[Synoptic-L] Luke's relocation of Matthew's additions
- According to Stephen Carlsons reports on the meeting that took place in
Baltimore, John Kloppenborg objected to the idea that Luke used Matthew
(partly) because he finds no reason for Luke to extract Matthean
material from its Markan contexts, and put it in new locations
throughout the Markan storyline. This seems to be one of the main
criticisms aimed against the idea that Luke knew Matthew. Let me offer
the following suggestion, as an answer that I believe to be both
compositionally and historically credible.
If I am right in viewing Peters outburst at the Transfiguration as a
chronological indicator, which dates the beginning of Jesus journey to
Jerusalem to shortly before Sukkoth (see my post from 2/4/00), then Luke
may have been faced with a glaring chronological difficulty. He had to
explain why the journey to Jerusalem begins shortly before Sukkoth
(according to the pre-Markan chronology, preserved in the
Transfiguration), but Jesus didnt arrive there until the week of
Passover (according to Marks creation of a Passion Week chronology).
Luke, attempting to render a more ordered account than his predecessors,
solves the difficulty by turning the journey to Jerusalem into a Travel
Narrative, lasting several months rather than a few days. Luke
fashioned the Travel Narrative from the material Matthew added to Marks
outline (probably realizing that Matthew didnt know where the material
really belonged anyway).
I think that it would have been obvious to many readers who knew about
Sukkoth that Peters words at the Transfiguration constituted a
chronological marker. The reason modern scholars have not hit upon this
understanding seems to owe to the way in which they sometimes read all
the theophanic features of the Transfiguration as Sukkoth imagery
(wrongly seeing allusions to Sukkoth theology in the cloud, etc.),
making Peters words appear to contribute to the story on this imagistic
level, rather than on a realworld level connected with the larger
storyline of the gospel.
John C. Poirier