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

Re: [Synoptic-L] more on Downing (was: Response to Downing)

Expand Messages
  • Emmanuel Fritsch
    ... More over : Eusebius, Josephus and modern filmmakers all change the order for a sake of conveniance : they translate a story from a litterary gender to
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 17, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Ken Olson a écrit :
      >
      > Way back on November 8, Mark Goodacre posted:
      >
      > >>I'd like to share with the list my draft of a response to a recent
      > article by F. Gerald Downing entitled "Dissolving the Synoptic
      > Problem Through Film?" which appeared in JSNT 84 (2001), pp. 117-9.
      > This short article by Downing was a response to an earlier article I
      > had written called "The Synoptic Jesus and the Celluloid Christ . .
      > ." I'd be grateful for any feedback on my piece below ahead of my
      > submitting it to a journal. With thanks, Mark.<<
      >
      > Mark,
      >
      > Sorry for the long delay in responding on this one, but I've only now
      > managed to get hold of Downing's piece. (JSNT 2001 has been off at the
      > bindery for a while). You've probably sent off your response to Downing by
      > now, but I'd still like to make a few comments.
      >
      > First, like you, I would divide the common objection to Luke having
      > reordered Matthew into two areas. There is the aesthetic objection that
      > Luke would not have broken up Matthew's masterful arrangements, particularly
      > that of Matthew's Sermon on the Mount. There is also the practical
      > objection that Luke's rearrangement of Matthew is too difficult to envision
      > for a writer using ancient compositional methods.
      >
      > Your original piece was aimed mostly at the aesthetic argument. Many modern
      > scholars have opined that Luke would never have broken up the Matthean
      > masterpiece. I agree with you that your argument effectively makes the
      > point that modern filmmakers, who probably intended no disrespect Matthew's
      > Sermon, have found it desirable both to shorten it and to redistribute parts
      > of it elsewhere.
      >
      > Downing's counter-argument is based largely on the practical considerations
      > of ancient composition. He says that Luke's rearrangement "would have
      > involved a much more elaborate toing and froing in Matthew than we have
      > evidence for in any contemporary source(s)" and refers to his earlier
      > articles on Josephus and the Synoptic problem [JSNT 8 (1980) 46-65; JSNT 9
      > (1980) 29-48] as establishing this.
      >
      > I'm not much convinced by Downing's contention that Matthew's rearrangement
      > of Q on the 2DH is completely different because Q is shorter. Further,
      > Josephus does rearrange his source material extensively. As you pointed
      > out, there are some examples of this given in Downing's own work.
      > Additionally, Downing's work on Josephus fails to take into account Shaye
      > Cohen's _Josephus in Galilee and Rome: His Vita and Development as an
      > Historian_ (Leiden: Brill, 1979). Downing's early work on Josephus came out
      > too soon after Cohen's work to take advantage of it, and Downing has not
      > done so subsequently.
      >
      > Cohen argues that Josephus' BJ and V are both rewritings of an original
      > _hypomnema_, one arranged topically and the other chronologically. There is
      > a chart of their differences in order on pp. 261-263. Steve Mason provides
      > a more detailed chart of the differences in order between the BJ and V in
      > volume 9 of the new Brill commentary on Josephus, pp. 213-222. It is, of
      > course, possible that Cohen is mistaken about Josephus' use of sources.
      > Nonetheless, he is a major Josephan scholar and the differences in order of
      > similar material between BJ and V seem to require that Josephus did quite a
      > bit of toing and froing somewhere along the line.


      > I will add that Eusebius, while not strictly speaking a contemporary of Luke
      > 's, is believed to have extensively rearranged the order of his written
      > sources. Stuart Hall provides a chart of how he thinks Eusebius topically
      > rearranged his own Ecclesiastical History and In Praise of Constantine to
      > construct his Life of Constantine [_Eusebius' Life of Constantine,
      > Introduction, Translation and Commentary_ by Averil Cameron and Stuart G.
      > Hall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999) 14-16]. The complexity of Eusebius
      > rearrangement of his sources seems to me to be far greater than what Luke
      > would have done with Matthew.
      >
      > None of this, of course, addresses the aesthetic consideration of why Luke
      > might have wanted to rearrange Matthew, and there are differences between
      > Josephus and Eusebius and Luke. Josephus and Eusebius are reordering their
      > own work in these examples, not someone else's. Nevertheless, I think that
      > these examples do show that Downing's suggestion that ancient authors did
      > not reorder their sources extensively because it required too much "toing
      > and froing" is unfounded.

      More over : Eusebius, Josephus and modern filmmakers all change
      the order for a sake of conveniance : they translate a story
      from a litterary gender to another one, which present its own
      convention and its own convenience (i.e: its own properties, its
      own rhetoric, its own constraints).

      On the other side, all synoptics belongs to the same literary
      gender. Is not the change of order in Eusebius, Josephus and
      modern filmmakers legitimated, and probably needed, by the change
      of literary gender ? We join here the ground of the aesthetical
      argument.


      Second observation : nothing in your comment, Ken, adresses
      the order of rewriting. Is BJ prior to V ? Or the reverse ?
      If we want to use Josephus as a model of reordering to solve
      the synoptic problem, logically, we have to find internal
      evidences in his work pointing for the direction of the
      dependency.

      a+
      manu

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Ken Olson
      ... the order for a sake of conveniance : they translate a story from a litterary gender to another one, which present its own convention and its own
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 20, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        On April 18, Emmanuel Fritsch wrote:

        >>More over : Eusebius, Josephus and modern filmmakers all change
        the order for a sake of conveniance : they translate a story
        from a litterary gender to another one, which present its own
        convention and its own convenience (i.e: its own properties, its
        own rhetoric, its own constraints).<<

        KO:
        I was addressing primarily the mechanical aspects of composition and trying
        to show that ancient authors had techniques that allowed them to
        systematically rearrange their sources, even if those sources were fairly
        long. Both Eusebius and Josephus apparently knew how to rearrange the order
        of material taken from long written sources. It's possible that genre
        conventions would have prevented someone from using a known technique of
        rearrangement, but that wouldn't change the fact that such a technique was
        known (and used). That is what I am disputing with Downing.

        EF:
        >>On the other side, all synoptics belongs to the same literary
        gender. Is not the change of order in Eusebius, Josephus and
        modern filmmakers legitimated, and probably needed, by the change
        of literary gender ? We join here the ground of the aesthetical
        argument.<<

        KO:
        Modern scholars frequently recognize the gospels as all being of the genre
        "gospel", but that is an after-the-fact description of these documents and
        not an established genre with its own set of conventions that were
        recognized at the time the documents were written. I don't really want to
        get into the question of whether the gospels are Graeco-Roman bioi or not,
        because the answer depends largely on how broadly one wants to define that
        genre.

        In particular, the two-volume work Luke-Acts is difficult to place and
        defies generic conventions. We would expect the genre of a work with more
        than one volume not to change genres between volumes, but it's hard to see
        Acts as the same genre as Luke, or, rather it's hard to see that if we
        define Luke as being of the same genre as Mark. Luke seems to be capable of
        writing in, or imitating, a large number of different genres in his work.

        As to the aesthetic or generic question of why Luke might have *wanted* to
        break up Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, (as opposed to the mechanical
        question of whether Luke *could*), I think Luke may have faced a very
        similar problem to that faced by modern filmmakers. He may be giving
        greater attention to the primarily aural medium through which the gospel is
        to be communicated than Matthew is, or at least he appreciates that medium
        in a different way than Matthew does.

        The Matthean masterpiece is a fine piece of writing if one has the leisure
        to read and study it by oneself. It may not work so well in oral
        performance. Cutting its length, sticking to one central theme, and
        redistributing it so that other themes could be presented elsewhere seems to
        me a reasonable thing to do. Matthew's approach of putting a programmatic
        sermon covering the scope of Jesus' teaching at the beginning of the
        ministry to serve as an introduction works better as a piece of reading than
        as a piece of listening. That's a matter of opinion, but I think the way
        Mark Goodacre's study of the way filmmakers treat the sermon tends to
        support it.

        EF:
        >>Second observation : nothing in your comment, Ken, adresses
        the order of rewriting. Is BJ prior to V ? Or the reverse ?
        If we want to use Josephus as a model of reordering to solve
        the synoptic problem, logically, we have to find internal
        evidences in his work pointing for the direction of the
        dependency.<<

        KO:
        First, I said, "Cohen argues that Josephus' BJ and V are both rewritings of
        an original
        _hypomnema_, one arranged topically and the other chronologically." Cohen
        doesn't see either BJ or V as dependent on the other. Both make independent
        use of the _hypomnema_. Cohen accepts the consensus that BJ is earlier and
        V is later, but he thinks BJ has been topically reorganized and that V
        follows the order of the source more closely. This is similar to what the
        2DH proposes for Matthew and Luke's use of Q, with one rearranging topically
        and the other following the order of the source. While this can be taken as
        supporting the 2DH, it can equally well be taken as supporting any of the
        other major source hypotheses. It shows that a writer might either follow
        the order of his source or rearrange it topically.

        Second, I was making the point that ancient authors did indeed have
        techniques available to rearrange the order of their sources and that this
        required a great deal of "toing and froing." As far as this point goes,
        "direction of dependency" does not matter. It would not matter much if
        Cohen was wrong and BJ has the original order and V is more extensively
        rearranged. The techniques required by the author would be pretty much the
        same. If you want to do a more detailed study of Josephus' or Eusebius'
        rearrangement to show that it most closely resembles a particular synoptic
        theory, by all means do.

        Best Wishes,

        Ken

        kaolson@...


        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Emmanuel Fritsch
        ... EF : You have addressed in your mail two arguments : the mechanical aspects, and the aesthetical consideration. My answer addressed this two aspects. **
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 23, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          Ken Olson wrote :
          >
          > >>More over : Eusebius, Josephus and modern filmmakers all change
          > the order for a sake of conveniance : they translate a story
          > from a litterary gender to another one, which present its own
          > convention and its own convenience (i.e: its own properties, its
          > own rhetoric, its own constraints).<<
          >
          > KO:
          > I was addressing primarily the mechanical aspects of composition and trying
          > to show that ancient authors had techniques that allowed them to
          > systematically rearrange their sources, even if those sources were fairly
          > long. Both Eusebius and Josephus apparently knew how to rearrange the order
          > of material taken from long written sources. It's possible that genre
          > conventions would have prevented someone from using a known technique of
          > rearrangement, but that wouldn't change the fact that such a technique was
          > known (and used). That is what I am disputing with Downing.

          EF :
          You have addressed in your mail two arguments : the mechanical aspects,
          and the aesthetical consideration. My answer addressed this two aspects.

          ** about aesthetical consideration, I point out the facts that order
          changes were needed by literary genre translation. That does not apply
          to synoptic problem.

          ** about mechanical aspects, you are right to answer that Eusebius and
          Josephus rearranging their source are a good answer to those who argue
          an impossibility for Luke to rearrange Matthew.

          a+
          manu

          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.