luke-redactional must be methodologically
          > unsound. Won't you have to show that the other instance in Thomas
          > is Luke-redactional for your thesis to hold?

          I think that it is a cumulative argument. To find so many Lukan features is so
          short a piece is really too striking. And, though I hesitate to say it, the
          IQP is not entirely infallilble!

          > Oh dear. Let me see. We have RSV, NRSV, KJ, NIV with "rather" and
          > New English with the even stronger, "No,...." I don't think an
          > argument that goes "well, I will translate it differently so that it
          > fits my case" is very persuasive. Do you have ANY NT translation by
          > anybody else that runs "Yes indeed,...."?

          On this, see Stephen Carlson's response.

          > > Indeed; but the fact that this is something of a cliche does not make it any
          > > the less Lucan in the Synoptic tradition. What we need to ask about is: (1)
          > > what cliches are preferred by individual synoptic writers? and (2) is there
          > > anything distinctively Lukan about the specific wording. The answer to (1) is
          > > that this cliche, if it is one, is beloved of Luke and not used at all by the
          > > other synoptists -- see the article. (2) The specific wording is
          > > characteristically Lukan and can be paralleled in agreed redactional reworkings
          > > of Mark. This is the strongest element in the case in my opinion.
          >
          > reworkings? I know of one. Are there more than one?

          5.1 has "hear the word of God" (AKOUEIN TON LOGON TOU QEOU). See too the way
          that Luke writes 8.11-12. And then we have the many occurrences of the theme
          of hearing + keeping / doing in Acts.

          > You have addressed the second, certainly. But I still do not
          > think you have addressed the first by asserting that it fits the
          > context of chapter 10 etc.. It sure doesn't make sense to me
          > in the context of 11:24-32. Generally, when an author invents a
          > saying, he does so in order to further the argument made
          > just prior, or introduce the argument to come. For example,
          > Luke adds 11:24-26 at an entirely appropriate place, after other
          > demon material. Then 11:27 follows, having zero to do with
          > 11:24-26. After 11:28 we suddenly hear Jesus complaining about
          > this generation asking for a sign which, if it relates to anything at
          > all, must relate to 11:27-28... which, of course, it doesn't. So
          > between two somewhat coherent units (demons) (wicked generation)
          > we have the passage in question... one said to be invented by
          > Luke himself. But for what contextual purpose? I think the anomalous
          > character of the saying in its context indicates that Luke has taken
          > it from previous tradition and just stuck it in... Evangelists seem
          > to do that sort of thing with traditional material. Evangelists do
          > not seem to invent anomalous things and stick them into places
          > where they don't fit.... and if you take 11:27-28 out the whole
          > thing flows much more smoothly.

          Luke is influenced by the fact that the similar Mothers and Brothers pericope
          comes here in Matthew, having already used the original Markan story in a
          Markan block of material earlier on (Luke 8). But in terms of the construction
          of the narrative, Luke regularly has little interrupting episodes that attempt
          to divert the readers' and crowd's attention in the Central Section. Jesus
          deals with them by re-iterating key themes, like hearing and doing the word,
          and then progressing with the narrative, picking up the sequence where he has
          just left off. It is a narrative technique I rather like.

          I suspect that there is not a great deal more that can be said about this one.
          If so, thanks again for your help in formulating my ideas and thanks for such a
          sharp critique.

          Mark
          --------------------------------------
          Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
          Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
          University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
          Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

          http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
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