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Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: "Lord's Prayer" & the 3SH

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 11/1/1999 9:28:14 AM Eastern Standard Time, cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu writes:
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 1, 1999
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      In a message dated 11/1/1999 9:28:14 AM Eastern Standard Time,
      cwconrad@... writes:

      << I was appalled to see the heavy-handed rhetoric in: "the greatest
      compliment an author can pay to a predecessor is to copy (plagiarize) his
      work." Of course plagiarism is not in question, but the ancient literary
      tradition depends upon the author's expectation that reader will recognize
      the deft reformulation of phraseology from a predecessor and understand it
      both as a compliment to the predecessor and as authentic originality on the
      part of the author. I think this is a fairly well-known truth about Greek
      and Latin literature, but I rather think that the echoes of the earlier
      prophets in Deuteronomy and the recurrent "repetitions with a difference"
      of Old Testament texts in the New Testament. The author of Revelation is a
      master at this, and I would readily assume that every one of the composers
      of gospels were doing the same thing--and this does not mean at all that
      they weren't authors. Is it possible that this hasn't entered at all into
      considerations about synoptic gospel relationships? Of course it's not that
      simple a matter to determine which direction the literary comment is going
      but to me, at least, it would seem very strange that such adoption of
      phraseology of one evangelist by another with slight alterations that
      transform its meaning should NOT be a factor in synoptic relationships.
      >>

      I don't see the relevancy of any of this to what I said in the original
      posting. Nor do I quite understand what you are saying. If you are intending
      to communicate with me (and I am honestly not sure from the above that you
      are) could you please express yourself in a few sentences that make your
      point and that address directly points I had made? Thanks.

      Perhaps you didn't understand what I was saying in the sentence you cite as
      containing appalling, heavy handed rhetoric. Ron is of the opinion (and has
      said so more than once on this list) that ALk did not care much for the
      Gospel of Matthew. His opinion, as I read him, is based mainly on the fact
      that, according to his Synoptic theory, Luke did not copy much directly from
      Matt. I was trying to say that copying someone's work is not the only way to
      pay that person a compliment. Let me give you an example. In Matt 9:13 we
      find the words of Jesus: "Go and learn what this means: 'I will have mercy
      and not sacrifice'". Luke did not copy these words. Instead, he probably paid
      AMt the far greater compliment of obeying them, and we have the results of
      Luke's research on the theme "mercy and not sacrifice" in the OT in the
      magnificent parable of the Good Samaritan.

      Leonard Maluf
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 11/1/1999 12:31:18 PM Eastern Standard Time, scmiller@www.plantnet.com writes:
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 1, 1999
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        In a message dated 11/1/1999 12:31:18 PM Eastern Standard Time,
        scmiller@... writes:

        <<
        LM: < Luke may well have LIKED Matthew's version better, and used it
        elsewere, liturgically etc., rather than his own. But he was simply
        following the standard writing practice of Hellenistic authorship when he
        renounced reproducing Matthew's form of the Lord's Prayer, with its
        seven-fold structure, within his own Gospel. >

        << You seem now to want to suggest that although Luke knew Matthew's version
        of the "Lord's Prayer," he was bound by a Hellenistic writers code to
        re-write everything he used, and unfortunately Luke lacked the creative
        genius to improve on Matthew's version (although later scribes we able to
        do so) and so was forced to submit his butchered version of the "Lord's
        Prayer" instead of Matthew's version.>>

        I am tempted here to use your favorite phrase (inflamatory rhetoric) with
        reference to your last comment. On a more substantive note, I suggested, if
        you recall, that Luke's version was in one sense better than Matthew's: it
        illustrated better the point made by the Matthean Jesus that it is not
        necessary to use many words when praying to the Father.

        << First of all, Matthew's version of the "Lord's Prayer," is 61 words (using
        NA27). But according to the Griesbach hypothesis, Luke copied 63 words from
        Matthew at Mt 3:7b-10 // Lk 3:7b-9 almost verbatim (i.e., with a few minor
        changes). So such (almost) verbatim copying is not impossible, even with
        Luke's supposed Hellenistic writers code.>>

        This is an interesting point, and it illustrates how difficult it is to do
        anything of this kind in a format like this. Although I didn't write on this
        topic in this particular posting, of course I am aware of passages that
        exhibit extended exact verbatim copying between Luke and Matt. As I have said
        a few times before, though, this kind of copying (of Matt by Luke) takes
        place only in sayings material, and it extends over more than a few words
        only in cases where such material is relatively unstructured. If you will
        kindly examine carefully the entire pericope on John the Baptist in its Lukan
        form, compared to that found in Matt, you will note that the material as a
        whole has been thoroughly restructured, with ALL the "structures" of the
        Matthean text removed, and replaced with new structuring elements in Luke.
        Thus, the pericope (as a whole) illustrates very well the main point I was
        making, in spite of the extensive verbal agreement in sayings material that
        occurs within it.

        <<Furthermore, I would suggest that
        a prayer from Jesus would have had greater value to Luke than John the
        Baptist's preaching on repentance (Lk 3:7b-9) and no "Hellenistic writers
        code" could have prevented Luke from copying all 61 words if Luke so
        desired.>>

        OK. This argument will undoubtedly appeal to some, and it is not unreasonable
        in itself. However, consider the following: when Luke cites from any OT
        passage of a length comparable to the Lord's Prayer, he invariably names his
        source (often through the mouth of a character in his story). Of course
        Matthew was not a work Luke intended to "cite" in this way. In Hellenistic
        writing, a "model" that was being used as the basis of imitation writing was,
        by convention, NOT mentioned by the author using that model (think of the
        Epistle to the Ephesians, or 2 Pet, or Virgil's Aeneid). For example, Luke
        does not cite the Books of Samuel by name when he uses them as partial models
        for his infancy stories, or the prophecy of Ezekiel when he is writing about
        Peter and the sheet in Acts. The decision to write a new Gospel, modeled on
        the popular Gospel already in existence (Matt), thus already dictates what
        Luke will do when he comes to the structured "saying" of Jesus that we now
        know as the "Our Father". He will reproduce it in substance, but with an
        altered form.

        <<Second, I find it hard to believe that Luke, if he was using Matthew's
        gospel as a source, didn't have the creative genius to actually improve on
        Matthew's version. After all, later scribes were able to modify Matthew's
        version and thus "improve" Matthew's version.>>

        Again, this involves a subjective judgment about the quality of Luke's work,
        and ignores the subtlety of what Luke is doing here with respect to the
        discussion on prayer in Matt 6.

        << Finally, you suggest that Luke "may" have liked Matthew's version better,
        and "may" have even used it liturgically. This too I find hard to reconcile
        with what Luke actually wrote.>>

        You need a little time for this idea to ripen. I see it is too new for you as
        yet. It will seem less difficult after you have been convinced that what I am
        saying about the conventions of Hellenistic writing is valid.

        << IMO one should not forget that these gospels were
        propaganda (in the good sense of the term) pieces! They were meant to be
        taken seriously and to influence people's behavior. If Luke puts a
        liturgical prayer in the mouth of Jesus, it would be safe to assume (IMO)
        that Luke meant for people to actually use that prayer.>>

        You are guilty of anachronism here. We don't really know when even Matthew's
        form of the "Lord's Prayer" began to be used "liturgically". I know it is
        hard for us to imagine that there was ever a time when it wasn't, but this is
        nevertheless a distinct possibility. Remember that in Matt, Jesus has just
        made the statement that when we pray, we should enter into our chamber and
        closing the door pray to our Father in secret. This does not describe
        "liturgical" prayer.

        Leonard Maluf
      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 11/1/1999 8:23:09 AM Eastern Standard Time, t_longst@colby.edu writes:
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 1, 1999
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          In a message dated 11/1/1999 8:23:09 AM Eastern Standard Time,
          t_longst@... writes:

          << In the modern world copying would not be the greatest compliment that
          an author could pay to a predecessor. I agree. Laying aside the innuendo
          about "Ron's world," the question would be how copying another's words
          would be understood in the first century. As one who has examined
          conflation as a technique employed by ancient (and not so ancient)
          authors, I am not convinced that Leonard Maluf's use of these modern
          concepts is an appropriate analogy to authorship in the ancient world.
          >>

          I never meant to suggest that these concepts applied in the same way in the
          ancient world than they do today. Nevertheless, the above observations are
          very much on target with respect to the type of dialogue I hoped my remarks
          would generate. Conflation was indeed a common literary procedure in
          antiquity (and one, by the way, employed very frequently by Luke, as well as
          by Mark in my understanding of the 2 GH), but I wonder if one wouldn't have
          to distinguish between significantly different types of conflation, the
          essential difference being in how literally the employed sources were
          reproduced. I do not think that authors who simply incorporated into their
          works large portions of the works of predecessors, with only minor
          alterations (as Mark does, according to the 2 GH) were in fact regarded on
          anything like a par with authors who were far more creative, but also
          employed abstract literary models, and used minor conflationary touches as
          one of many sophicated writing tools. In other words, literary critics
          roughly contemporary with the Evangelists, such as Dionysius of Halicarnassus
          and Quintilian, certainly differentiated clearly between great writers, on
          the one hand, and quite mediocre authors on the other. I suspect that you
          will not find among those they regarded as great, authors whose writings are
          known to involve extensive and fairly literal copying from older sources.

          Leonard Maluf
        • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
          ... as ... have ... Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Quite a few studies have been published over the last thirty to forty years providing, I think,
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 1, 1999
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            > ............... Conflation was indeed a common literary procedure in
            > antiquity (and one, by the way, employed very frequently by Luke, as well
            as
            > by Mark in my understanding of the 2 GH), but I wonder if one wouldn't
            have
            > to distinguish between significantly different types of conflation, the
            > essential difference being in how literally the employed sources were
            > reproduced.

            Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

            Quite a few studies have been published over the last thirty to forty years
            providing, I think, clear evidence that authors who conflate do so in
            different ways, i.e., that there are, indeed, significantly different types
            of conflation. Could you be more specific about the discussion that you wish
            to stimulate to advance the discussion of this issue and help us better to
            understand the process of conflation?

            Thank you.

            Thomas R. W. Longstaff
            Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
            Director, African-American Studies Program
            Colby College
          • Carl W. Conrad
            ... If I misunderstood you, I apologize; I took the opening comment as intentional sarcasm and what followed in the above paragraph as denying that repetition
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 2, 1999
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              At 8:10 PM -0500 11/1/99, Maluflen@... wrote:
              >In a message dated 11/1/1999 9:28:14 AM Eastern Standard Time,
              >cwconrad@... writes:
              >
              ><< I was appalled to see the heavy-handed rhetoric in: "the greatest
              > compliment an author can pay to a predecessor is to copy (plagiarize) his
              > work." Of course plagiarism is not in question, but the ancient literary
              > tradition depends upon the author's expectation that reader will recognize
              > the deft reformulation of phraseology from a predecessor and understand it
              > both as a compliment to the predecessor and as authentic originality on the
              > part of the author. I think this is a fairly well-known truth about Greek
              > and Latin literature, but I rather think that the echoes of the earlier
              > prophets in Deuteronomy and the recurrent "repetitions with a difference"
              > of Old Testament texts in the New Testament. The author of Revelation is a
              > master at this, and I would readily assume that every one of the composers
              > of gospels were doing the same thing--and this does not mean at all that
              > they weren't authors. Is it possible that this hasn't entered at all into
              > considerations about synoptic gospel relationships? Of course it's not that
              > simple a matter to determine which direction the literary comment is going
              > but to me, at least, it would seem very strange that such adoption of
              > phraseology of one evangelist by another with slight alterations that
              > transform its meaning should NOT be a factor in synoptic relationships.
              > >>
              >
              >I don't see the relevancy of any of this to what I said in the original
              >posting. Nor do I quite understand what you are saying. If you are intending
              >to communicate with me (and I am honestly not sure from the above that you
              >are) could you please express yourself in a few sentences that make your
              >point and that address directly points I had made? Thanks.

              At 6:14 AM -0500 11/1/99, Maluflen@... wrote:
              >In a message dated 11/1/1999 5:28:21 AM Eastern Standard Time,
              >ron.price@... writes:
              >
              ><< Au_Luke (not the 'last redactor') had less respect for Matthew than for
              > his other two sources >>
              >
              >In Ron's world, I guess, the greatest compliment an author can pay to a
              >predecessor is to copy (plagiarize) his work. I don't believe this. By the
              >way, do you know any modern authors who copy others' work? (No. Of course you
              >don't. It's people who can't write who copy.) An author who wishes to
              >maintain any kind of respectability takes care to really author his work. If
              >he (she) takes material from a source, he attributes that material to the
              >source employed OR significantly re-structures, re-forms it. (The missing
              >premise in the above is, of course, that I believe Luke was an author).

              If I misunderstood you, I apologize; I took the opening comment as
              intentional sarcasm and what followed in the above paragraph as denying
              that repetition of another's phraseology with subtle alteration was in fact
              a standard practice in antiquity, particularly in a society wherein
              literary texts are composed to be heard and important ones are committed to
              memory. My own intention was to state a proposition to the contrary of what
              I took you to be rejecting with contempt, and I was not really (and should
              perhaps have made this clear) commenting on the substance of your exchange
              with Ron Price.

              Again: At 8:10 PM -0500 11/1/99, Maluflen@... wrote
              >Perhaps you didn't understand what I was saying in the sentence you cite as
              >containing appalling, heavy handed rhetoric. Ron is of the opinion (and has
              >said so more than once on this list) that ALk did not care much for the
              >Gospel of Matthew. His opinion, as I read him, is based mainly on the fact
              >that, according to his Synoptic theory, Luke did not copy much directly from
              >Matt. I was trying to say that copying someone's work is not the only way to
              >pay that person a compliment. Let me give you an example. In Matt 9:13 we
              >find the words of Jesus: "Go and learn what this means: 'I will have mercy
              >and not sacrifice'". Luke did not copy these words. Instead, he probably paid
              >AMt the far greater compliment of obeying them, and we have the results of
              >Luke's research on the theme "mercy and not sacrifice" in the OT in the
              >magnificent parable of the Good Samaritan.

              I appreciate this example, although I don't really believe that Luke's use
              of the parable of the Good Samaritan in his gospel was inspired by his
              reading of Matthew's gospel and I wonder whether you do either? Well, if
              you think this is a consequence of Luke's research into that theme in the
              OT, perhaps you really do believe that, and perhaps you believe that the
              parable of the Good Samaritan is Luke's own creation, a possibility I would
              certainly not reject out of hand. I think that compassion is a powerful
              theme in both gospels, but I don't think that Luke derived it from Matthew
              or vice versa. I might add, for what it's worth, that I believe all three
              of the Synoptic evangelists were authors in the sense you are using the
              word, and Mark not the least of them. Increasingly I think that the great
              difficulty in reaching any real consensus on Synoptic relationships derives
              from the fact each of the evangelists--whether or not we think of the
              finished gospels as undergoing one or more redactions--was quite creative
              with the traditional materials at his disposal.


              Carl W. Conrad
              Department of Classics/Washington University
              One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
              Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
              cwconrad@...
              WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
            • Petros Boyd
              One of the few places I have ... Thanks for calling our attention to this very interesting note. If Luke s preface is compared with that of Josephus, the
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 6, 1999
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                One of the few places I have
                > seen it explored is in Mark Matson's as yet unpublished piece
                > available on his web site, "Luke as Dialogue with Previous Gospels",
                > http://www.pubpol.duke.edu/people/faculty/matson/Bauckham.html.

                Thanks for calling our attention to this very interesting note.
                If Luke's preface is compared with that of Josephus, the question arises
                whether the intention of his gospel is to 'correct' possibly misleading data
                in the earlier undertakings. So the promise to write akribos and kathexes
                confirms serious and even critical engagement with already published works.

                On the question of naive readers, how would we assess Theophilus?
                Luke writes so that he may have asphaleia ['safety' or 'certainty' ?] in the
                matters in which he has received instruction. The instruction left him still
                needing information that is guranteed. Clearly Theophilus could have been
                his literary patron. If so the community aspect tends to fall into the
                back-ground.. Yet the claim that he the events 'have been fulfilled among
                us' suggests that the community context is not totally absent.
                But is there any need for an either/or on this question? Why not
                'both /and' We have to balance the cost of publication which might need
                the kind of financial support a community could give to a costly undertaking
                of producing in Luke's case a two-volume wor on papyrus. Also Luke in Acts
                provides evidence of numerous churches not founded by any known apostle, but
                as a result of vigorous natural expansion of the Cbristian faith. They would
                doubtless have many naive readers as well as sophisticated ones. The whole
                thrust of Luke-Acts is characterised by the universal character of the
                Gospel for a whole empire and world, more so than Matthew or Mark, yet that
                need not rule out a community of faith with a high calling to witness to the
                world.

                Regards,

                petros



                > It is something I have touched on myself too, especially in relation to
                > Luke's prologue, which may imply that Luke expected his readers to
                > engage with his gospel in the light of their reading of the work of his
                > predecessors. It is one of the directions in which I would like to see
                > future synoptic study developing. Contemporary interest in narrative-
                > criticism and intertextuality might be the catalyst for such
                > developments.
                >
                > Mark
                > --------------------------------------
                > Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                > Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                > University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
                > Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom
                >
                > http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                > The New Testament Gateway
                > Mark Without Q
                > Aseneth Home Page
                >
                >
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