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Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Mark's use of Matt: was "Matthew's additions to Mark"

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 2/20/2003 9:58:17 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... In Luke, who follows Matthew, the phrase is really no more than a redundancy, taking up the
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 20, 2003
      In a message dated 2/20/2003 9:58:17 AM Pacific Standard Time, eric.eve@... writes:

      Okay, that clarifies your argument considerably. But in fact the alleged
      addition of the phrase EN EKEINHi THi hHMERAi by Mark surely has to take
      Luke into account, since on the GH it would presumably be influenced by
      Luke's EN EKEINAS TAIS hHMERAIS at LK 5.35 - what function is that Lukan
      addition performing?

      In Luke, who follows Matthew, the phrase is really no more than a redundancy, taking up the meaning of Matthew's (and Luke's own) TOTE, but showing that Luke correctly understood the meaning of Matthew's phrase to refer to "the days" of the absence of the bridegroom. Mark changes the expression into the singular because he is reminded by the phrase of a particular fast day (commemorating that unique day on which the bridegroom was taken away) practiced in the Roman community. By the way, excuse my misspelling of PENQEIN in my original post.

      I don't entirely see a clear trajectory from Matthew to
      Luke to Mark here (in terms of the fasting practices that you're arguing
      from), but perhaps you can clarify. So far as the order of the Markan and
      Lukan text is concerned, I think one can make an argument either way: Mark
      turns Luke's plural into a singular because he's thinking of the particular
      day in which the bridegroom is taken away, or Luke turns Mark's singular
      into a plural because he's thinking of the many days (I don't mean different
      days of the week, necessarily) on which fasting takes place, or thinks
      Mark's change from the earlier plural ELEUSONTAI DE hHMERAI to the later EN
      EKEINHi THi hHMERAi in the same sentence is stylistically clumsy. Matthew
      may have simply omitted Mark's EN EKEINHi THi hHMERAi for the same reason.

      This is a possible explanation too. But I like mine better. Fortunately, the solution to the Synoptic problem does not need to depend on how one analyzes the data of this single verse.

      One further question: do we know when and where the Christian practice of
      fasting on Fridays began? Could it help us date these texts even if we could
      be sure that this was the reference Mark intended? (And although you've
      shown that Mark *could* have intended such a reference here, I don't think
      you've shown that's this is what he *must* have meant).

      You're right here, of course, and I don't know when the Friday fast began either. Perhaps someone else on the list will supply some information on this point. I doubt there is certainty on this question at all, but perhaps someone is better informed than we on the best conventional guess of scholars or historians.

      > It's not so much a question of when or where the practice of
      > fasting on the day of Jesus' death began. The point is to see
      > how the evangelical traditions can be seen to develop, within
      > the Synoptic tradition, in the direction of greater relevance
      > to the community addressed. This development is most often seen
      > by (arguable) additions or subtractions in Mark's text compared
      > to the other synoptics.

      This presupposes (amongst other things) that each Evangelist was more
      concerned to be relevant to his community than his predecessors. Do we know
      this? Perhaps one Evangelist wishes to dramatize the liturgical exeperience
      of his community (if that is what Mark is doing, though I'm not personally
      convinced that's his principal agenda) and another wants to present Jesus'
      teaching on wider issues or legitimize the infant Church through connecting
      the Jesus tradition with Israelite traditions. What do these different
      agendas tell us about chronology?

      Again, this is a good issue to raise. But I think it would be possible to develop a fairly firm law (though not entirely without circularity in one's argument) that texts tended to become more and more "applied", as it were, made to speak directly to the concerns of Christian audiences. It would be interesting, for example, to study what Mark does with the pericopes involved with healing from blindness and restoration of sight (there are three of them at least). Here Mark is clearly moving in the direction of John 9, and I find difficult the idea that this kind of process would be reversed by Matthew, and exchanged for the rather pedantic view of two blind men and two other blind men as minimally quantified witnesses who can testify in support of the messianic status of Jesus. In his version of these stories, Mark seems already to anticipate the theology of baptism (=Christian initiation) as illumination in the Eastern Fathers. It would be difficult to step back from this kind of a development, I would think.

      > Your trumpet here will remain like the one mentioned in
      > 1 Cor 14:8 unless you give us some bibliographical data
      > on where this article? might be found. OK.

      My apologies; I hope you will not feel called upon to prepare for battle if
      I impart the bad news that I was referring not to a conveniently short
      article but to my recent book, _The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles_
      (JSNTSup, 231; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002).

      I am tempted to violate the sacred halls of academia by importing the Internet rubric "lol" into this serious scholarly discussion at this point. Thanks much, Eve, and congratulations! I ought to be able to find a copy of this at the Weston library. And since I am not a Bushite or Blairite you won't have to worry about me preparing for battle.

      > Given this, is it not true that Matt reads the Isaianic passages
      > he alludes to, or virtually cites, in e.g. 11:5 in a Messianic key?
      > If so, it would make sense to me that the miracle stories there
      > alluded to were first told in writing as part an argument for the
      > messianic status of Jesus by the Jewish scribe Matthew.

      But why would Matt read Isaiah 35.5-6 in a Messianic key? With the possible
      exception of 4Q521 I find no evidence that anyone else was in the Judaism of
      the period, and I'm not at all sure that 4Q521 should be read in this way
      either. Of course I'm not denying that Matthew intends 11.5 in a Messianic
      way, I'm just not sure why he should have originated this idea. In other
      words, I think it presupposes quite some prior development in Christian
      circles before Matthew.

      Your Synoptic source model does not invite to perceive any originality in Matt at all. But there is no reason in God's earth why Matthew cannot have been the first to make this connection. Somebody was. On the other hand, he need not be, of course. But I think it unlikely that Mark is the source of this thinking, since Mark doesn't directly allude to this set of texts (with the possible exception of his MOGILALON in 7:32 [see Is 35:6]). And because Mark's healing stories so clearly have another agenda than that of establishing the Messianic identity of Jesus.

      > You speak about the allusion to Ezekiel 34 in Mk 6:34. Yes, indeed.
      > My only point would be that we have clear evidence, independently
      > of material common to Matt and Mk, that Matthew was himself intensely
      > focused on that magnificent chapter of Ezek (see, e.g. Matt 2:6;
      > 18:10-14 and especially 25:31-46). The evidence in the two Gospels here
      > works very well then in my system as traces of a clearly Matthean project
      > that have made their way into a dependent and relatively late Mark.

      Isn't Matt 2.6 a citation of Micah 5.2?

      Yes, but Matthew rarely has just one OT prophecy in mind when he cites an OT text. Thematically this text is linked to a theme -- Jesus as the (divine) shepherd of Israel -- which Matthew properly owns in the synoptic tradition and which is informed especially by this text from Micah 5:2 and by Ezek 34. That you could have missed the connection of Matt 25:31-46 with Ezek 34 is unfortunate as the Ezekiel prophecy is the most potent illuminator of that text. Of course the Ezek text stands behind Lk 15 as well.

      But the problem with your thesis of
      'traces of clearly Matthean project that have made their way into a
      dependent and relatively late Mark' is that Matthew 14.14 lacks the allusion
      to Ezekiel 34 that I suggested in Mark 6.34; if Mark is merely taking over
      traces of a Matthean project, why does he create a fresh allusion that
      Matthew failed to make?

      Hardly a fresh allusion. Mark is copying from Matt 9:36 here, where the theme is firmly embedded in, and indeed undergirds, the entire narrative of 9:35 -- 11:1 (see 10:6). It is precisely "traces" of this Matthean project that Mark picks up in 6:34, where the important "Israel" connection is not alluded to, as in Matt 10:6 and 2:6. Mark's text simply highlights the generic compassion of Jesus on the crowds (=Mark's community) in connection with an upcoming pericope that is transparent of the Eucharist in Mark's community. A beautiful enough point, but a secondary one, I think.

      Dr. Leonard J. Maluf
      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
      Weston, MA 02493
      Home phone: 617-926-2387
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