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[Synoptic-L] Oral Tradition on the 2 GH?

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 9/30/1999 12:45:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, M.S.GOODACRE@bham.ac.uk writes:
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 30, 1999
      In a message dated 9/30/1999 12:45:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      M.S.GOODACRE@... writes:

      I must admit to having enjoyed the quotation from David Wenham
      very much -- thanks Wieland. To me the basic point seems
      transparently obvious. Surely we cannot imagine that Matthew hears
      all of the Markan stories and sayings for the first time when he
      encounters them in Mark [on the assumption of Markan Priority].
      Much scholarship is still thinking about the Synoptic Problem in purely
      literary terms. A much more plausible picture of Gospel origins can
      be painted, in my opinion, if we allow that Matthew redacts Mark in
      the light of the living stream of oral tradition.>>

      If it were possible, however, to distinguish between an evangelist who stands
      close to the living stream of oral tradition and one who seems to rely on
      texts, and a story teller's ability to expand on them for purposes of popular
      recital, we might reverse the order of Gospels presupposed in the above. The
      problem with placing Mark at the start of the Synoptic tradition is that it
      ignores the metaphysical principle of adequate causality, whereas a prior
      Matthew is consistent with that principle.

      << Most of us will be familiar with versions of
      the Aladdin story when we go to see the film for the first time, yet
      subsequently the Disney film has had a marked effect on retellings of
      the Aladdin story. It has not obliterated the earlier versions of the
      story, just as Mark's Gospel will not have obliterated retellings of the
      same stories in oral tradition, but it has nevertheless affected the
      retellings. What we have, in other words, is an interesting interaction
      between written and oral in which each affects the interpreter.
      Matthew is literarily dependent on Mark, in this scenario, but
      nevertheless influenced in his redaction by oral tradition. [Matthean
      Priorists: reverse the arrangement, but the point remains the same.]>>

      But it doesn't really work in reverse, does it? There are very few (if any)
      points in a late Mark where one is inclined to think of a connection to oral
      tradition to account for a departure from Matthew. Think about it! In
      Griesbachian terms, Mark is clearly developing or glossing a text for oral
      proclamation, not correcting in light of an older oral tradition.

      << If we extend the same scenario also to Luke, we find that we lose one
      of the standard reasons for believing in Q, for if Luke interacts with
      Matthew in the light of the continued, living stream of oral tradition,
      we will expect Luke, on occasion, to show signs of knowledge of
      "more original" forms. Indeed we can see this kind of thing at work in
      his use of Mark -- witness the way he changes the Eucharistic material
      in the light of the living stream of oral tradition, paralleling what we
      have in 1 Cor. 11.>>

      Or, alternatively, Luke knew 1 Cor 11 and conflated it with his version of
      the last supper from Matt, as he can be shown to have conflated texts, from
      both Old and New Testaments, throughout his Gospel. I don't really think the
      oral tradition hypothesis helps much in understanding the relationship of
      Luke's to Matthew's text either (i.e., any more than in the case of Mark), on
      the 2 GH. I wouldn't fully exclude it a-priori, but I am not aware of many
      cases where it actually illuminates the situation better than other
      hypotheses might.

      By the way, I fully agree with Mark's evaluation of the passage from Wright,
      which struck me also as quite amateurish.

      Leonard Maluf
    • Steven Craig Miller
      Leonard, You wrote:
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 1, 1999

        You wrote: << By the way, I fully agree with Mark's evaluation of the
        passage from Wright, which struck me also as quite amateurish. >>

        As an amateur, I wonder if I should take umbrage at your using "amateurish"
        as a pejorative? <g> Mark Goodacre's evaluation was that Wright seemed to
        by-pass key questions concerning the Synoptic Problem. Exactly how do you
        see Wright's statement to have been "amateurish"?

        -Steven Craig Miller (scmiller@...)
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