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

Re: [Synoptic-L] Luke's Prologue and the GH

Expand Messages
  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... It was indeed argued before -- by Farmer himself in SYNOPTIC PROBLEM (1964, 1976: 222) -- in even the identical language. Farmer s earlier treatment cites
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 14, 2002
      At 09:43 AM 2/14/02 EST, Maluflen@... wrote:
      >On p. 118 of the above cited article, Farmer notes that
      >"[t]he important point linguistically is that the word DIHGHSIN is singular",
      >so, while he alludes to the work of "many", it is possible that Luke had in
      >mind here a single narrative as the product of their labors. Further on,
      >Farmer writes: "When Luke defined the intention of the DIHGHSIN that was
      >compiled by the POLLOI as being concerned to set forth 'the things which have
      >been fulfilled among us,' his words describe one of the characteristic
      >features of the Gospel of Matthew. For in Matthew the motif of the
      >fulfillment of prophecy is prominent."

      >1. Is this argument really new, and if it has been argued before, by whom and
      >when was it first proposed?

      It was indeed argued before -- by Farmer himself in SYNOPTIC
      PROBLEM (1964, 1976: 222) -- in even the identical language.
      Farmer's earlier treatment cites Lessing in support, but
      Lessing's point was subtly different. Lessing (1778, ET
      1956: 77-78) takes DIHGHSIN PERI TWN PEPLWROFORHMENWN EN
      hMIN PRAGMATWN as the original title of the Gospel of the
      Nazarenes and construes ANATACASQAI DIHGHSIN as referring
      to many attempts of rearranging this original narrative.
      Lessing conceded, however, that his argument would have
      more force if DIHGHSIN were had the article.

      Checking my other sources, including Bleek, Davidson, Zahn,
      and Fitzmyer, it appears that Farmer's point was not noticed
      before, even such thorough scholars as Zahn and Fitzmyer.

      >2. What do we think of its merit (as a POSSIBLE, though clearly not the only
      >possible reading of this phrase in Luke's prologue) from a linguistic point
      >of view?

      I haven't considered the effect of the anathrous DIHGHSIN,
      but here is a footnote from an essay I wrote nearly six
      years but never completed:

      >An interesting aspect of Luke's prologue is the choice of the singular, "an
      >account" (dihghsin). In such a distributive expression, the plural form is
      >normally the proper stylistic choice in Greek [see Blass et al. 1961, §
      >140]. It is thus possible, as Farmer argues [1976: 221-23], that there was
      >only one account of the "events which have fulfilled among us" [v1], an apt
      >description of Matthew because one of its prominent motifs is the fulfilment
      >of prophecy [222]. As a result, Farmer's interpretation directly undercuts
      >Linnemann's point, because Luke did mean only one account. His view is not
      >necessarily correct, however, because Luke uses the distributive singular
      >elsewhere (e.g. Luke 1:66 2:31 Acts 2:23 3:18 21 7:45 15:23 21:24 [Blass et
      >al. 1961, loc. cit.]), so the interpretation of "many accounts" is
      >consistent with Luke's proven style.

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 2/15/2002 12:18:28 AM Eastern Standard Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes:
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 15, 2002
        In a message dated 2/15/2002 12:18:28 AM Eastern Standard Time,
        scarlson@... writes:

        << An interesting aspect of Luke's prologue is the choice of the singular,
        "an
        >account" (dihghsin). In such a distributive expression, the plural form is
        >normally the proper stylistic choice in Greek [see Blass et al. 1961, §
        >140]. It is thus possible, as Farmer argues [1976: 221-23], that there was
        >only one account of the "events which have fulfilled among us" [v1], an apt
        >description of Matthew because one of its prominent motifs is the
        fulfilment
        >of prophecy [222]. As a result, Farmer's interpretation directly undercuts
        >Linnemann's point, because Luke did mean only one account. His view is not
        >necessarily correct, however, because Luke uses the distributive singular
        >elsewhere (e.g. Luke 1:66 2:31 Acts 2:23 3:18 21 7:45 15:23 21:24 [Blass et
        >al. 1961, loc. cit.]), so the interpretation of "many accounts" is
        >consistent with Luke's proven style. >>

        First of all, thanks, Stephen, for your informative post. I am slightly
        embarrassed at not having ever noticed, or retained, the argument based on
        DIHGHSIN in Farmer's original (1964) defence of the Griesbach hypothesis.
        Your unpublished footnote is also interesting. However, the many examples you
        cite of Luke's use of a distributive singular form -- which could be
        multiplied as well (see e.g., Lk 1:70, 71, 74) -- do not, I think, have quite
        the probative force you suggest. The singulars in question are mostly in
        idiomatic expressions, equivalent almost to prepositions; or alternatively,
        the nouns in question have (sing.) abstract-nominal force. EK XEIROS EXQRWN,
        for example, could mean something like "from the power of [our] enemies"; DIA
        STOMATOS TWN hAGIWN... could mean "through the testimony of the holy ones".
        Acts 21:24 is admittedly a closer parallel to our text, but is still not
        quite the same in that the plurality intended by the singular arthrous noun
        is evident and necessary, which can not be said for the case of Lk 1:1. I
        would therefore provisionally suggest that Lk 1:1 remains somewhat unique
        (taken to refer to a plurality of narratives) unless a closer parallel than
        those cited can be found in the Lukan writings.

        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.