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Re: the Markan Cross Factor

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  • Mark Goodacre
    ... How far is the explanation suggested by Stephen Carlson and seconded by David Mealand adequate? Can we not say that Matthew and Luke are generally more
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15 9:08 AM
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      Brian Wilson wrote:

      > It seems to me that the pattern described above still needs to be
      > explained.

      How far is the explanation suggested by Stephen Carlson and
      seconded by David Mealand adequate? Can we not say that Matthew and
      Luke are generally more conservative with sayings material than they
      are with narrative material?

      If one wants a modern parallel for the same thing, consider some of
      the Jesus films. *King of Kings* (Nicholas Ray, 1961), on the whole,
      keeps the Biblical words in Jesus's mouth though playing fast and
      loose with the narrative order and narrative setting (and even
      narrative voice, spoken in *King of Kings* by Orson Wells). I think
      the same basic point could be made about *Jesus of Nazareth*
      (Zeffirelli, 1977) and even about films specifically based on one of
      the Gospels, *Godspell* (David Greene, 1973) and *The Gospel
      According to St Matthew* (Pasolini, 1964).

      Further, is there a danger that the following overstates the case?

      > For instance, in the double tradition "John's Question to Jesus" in
      > Mt 11.2-6 // Lk 7.18-23, the direct speech in Matthew is very
      > similar in wording to the wording which is parallel in Luke, but the
      > parts of Matthew which are not direct speech show hardly any verbal
      > agreement at all with the parts of Luke which are not direct speech.

      The only narrative material in Matt. 11.2-6 // Lk 7.18-23 is the
      introductory verse in each account. The introductory verse to a
      pericope is always likely to be different in each Gospel because this
      is where a redactor is setting the scene in characteristic fashion.
      Even in pre-redaction-criticism days, the redactor's work at the
      beginning of pericopae was recognised as important -- Bultmann
      devoted a whole chapter in his *History* to such transitional verses.
      The differences are likely to be particularly marked in cases like
      this where Matthew and Luke have differing material preceeding
      the pericope in question (Luke the Widow at Nain, Matthew the
      Discourse on Mission).

      The point is confirmed by two observations:

      a). within the same section (Matt. 11.2-6 // Luke 7.17-23), Matthew
      and Luke agree almost verbatim on Matt. 11.4 // Luke 7.24, KAI
      APROKRIQEIS [hO IHSOUS, Mt] EIPEN AUTOIS

      b). In the introduction to the next section, now parallel in sequence
      between Matthew and Luke, the wording in narrative is closer than it
      was in Matt. 11.2 // Luke 7.18:

      Matt. 11.7: HRXATO O IHSOUS LEGEIN TOIS OCLOIS
      PERI IWANNOU

      Luke 7.24: HRXATO LEGEIN PROS TOUS OCLOUS
      PERI IWANNOU

      Brian:

      > This is true also of the double tradition account of the Temptation
      > of Jesus. Matthew and Luke agree closely in wording where the devil
      > is speaking, or Jesus, but the material which is not direct speech
      > is not at all similar.

      'Not at all similar' is, I think, slightly to overstate the case.
      Matthew and Luke agree in several respects against Mark in the
      narrative sections of the Temptation story, e.g. hUPO TOU DIABOLOU
      against Mark's hUPO TOU SATANA (Mark 1.13 //); EPEINASEN (Matt. 4.2
      // Luke 4.2), but also strikingly at the following place:

      Matt. 4.5: KAI ESTHSEN AUTON EPI TO PTERUGION TOU hIEROU

      Luke 4.9: KAI ESTHSEN EPI TO PTERUGION TOU hIEROU


      >The same thing generally happens in the
      > triple tradition also, however. For example, in the triple tradition
      > account of Jesus and his disciples walking through the cornfields
      > (Mt 12.1-8, Mk 2.23-28, Lk 6.1-5), the direct speech by the
      > Pharisees and by Jesus is mostly very similar in Matthew and Luke,
      > but Matthew and Luke have very little verbal similarity in the
      > material which is not direct speech.

      Here again the narrative material concerned is at the beginning of
      the pericope, most of the rest of which is direct speech. The
      evangelists are showing characteristic variation at a pericope's
      opening though, nevertheless, showing clear agreement also (DIA
      SPORIMWN, hOI MAQHTAI AUTOU etc.).

      To summarise, I think that the answer is threefold:

      1. Observing the difference between narrative and sayings will take
      us most of the way, as has already been noted. A good parallel is
      provided by the way Jesus films deal with the Gospel material.

      2. Observation of the way the evangelists handle openings of
      pericopae (and the like) will take us most of the rest of the way.

      3. We should be careful not to over-generalise -- there
      is often agreement in narrative between the Gospels, in
      both triple tradition and double tradition.

      With good wishes

      Mark
      --------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham
      Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre.htm
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