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[Synoptic-L] Re: Did Luke excerpt Matthew's Sermon on the Mount?

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  • Ron Price
    ... What sort of argument is this? Something you think is likely appears in your eyes to render my argument null and void. Surely I am allowed to put forward
    Message 1 of 39 , Feb 1, 2000
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      Ron Price wrote:

      >>.............. Au_Matt had no special concern
      >> for the poor, as can be seen for instance in his omission of
      >> the story of the widow's gift (Mark 12:41-44) and his
      >> editorial introduction of the adjective "rich" in Matt 27:57.
      >> .................

      Mark Goodacre replied:

      >These points are superfluous if on other grounds it seems
      >likely that Luke's version is derived from Matthew's and not
      >from a shared Q text.

      What sort of argument is this? Something you think is "likely" appears
      in your eyes to render my argument null and void. Surely I am allowed to
      put forward an argument which challenges something you think is
      "likely"?! I am merely putting the case that just as Au_Luke might have
      had an incentive to remove "in spirit", Au_Matt might have had an
      incentive to **add** the phrase.

      Mark added:

      >The notion that Matthew has no great
      >concern for the poor is partly in any case based on the idea
      >that he has "glossed" the Q beatitude better represented by
      >Luke.

      My argument here was not partly based on this, so it is a little
      unfair to bring it up in this context.

      Ron continued:

      >> (2) Borrowing an argument from Textual Criticism,
      >> the Lukan reading is the more difficult. For why should the
      >> poor, who generally had no choice about their status, be
      >> blessed in preference to anyone else? But the topsy-turvy
      >> outlook of the Lukan saying fits well with other
      >> authentic-looking double tradition sayings which turn the
      >> world's values upside down in an unexpected way.

      Mark replied:
      > ......................... the remarkable thing is that
      >narrative critics have no difficulty at all with explaining how
      >"Blessed are the poor" fits into the development of Luke's
      >narrative .......................

      This entirely misses my point. It's not a question of whether it fits
      into Luke's narrative. (I agree it does.) The crucial question is which
      version is more likely to have been authentic. I was attempting,
      admittedly without going into detail, to invoke the criterion of
      compatibility with other sayings judged to be authentic.

      Mark wrote:
      > The word
      >"righteousness" is indeed characteristic of Matthew. One of
      >the things that makes it characteristic ................
      > of Matthew is its omission by Luke.

      This is true. But it is a weak argument because we have a ready-made
      comparison in which Au_Luke had absolutely zero influence, namely the
      comparison between Mark and Matthew. We agree that Au_Matt based his
      gospel on Mark. However whereas DIKAIOSUNH is not mentioned in Mark, it
      is mentioned seven times in Matthew. So here we have independent
      evidence of Au_Matt favouring the word.

      Mark wrote:

      >What we need to ask is whether a change from "blessed are
      >those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" to "blessed are
      >those who hunger now" is consistent with others of Luke's
      >redactional interests. Indeed it is.

      Your question, at least taken in isolation, reveals a clear bias. For
      the neutral observer would see a symmetry here, and would ask the
      question: "Is it more likely that the Matthean version has been altered
      to the Lukan version or vice versa?" Is there not an equally strong case
      to be made that the Matthean version suits the Matthean author's aims?
      In any case we should also ask a question about the **original**
      context: "Which version is more likely to have been spoken originally?"
      This can be addressed quite independently of your question. Do you
      **really** believe that the original version of the saying included the
      word DIKAIOSUNH (or its Aramaic equivalent)?

      Mark added:

      > Q is an
      >hypothetical text, postulated primarily on the assumption that
      >Matthew and Luke are independent of one another.

      Stephen Carlson made a similar point:

      >today's leading scholars who actually argue for Q (e.g. Tuckett) do in
      >fact argue for Q by showing that Matthew and Luke are independent of
      >one another.

      I note (if my memory serves me right) that you two are on opposite
      sides of the fence regarding the existence of Q. Curiously you both seem
      to share roughly the same view about the arguments for Q. But arguments
      **for** a sayings source ought not to be confused with arguments
      **against** Au_Luke's use of Matthew. These are logically different
      issues and scholars ought to treat them as such (at least until the last
      step of their hypothesis).
      My point is this. If you consider the arguments for Q separately, they
      do not, even when put together, and even if you accept their individual
      validity, add up to a proof that Matthew and Luke are completely
      independent of each other.
      For instance, the "alternative primitivity" argument proves at most
      that, say, the Beatitudes, the Lord's Prayer and the doom oracle (Luke
      11:49-51) come from a sayings source. The "doublets" argument proves at
      most that there was a sayings source behind many of the sayings in
      Matthew and Luke. The arguments invariably dry up before they have
      covered the whole of the double tradition material. Therefore their
      supporters should not claim that they have proved the complete
      independence of Matthew and Luke. I have yet to see them claim that
      Au_Luke **could not have derived** (as distinct from *didn't derive*)
      the temptation story or the Centurion's Servant or Jesus' Thanksgiving
      or the Parable of the Pounds from Matthew. Of course some of them do
      claim that Au_Luke could not have largely ignored the Matthean birth and
      resurrection stories if he had known about them. But this is a separate
      argument which can be adequately countered without necessarily
      demolishing the others (unless one has an objection in principle to the
      possibility of Luke having had three written sources).

      Ron Price

      Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

      e-mail: ron.price@...

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
      ... This is a very interesting discussion. While I don t have much to offer, I am reading the thread carefully. The one comment I will make is that we need to
      Message 39 of 39 , Feb 16, 2000
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        At 11:57 AM 2/16/00 +0000, Ron Price wrote:
        >I wrote re "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
        >righteousness.......":
        >
        > >> Au_Matt was introducing one of his
        > >> favourite words and (arguably) at the same time avoiding giving praise to
        > >> a section of society for which he had no special concern.
        >
        >Mark Goodacre replied:
        >
        > >I disagree in particular with the last sentence. Is there any
        > >evidence in Matthew that feeding the hungry is regarded as being
        > >specially blessed? Indeed there is, in what is commonly accepted
        > >to be one of the most blatantly Matthean passages in the Gospel,
        > >25.31-46, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was
        > >thirsty and you gave me something to drink . . . " etc.
        >
        >Mark,
        > You have a good point here.
        > However the analogy is not *quite* as strong as you suggest. There is
        >a difference between blessing those who feed the hungry and blessing the
        >hungry themselves. It is at least arguable that Au_Matt might have made
        >such a distinction.

        This is a very interesting discussion. While I don't have much to offer, I
        am reading the thread carefully. The one comment I will make is that we
        need to avoid oversimplification. When looking at Matthean references to
        hunger and thirst (both are important), and especially, but not only,
        Matthew 25, we need to keep in mind the complex relationship of Matthew 25
        to Matthew 10:41 and, ultimately, to I Kings 13 (which Matthew surely has
        in mind). Mark (Goodacre) is quite right that hunger - and I would add
        thirst - is an important term in Matthew and (often at least) does
        emphasize that feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty are
        "specially blessed."


        Dr. Thomas R. W. Longstaff
        Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
        Director, African-American Studies Program
        Colby College
        4643 Mayflower Hill
        Waterville, ME 04901-8846
        Email: t_longst@...
        Office phone: 207 872-3150
        FAX: 207 872-3802
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