[Synoptic-L] the contents of the GN, roughly
- Jeffrey Gibson wrote -
>I call once again for you to state definitely what was and what was
>not in the GN
The Greek Notes Hypothesis posits that a rather repetitious
writer wrote out a set of Greek Notes of Jesus tradition, sometimes re-
using part of one story he had already recorded to make more effective
another story. The pieces of Jesus tradition could be described as
"notes" or "short reports", the collection as a whole not possessing a
clear outline. Each synoptist independently used the Greek Notes,
editing the material he selected, to try and produce a book which could
be read as a continuous account of Jesus - a gospel. On this view, the
synoptic gospels are therefore three separate edited selections of
material from the same set of notes in Greek.
Assuming the GNH to be true and applying it to the synoptic gospels, it
can be inferred that, roughly, the GN contained -
(1) the contents of Mark in their order in Mark,
(2) all non-Markan Luke mostly in its order in Luke and in its Lukan
positions (relative to the triple tradition pericopes in the same order
in all three synoptic gospels),
(3) all special Matthew some of this being in its positions in Matthew
(relative to the triple tradition pericopes in the same order in all
three synoptic gospels), but the rest having various possible locations,
(4) some material which is irrecoverable to us (since coincidentally it
was omitted independently by all three synoptists).
Note please that "roughly" is a crucial word above. There are minor
exceptions. For instance, where (exceptionally) Matthew and Luke agree
against Mark in the arrangement of triple tradition pericopes, the
arrangement in Matthew and Luke, not in Mark, is taken to be the
arrangement in the GN.
Note also please that the above description of the contents of the GN is
not part of the GNH. It is the result of assuming the GNH to be true and
applying it to the contents of the synoptic gospels.
Please bear in mind too that, according to the GNH, the GN was not a
book but a set of notes for teaching Jesus tradition.
On 20 September 1999 in reply to a posting from yourself, Jeffrey, I
gave a tentative reconstruction of the contents (not the wording) of the
Greek Notes as far as just after the earlier Sermon (mostly retained
within the Sermon in Matthew). I append this tentative reconstruction
"..............the following is a tentative provisional outline of the
contents of the beginning of the Greek Notes (up to the context of the
earlier Sermon in the Greek Notes). Please note that reconstructing the
exact wording of the material is not considered here. (It would take
hundreds of lines to set out).
_Provisional outline of the contents of beginning of the Greek Notes_
(1) Lk 3.23-38 - see repetition in Mt 1.1-17. Luke moved this Genealogy
to a later position to help form his "orderly narrative account" of
(2) Lk 1.5-2.52 - includes Annunciation to Mary; see repetition in Mt
(3) Mt 1.1-17 - see repetition in Lk 3.23-38.
(4) Mt 1.18-2.23 - includes Annunciation to Joseph. See repetition in Lk
(5) Mt 3.1-2 - see Lk 3.2(b)-3. See also repetition in Mt 4.17(b).
(6) Mk 1.2-6 - see repetition in Mt 11.10 // Lk 7.27. It is possible
that Matthew retains the original order of material here, and that Mark
has altered the order of Mk 1.4/1.6 to enable the next piece of GN
material (direct speech) to be omitted more conveniently to him. Note
that Mt 3.3 // Mk 1.2-3 // Lk 3.4 continues series of "proof text
passages" in the immediately preceding Mt 1.18-2.23.
(7) Lk 3.7-9 - see Mt 3.7-10. Mark omits a passage of direct speech.
(8) Lk 3.10-14 - Matthew omits, retaining only part of the direct speech
retained by Luke. Mark continues to omit passage of direct speech.
(9) Mt 3.11-12 - note that Mark re-arranges order of Mk 1.7/8(a)
possibly to prepare to omit direct speech material retained in Mt
3.11(b)-12,14-15. See also Mk 1.7-8, Lk 3.16(b)-17.
(10) Mt 3.13-17(a),Mk 1.11(b) - see also Mk 1.9-11(a) // Lk 3.21(b)-22.
See repetition in Mt 17.5(b) // Mk 9.7(b) // Lk 9.35.
(11) Mt 4.1-11(a) - see also Mk 1.12-13(a), Lk 4.1-13. Mark omits a
passage of direct speech, retaining the deeds of Jesus here.
(12) Mk 1.13(b) - see also Mt 4.11(b).
(13) Mk 1.14-15 - note that Mt 4.17(b) // Mk 1.15(b) repeats Mt 3.2.
(14) Mk 1.16-20 - see repetition in Lk 5.1.2(b)-3(a),10,11(b). See
repetition also in Mk 2.13-17.
(15) Mk 1.21-28 - see repetition in parts of Mk 5.1-8.
(16) Mk 1.29-31 - see also Lk 4.38-39 and Mt 8.14-15.
(17) Mk 1.32-34 - see repetition in Mk 3.10-11,12.
(18) Mk 1.35-38 - see also Lk 4.42-43.
(19) Mk 1.39 - see also Lk 4.44.
(20) Mt 5.1(a)
(21) Mt 5.2
(22) Mt 5.7-10
(23) Mt 5.17-20 (see repetition in Mk 13.31)
(24) Mt 5.21-24
(25) Mt 5.27-30 (see repetition in Mk 9.43-48)
(26) Mt 5.31-32 (see repetition in Mk 10.11-12)
(27) Mt 5.33-37
(28) Mt 5.38
(29) Mt 5.41
(30) Mt 5.43
(31) Mt 6.1-4
(32) Mt 6.5-8
(33) Mt 6.15 (see repetition in Mt 18.35)
(34) Mt 6.16-18. - Using passages from elsewhere in the Greek Notes,
Matthew expanded the material of numbers 20-34 above to form his long
Sermon on the Mount - Mt 5.1-7.29.
(35) Lk 5.1-11 - see repetition in Mk 1.16-20
(36) Mk 1.40-45 - see also Mt 8.2-4 and Lk 5.12(b)-16.
The above is not intended to be the reconstruction of the beginning of a
continuous book. The Greek Notes were notes, each of which was to some
extent self-contained. On the GNH, each synoptist was under continual
pressure to omit material from the Greek Notes which were long.
On the Greek Notes Hypothesis, the repetitions noted above were probably
the result of the writer of the Greek Notes deliberately repeating
wording in one piece of material already used in another piece.
The exact wording of the above contents could be inferred to some extent
by looking, for instance, for agreements of wording between two or more
gospels, including minor agreements of Matthew and Luke against Mark in
the triple tradition (for instance in the Baptism of Jesus). Such
agreements indicate the wording of the Greek Notes. We could also take
note of instances of extensive Mattheanisms (such as "narrative TOTE"
which occurs dozens of times in Matthew generally, and four times in the
Matthean account of the Temptation but not once in the Lukan parallel),
treating these as supplied by Matthew and therefore not original to the
Greek Notes wording, and so on. Similarly we could look for extensive
Lukanisms or Markanisms, and make similar use of these. Of course, where
material is retained by only one synoptist, in many instances it may
often be hard, if not impossible, to distinguish Greek Notes wording
from wording supplied editorially by the synoptist, although most of the
wording of "story dualities" material, even if special to one synoptic
gospel, can be assigned to the Greek Notes. In the last resort, however,
any reconstruction will be to some extent tentative, provisional and
Hope this helps.
E-MAIL : brian@... HOMEPAGE
SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson,
10 York Close, Godmanchester, www.twonh.demon.co.uk
Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE18 8EB, UK