Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

[Synoptic-L] Luke's use of Matt in Lk 11:37-41

Expand Messages
  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 3/18/2001 10:07:58 PM Eastern Standard Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes: [Responding to Ron Price, who wrote:] ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 20, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      In a message dated 3/18/2001 10:07:58 PM Eastern Standard Time,
      scarlson@... writes:

      [Responding to Ron Price, who wrote:]
      > Firstly Luke's version simply doesn't make sense in either REB or
      >NRSV, and I believe it doesn't make sense in the Greek as normally
      >understood. How can anyone give "what is inside" to charity? In my
      >opinion this is a forced explanation which would probably be largely
      >abandoned leaving the field to Wellhausen, if it were not for the
      >constraints of one or another synoptic theory.

      <<It is a classic case of Lukan fatigue, showing the originality of
      the saying as found in Matthew. Matt. 23:25 has the cups (not the
      Pharisees) filled with plunder and greed (i.e. filthy lucre). Luke
      psychologizes this to state that the Pharisees on the inside are
      filled with those sins, but reverts to Matthew's version when Luke
      recommends giving alms, i.e. giving away the flithy lucre inside the
      cup to the poor.>>

      I think this is probably a correct interpretation of the Lukan text, except
      that I don't like the term "fatigue". At least I would distinguish between
      "real" fatigue, which I don't believe is the proper explanation here (see
      below), and a possible, more technical sense of "fatigue", describing the
      more or less objective data in Luke's text that often exhibit superficial
      incoherency when compared with Matthew's text -- data of the kind analyzed by
      Dr. Mark Goodacre in the renowned essay that gave currency to the term.

      It would be interesting to apply my principles of Luke's use of Matthew to
      the present text, which I have never before examined in detail. The
      principles are:

      1. Luke never reproduces formal structures from the text of Matthew (note:
      "inside-outside" is a material, not a formal structure);

      2. Luke's text regularly shows signs of his having gone to thematic parallels
      in Matt (as well as in LXX and Paul) to a given Matthean text when he is
      re-writing it.

      1. Matthew's text has the following structures which are in fact not
      reproduced by Luke: firstly, a refrain: OUAI hUMIN GRAMMATEIJ KAI FARISAIOI
      hUPOKRITAI (see Matt 23:13,15,23,25,27,29). Matt 23:25-28 is a subdivision of
      the entire section governed by this refrain, and its internal thematic unity
      is based on the contrasting pair: inside-outside. It is marked off by an
      inclusion: hUPOKRITAI (v. 25) and hUPOKRISEWJ (v.28). This second formal
      feature of Matthew's text is also omitted in his "parallel" by Luke, who
      makes no reference at all to hypocrisy or hypocrits in 11:37-41 (but see
      12:1, where Luke, against Matt, interprets the leaven of the Pharisees as
      hypocrisy). There are more minute structures in Matt that are also
      significantly not reproduced by Luke, such as the chiastic disposition of
      elements in Matt 23:25 (verb - EXWQEN, ESWQEN - verb) (cf. Lk 11:39), and the
      two addresses, in 2nd plur. pres. ind. in Matt (23:25, 27) that begin with
      parallel verb constructions (hOTI KAQARIZETE -- hOTI PAROMOIAZETE), etc. So
      Luke follows here his usual policy, carefully avoiding formal structures
      imposed on material in his source.

      2. Thematically parallel passages in Matt to which Luke was sent when
      researching the theme "inside-outside" are the following:

      A. Matt 15:1-20, which talks about the relative unimportance of cleaning the
      outside (the hands before one eats) and the relative importance of what is on
      the inside, and comes out of the mouth (for the inside-outside idea, cf. the
      lips and the heart, in the citation from Is 29 in 15:8; also 15:11, 17-20). I
      see two influences of this text on Luke's rewriting of Matt 23:25-28. First
      of all, the setting for these words of Jesus in Luke seems to derive from
      Matt 15:2, 20 (cf. Lk 11:37-38), even though there is no verbal borrowing
      here. Also, Luke has hARPAGHJ KAI PONHRIAJ, instead of Matt's hARPAGHJ KAI
      AKRASIAJ. Now the first thing said to proceed from an evil heart in Matt
      15:19 are DIALOGISMOI PONHROI. [Note: It is also possible that the allusion
      to creation in Lk 11:40, not found in the immediate Matthean parallel, came
      from Luke's reading on in Is 29, cited in Matt 15:8-9, as far as 29:16, where
      we find the phrase: "can something that was made say of its maker: 'He did
      not make me?'.]

      B. Matt 6:1-6 speaks of ostentation in alms-giving and prayer. Implicit here
      is the idea that one's justice should be and should remain on the inside,
      rather than being worn on the sleave, so to speak. This passage may explain
      Luke's reference to giving alms in 11:41. In light of this passage, I would
      suggest too that the first part of this verse might have a double meaning: In
      the first place, it is supposed to recover and interpret the sense of Matt
      23:26: cleaning the inside of the cup is interpreted, as Stephen Carlson
      suggested, as giving its contents in alms. But other interpreters have
      understood the phrase TA ENONTA adverbially, in the sense of "give alms with
      respect to what is within, i.e. from genuine, internal virtue, not for the
      sake of show. In light of the Matt 6 passage, perhaps Luke intended a double
      entendre here. In any case, the presence of the theme of alms in Lk 11:41
      (with no justification from Matt 23) may plausibly be explained by Luke's
      borrowing here from a thematically parallel passage in Matt. The second half
      of 11:41 is roughly parallel in meaning to the second half of Matt 23:26. Its
      form and vocabulary, however, may owe something to Tit 1:15, which would be
      the "Pauline" contribution here.

      A final comment on this passage: the diatribal AFRONEJ in Lk 11:40 recovers
      the similar epithet in Matt 23:26, but illustrates the one-upmanship of Luke.
      Matthew refers explicitly to an external defect: blindness; Luke has Jesus
      evoke instead the blindness of the mind and heart, which is the real issue.
      In reality, this is once again an interpretation, rather than a distortion of

      Leonard Maluf

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.