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[Synoptic-L] Universalizing tendency: a secondary feature?

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    I have recently been reading Prov 3 and 4 in Heb and Greek, and have noticed that where the Heb text has a universal, the Greek text always follows suite (see,
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 9, 2003
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      I have recently been reading Prov 3 and 4 in Heb and Greek, and have noticed that where the Heb text has a universal, the Greek text always follows suite (see, e.g., Prov 2:9b; 2:19; 3:5; 3:6; 3:17, etc.) . On the other hand, there is a tendency in the Greek text for the late translator to universalize where this is NOT explicit in the Hebrew (compare, e.g., the Heb and Greek texts of Prov 3:7b; 3:12b ["he scourges EVERY son..."]; 3:18a; 3:23a; 3:26). This evidence suggests that universalizing may be a feature of secondary authorship or redaction.

      In the light of this observation, one can note in today's Gospel two universal statements in Mark's text (1:29-39), one of which is a universalizing of Matt's text, on Griesbachian terms, and the other a universalizing expansion of Luke's text, on the same terms. This feature confirms, then, the secondary character of Mark which is already suggested by the phenomenon of conflation here:

      1. Mark 1:33
      There is nothing in either Matt or Lk that corresponds with Mark's KAI HN hOLH hH POLIS EPISUNHGMENH PROS THN QURAN. Matthew has spoken, already with exaggeration, of "all" the sick (PANTAS TOUS KAKWS ECONTAS) who came to Jesus, and Mark reproduces this expression verbatim. But he does not stop there. He goes on to speak of the "whole city" being gathered (with a verb - EPISUNAGAGEIN - reminiscent of the substantive used in Heb, another Roman document, for the Christian liturgical assembly; cf. Heb 10:25) to the door. This could be accounted for by a natural tendency of a later writer to universalize (and also to "apply").

      2. Mk 1:37
      Lk 4:42 speaks of crowds who follow Jesus into the desert immediately following the incident at Simon's house. Mark gives us this same information by way of a direct quote from Simon. But Mark is not content with speaking of "crowds", as in Luke, suggesting large numbers of people, but rather universalizes: "EVERYONE is looking for you" (PANTES ZHTOUSIN SE). Again, in light of the above analysis of the Book of Proverbs in Hebrew and Greek, I would suggest that this double-phenomenon of universalization is best explained as secondary expansion on the part of Mark. A two-source theorist has the difficult task of explaining why both of these universal statements, within a single Markan pericope, are omitted (independently!) by both Matthew and Luke. The evidence from Prov suggests that later authors are not inclined to omit, but rather to augment the universalizing feature.

      Leonard Maluf
    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
      Maluflen@aol.com wrote: [snip] ... One problem I see here, if I understand you correctly, is that the situations are not strictly analogous. Is it
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 9, 2003
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        Maluflen@... wrote:

        [snip]

         Again, in light of the above analysis of the Book of Proverbs in Hebrew and Greek, I would suggest that this double-phenomenon of universalization is best explained as secondary expansion on the part of Mark. A two-source theorist has the difficult task of explaining why both of these universal statements, within a single Markan pericope, are omitted (independently!) by both Matthew and Luke. The evidence from Prov suggests that later authors are not inclined to omit, but rather to augment the universalizing feature.
        One problem I see here, if I understand you correctly,  is that the "situations" are not strictly analogous. Is it legitimate to draw conclusions about how two Greek "speaking" **writers** are acting on the basis of what one Greek speaking **translator** of a Hebrew Vorlage does?

        Yours,

        Jeffrey Gibson
        --

        Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

        1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
        Chicago, IL 60626

        jgibson000@...
         

      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 2/9/2003 9:55:05 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Yes, I think so. The difference of languages is probably not relevant here as the point in
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 9, 2003
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          In a message dated 2/9/2003 9:55:05 AM Pacific Standard Time, jgibson000@... writes:



          Again, in light of the above analysis of the Book of Proverbs in Hebrew and Greek, I would suggest that this double-phenomenon of universalization is best explained as secondary expansion on the part of Mark. A two-source theorist has the difficult task of explaining why both of these universal statements, within a single Markan pericope, are omitted (independently!) by both Matthew and Luke. The evidence from Prov suggests that later authors are not inclined to omit, but rather to augment the universalizing feature.



          One problem I see here, if I understand you correctly,  is that the "situations" are not strictly analogous. Is it legitimate to draw conclusions about how two Greek "speaking" **writers** are acting on the basis of what one Greek speaking **translator** of a Hebrew Vorlage does?


          Yes, I think so. The difference of languages is probably not relevant here as the point in question has to do with a natural order of development at the level of conceptual tendency, rather than linguistic expression as such. And the fact that in one case a translation is involved and in the other the creation of a new text based on an older one is also relativized by the extent to which the LXX is also very much a "new text" production even though based, quite literally at times, on the Hebrew text. Of course I would have to go on to show that this phenomenon does not occur only in connection, respectively, with the Hebrew and Greek texts of Proverbs 2-3, but that it represents a more general and consistent phenomenon both of translation and of secondary rewriting of texts. I would also have to deal with cases (and there are such, in case you hadn't noticed) in which the Matthean text contains an apparent universalizing (a PANTES, e.g.) that is absent in a parallel Markan passage. But I feel moderately confident that I can deal with these cases as they are raised by others. The purpose of my post was to illustrate the kind of thing I mean when I speak of developing a synoptic theory by an empirical method, i.e., by beginning with the data of individual Synoptic parallels and discussing the sequence of writing that emerges from hints that they contain, without applying a preexistent synoptic theory. Theoretically, a more or less valid theory might emerge from totaling up the results, after having carried through this exercise in a sufficient number of texts.

          Leonard Maluf
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          In a message dated 2/9/2003 9:55:05 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Yes, I think so. The difference of languages is probably not relevant here as the point in
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 9, 2003
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            In a message dated 2/9/2003 9:55:05 AM Pacific Standard Time, jgibson000@... writes:



            Again, in light of the above analysis of the Book of Proverbs in Hebrew and Greek, I would suggest that this double-phenomenon of universalization is best explained as secondary expansion on the part of Mark. A two-source theorist has the difficult task of explaining why both of these universal statements, within a single Markan pericope, are omitted (independently!) by both Matthew and Luke. The evidence from Prov suggests that later authors are not inclined to omit, but rather to augment the universalizing feature.



            One problem I see here, if I understand you correctly,  is that the "situations" are not strictly analogous. Is it legitimate to draw conclusions about how two Greek "speaking" **writers** are acting on the basis of what one Greek speaking **translator** of a Hebrew Vorlage does?


            Yes, I think so. The difference of languages is probably not relevant here as the point in question has to do with a natural order of development at the level of conceptual tendency, rather than linguistic expression as such. And the fact that in one case a translation is involved and in the other the creation of a new text based on an older one is also relativized by the extent to which the LXX is also very much a "new text" production even though based, quite literally at times, on the Hebrew text. Of course I would have to go on to show that this phenomenon does not occur only in connection, respectively, with the Hebrew and Greek texts of Proverbs 2-3, but that it represents a more general and consistent phenomenon both of translation and of secondary rewriting of texts. I would also have to deal with cases (and there are such, in case you hadn't noticed) in which the Matthean text contains an apparent universalizing (a PANTES, e.g.) that is absent in a parallel Markan passage. But I feel moderately confident that I can deal with these cases as they are raised by others. The purpose of my post was to illustrate the kind of thing I mean when I speak of developing a synoptic theory by an empirical method, i.e., by beginning with the data of individual Synoptic parallels and discussing the sequence of writing that emerges from hints that they contain, without applying a preexistent synoptic theory. Theoretically, a more or less valid theory might emerge from totaling up the results, after having carried through this exercise in a sufficient number of texts.

            Leonard Maluf
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