Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Luke 6:6-11
- In a message dated 10/3/1999 5:48:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
To: the participants of the Synoptic-L,
If one is to assume that Luke used Matthew as his source for the pericope
of the man with the withered hand (Lk 6:6-11 & Mt 12:9-14), why did Luke
here change the direct discourse found in Matthew to indirect discourse?
What motivated Luke here to omit both the question Jesus was asked along
with Jesus' answer? Why would Luke change "they asked him" to "they watched
him"? And why did Luke change the direct discourse: "'Is it lawful on the
sabbaths [plural] to heal?'" to the indirect discourse: "whether it is
lawful on the sabbath [singular] to heal"?
It amazes me if these are seriously thought to be unanwerable rhetorical
questions. The obvious counter-question to the series of questions as a whole
is: why did Luke bother to sit down to "write an orderly account" of things
brought to fulfillment in our midst, if his intention was to simply copy the
Gospel in front of him? The whole point of writing a new Gospel is precisely
that Luke thought he could do it differently, and better, than Matthew.
As for the individual questions (arguments?), they are totally without merit
if understood to be difficulties for the hypothesis of a 2nd Gospel, Luke,
following Matt. There is a distinct and verifiable tendency, e.g., in
"second" tellers of a story to put in indirect discourse what was in direct
discourse in a source. Take for example, Josephus' retelling of the story of
Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac in his Antiquities: Josephus turns into
indirect discourse every single case of direct discourse in the story as told
in Gen 22 LXX. Why shouldn't Luke do the same with the text of Matthew? (I
assume we agree that LXX Gen was a source of Josephus, and that there is no
question about which came first?)
<< As I read this pericope synoptically, it makes more sense to assume that
Mark's account was written first and that both Matthew and Luke made
redactional changes in order to correct what they perceived to have been a
problem. In Mark, Jesus is motivated into action merely by malevolent
scrutiny. Luke makes it clear that Jesus knew what was going on by adding
"he knew their calculations." Matthew makes this even more explicit by
transforming the indirect discourse into a direct question.>>
This strikes me as a very weak argument for Markan priority in this pericope
- particularly in light of the following observations of your own:
<<FWIW ... there are a number of interesting 'Markan Additions,' e.g.: "But
they were silent"; "... with anger, saddened at the hardness of their
heart"; and "... immediately with the Herodians." >>
Yes, and what, may I ask, motivated Matt and Luke to independently remove
each of the above colorful features, (which make much more sense as
psychological details added by a later writer, a good story teller,
attempting to appeal to a popular audience of Romans through a dramatic
retelling of the Gospel story)? So, both my observations and your own seem to
point to a 2 GH order of composition for this series of Synoptic parallels.
- 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".