[Synoptic-L] Luke - die Mitte der Schrift
- It is unfortunate that recent discussion on this list of the pericope of the
man with the withered hand has limited its focus to the texts of Matt and
Mark. As is almost always the case, I would argue that the most profound
insight into the triple tradition comes through a careful study of what Luke
has done with the text of Matt, on the assumption that ALk is writing second.
Let me make just a few observations, therefore, about Lk 6:6-11, though I
will keep in mind the entire section of Lk 6:1-11, which is parallel to Matt
(1) It is noteworthy that in both pericopes in Matt, Jesus speaks at some
length, and in a clearly didactic tone. In both corresponding pericopes in
Luke, the discourse of Jesus has been reduced in a way that is exactly
proportionate to the way in which Luke reduces (and focuses) the material in
each of his main parallels to Matthew's great discourses (the Sermon on the
Mount/Plain, e.g., etc.).
(2) The main omission by Luke in our pericope is the words of Jesus in Matt
12:11-12. There are numerous indications, however, that Luke was aware of
these Matthean verses:
a.) He has a rough parallel to their contents in both 13:15 and 14:5
(especially the latter). These are stories, in my view, that are simply
doublets created by Luke, with variations on the theme of Matt 12:9-14.
b.) In accordance with regular custom, ALk conflates Matt 12:11 with Matt
18:1ff to begin his own version of the lost sheep parable in Lk 15:3-6. Note
also that in the body of the parable the lost sheep in Lk is not only found,
but also lifted up, as is the sheep in Matt 12:11 (but not in Matt 18).
c.) Lk introduces into the scene an entire new element of dramatic action not
found in Matt, where the man is ordered by Jesus to "rise" and stand "in the
middle" (eis to meson: clearly a Lukan phrase [see Lk 4:35, with no Markan
parallel] later, in this case, copied by Mark). What is happening here,
however, is that Jesus is acting out in Lk the "raising" of the "sheep" on
the Sabbath that is alluded to in the parable of Matt 12:11, with the use of
the same term used there (egerein: thus, perhaps, the absence of this TERM in
Lk 15). Lk notably employs the reverse process in his parable of the fig tree.
3. Just as Luke here substitutes Jesus' action (and words) for the parable of
Matt 12:11, so he introduces an explicit reference to Jesus' teaching (kai
didaskein: 6:6) not found in the Matthean pericope.
4. Luke's drastic reformulation of Jesus' words of challenge to the scribes
and Pharisees in 6:9 shows a knowledge of Matt's redactional conclusion to
the pericope (Matt 12:14), even though Luke will compose a conclusion of his
own in 6:11. There (i.e., in Matt 12:14) the narrator remarks that the
Pharisees took council as to how they might "destroy" Jesus. So Luke produces
the contrast, within Jesus' words, between agathopoiein and kakopoiein,
followed by pseuchen sosai and apolesai (to destroy). Note that the theme of
"salvation (pseuchen sosai) has been introduced by Luke into the narrative as
a theological category illuminating the kalos poiein of Jesus, and this may
explain why Luke's text also introduces the name "Jesus" twice into the
pericope, though it is not found at all in Matt 12:9-14.
5. Finally, it should be noted that AMatt is most probably the originator of
both stories in Matt 12:1-14. They are intimately linked to the words of
Jesus in Matt 11:28-30. They are stories that illustrate the "sweet yoke" and
"light burden" of Jesus, which refer to the fact that Jesus is a leader of
Israel who, unlike the Pharisaic scribes, is one who interprets Torah in a
way that is not burdensome, but rather life-giving to people. As usual, Luke
is not as interested in this original point of Matthew, but he is able to use
these stories to make a point of broader appeal: namely, that, independently
of Jesus' teaching understood as a gentle interpretation of Torah, Jesus'
actions and words are universally recognizable as life-giving and beneficial,
in contrast to the words and deeds of the Scribes and Pharisees which are
life-threating and mean. [As usual, Mark merely conflates elements of the
Lukan and Matthean texts].
- Brian Wilson wrote --
>Leonard Maluf replied --
>I would suggest that it does not take much imagination or ingenuity to
>work out very convincing reasons for what Mark did if he used Matthew,
>or for what Matthew did if he used Mark.
>Often true, in individual cases. But overall, the view of Matt re-
>Judaizing an originally Jewish-Christian tradition that has previously
>been substantially un-Judaized by Mark is difficult. One should only
>assume such a tortuous line of development for very good reasons.
>Those usually supplied in support of the relative priority of Mark do
>not fit the bill.
Your argument seems to me to be that, if we assume the Farrer
Hypothesis (or similar), (1) Mark must have un-Judaized his source
material and (2) Matthew must then have re-Judaized this source
material, and that this is "tortuous" and therefore unlikely. What are
the grounds for either (1) or (2), however?
With respect to (1), it is conceivable that Mark un-Judaized none of his
source material, but faithfully used the source material available to
him, however un-Judaic it might be. If Mark wrote first, we cannot
distinguish between tradition and redaction in the Gospel of Mark. If we
had a method for making such a distinction, we would immediately be able
to use it to tell whether Matthew used Mark, or Mark used Matthew, and
the synoptic problem would be solved in a flash. On the Farrer
Hypothesis (or similar), not only do we not know which material Mark un-
Judaized, but we do not even know that he un-Judaized any source
material at all.
With respect to (2), on the Farrer Hypothesis (or similar) since half
the Gospel of Matthew is non-Markan material, it would seem that Matthew
has combined un-Judaic Mark with Judaic source material of some kind(s).
This is neither overall un-Judaizing nor overall Judaizing. It is
So, on the Farrer Hypothesis (or similar), there is no tortuous
development of un-Judaizing followed by re-Judaizing. There is only
conflating of Judaic and un-Judaic material. This would have been very
understandable bearing in mind that Christian communities such as those
at Rome, Antioch in Syria, Corinth and so on, were an intermingling of
Gentile and Jewish Christians, and that the writer of the Gospel of
Matthew would have realized that his book could be copied and circulated
widely to such "mixed" assemblies within weeks of it being written.
The question remains whether it is possible for the advocate of the
Griesbach Hypothesis to give an irreversible directional indicator
showing that Matthew did not use Mark. The alternative question is
whether the advocate of the Farrer Hypothesis (or similar) can give an
irreversible indicator to show that Mark did not use Matthew. I doubt
that either can do this.
EM brian@... HP www.twonh.demon.co.uk TEL+44(0)1480385043
Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE18 8EB,UK
> "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot_
> speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".