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Re: [Synoptic-L] Luke's editorial task

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  • John C. Poirier
    Ron, I’m afraid you misunderstood a number of my points. First, you wrote, ... First, I meant to imply that it’s what Luke thought that matters. That’s
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 26, 2003
      Ron,

      I’m afraid you misunderstood a number of my points. First, you wrote,

      > It's whether Luke *thought* Matthew got it all right that matters. But
      > again, I don't see the relevance of this to my paragraph above. Are you
      > claiming that Luke considered Mark's order to have been better than
      > Matthew's? If so, then it seems a rather weak argument, for in the
      > common material, i.e. the triple tradition, there is not much difference
      > in the order of the pericopae.

      First, I meant to imply that it’s what Luke thought that matters. That’s why I
      appealed to Luke’s words at the beginning of his gospel. Second, I’m not
      claiming that Luke considered Mark’s order superior to Matthew’s. I’m not
      talking about the triple tradition at all. I’m saying that Luke considered his
      *own* new ordering of the *double* tradition to be superior to Matthew’s.

      You wrote,

      > . . . If Luke was much more
      > familiar with Mark than with Matthew, it would explain the motivation
      > (taking Mark as the basis) but not the detailed redaction we find in
      > Luke. For this hypothesis that Luke was very familiar with Mark and
      > relatively unfamiliar with Matthew makes it unnecessarily difficult to
      > explain the minor agreements. It means that Luke can't have been using
      > memory in these cases. He must have had both sources visible at all
      > times when adapting Markan pericopae, so that he could carefully compare
      > the wording of both texts.

      I did not mean to imply that Luke’s work of conflation was primarily a matter of
      working from memory. Of course, Luke had both texts in front of him. (I
      recently expressed my disagreement with oral memory hypotheses on this list, in
      my critique of McIver and Carroll.) I simply referred to the fact that Luke’s
      familiarity with Mark and relative unfamiliarity with Matthew would have made his
      task of demarcating new material in Matthew fairly easy. By this I mean Luke’s
      relative unfamiliarity with a text right in front of him, hence the minor
      agreements. There’s nothing complicated or anachronistic about imagining him
      freeing the double tradition from its Matthean contexts.

      You wrote,

      > Could you give a few examples in which Luke's memory of Mark would
      > have helped when he was editing Matthew? When Luke came across a new
      > story in Matthew he would obviously recognize it as such. But I can't
      > see any relevance at the detailed level within a story. Also there
      > doesn't seem to be much indication that Luke had remembered Mark's
      > sayings when he was editing Matthew.

      Again, I’m not positing an oral memory hypothesis. I’m simply talking about how
      easy it was for Luke to recognize Matthean material as Matthean, which is about
      all one needs to grant in order to think of the Farrer hypothesis as a realistic
      solution.


      John C. Poirier
      Middletown, Ohio




      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Ron Price
      ... John, I m saying that I still can t see the point you re trying to make. Obviously Luke would have held the above opinion if the Farrer Theory were true.
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 26, 2003
        John Poirier wrote:

        > I’m saying that Luke considered his
        >*own* new ordering of the *double* tradition to be superior to Matthew’s.

        John,

        I'm saying that I still can't see the point you're trying to make.
        Obviously Luke would have held the above opinion if the Farrer Theory
        were true.

        > Of course, Luke had both texts in front of him.

        I assume you mean that every time Luke redacted a Markan pericope, he
        had both this and the corresponding Matthean pericope visible in front
        of him.

        > I simply referred to the fact that Luke’s
        >familiarity with Mark and relative unfamiliarity with Matthew would have
        >made his
        >task of demarcating new material in Matthew fairly easy.

        O.K. I've already agreed with you on this.

        > By this I mean Luke’s
        >relative unfamiliarity with a text right in front of him, hence the minor
        >agreements.

        But now you've lost me again. If both earlier versions of a pericope
        were simultaneously visible to Luke, what on earth does familiarity have
        to do with it?
        In any case if greater familiarity is to help in explaining the minor
        agreements, it would have to be Luke's greater familiarity with
        *Matthew* coming into play when he was concentrating on redacting Mark,
        which is the opposite of what you claimed.

        >I’m simply talking about how
        >easy it was for Luke to recognize Matthean material as Matthean, which is about
        >all one needs to grant in order to think of the Farrer hypothesis as a
        >realistic solution.

        Not so. You need to think through all the implications of a theory if
        it is to be realistic. Based on what you wrote above, it's not yet clear
        to me that you have done so.

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

        e-mail: ron.price@...

        Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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      • John C. Poirier
        Ron, you opened this thread by stating that “Any given author would weigh the difficulty against the perceived gains before making the decision to tackle a
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 28, 2003
          Ron, you opened this thread by stating that “Any given author would weigh the
          difficulty against the perceived gains before making the decision to tackle a
          complicated merger/rearrangement.” I suggested that “Luke considered his *own* new
          ordering of the *double* tradition to be superior to Matthew’s,” and you responded
          by agreeing with this, but stating that you couldn’t see the point. The point is
          this: Luke had a reason to write his gospel, and it involved the devaluation of
          Matthew’s ordering of non-Markan material. Therefore, the notion of a Markan
          context was a part of this purpose, in such a way that Luke clearly valued Mark
          above Matthew. The correct order that Luke thought he knew constituted the
          “perceived gains.” I went on to suggest that these “perceived gains” were greater
          than the “difficulty” because, in fact, the difficulty of proceeding in the
          mechanical way suggested by the Farrer hypothesis has been greatly exaggerated by
          Farrer’s detractors. This is the point I’m trying to make. Your claim that “Any
          given author would weigh the difficulty against the perceived gains before making
          the decision to tackle a complicated merger/rearrangement” does not accurately
          represent Luke’s motive or his procedure on the Farrer hypothesis.

          I wrote, “By this I mean Luke’s relative unfamiliarity with a text right in front of
          him, hence the minor agreements,” and you responded:

          > But now you've lost me again. If both earlier versions of a pericope
          > were simultaneously visible to Luke, what on earth does familiarity have
          > to do with it?
          > In any case if greater familiarity is to help in explaining the minor
          > agreements, it would have to be Luke's greater familiarity with
          > *Matthew* coming into play when he was concentrating on redacting Mark,
          > which is the opposite of what you claimed.

          Luke is looking at both texts, an easy thing to do when both texts follow a common
          order. My use of “unfamiliarity” has nothing to do with absolute first-hand
          knowledge of a text that one is copying, but with the sort of relative unfamiliarity
          that makes having the text in front of oneself a requisite for knowing what it
          says. It is this level of unfamiliarity that makes the task of demarcating
          non-Markan passages in Matthew easy for Luke. There is nothing inconsistent with my
          use of “unfamiliarity” and my positing of Luke’s direct use of Matthew. In fact, in
          my earlier message I invoked this notion of unfamiliarity expressly in order to
          explain how Luke did what he did when he was looking directly at Matthew, so there’s
          no way I could have implied that unfamiliarity meant that Luke never looked at
          Matthew. My opposing of familiarity with unfamiliarity was intended to explain how
          Luke pulled off the macrostructural aspect of his project. It has nothing to do
          with the microstructural aspect, since that is determined by Luke’s simultaneous
          reading of Matthew and Mark.


          John C. Poirier,
          Middletown, Ohio




          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
          List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
        • Ron Price
          ... John, Perhaps now you will admit that unfamiliarity with a text right in front of Luke can in no way explain the minor agreements, as your sentence
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 28, 2003
            John Poirier wrote:

            >>> By this I mean Luke’s relative unfamiliarity with a text right
            >>> in front of him, hence the minor agreements.

            I replied:

            >> But now you've lost me again. .....
            >> ..... if greater familiarity is to help in explaining the minor
            >> agreements, it would have to be Luke's greater familiarity with
            >> *Matthew* coming into play when he was concentrating on redacting Mark,
            >> which is the opposite of what you claimed.

            John countered:

            > ..... My opposing of familiarity with unfamiliarity was intended to
            >explain how
            >Luke pulled off the macrostructural aspect of his project. It has nothing
            >to do
            >with the microstructural aspect, since that is determined by Luke’s
            >simultaneous
            >reading of Matthew and Mark.

            John,

            Perhaps now you will admit that "unfamiliarity with a text right in
            front of Luke" can in no way explain the minor agreements, as your
            sentence quoted above appears to imply.

            For those of us who accept that Luke knew Matthew, I can see two ways
            to explain the minor agreements. In each triple tradition pericope
            either Luke had both texts open in front of him, as you have suggested,
            and he carefully compared the wording, basing it on Mark but often
            mixing in some of Matthew's words.
            The alternative explanation is that Luke the scholar had become quite
            familiar with Matthew's gospel and its phraseology as part of his
            preparation for the task ahead. Consequently when only the Markan text
            was open in front of him, he often remembered corresponding Matthean
            words or phrases and inserted them without further reference to Matthew.
            This latter explanation better fits the widely accepted view that Mark's
            text was generally used as the basis. It also better matches Luke's
            treatment of the first few chapters (up to Mt 4:11?), when he had
            Matthew open in front of him but not Mark (there is little evidence of
            direct Markan influence in Lk 1:1-4:13).

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            e-mail: ron.price@...

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

            Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
            List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
          • John C. Poirier
            I wrote, ... Ron Price responded, ... I don’t understand this at all. What part of what I wrote implies that “‘unfamiliarity with a text right in front
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 29, 2003
              I wrote,

              >> My opposing of familiarity with unfamiliarity was intended to
              >> explain how
              >> Luke pulled off the macrostructural aspect of his project. It has nothing
              >> to do
              >> with the microstructural aspect, since that is determined by Luke’s
              >> simultaneous
              >> reading of Matthew and Mark.

              Ron Price responded,

              > Perhaps now you will admit that “unfamiliarity with a text right in
              > front of Luke” can in no way explain the minor agreements, as your
              > sentence quoted above appears to imply.

              I don’t understand this at all. What part of what I wrote implies that
              “‘unfamiliarity with a text right in front of Luke’ can in no way explain the
              minor agreements”? Do I have to explain once again what I mean by
              “unfamiliarity”? The scheme I am imagining is precisely the first one that you
              admit as an explanation for the minor agreements. Would it help if I spoke of
              Luke’s “underfamiliarity” with Matthew rather than his “unfamiliarity”?

              Ron Price wrote,

              > This latter explanation [viz. that the minor agreements are the product of
              Luke’s memorization of Matthew’s wording] better fits the widely accepted view
              that Mark's
              > text was generally used as the basis.

              I don’t understand this either. Luke’s preference for Mark in no way suggests
              that he did not also have Matthew open in front of him. He needed Matthew open
              in front of him for the double tradition anyway, so why would he have closed
              (or rerolled?) Matthew when working with the triple tradition? If Luke was
              self-consciously writing a work of reconstruction, so that he was not
              dismissive of reconstruction as such, would he not have considered the value of
              Matthew's reconstructions here and there?


              John C. Poirier
              Middletown, Ohio




              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
              List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
            • Ron Price
              ... John, Let s try again, as you completely misunderstood the first part of my last reply. Will you, in the light of the above quotation, agree with me that
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 29, 2003
                John Poirier wrote:

                >>> My opposing of familiarity with unfamiliarity was intended to
                >>> explain how
                >>> Luke pulled off the macrostructural aspect of his project. It has nothing
                >>> to do
                >>> with the microstructural aspect, since that is determined by Luke’s
                >>> simultaneous
                >>> reading of Matthew and Mark.

                John,

                Let's try again, as you completely misunderstood the first part of my
                last reply.

                Will you, in the light of the above quotation, agree with me that
                "unfamiliarity with a text right in front of Luke" cannot explain the
                minor agreements, which must surely be classed as "microstructural
                aspects" in your terminology?

                > Would it help if I spoke of
                >Luke’s “underfamiliarity” with Matthew rather than his “unfamiliarity”?

                No. I fully understood that the word "unfamiliarity" was being used in
                a relative sense.

                > Luke ..... needed Matthew open
                >in front of him for the double tradition anyway, so why would he have closed
                >(or rerolled?) Matthew when working with the triple tradition?

                You seem to be making out that the easiest thing for Luke to do was to
                leave Matthew's gospel "open". But that would have achieved nothing. The
                question is rather whether he carefully searched for the Matthean
                equivalent of every Markan pericope that he redacted.

                > If Luke was
                >self-consciously writing a work of reconstruction, so that he was not
                >dismissive of reconstruction as such, would he not have considered the value of
                >Matthew's reconstructions here and there?

                Yes, if it were not too tedious.

                But I'm still convinced that on the Farrer Theory Luke would not have
                had a strong enough incentive to use Mark at all. He would have
                recognized Matthew as a second expanded and superior edition of Mark and
                simply ignored the first edition. This would without doubt have
                simplified his editorial task, as you admitted when you wrote:

                >>> Of course it's easier to use Matthew as the basis of a new gospel,

                You added:

                >>> but why write a new gospel if Matthew got it all right (even literarily)?

                In this scenario Luke would have acknowledged the value of much of the
                *content* of Matthew, but he would have been highly critical of the
                Matthean *order*.
                We know that didn't happen because we see much evidence of Luke
                copying Mark. Therefore the Farrer Theory fails to give an adequate
                explanation of Luke's editorial strategy (i.e. choice of source(s) to
                work from).

                Ron Price

                Derbyshire, UK

                e-mail: ron.price@...

                Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

                Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
              • Ken Olson
                ... had a strong enough incentive to use Mark at all. He would have recognized Matthew as a second expanded and superior edition of Mark and simply ignored the
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 29, 2003
                  On April 29, 2003 Ron Price wrote:

                  >>But I'm still convinced that on the Farrer Theory Luke would not have
                  had a strong enough incentive to use Mark at all. He would have
                  recognized Matthew as a second expanded and superior edition of Mark and
                  simply ignored the first edition.<<

                  Leaving the Farrer Theory aside for the moment, doesn't your 3ST Luke choose
                  to follow Mark instead of Matthew for most of the triple tradition, as well
                  as electing not to use Matthew's order for the double tradition material?

                  Best Wishes,

                  Ken


                  Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                  List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                • Ron Price
                  ... Ken, Yes, he does. But on the 3ST there are two important differences which would have influenced Luke s strategy. Firstly Luke took only 17 pericopae from
                  Message 8 of 10 , Apr 30, 2003
                    I wrote:

                    >>But I'm still convinced that on the Farrer Theory Luke would not have
                    >>had a strong enough incentive to use Mark at all. He would have
                    >>recognized Matthew as a second expanded and superior edition of Mark and
                    >>simply ignored the first edition.<<

                    Ken Olson replied:

                    >Leaving the Farrer Theory aside for the moment, doesn't your 3ST Luke choose
                    >to follow Mark instead of Matthew for most of the triple tradition,

                    Ken,

                    Yes, he does.

                    But on the 3ST there are two important differences which would have
                    influenced Luke's strategy. Firstly Luke took only 17 pericopae from
                    Matthew. In other words it was the least important of his three sources,
                    so we can reasonably suppose that as a whole he liked Mark better than
                    Matthew. Secondly, Luke the scholar would have thoroughly studied all
                    his sources before embarking on his editorial task. He knew that the
                    Aramaic TA LOGIA contained sayings of Jesus penned by one of Jesus'
                    original disciples (as testified many years later by Papias), so it was
                    a relatively reliable and ancient source. However his studies would have
                    revealed a considerable overlap between this source and Matthew's Greek
                    text. TA LOGIA also overlapped with Mark, but to a much lesser extent
                    (around a third as much clear overlap). Thus using Mark as the main
                    narrative source would enable Luke to minimize the overlap problems.

                    > as well
                    >as electing not to use Matthew's order for the double tradition material?

                    On the 3ST this material has two distinct origins.
                    The 17 pericopae taken from Matthew do on the whole follow Matthew's
                    order, as I could show in detail if required.
                    Having decided to take the sayings material from its original Aramaic
                    source, Luke's order of the sayings would naturally have been *based* on
                    that source and not on Matthew. But it turns out that Luke had no great
                    respect for the order of the ancient sayings. Matthew was more faithful
                    to their original order. Here 2ST advocates have made another error,
                    i.e. totally ignoring the possibility that Matthew's neat order could
                    have been derived in part from the neat order of the original
                    collection.

                    Ron Price

                    Derbyshire, UK

                    e-mail: ron.price@...

                    Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm


                    Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                    List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                  • Ken Olson
                    ... KO: So on your 3ST Luke did not recognize Matthew as a second expanded and *superior* [emphasis mine] edition of Mark, but as a whole he liked Mark
                    Message 9 of 10 , Apr 30, 2003
                      On Wednsday April 30, Ron Price wrote:

                      > But on the 3ST there are two important differences which would have
                      > influenced Luke's strategy. Firstly Luke took only 17 pericopae from
                      > Matthew. In other words it was the least important of his three sources,
                      > so we can reasonably suppose that as a whole he liked Mark better than
                      > Matthew.

                      KO:
                      So on your 3ST Luke did not recognize Matthew as a "second expanded and
                      *superior* [emphasis mine] edition of Mark," but "as a whole he liked Mark
                      better than Matthew."

                      RP:
                      > Secondly, Luke the scholar would have thoroughly studied all
                      > his sources before embarking on his editorial task. He knew that the
                      > Aramaic TA LOGIA contained sayings of Jesus penned by one of Jesus'
                      > original disciples (as testified many years later by Papias), so it was
                      > a relatively reliable and ancient source.

                      KO:
                      So on your 3ST "Luke the scholar" "thoroughly studied all his sources before
                      embarking on his editorial task," and he preferred the source(s) which he
                      knew to be more ancient and reliable.

                      RP:
                      > Having decided to take the sayings material from its original Aramaic
                      > source, Luke's order of the sayings would naturally have been *based* on
                      > that source and not on Matthew. But it turns out that Luke had no great
                      > respect for the order of the ancient sayings. Matthew was more faithful
                      > to their original order.

                      KO:
                      So on your 3ST "Luke had no great respect for the order" of the sayings
                      material in his source. The original order of that material is better
                      represented in Matthew.

                      Hmm...

                      Best Wishes,

                      Ken

                      kaolson@...




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