Ron Price wrote:
> In the discussion prompted by Downing, the comparison between Luke and
> Josephus et. al regarding the difficulty of merging and rearranging
> sources has attempted to assess "difficulty" in an absolute sense.
> In practice this is unrealistic. Any given author would weigh the
> difficulty against the perceived gains before making the decision to
> tackle a complicated merger/rearrangement. . . .
If Luke's notice about attempting an "orderly account" is meant to emphasize
the matter of order, then should we not presume that he disagreed with the
order of one or more of his sources? Of course it's easier to use Matthew
as the basis of a new gospel, but why write a new gospel if Matthew got it
all right (even literarily)?
It seems to me that you're making things too complicated for Luke.
Depending on how familiar he was with Mark, it may have been easy for Luke
to spot Matthew's additions.
Think about it: if someone gave you a copy of one of the gospels in which
new material had been added, would you not be able to recognize the new
material right away (no matter how biblical it sounded), based on your
familiarity with the correct version of the text? Critics of the Farrer
hypothesis seem to think that it would have been tedious for Farrer's Luke
to do what MicrosoftWord's "compare versions" function does, but that only
shows a lack of historical imagination. If you are thoroughly familiar with
one of the source texts, it's easy to do the equivalent of the "compare
versions" function in your head when reading a conflate text. (Of course,
it's more difficult when you're thoroughly familiar with *both* texts, which
may be why so many scholars have difficulty imagining the procedure.)
There's nothing "unrealistic" about it.
John C. Poirier
Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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