[Synoptic-L] contexts for Jesus' sayings (was Arguments for Q)
- Steven said "..any number of appropriate contexts.."
This phrase reminded me of the work of the late R.L. Lindsey. He proposed
that many of Jesus' teachings and parables had been disconnected in the
writing and re-organization of the synoptics, and that the original contexts
could be re-assembled by following the apparent pattern of Jesus' teaching.
He suggested that Jesus was usually prompted by an incident, remark, or
question to give a teaching, and then followed this with two parables to
illustrate what he had taught. The "widow's mite" in Luke 20 comes to mind
as an example of an "incident-prompted" discourse.
So, the proposed pattern of Jesus' teaching is: incident/question >
teaching > parable 1 > parable 2.
Lindsey organized several pericopes this way in his book "Jesus Rabbi and
Lord" (written in the popular style--even though Lindsey was an accomplished
synoptics scholar.) These re-organizations can be quite striking. It's
worth looking into...
Lindsey is the originator of the "Modified two-document hypothesis" now
known as the JSH, which postulates that Luke wrote first, using two Greek
source documents. One was a "woodenly literal" Greek translation of a
Mishnaic Hebrew "gospel", and the other was an attempt to re-organize and
"polish" this Greek translation, and would seem to match the source
generally referred to as "Q".
According to the JSH, Mark copied most of his material from Luke, making
some odd idiosyncratic changes in the Greek vocabulary, and may have had
access to another source--possibly the Q-like reorganized version that Luke
used. Matthew followed--and was influenced by--Mark, but also had access to
the more Hebraic Greek source that Luke had. Matthew seems to have followed
this Hebraic source for his Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer, while Luke
used the more "Graecized" Q document for his versions.
This hypothesis suggests that Mark, rather than Luke and Matthew, is
responsible for most of the idiosyncratic variations in the synoptics.
IMO, this goes along with other phenomena observable in Mark--his expansions
on almost every story unit; his addition of vivid descriptive language; his
penchant for repeating favorite words and phrases in different contexts; his
apparent "borrowing" of words and phrases from non-parallel portions of
Luke, as well as Acts, James, and even the writings of Paul; and his
introduction of ideas like the "dense disciples", Jesus' family thinking he
was "beside himself", etc. If we consider this proposed sequence it also
becomes apparent that Mark is responsible for introducing the "Aramaisms"
found in his and Matthew's gospels--for whatever reason.
Some things to "chew on"...
webwatcher for the Jerusalem School www.jerusalemschool.org
----- Original Message -----
From: Steven Craig Miller <scmiller@...>
Sent: Friday, December 08, 2000 10:51 AM
Subject: [Synoptic-L] Arguments for Q
> But Q is largely a collection of sayings. Surely you are not suggesting
> that Jesus' aphorisms couldn't be used in more than one context, are you?
> In my opinion, the situation is just the opposite. With a little
> imagination one could think of any number of appropriate contexts for any
> number of sayings from (or attributed to) Jesus. Why not?
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