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Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Synoptic Problem -- Healing the Withered Hand (SQE 47/112)

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  • Jim Deardorff
    ... Steven, Thanks for the continuing discussion. It takes the accumulation of large numbers of similar indications to carry real weight. But I do find AMk had
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 2, 1999
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      At 09:51 AM 10/2/99 -0500, Steven Craig Miller wrote:
      >To: Jim Deardorff,
      >I wrote:
      ><< Another example, might be the pericope concerning the healing of the man
      >with the withered hand (Mt 12:9-14). Here Matthew appears to have inserted
      >a saying (verse 11) into his redaction of Mark 3:1-6. If one takes Mt 12:11
      >as derived from Q (cf. Lk 13:15; 14:5), then it is possible to suppose that
      >Matthew simply borrowed it from Q and slipped it into this pericope. On the
      >other hand, Davies and Allison (1991) suggest that Mt 12:11 might "go back
      >to Jesus." What do you think? >>

      >To which you replied:

      ><< Mark appears to be secondary to Matthew in that Mark has Jesus order the
      >man to "rise into the midst" -- thus having Jesus be a more commanding
      >figure. The pericope in Mark also seems secondary in that Mk 3:1 starts out
      >with Jesus entering into *a* synagogue in which "they" -- presumably the
      >people inside -- all wish to accuse him. Again in vv. 4 and 5 "they" refers
      >to these accusers, while one wouldn't expect everyone in the synagogue to
      >be intent upon accusing him. Only by v. 6 can we infer that Jesus had been
      >speaking angrily just to the Pharisees, presumably not to the others inside
      >also. Mark's redactions to Mt 12:9-14 then caused the problems. In Matthew
      >Jesus had entered *their* synagogue, referring to the Pharisees of the
      >previous pericope who had presumably followed Jesus inside. This connection
      >is lost in Mark. >>

      >This raises some interesting issues. Is it possible to really discern
      >details which are clearly secondary and so argue from them for a particular
      >solution to the Synoptic Problem? You mention Mark's "rise into the midst"
      >as an indication that Mark's account was secondary. Frankly, I don't find
      >such an argument to carry much weight.


      Thanks for the continuing discussion. It takes the accumulation of large
      numbers of similar indications to carry real weight. But I do find AMk had
      the tendency to turn Jesus into a more commanding figure, as in Mk 11:16.

      >In my opinion, a case can be made for Matthean redaction. Assuming the
      >Two-Source hypothesis, Matthew appears to have made the problem, which is
      >implicit in Mark, explicit.

      Mark's problem of "they" and "them" in 3:2,4,5 not referring back to the
      Pharisees of 2:24 is due to AMk not hving followed Matthew (Mt 12:9) quite
      closely enough (in the AH view), in referring to "a" synagogue rather than
      "their" synagogue. So I don't see it as a Matthean problem. I see it as a
      Markan problem associated with a minor change for the sake of change.

      >It is interesting to note Jesus' supposed
      >motivation. In Mark, Jesus is motivated into action by malevolent scrutiny.
      >Matthew makes this even more explicit by transforming the indirect question
      >of Mk 3:2 into a direct question.

      However, Mk 3:2 does not contain an indirect question. Certain people in the
      synagogue (one later concludes they were Pharisees) were watching Jesus to
      see if he would heal the man so that they could accuse him of healing on the
      sabbath. There is no question there, implicit or explicit. If Jesus were to
      heal the man on the sabbath, the act would speak for itself. In all
      likelihood it would not occur to an editor or gospel re-writer who came
      across that verse that he should insert a verse of direct speech there,
      containing a question.

      >Once the question is asked, the stage is set for the Matthean Jesus' answer.

      However, consider AMk as one who was writing a gospel for gentiles with very
      little information to go on but what was present within Matthew's
      anti-gentile text. It should be obvious that he could not just repeat what
      Matthew said (but in Greek rather than Hebraic) if his gospel were to be
      considered a different writing. He had to make it different wherever he
      could, not only by numerous omissions but by minor additions and alterations
      as well. This AMk did in this pericope as elsewhere, viewed from the
      modified AH. He could improve upon Matthew's sheep-in-the-pit saying by
      extending Jesus' remark to good or evil and to saving or destroying life.
      This then was a Markan improvement that was successful, except that he had
      Jesus ask a question that could not be answered by a simple "yes" or "no,"
      even if one had wished to respond in the affirmative to doing good and
      saving life, due to the two or's involved. AMk was likely not much impressed
      with the Matthean saying whose punch line was that a man is worth much more
      than a sheep, any more than he had been when omitting Matthew's 10:31 of
      being of more value than many sparrows.

      >There is no need in Matthew version to
      >move the man with the withered hand to center stage, and so the passage
      >"rise into the midst" is omitted.

      Well, the man who was healed was the center-stage event in both the Matthean
      and Markan pericopes. However, since Mark fails to contain so many of
      Matthew's teachings yet does contain practically all the healings, by the AH
      one sees that for AMk the healing miracles and other miracles were, if
      anything, of even greater relative importance to him than to AMt. So the
      phrase is easily consistent with being a bit of embellishment by AMk over
      Matthew. However, I see it even more as another bit of change for the sake
      of having his gospel be more than a mere translation of Matthew with a
      different name attached.

      >Frankly, I find it much more reasonable
      >that in this pericope Matthew changed Mark's indirect discourse into direct
      >discourse than to assume that Mark changed Matthew's direct discourse into
      >indirect discourse. What could be Mark's motivation for that?

      See the above. In making his many abbreviations and omissions of Matthean
      direct speech (from the AH view), AMk at times needed to summarize them with
      brief narration.

      >I don't mean
      >to suggest that there is a GENERAL tendency here. Rudolf Bultmann, in his
      >"The History of the Synoptic Tradition" (ET: 312), tried to suggest:
      ><< ... there appears in the Tradition a further tendency to produce new
      >sayings of the person engaged, in part as a continuation of an earlier
      >report into direct speech. Of course it is not possible to speak of a
      >natural law here; it also happens that a saying in direct speech is put
      >into indirect ... >>

      >There are examples for each of the Synoptic gospels having direct discourse
      >where one or both of the others have indirect discourse (e.g., see: E.P.
      >Sanders' "The Tendencies of the Synoptic Tradition," pp. 259-262). Only
      >with this particular pericope (Mt 12:9-14 & Mk 3:1-6), I find it more
      >reasonable to suppose that Matthew changed Mark's indirect discourse into
      >direct discourse than the other way around.

      I wonder, to what extent is Bultmann's statement here dependent upon the
      assumption that Mark came first and Matthew second? It may be that Mark has
      more of these relative to Matthew than vice versa, and more than with the
      other two synoptic gospel pairings. Are there unbiased statistics on this

      >Matthew's motivation for such a
      >change is to have the question asked so that he then could insert into his
      >redaction of Mark Jesus' answer. What could be Mark's motivation for
      >omitting both the question (in direct discourse) and Jesus' answer?

      See the above. Why would AMk want his gospel to be no more than a
      translation of Matthew?

      Jim Deardorff
      Corvallis, Oregon
      E-mail: deardorj@...
      Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
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