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[Synoptic-L] Re: No Gezerah Shavah-Leonard

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  • Randall Buth
    shalom Leonard et al. ... If ... Gezera Shava is notsimply linkage by literary motif, something common to literatures around the world, include the gospels.
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 1, 2002
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      shalom Leonard et al.

      Leonard EGRAPSEN TW STEFANW TOU Notley:
      >
      >Are you saying here that the Gospels contains instances of gezerah shavah,

      >but that in every case these were simply taken over from earlier sources?
      If
      >so, I am skeptical of this judgment, and will be till I have seen the
      >evidence for the position and the presuppositions on which it is argued.<

      Gezera Shava is notsimply linkage by literary motif, something common
      to literatures around the world, include the gospels.

      Gezera shava is playing with specific forms in a SCRIPTURE text. Creating
      a literary motif, as it were, out of comparable forms from different
      scriptural
      loci. Equivalent forms allowing a conjoining that otherwise would not have
      taken place.

      When that happens in underlying texts in Hebrew, then almost by definition
      it is not the gospel Greek writer that is doing it.
      Demonstrating this is not difficult
      but it is certainly aided by fluency in Hebrew to appreciate the force of
      the
      proposed gezerot shavot. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of the
      examples of the rabbis were "well done", some were "so-so". Some are
      strong and clear, others less so but suggestive. E.g.,
      veahavta Dt 6.5 Lv 19.18 has been mentoined.
      It is a compelling example and has been recongnized
      in the literature for a long time. It was certainly not the evangelists
      doing,
      nor even Jesus', but goes to earlier roots.

      blessings

      Randall Buth


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    • R. Steven Notley
      Randy/Leonard, Randy beat me to the punch. My primary objection to the use of the term gezerah shavah was that it is technical terminology related to Jewish
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 1, 2002
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        Randy/Leonard,

        Randy beat me to the punch.  My primary objection to the use of the term gezerah shavah was that it is technical terminology related to Jewish hermeneutical method that is limited to interpreting Hebrew Scripture.  It is inappropriate to use the term in reference to methods of redaction by the Evangelists of their literary "non-Biblical" sources.

        I repeat that I know of no instance where gezerah shavah is a creation (!) of the Evangelists.  On these occasions I think they merely preserve what they found in their source(s).  Ultimately, I must confess that I think these are echoes of the historical Jesus at work.  But as we all know, that is difficult to "prove."  Nevertheless, I find no one on the landscape of the Early Church who handles scripture in the sophisticated manner in which Jesus is portrayed.  At times, it is sheer genius.

        Leonard, you are correct that one can witness it also in Paul's use of Scripture.  In my own estimation, however, Jesus was far more adept at it than Paul—which may indicate something regarding the comparatve quality of their formal training.  But that is a different matter.

        I will cite a similar estimation of Flusser regarding Jesus' "exploitation" of the non-pointed Hebrew text of Psalm 110:3 and 2:7.  "All those who know Jesus' way of speaking cannot deny the authenticity of the saying.  It combines the typical simplicity of the literal meaning with hiddlen allusions to the various biblical verses.  It is difficult to imagine that any member of the early Church could have invented these words." ("At the Right Hand of Power" Judaism and the Origins of Christianity, Magnes Press, Jerusalem, 1988, pp. 304-305).

        Mostly, I just want to say "Amen" to Randy's comments.

        Shalom,
        Steven Notley
        Nyack College NYC

        Randall Buth wrote:

        shalom Leonard et al.

        Leonard EGRAPSEN TW STEFANW TOU Notley:
        >
        >Are you saying here that the Gospels contains instances of gezerah shavah,

        >but that in every case these were simply taken over from earlier sources?
        If
        >so, I am skeptical of this judgment, and will be till I have seen the
        >evidence for the position and the presuppositions on which it is argued.<

        Gezera Shava is notsimply  linkage by literary motif, something common
        to literatures around the world, include the gospels.

        Gezera shava is playing with specific forms in a SCRIPTURE text. Creating
        a literary motif, as it were, out of comparable forms from different
        scriptural
        loci. Equivalent forms allowing a conjoining that otherwise would not have
        taken place.

        When that happens in underlying texts in Hebrew, then almost by definition
        it is not the gospel Greek writer that is doing it.
        Demonstrating this is not difficult
        but it is certainly aided by fluency in Hebrew to appreciate the force of
        the
        proposed gezerot shavot. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of the
        examples of the rabbis were "well done", some were "so-so". Some are
        strong and clear, others less so but suggestive. E.g.,
        veahavta Dt 6.5 Lv 19.18 has been mentoined.
        It is a compelling example and has been recongnized
        in the literature for a long time. It was certainly not the evangelists
        doing,
        nor even Jesus', but goes to earlier roots.

        blessings

        Randall Buth

      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 4/1/2002 9:50:24 AM Eastern Standard Time, Notley@optonline.net writes:
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 1, 2002
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          In a message dated 4/1/2002 9:50:24 AM Eastern Standard Time,
          Notley@... writes:

          << Randy beat me to the punch. My primary objection to the use of the term
          gezerah shavah was that it is technical terminology related to Jewish
          hermeneutical method that is limited to interpreting Hebrew Scripture. It is
          inappropriate to use the term in reference to methods of redaction by the
          Evangelists of their literary "non-Biblical" sources.>>

          I am sorry, but my mind works by analogy. And the procedure that appears to
          be used by Matthew (with respect to OT) and Luke (with respect to OT and
          Matt) is analogous to the gezerah shavah method, whether or not it is
          technically permissible to employ that terminology in connection with the
          work of the Evangelists. The fact that Luke uses the same methodology with
          respect to Matt as he does with OT may suggest that Luke already regarded
          Matt as something akin to (or analogous to) the Hebrew Scriptures. This would
          not surprise me in the least, as Matthew himself was probably attempting to
          create precisely this impression. I am almost beginning to have the
          impression that you and Randall have some kind of ideological opposition to
          analogy, akin to that of some systematic theologians of the Lutheran
          persuasion, in their sharp criticism of the principle of analogy as operative
          in Catholic theology generally.

          << I repeat that I know of no instance where gezerah shavah is a creation (!)
          of
          the Evangelists. On these occasions I think they merely preserve what they
          found in their source(s). Ultimately, I must confess that I think these are
          echoes of the historical Jesus at work. But as we all know, that is
          difficult
          to "prove." Nevertheless, I find no one on the landscape of the Early Church
          who handles scripture in the sophisticated manner in which Jesus is
          portrayed. At times, it is sheer genius.

          Leonard, you are correct that one can witness it also in Paul's use of
          Scripture. In my own estimation, however, Jesus was far more adept at it
          than
          Paul -- which may indicate something regarding the comparative quality of
          their
          formal training. But that is a different matter.>>

          I want to state this delicately, but these paragraphs seem to reveal an
          agenda. In any case, though you affirm this with great vigor, you have said
          nothing to persuade a "non-believer" that the examples of gezerah shavah
          found in the Gospels go back to Jesus (as opposed to Matt, e.g.). It seems
          clearer to me that Matthew himself is a product of scribal training than that
          Jesus was. But I admit that opinions on this question are related to very
          general principles regarding the proper interpretation of Gospel texts. And I
          am less than certain that my own are necessarily valid.

          Leonard Maluf


          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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        • R. Steven Notley
          ... I have no clue what your reference to an ideological opposition to analogy is in reference to. I am only asking that we be careful in our terminology.
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 1, 2002
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            Maluflen@... wrote:

            In a message dated 4/1/2002 9:50:24 AM Eastern Standard Time,
            Notley@... writes:

            << Randy beat me to the punch.  My primary objection to the use of the term
             gezerah shavah was that it is technical terminology related to Jewish
             hermeneutical method that is limited to interpreting Hebrew Scripture.  It is
             inappropriate to use the term in reference to methods of redaction by the
             Evangelists of their literary "non-Biblical" sources.>>

            I am sorry, but my mind works by analogy. And the procedure that appears to
            be used by Matthew (with respect to OT) and Luke (with respect to OT and
            Matt) is analogous to the gezerah shavah method, whether or not it is
            technically permissible to employ that terminology in connection with the
            work of the Evangelists. The fact that Luke uses the same methodology with
            respect to Matt as he does with OT may suggest that Luke already regarded
            Matt as something akin to (or analogous to) the Hebrew Scriptures. This would
            not surprise me in the least, as Matthew himself was probably attempting to
            create precisely this impression. I am almost beginning to have the
            impression that you and Randall have some kind of ideological opposition to
            analogy, akin to that of some systematic theologians of the Lutheran
            persuasion, in their sharp criticism of the principle of analogy as operative
            in Catholic theology generally.

            I have no clue what your reference to "an ideological opposition" to analogy is in reference to.  I am only asking that we be careful in our terminology.  My fear/concern about the improper use of gezerah shavah was precisely the next step that you took—suggesting that Matthew was regarded by Luke as "akin to the Hebrew Scriptures."  I know of no basis for such a quantum leap.  Can you give me a single occasion where we have a clear CITATION of Matthew akin to his CITATIONS of the Hebrew Scripture—that would suggest that Luke understood both to be Scripture.
             

            << I repeat that I know of no instance where gezerah shavah is a creation (!)
            of
             the Evangelists.  On these occasions I think they merely preserve what they
             found in their source(s).  Ultimately, I must confess that I think these are
             echoes of the historical Jesus at work.  But as we all know, that is
            difficult
             to "prove."  Nevertheless, I find no one on the landscape of the Early Church
             who handles scripture in the sophisticated manner in which Jesus is
             portrayed.  At times, it is sheer genius.

             Leonard, you are correct that one can witness it also in Paul's use of
             Scripture.  In my own estimation, however, Jesus was far more adept at it
            than
             Paul -- which may indicate something regarding the comparative quality of
            their
             formal training.  But that is a different matter.>>

            I want to state this delicately, but these paragraphs seem to reveal an
            agenda. In any case, though you affirm this with great vigor, you have said
            nothing to persuade a "non-believer" that the examples of gezerah shavah
            found in the Gospels go back to Jesus (as opposed to Matt, e.g.). It seems
            clearer to me that Matthew himself is a product of scribal training than that
            Jesus was. But I admit that opinions on this question are related to very
            general principles regarding the proper interpretation of Gospel texts. And I
            am less than certain that my own are necessarily valid.

            What agenda?  It is nothing more nor less than an evaluation of the linguisitic make-up and quality of the hermeneutical examples that are reported on the lips of Jesus and the pen of Paul.  I am not sure what you are suggesting by the use of "non-believer" but I reiterate that the assessment that the genius in the example of gezerah shavah in Luke 22:69 was not a creation of the Early Church—is that of a "non-Christian" namely David Flusser who was an orthodox Jew.

            As for the scribal ability of Matthew, I find his a mixed report card.  I do not think he was as nearly capable of "creating" these examples as you assume.  Moreover, I am faced with examples where the gezerah shavah is better preserved in Luke than in Matthew [e.g. Luke 10:27 and parr.] (whom you suggest created these and from whom supposedly Luke derived them).  How is this to be explained if these are Matthean creations?  I find this line of reasoning untenable and inconsistent with the data.

            Best regards,
            Steven Notley
            Nyack College NYC

             

            Leonard Maluf
             

          • Maluflen@aol.com
            In a message dated 4/1/2002 11:18:32 AM Eastern Standard Time, Notley@optonline.net writes:
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 1, 2002
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              In a message dated 4/1/2002 11:18:32 AM Eastern Standard Time,
              Notley@... writes:

              << I have no clue what your reference to "an ideological opposition" to
              analogy is
              in reference to.>>

              It would take me too far afield from the topic of this list to explain. But
              the reference would be understood by systematic theologians. Actually, I
              doubt my comment is really pertinent to the discussion anyway, especially if
              you are unaware of the theological commonplace to which I allude.

              << I am only asking that we be careful in our terminology. My
              fear/concern about the improper use of gezerah shavah was precisely the next
              step that you tookósuggesting that Matthew was regarded by Luke as "akin to
              the Hebrew Scriptures." I know of no basis for such a quantum leap. Can you
              give me a single occasion where we have a clear CITATION of Matthew akin to
              his CITATIONS of the Hebrew Scriptureóthat would suggest that Luke understood
              both to be Scripture.>>

              This is a good point, I must concede. Luke does not cite Matthew formally as
              he, on occasion - or, more often, the characters in his story - do the
              Prophets and Writings. However, the fact remains that Luke never, to my
              knowledge, cites Torah in this way, and more often than not he cites from OT
              sources in very much the same way that he cites from Matthew (on my
              hypothesis). Look, e.g., at the way Torah is cited throughout the entire
              first part of Acts 7. Perhaps the more apt comparison would be to say that
              Luke cites Matthew very much the way he cites Torah. But I am not sure you
              will take this as much of a concession on my part.

              > I want to state this delicately, but these paragraphs seem to reveal an
              > agenda. In any case, though you affirm this with great vigor, you have said
              > nothing to persuade a "non-believer" that the examples of gezerah shavah
              > found in the Gospels go back to Jesus (as opposed to Matt, e.g.). It seems
              > clearer to me that Matthew himself is a product of scribal training than
              that
              > Jesus was. But I admit that opinions on this question are related to very
              > general principles regarding the proper interpretation of Gospel texts.
              And I
              > am less than certain that my own are necessarily valid.

              <<What agenda? It is nothing more nor less than an evaluation of the
              linguistic
              make-up and quality of the hermeneutical examples that are reported on the
              lips
              of Jesus and the pen of Paul. I am not sure what you are suggesting by the
              use
              of "non-believer" but I reiterate that the assessment that the genius in the
              example of gezerah shavah in Luke 22:69 was not a creation of the Early
              Church is that of a "non-Christian" namely David Flusser who was an
              orthodox Jew.>>

              The quotations marks surrounding "non-believer" suggest that I did not mean
              it as an allusion to a Jewish scholar like David Flusser, but rather to a
              skeptic like myself who wonder whether what Jesus is made to say in the
              Gospels of either Matthew or Luke might not sometimes rather be more properly
              the discourse of the Evangelist himself, with perhaps no more than a remote
              foundation in the teaching of Jesus. It is clear that you oppose this type of
              scepticism, but you have not successfully argued against it in my view.

              <<As for the scribal ability of Matthew, I find his a mixed report card. I
              do not
              think he was as nearly capable of "creating" these examples as you assume.>>

              I suspect you underestimate Matthew, and perhaps overestimate some of your
              teachers in this regard. But this is just a hunch (with minimal scientific
              value).

              <<Moreover, I am faced with examples where the gezerah shavah is better
              preserved in Luke than in Matthew [e.g. Luke 10:27 and parr.] (whom you
              suggest created these and from whom supposedly Luke derived them). How is
              this to be explained if these are Matthean creations? >>

              They could possibly be explained as Lukan creations that are superior to
              Matthean creations. At a macro level Luke is imitating Matthew, not copying
              him. And imitation in antiquity routinely involved the factor of emulation,
              as has been discussed at length by T. L. Brodie, among others. Moreover, your
              language "better preserved" is itself loaded in favor of a certain
              fundamental position with reference to the interpretation of Gospel texts.

              Leonard Maluf




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            • John Lupia
              ... Dear Leonard & All: I do realize that at least two members of the list: you and Thomas Longstaff currently hold to Matthean priority. It would be rather
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 1, 2002
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                Maluflen@... wrote:
                > Perhaps the more apt
                > comparison would be to say that
                > Luke cites Matthew very much the way he cites Torah.

                > They could possibly be explained as Lukan creations
                > that are superior to
                > Matthean creations. At a macro level Luke is
                > imitating Matthew, not copying
                > him.

                Dear Leonard & All:

                I do realize that at least two members of the list:
                you and Thomas Longstaff currently hold to Matthean
                priority. It would be rather nice to see Thomas take
                more of an active role in discussions. It might be
                very helpful and useful to carry on discussions along
                the thesis of Matthean priority. The same would go
                for Markan prioritists to discuss the "so-called solid
                foundation for it" they claim, but cannot
                demonstrate. To discuss both Matthean and Markan
                priority using pericopae as examples is a very helpful
                and useful form of discussion.

                Having done so for many years it has led me to
                seriously doubt either and conclude that Lukan
                priority has merit far more than that of both Matthew
                or Mark. This is not empty rhetoric on my part since
                I always back it up with evidence of the texts. I
                have already posted several postings over the past
                year that have refuted Mark Goodacre's "Fatigue"
                thesis and have shown Lukan priority over that of
                Matthew and Mark. I realize it is something very new
                to all to see such demonstrations., and it will
                probably take some time for it to sink in. I only
                hope everyone keeps an open mind, an essential quality
                for an academic.

                Discussions can help all of us to clarify our thoughts
                and use solid scholarship rather than tossing around
                empty rhetoric: "Luke copies, or, perhaps, rather,
                imitates Matthew"; "Many believe in the priority of
                Mark but few are able to give a good reason for it.",
                "the Marcan priority theory has been honoured by time;
                it provides a sound basis for convincing
                redaction-critical readings of Matthew and Luke" "We
                are fairly certain that Mark was first"; "two
                centuries of Markan priority shows it has merit." None
                of these rhetorical statements is ever helpful, but
                indicate an emotional and personal bias that fails to
                demonstrate and support such claims. Scholarly
                discussions are drawn from the texts and their careful
                analysis. So, the list should be very welcome and open
                to such discussions, which is one of the essential
                characters of a list called Synoptic-L.

                With best regards,
                John

                =====
                John N. Lupia
                501 North Avenue B-1
                Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA

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              • R. Steven Notley
                Thanks Leonard! I only have a few comments: ... Let me just clarify a point and say that I am not suggesting a fundamentalist attitude to the text. I have no
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 1, 2002
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                  Thanks Leonard!

                  I only have a few comments:

                  Maluflen@... wrote:
                   

                   (snip) ...a skeptic like myself who wonder whether what Jesus is made to say in the
                  Gospels of either Matthew or Luke might not sometimes rather be more properly
                  the discourse of the Evangelist himself, with perhaps no more than a remote
                  foundation in the teaching of Jesus. It is clear that you oppose this type of
                  scepticism, but you have not successfully argued against it in my view.
                  Let me just clarify a point and say that I am not suggesting a fundamentalist attitude to the text.  I have no problem with critical analysis of the material and identifying the "discourse of the Evangelist himself" as distinct from more primitive material (if it exists) that may (historical certainty is always elusive) originate from the historical Jesus.  I will confess that I have been influenced by my study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem—where there was on the whole a more positive attitude regarding the historical material we have.  Again, this is not a simplistic naïveté, it is just that Descartes' influence is not as great there as in the west.

                  My approach is fundamentally philological.  My statements about the primitive nature of the examples of gezerah shavah are based primarily upon the fact that they are a Hebrew language environment—a language I find little evidence the Evangelists themselves knew (e.g. all of the Evangelists fail to get the play on "summer" [QYZ] in the Parable of the Fig Tree).  Thus, my difficulty assuming that the Evangelists themselves were responsible for what are sophisticated linguistic plays in Hebrew.

                  In our Cartesian world there will never be a place for historical certainty regarding the Gospel material—and whether it originates with Jesus.  My years of study in Jerusalem have brought me to the conclusion (and I think this is the best we can hope for) that there is primitive material in the Gospels that has retained (against the flow of linguistic and cultural currents) unmistakable Hebraisms and reflect  well known trends of developing thought that was current at the time of Jesus.   Neither the linguistic traits nor the concerns reflected in this material do I find attributable to the Evangelists.  Taken together I find it difficult to conclude that the Gospels are a compilation of late creations by the Evangelists well removed from the historical Jesus himself.

                  I think the examples of gezerah shavah are a good example of primitive material that has survived.

                   
                  <<Moreover, I am faced with examples where the gezerah shavah is better
                  preserved in Luke than in Matthew [e.g. Luke 10:27 and parr.] (whom you
                  suggest created these and from whom supposedly Luke derived them).  How is
                  this to be explained if these are Matthean creations? >>

                  They could possibly be explained as Lukan creations that are superior to
                  Matthean creations. At a macro level Luke is imitating Matthew, not copying
                  him. And imitation in antiquity routinely involved the factor of emulation,
                  as has been discussed at length by T. L. Brodie, among others. Moreover, your
                  language "better preserved" is itself loaded in favor of a certain
                  fundamental position with reference to the interpretation of Gospel texts.

                  Luke's "imitation" of Matthew as you claim in the matter of examples of gezerah shavah are consistently more Hebraic and Jewish.  I have sat in countless situations with Jewish scholars who were examining this material with always the same conclusion.  Luke's material is more primitive, and Mark and Matthew represent poor secondary forms (linguistically and culturally) of the saying.

                  This analysis does not support your contention that these are "Matthean creations" that are imitated by Luke.

                  Shalom,
                  Steven Notley
                  Nyack College NYC
                   
                   

                   

                  Leonard Maluf
                   
                   

                • Maluflen@aol.com
                  In a message dated 4/1/2002 5:01:57 PM Eastern Standard Time, jlupia2@yahoo.com writes:
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 2, 2002
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                    In a message dated 4/1/2002 5:01:57 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                    jlupia2@... writes:

                    << Dear Leonard & All:

                    I do realize that at least two members of the list:
                    you and Thomas Longstaff currently hold to Matthean
                    priority. It would be rather nice to see Thomas take
                    more of an active role in discussions. It might be
                    very helpful and useful to carry on discussions along
                    the thesis of Matthean priority.>>

                    I would certainly like to see this too.


                    << Discussions can help all of us to clarify our thoughts
                    and use solid scholarship rather than tossing around
                    empty rhetoric: "Luke copies, or, perhaps, rather,
                    imitates Matthew"; >>

                    John, you could argue that the statement in quotation marks (my statement, I
                    believe) is empty rhetoric, and you would be right if that were the only kind
                    of writing I did on this list. If, on the other hand, the statement
                    represents merely a quick reminder or summary of a position which I
                    frequently illustrate with detailed analyses of texts on this and other
                    scholarly lists, then your qualification is a bit unfair. I don't know if you
                    follow the Johannine list-discussions, but I posted there this morning the
                    following continuation of a discussion with Professor Hofrichter. Perhaps you
                    could begin by explaining how you think this series of Synoptic parallels
                    (Matt 18:1-5 pars.) is better seen as exhibiting Lukan priority. I would find
                    this difficult to fathom, and I think I make a good case (though you would
                    have to read my published article on the topic for a detailed argument) for a
                    development here going from Matthew, through Luke, to Mark. Here follows what
                    I wrote earlier today for the Johannine list, but which is really more
                    pertinent to the topic of this list:


                    In a message dated 4/2/2002 5:16:50 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                    Peter.Hofrichter@... writes:

                    << You agree that Jn 13,20 is more primitive than Mk 9,37. But you think
                    that John has taken his idea from Mt or Lk.>>

                    What I suggested is that Jn took the idea from Matt 10:40.

                    << But in Mt 18,1-5 there is
                    nothing at all said concerning the disciples or being sent, and Lk
                    9,46-48 has in shorter form all essentials common with Mk.>>

                    Why does it matter (for this discussion) what Matt 18:1-5 has? In my article
                    on Lk 9:46-48 I of course show clearly how Lk uses and rewrites this text,
                    removing entirely the theme of a child's humility and introducing the theme
                    of the small one (Paulus) who is accepted by some communities as Jesus
                    Christ, and ultimately as a messenger of God himself (cf. Gal 4:14b). The
                    combination of the fact that Luke has his echo of Matt 10:40 at this point in
                    his narrative, and the fact that he has no parallel of it during the sending
                    out of the 12 at the beginning of his chapter 9 (but cf. 10:16!) suggests to
                    me that Luke writes at a time and place where receiving the 12 as messengers
                    of God was no longer an issue, but receiving Paul and his fellow missionaries
                    was. Thus the entire hybrid of the issue of the child and the reception of a
                    missionary did not exist when Matt wrote (that is why there is no trace of it
                    in Matt 18), but was originally an invention of Luke, with a clearly
                    intelligible motive (to legitimate the Pauline mission). A late Mark shows
                    evidence of the Lukan tradition, but because he is trying to conflate with
                    the pre-Lukan Matthean text, Mk's text becomes even more confused, and it
                    actually speaks of receiving children (generically) in terms that originally
                    belong to the Sitz im Leben of receiving the messengers of Jesus (the 12 in
                    Matt, Paul by allusion in Lk). So this sequence of Gospel composition (Matt
                    -> Lk -> Mk) illuminates precisely the data you present in your statement.

                    << So I think
                    it is more verisimilar that Mt was fascinated by the issue of
                    children brought in by Mark and skipped all the strive among the
                    apostles and the sending-motive which does no longer fit in this
                    context.>>

                    It is very difficult to believe that Matt 18:1-5 is secondary to all the mess
                    we find in the Markan parallel. It is of complete lucidity in itself, and
                    does not involve at all the issue of an originally apostolic messenger
                    statement applied to a child. Mark's text, on the contrary, looks like an
                    attempt to conflate the perspectives of Matt and Lk's rather different
                    parallels.

                    << Luke being the last one tries as he does often to shorten
                    and harmormonize but to keep the essentials of his predecessors. Why
                    should Luke have introduced here the sending-motive by his own, which
                    then would have been further developped by late John?>>

                    I hope you understand now why Luke's text works better here as Die Mitte der
                    Schriften.

                    Leonard Maluf

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                  • John Lupia
                    Synoptic-L@bham.ac.uk Leonard wrote: Why does it matter (for this discussion) what Matt 18:1-5 has? In my article on Lk 9:46-48 [snip] Thank you Leonard for
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 2, 2002
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                      Synoptic-L@...

                      Leonard wrote:
                      Why does it matter (for this discussion) what Matt
                      18:1-5 has? In my article on Lk 9:46-48 [snip]

                      Thank you Leonard for drawing attention to this
                      particular parallel. I think a good discussion on it
                      should be very helpful and quite useful for those who
                      hold to different positions regarding Gospel priority.


                      Who is the Greatest? (Mt 18:1-5//Mk 9:33-37//Lk
                      9:46-48) [Mohammed Ali's question to the magic-mirror
                      on the wall]

                      1. The Setting

                      Lk 9:46-48 Jesus and the disciples are still in the
                      vicinity outside of Bethsaida, north on the Sea of
                      Galilee, on the east bank in Herod-Philip's territory.
                      It is their tenth day there (Lk 9:28 + 37) and they
                      have just descended the mountain after the
                      transfiguration. Immediately preceding this narrative
                      of Lk 9:46-48 Jesus cast out a demon of a sick boy
                      which the disciples could not do on the father's
                      request. Jesus rebukes both the demon in the boy to
                      expel it, and the disciples for their lack of faith.
                      Jesus predicts that he will be betrayed (Mt
                      17:22-23//Mk 9:30-32//Lk 9:43b-45), but the disciples
                      do not understand what he is saying in this regard.
                      Then Lk describes a quarrel among the disciples as to
                      which among them is greatest. (Note: Joseph Fitzmyer,
                      The Gospel According to Luke I-IX (AB 28; Doubleday,
                      N.Y., 1979):815-18 is clearly dated especially
                      regarding the analysis of the geography and of little
                      or no use.)

                      Mt 18:1-5 takes place at Capernaum. What is
                      interesting is the previous itinerary: they had left
                      Galilee (Mt 14:34) to go to Tyre and Sidon (Mt 15:21)
                      then moved on to some unidentified place to a mountain
                      there (Mt 15:29); then they went to Magadan (Mt
                      16:39) a place unidentifiable somewhere perhaps along
                      the Golanian Bethsaida plain on the western bank of
                      the Sea of Galilee, and not identifiable with either
                      Megiddo too far to the SW, nor with Magdala on the
                      west bank side in Galilee. In Mt 16:5 they cross over
                      to the other side apparently still on foot and go to
                      Caesarea-Philippi (Mt 16:13//Mk 8:27). However,
                      Magadan might have been a scribal corruption in MS
                      transmission of Magdala in Galilee and Mt 16:5
                      crossing over would then signify going back to the
                      east bank where they arrive in Caesarea-Philippi (Mt
                      16:13). In Mt 17:22 they are in Galilee and reach
                      Capernaum (Mt 17:24). No text is given regarding the
                      sojourn from the east to the west bank of the Sea of
                      Galilee. We must assume it and extrapolate it from
                      the Matthean text. Once at Capernaum the question
                      arises of the temple tax and Peter's miraculous catch
                      of the fish with a coin for the tax payment takes
                      place (Mt 17:24-27). Then there is a question posed
                      to Jesus by the disciples about who is greatest in
                      heaven.

                      Mt's itinerary starts (1) on the west Galilean shore
                      and then (2) goes north to the Sidonian region then
                      (3) SE to some unidentified place (4) to Magadan, (5)
                      to Caesarea-Philippi, (6) return to Galilee, (7) to
                      enter Capernaum.

                      Mk 9:33-37 Jesus and the disciples pass from
                      Caesarea-Philippi (Mk 8:27) then go into Galilee (Mk
                      9:30) and arrive in Capernaum. In Galilee, Jesus'
                      prediction of his betrayal, death and resurrection (Mt
                      17:22-23//Mk 9:30-32//Lk 9:43b-45), which they could
                      not understand, precedes their arrival into Capernaum.
                      Mk 2:1 states that Jesus lived in a house there (EN
                      OIKWN ESTIN) which signifies in Mk 9:33 (EN TH OIKIA
                      GENOMENOS) that they were in Jesus' house in
                      Capernaum. Jesus asks them what they were arguing
                      about on their way to his home.


                      SYNOPSIS OF SETTING

                      The Synoptics disagree where the "Who is the
                      Greatest?" question takes place. It is near
                      Julias-Bethsaida in Luke and at Capernaum in Galilee
                      in Mt and Mk.

                      Luke has it occur on the tenth day in the region of
                      Golanian Bethsaida, (not the same place as Andrew,
                      Peter and Philip's home town in Galilee in Jn 1:44;
                      12:21 nor identified with the Galilean city which
                      Jesus condemns (Mt 11:21//Lk 10:13). This region east
                      of the Jordan belonged to Herod-Philip (Josephus,
                      Antiq. 17, 189). Golanian Bethsaida was given legal
                      status as a city in AD 30, about 7 years before Lk's
                      Gospel, and also given the Gentile name Julias,
                      honoring Tiberius' mother (see Josephus, Antiq. 18,
                      2.1,28 saying correctly that it was Augustus' [and of
                      Scribonia] daughter; see also H. W. Kuhn and R. Arav,
                      "The Bethsaida Excavations: Historical and
                      Archaeological Approaches," in the Festschrift-- The
                      Future of Christianity, Essays in Honor of Helmut
                      Koester. (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991). If a
                      coherence is seen between Lk and Jn on this score
                      identifying the Galilean Bethsaida then some of the
                      apostles were very familiar with the region
                      surrounding the city and would help account for the
                      prolonged stay there having some rationale and
                      practicality. However, I do not hold to this view.
                      One must keep in mind that the archaeological evidence
                      points to two Bethsaidas: Julias or the Golanian
                      Bethsaida and the Galilean Bethsaida. (See B. Pixner,
                      "Searching for the New Testament Site of Bethsaida,"
                      BA 48 (1985):207-16. However, Pixner gets the
                      applications wrong in the NT narratives. R. Arav and
                      R. Freund, eds., Bethsaida (Kirksville, MO, 1995)
                      however get it correct as modern et-Tell (208255)
                      which was first excavated in 1987). Lk 8:26 has them
                      opposite Galilee supporting that the Bethsaida
                      identified is in Herod Philip's territory on the east
                      bank of the Sea of Galilee. Lk 9:7-9 indicates that
                      the news of Jesus' activities in Herod-Philip's
                      territory had already spread in Galilee so that Herod
                      Antipas knew about what was happening there.

                      Whereas, Mt and Mk have Jesus and the disciples return
                      from the territory of Herod-Philip back to Galilee
                      where they enter the city of Capernaum. More
                      particularly, Mk 2:1;6:1; 9:33 has Jesus back in his
                      hometown, Capernaum.

                      The "deserted place" in Mk 6:31ff is apparently in
                      Galilee, on the western plain of Genneserat, whereas,
                      in Luke and Mt it is opposite Galilee (see Mt 14:34)
                      on the eastern plain of the Sea of Galilee known as
                      the plain of Golanian Bethsaida. Mk 6:45 has them
                      take a boat to Galilean Bethsaida (see Mk 6:53// Mt
                      14:34) which necessitates sailing parallel along the
                      western Galilean shoreline. Since the crowds follow
                      on foot and arrive ahead of them (Mk 6:33) he must be
                      speaking of a "deserted place" in Galilee consistent
                      with this parallel to the shore sailing. It would
                      further complicate the narrative in Mk had they
                      actually been in the right place on the Golanian
                      Bethsaida plain. Yet, Mk has them cross the lake
                      (copying from Mt) to Bethsaida in Mk 6:45 as the
                      Galilean city by that name (see Mk 6:53) giving us an
                      extraordinarily confused geography and a conundrum
                      apodictically demonstrating "fatigue" and perhaps one
                      of the best examples.

                      According to Luke, regarding the location of the
                      question "Who is the Greatest?" they had been in
                      Capernaum earlier (Lk 7:1), not now when the question
                      is posed. The confusions by the later writer Mk on
                      the geography point to his writing in the late 60's
                      and less knowledgeable about Palestine, not one like
                      Matthew who wrote a decade earlier or Luke who wrote
                      30 years earlier who like Matthew knew Palestine and
                      Judaism very well.

                      2. The Question

                      Lk 9:46-48 a discussion among them concerns who is the
                      greatest among them. Jesus could read their hearts.
                      He takes a "little child" (PAIDION) and places it at
                      his side. Then Jesus says something rather curious.
                      He says, "Whoever receives this child in my name
                      receives me, and having received me receives the one
                      who sent me. So, even the least among you is great."
                      Lk's narrative shows that greatness has nothing to do
                      with any attribute or quality any disciple might have.
                      Jesus placing the child next to himself paints the
                      picture of a canon [measure] of physical proportion.
                      This is especially apparent since the adjective of the
                      question is MEIZON the comparative degree. The height
                      of Christ is now compared to the physical height of
                      the little child to draw the analogy. Jesus is
                      obviously the one who is great. There is also an
                      obvious sense of humor being demonstrated here. A
                      deliberate pun on physical height and being great is
                      clearly made. The punchline that even the least or
                      physically smallest (or on another level of language
                      having less attributes or qualities) is irrelevant
                      since they are all great due to Jesus giving them
                      authority and dignity as his representatives. Jesus is
                      what makes them great. On a literary level one gets
                      the sense that Jesus was relieving the tension in the
                      air and mood (since he knew their hearts) by his use
                      of levity. However, on another level of language a
                      philosophical principle is being demonstrated. What
                      makes them [the disciples] great is the authority and
                      the dignity that goes with it that Jesus equally gives
                      to all of them. People will receive them because of
                      the authority of Jesus, and doing so they receive them
                      as vicars of Christ and so receive Jesus and the
                      Father who sent him. The narrative's imagery is
                      clean and clear and simple like First through Third
                      Style period painting. It is interesting that the boy
                      (PAIDA) in Lk 9:42 is contrasted to the "little child"
                      (PAIDION) in this narrative.

                      Mt 18:1-5 poses a different question. The disciples
                      ask Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of
                      heaven? Jesus takes a "little child" (PAIDION) and
                      places it in their midst. Then Jesus says "unless you
                      become like children you will never enter the kingdom
                      of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is
                      the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever may
                      receive such a child in my name receives me. Mt has
                      Jesus place a little child in their midst as a canon
                      [measure] among them. The saying, "unless you become
                      like children you will never enter the kingdom of
                      heaven." addresses this canon of comparison, but does
                      not address the question. It is a negative answer
                      since it demonstrates "being little" or "not great" is
                      a criteria to enter heaven. In this sense the analogy
                      has disarmed the question and shows that their
                      thoughts were misdirected criticizing the form of the
                      question. Then Jesus says, Whoever becomes humble
                      like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of
                      heaven. Now, this second statement is a bit puzzling.
                      If one must be like a "little child" in order to
                      enter the kingdom of heaven then emulating the
                      humility of the child must be part of that criteria to
                      begin with. So, to single out that feature "humility"
                      makes little sense in the narrative since it is
                      implied and understood from the previous verse. The
                      third statement of Jesus, " Whoever may receive such a
                      child in my name receives me." is now even far more
                      puzzling and does not fit into the flow of the
                      narrative at all. It is a true howler showing fatigue
                      that Mt's changes to Lk slip him up and creates an
                      unsustained narrative riddled with inconsistencies.
                      The narrative's imagery is cluttered and frilly like
                      Fourth Style period painting.

                      Mk 9:33-37 after entering Capernaum and then into
                      Jesus' house there he asks the disciples: "What were
                      you arguing about along the way?" Mk says they became
                      silent since they were debating about which among them
                      was greatest. Without being told what they were
                      arguing about Jesus sits down and says, "Whoever wants
                      to be first must be last and servant of all." Then he
                      took a "little child" (PAIDION) and put it in their
                      midst. Then he picks up the child and holds it in his
                      arms and says, "Whoever receives one such as "these
                      children" in my name receives me and whoever receives
                      me receives not [only] me but [also] the one who sent
                      me. Mk 9:35 starts with a fatigue blunder where he
                      now calls the disciples "the twelve". Mk copies from
                      Lk clearly having known "Jesus could read their
                      hearts" but abbreviates the text omitting it. The
                      text reads that Jesus is never told what they were
                      discussing yet Jesus knows, clearly indicating fatigue
                      resulting from changes to Lk. (See Moses Aberbach,
                      "The Relations Between Master and Disciple in the
                      Talmudic Age" in Essays Presented to Chief Rabbi
                      Israel Brodie on the Occasion of His Seventieth
                      Birthday (London: Soncino, 1965) The first
                      development in Mk's narrative is more like a maxim or
                      adage: "Whoever wants to be first must be last and
                      servant of all." This focuses on their "humility"
                      found in Mt, and adds the service aspect where each
                      must serve the rest. Then Mk has Jesus begins to
                      exhibit odd behavior. He puts a little child in their
                      midst. He says nothing. Howler, howler, howler! Mk
                      is clearly using Mt here making very odd changes.
                      Then Jesus picks up the little child and holds it in
                      his arms and says something strange: "Whoever receives
                      one such as "these children" in my name receives me
                      and whoever receives me receives not [only] me but
                      [also] the one who sent me. It seems as though
                      placing the little child in their midst
                      ritualistically and magically made the disciples like
                      little children. Jesus picks up the "real little
                      child" and then says referring to the disciples "these
                      children". Howler!! Mk's narrative is suffering from
                      obvious fatigue resulting from changes to Lk and Mt.
                      The narrative's imagery like Mt's is also cluttered
                      and frilly like Fourth Style period painting. Mann
                      correctly staes: "Mark, following the Matthean order ,
                      severely condensed material he gathered from Matthew
                      and Luke and made of that condensation the results
                      before us." (C. S. Mann, Mark (AB 27; Doubleday, N.Y.,
                      1986):375.

                      Best regards,
                      John


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