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[Synoptic-L] Re: Semitic Sources?

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  • Yuri Kuchinsky
    yochanan bitan wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/synoptic-l/?start=3774 ... Thank you for clarifying your position
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 10, 2000
      yochanan bitan <buthfa-@...> wrote:
      original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/synoptic-l/?start=3774
      > yuri wrote:>
      > >So what is the correct understanding of Luke's style then? If I understand
      > >your position rightly, and please correct me if I'm wrong, you propose
      > >that Lk is based very closely on some sort of a Semitic source, and also
      > >that that source may have precedence over others that went into other
      > >gospels?
      > RB:
      > I assume/conclude that Luke used multiple Greek sources, at least one
      > of which was quite extensive and goes back to a Hebrew document.
      > [Probably/possibly more than one of his Greek sources goes back to a
      > semitic original, possibly even the same Hebrew source as the first
      > mentioned Greek to Hebrew source.] I assume that Matthew had access to
      > some form of Luke's primary Greek source that goes back to Hebrew. In
      > fact, Mark knew of that source, too.

      Thank you for clarifying your position on this, Randall. My only concern
      is that when you're analyzing the style of Luke on the basis of its
      canonical version, it may perhaps be difficult to distinguish between the
      style of a hypothetical early source of Lk, and the style of a late editor
      who also may have re-edited either parts or the whole of the gospel and/or
      of the Acts. Certain stylistic features may be attributed to either
      factor, perhaps?

      > (yuri):
      > >Speaking of Semitic sources, what is your position on Shem-Tob's Hebrew
      > >Mt? Until recently the debate in this area has been between two positions,
      > >either HMt is substantially an ancient document, or it is a medieval
      > >translation. But in my recent post to Synoptic-L,
      > > . . .
      > >clearly it had a lot of Semitic influence that carried over into HMt.
      > I do not have my own opinion of shem-tov's late medieval Hebrew Mt, but
      > your sentence above is a truism in that a Hebrew translation of MT must of
      > its very existence show Semitic influence, even if there weren't any.

      But I don't think there's any doubt here at all. Of course there's quite a
      lot of Semitic influence in HMt. See below.

      > (caveat: I'm not saying that there isn't any early tradition.)

      I think there's clearly an early textual tradition of some sort that is
      visible in HMt, and Petersen will probably agree...

      > Sometimes translations produce better puns than are in an original.
      > Getting at early layers of tradition within a late, reworked document
      > is a long, involved process, especially when over a millenium has
      > transpired.

      Well, it's not too difficult. For example I've been able to find a couple
      of early readings in HMt (Mt 8:4; Mt 27:52-3, paralleled also in
      Diatessaron) that are very interesting without much effort at all. I'm
      sure there's a lot more there.

      I can see by your reference to HMt as "late medieval" that you seem to be
      skeptical about this document. That's quite all right. Many people are
      skeptical. Others, like Prof. James Tabor, whose expertise in this area is
      hardly in question, think it represents some ancient tradition (see
      http://www.uncc.edu/jdtabor/shemtovweb.html). There are many different
      views on this.

      But I want to go beyond confrontation and towards cooperation in
      discussing HMt. There's been too much confrontation already. People
      somehow seem to gravitate to extremes and they disregard the middle ground
      that is quite substantial.

      So this is why I would like to go beyond simply trying to give a date to
      the Hebrew text. And thus I will agree to accept Petersen's hypothesis of
      the medieval translation, and then will go one step further. If a medieval
      translation, then it must have been translated from some other gospel X,
      now lost. We don't have that gospel X anymore except for how it is
      reflected in HMt. This is what will make HMt so important then.

      Petersen thinks that a Latin textual tradition behind the Liege Harmony
      may in part account for the origins of HMt. But it was probably a Matthean
      tradition that featured harmonistic readings similar to Diatessaron.

      William Petersen is of course one of the leading scholars in the field of
      Diatessaronic research. According to him, Diatessaron often preserves very
      ancient readings that may clarify the history of composition of the
      Synoptics. And also, Diatessaron is clearly influenced by Jewish-Christian
      textual tradition, according to him.

      In his article TATIANS DIATESSARON (pp. 403-430 in H Koester, ANCIENT
      CHRISTIAN GOSPELS, 1990), Petersen writes,

      ".. Tatian used not just the four canonical Gospels, but at least one
      extracanonical source. .. Tatian appears to have used a redaction of the
      canonical Gospels that is very old sometimes, perhaps, revealing a
      textual tradition that was _more_ ancient than our present canonical text
      .. and which had a Jewish-Christian flavour." 428

      So, any way you look at it, HMt seems to be an important witness of an
      ancient Jewish-Christian textual tradition. Indeed it appears to be so
      whether or not one sees HMt as dependent on Latin Diatessaron type of text
      or not, since even if HMt does depend on some Latin Diatessaron type of
      text of Mt, still it is a valuable witness to such a hypothetical and now
      lost text (Gospel X).

      Also, G. Quispel is of the same opinion.

      G. Quispel, TATIAN AND THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS, Leiden, Brill, 1975.

      He writes in this book,

      "Moreover, since the days of Hugo Grotius scholars had always been aware
      of the fact that Tatian had inserted passages from a Jewish-Christian
      Gospel, the _Gospel according to the Hebrews_ as it was called, into the
      pattern of the four gospels." 27

      As my analysis of Mt 8:4 and Mt 27:52-3 show, HMt clearly seems to
      preserve some ancient textual tradition, and it clearly seems to preserve
      some otherwise little-attested, and sometimes otherwise completely
      unattested, Jewish-Christian traditions. Howard's book lists plenty of
      them, so it's quite an interesting read.

      Best wishes,


      Yuri Kuchinsky | Toronto | http://www.trends.ca/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

      Biblical history list http://www.egroups.com/group/loisy - unmoderated

      The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
      equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
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