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[Synoptic-L] Structural borrowing by Luke from Matthew?

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    A number of times I have made a statement on this list to the effect that Luke never copies formal or structural elements in the text of Matthew, but
    Message 1 of 60 , Aug 17, 2000
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      A number of times I have made a statement on this list to the effect that
      Luke never copies formal or structural elements in the text of Matthew, but
      consistently restructures his text with different, though often analogous
      structures. When I make universal negative statements like this, I am usually
      fishing for falsification (in case you hadn't guessed that), for the ultimate
      advancement of the science, of course. Since no one to date has taken up the
      challenge to falsify the above statement, I wish to do so here myself, with
      the opportunity of also responding to my own objection.

      Matt 13:31-33 contains a series of two parables, with an underlying man-woman
      structure: a man sows a mustard seed in his field, a woman hides yeast in a
      pile of dough. Lk 13:18-21 likewise contains a series of two parables in
      which this structural element (the man-woman structure) has been copied by
      Luke from Matthew. Moreover, the extent of copying seems to go beyond the
      mere man-woman structure itself. Both Matthew's and Luke's texts contain
      these same words in common, and together, in the same order:

      ... KOKKW SUNAPEWJ hON LABWN ANQRWPOJ...
      ... ZUMH hHN LABOUSA GYNH ..

      It would seem therefore that Luke does in fact at times borrow structural
      elements from Matthew.

      Sed contra..

      It is true that Luke rarely comes even this close to reproducing a structural
      feature in Matthew, but I think a good case can be made that the copying
      exhibited here remains within what Luke considered to be the "material"
      realm. What I have claimed is that Luke never copies a formal-structural
      element from Matthew's text. I think he does not do so even here:

      Matt's first parable is remotely introduced by the words:

      ALLHN PARABOLHN PAREQHKEN AUOIJ LEGWN...

      and his second, by the parallel and partially coincident phrase:

      ALLHN PARABOLHN ELALHSEN AUTOIJ..

      This is a formal structure, and as such it is studiously avoided by Luke.

      Matthew's two parables continue to exhibit parallel structural features. The
      phrase:

      hOMOIA ESTIN hH BASILEIA TWN OURANWN...,

      which more immediately introduces the first parable, is echoed structurally
      by:

      hOMOIA ESTIN hH BASILEIA TWN OURANWN..

      which introduces the second. This formal-structural element is also avoided,
      in terms of literal copying, by Luke.

      On the other hand, both of these structural elements are reproduced by Luke,
      not literally, but analogously, with similarly matching formulas. As for the
      remote introduction of the two parables, Luke uses the formulas:

      ELEGEN OUN..
      and
      KAI PALIN EIPEN

      More proximately, the two parables are introduced in Luke by a question:

      TINI hOMOIA ESTIN hH BASILEIA TOU QEOU, KAI TINI hOMOIWSW AUTHN;
      and
      TINI hOMOIWSW THN THN BALISEIAN TOU QEOU;

      Luke then adds one further structural element, before the parable itself
      actually gets going with words borrowed directly from Matthew and containing
      the substance, or matter of the parable (the words cited in the objection
      above, and some others, especially in the second parable):

      hOMOIA ESTIN.. (13:19)
      and
      hOMOIA ESTIN.. (13:21)

      Although these same exact words appear in Matt 13:31 and 33, they do so
      within a different construct (i.e., not as a response to a question that
      leads directly into the parable itself).

      Note too, that the mustard seed in Matthew is "sowed" by the man "in his
      field", which elements structurally connect Matthew's parable of the mustard
      seed with two previous parables in chapter 13. The expressions "sowed" and
      "in his field" are also avoided by Luke.

      I would argue, then, that even here, Luke has not really departed from his
      rule to formally re-structure any material he takes from the Gospel of
      Matthew, i.e., not to literally take over into his Gospel any of the
      formal-structural features of the Gospel of Matthew.

      Leonard Maluf
    • Brian E. Wilson
      Brian Wilson wrote -- ... Stephen Carlson replied -- ... Stephen, I think it may be worth looking more closely at this. I wonder whether the phrase Under
      Message 60 of 60 , Sep 6, 2000
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        Brian Wilson wrote --
        >
        >My point is that (Stein's) redaction-critical argument can proceed only
        >if it is assumed that either the 2DH or the GH is true. His conclusion
        >is the **conditional** statement --
        >
        >If either the 2DH OR the GH is true, then, by comparing the use of the
        >title 'Son of David' in the synoptic gospels, it is seen that it is
        >more probable that the 2DH is true (in which Matthew used Mark) than
        >that the GH is true (in which Mark used Matthew).
        >
        >Stein's conditional statement does not answer the source-critical
        >question "Is the 2DH true?" or "Did Matthew use Mark?". For the
        >condition he sets allows the possibility that the 2DH is false or that
        >it could be true.
        >
        >My general point is I have yet to find a redaction-critical argument
        >which does answer a source-critical question. Maybe the nature of
        >redaction-criticism is such that its arguments cannot answer source-
        >critical questions.
        >
        Stephen Carlson replied --
        >
        >It occurs to me that your characterization of Stein's argument (quoted
        >hereinafter) does indeed answer a source critical question: Under given
        >circumstances, which source theory, the 2DH or the GH, is more probable
        >than the other?
        >
        >>If either the 2DH OR the GH is true, then, by comparing the use of the
        >>title 'Son of David' in the synoptic gospels, it is seen that it is
        >>more probable that the 2DH is true (in which Matthew used Mark) than
        >>that the GH is true (in which Mark used Matthew).
        >
        >Certainly seems like an answer to a source-critical question to me.
        >

        Stephen,
        I think it may be worth looking more closely at this. I wonder
        whether the phrase "Under given circumstances" may point to a weakness
        in your argument. I would suggest that the circumstances may not be
        given, but may be entirely hypothetical. (Indeed they may well be
        false.)

        The logic of Stein's argument is -- *IF* you answer one source-critical
        question, *THEN*, on that basis, I can answer another source critical
        question for you. But his answer to the second source-critical question
        is dependent on the answer to the first source-critical question being
        known. And the point is that the answer to the first source-critical
        question is not known. So Stein's argument answers no source-critical
        question. His argument would answer a source-critical question (Is the
        2DH more probable than the GH?) IF another source-critical question
        could first be answered (Is either the 2DH or the GH true?). But we do
        not know that either the 2DH or the GH is true, and indeed both may well
        be shown to be false on other grounds.

        The general point I am suggesting is that no redaction-critical argument
        can answer a source-critical question. The issue this raises, of course,
        is whether redaction-criticism is of any use in trying to solve the
        Synoptic Problem. I doubt that it is. I am sure that redaction criticism
        has a very important place in unravelling the implications of a solution
        to the Synoptic Problem once this has been established. Once a synoptic
        documentary hypothesis is accepted, then, on the assumption of that
        documentary solution, redaction-critical arguments can be used to try
        and work out how each writer treated his source material and what was
        the theological view-point of each writer. But such redaction criticism
        comes only after a solution to the Synoptic Problem has been found. It
        is not used in actually solving the Synoptic Problem.

        To quote from the ST MARK commentary in the "Black's NT Commentaries"
        series --
        >
        >"Can we be certain that the particular theory of literary relationships
        >between the Synoptics on which our redaction-critical analysis is based
        >is correct? Certainly a different theory will lead to different
        >results, and if we have chosen the wrong one our conclusions will be
        >false" (page 3).
        >
        The commentator takes it for granted that a solution to the Synoptic
        Problem is assumed before redaction-criticism can begin, and that if we
        have got our solution to the Synoptic Problem wrong then the redaction-
        critical arguments we base on it will be worthless.

        On this view, far from redaction-critical arguments justifying any
        hypothesis of the documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels,
        it is a hypothesis of documentary relationship between the synoptic
        gospels which justifies any redaction-critical arguments.

        Best wishes,
        BRIAN WILSON

        E-mail; brian@... HOMEPAGE www.twonh.demon.co.uk

        Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
        > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
        > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
        _
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