[Synoptic-L] Q and R.E.Brown's Exceptions
- Those of you who have been following my postings advocating that Luke
had three written sources may remember that I envisaged Luke simplifying
his otherwise complex editorial process by using a block policy. When
writing a block, he had in front of him only one of the written sources.
There were only two blocks based on 'Q', i.e. 6:20-49 and 9:51-17:37.
This effectively defines a 'Sayings-Q', which is a Q without narratives.
I have already given some reasons why Sayings-Q is more coherent than Q
as normally understood.
I have just been reading what R.E.Brown says on Q in his "Introduction
to the New Testament" (Doubleday, 1997), and have noticed four places
where he notes exceptions relating to Q in which Sayings-Q would make
(1) On p.117 he describes Q as consisting of sayings and parables with
an absolute minimum of narrative setting, and in a footnote points out
the notable narratives (in effect, the exceptions) namely the
Temptation, the Centurion's Servant, and Jn.B.'s Inquiry. None of these
are in Sayings-Q, which is therefore more coherent than Q. (OK, I
mentioned something like that before, though not in connection with
Brown. Anyway the next three points are new!)
(2) On p.114, he asks why, if Luke used Matthew, does his placing of the
Q material differ so greatly from Matthew's? But he notes two
exceptions, namely the words of Jn.B. and the temptation story. But
these are not in Sayings-Q and Brown's question gets a **perfect**
answer with the hypothesis that Luke did use Matthew for 'the words of
Jn.B.' and the temptation story, but not for the true sayings material,
which was taken from Sayings-Q.
(3) On p.120 Brown notes that Q has a strong eschatalogical thrust and
gives the impression that judgement is imminent. Here he gives three
exceptions. In Luke 12:39-40 the hour of the coming is not known. Luke
17:23-24 warns of deceptive signs of the coming. Luke 19:12-27 requires
a time period in which to make a profit. To my mind only the last of
these is totally inconsistent with an imminent judgement. But the
parable of the Talents/Pounds is not in Sayings-Q. So here again
Sayings-Q is more coherent than Q as traditionally understood.
(4) On p.121 Brown rightly argues that Q should not be called a
"gospel". The analogy with the so-called Gospel of Thomas provides no
evidence to the contrary, he says, because this title is a secondary
appendage. But in a footnote Brown feels obliged to excuse Luke's use of
EUAGGELIZEIN in 7:22 as being borrowed from Isaiah 61:1. Such an excuse
is not necessary with Sayings-Q, for Matthew is the written source
behind Luke ch.7, not Sayings-Q.
You will have to take my word for it that I was not in the least
influenced by Brown in regard to synoptic hypotheses. So what an
extraordinary coincidence it would be if an incorrect hypothesis just
**happened** to account for all these four exceptions!
What we have with Sayings-Q is a Three Source hypothesis which has
most of the advantages of the predominant Two Source hypothesis. The
extra complication is limited to one additional arrow in the source
diagram, indicating that Matthew is a (third) source for Luke. But it
gives a better explanation of the history of some important narratives,
it produces a much more coherent 'Q' document, it provides an
explanation for some of the minor agreements between Matthew and Luke,
and (yes, there's more) it explains the framework of the Sermon on the
Plain. (Why on a "plain", unless it's a deliberate contrast to Matthew's
"mount"? Note also "After Jesus had finished all his sayngs.....", Luke
7:1 NRSV compared with "Now when Jesus had finished saying these
things.....", Matt 7:28 NRSV. Luke **remembered** the framework of
Matthew's Sermon, and created his own similar framework in his own
Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK
- At 08:06 PM 7/6/99 +0100, Ron Price wrote:
> You will have to take my word for it that I was not in the leastOn pages 116-117, Brown also said, "Behind the [Q] hypothesis is the
>influenced by Brown in regard to synoptic hypotheses. So what an
>extraordinary coincidence it would be if an incorrect hypothesis just
>**happened** to account for all these four exceptions!
plausible assumption that the Matthean evangelist did not know Luke
and vice versa, and so they must have had a common source."
Adding the epicycle of Luke's additional use of Matthew to the Q
hypothesis is problematic, because this premise is in contradiction
with the standard argument for Q.
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