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Re: Wording in Matthew supplied by the writer himself

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  • E. Bruce Brooks
    Topic: Wording in Matthew From: Bruce In Response To: Jim Deardorff To my suggestion to turn teams of undergraduate nonphilologists loose on an attempt to see
    Message 1 of 34 , Sep 9, 1998
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      Topic: Wording in Matthew
      From: Bruce
      In Response To: Jim Deardorff

      To my suggestion to turn teams of undergraduate nonphilologists loose on an
      attempt to see whether strata in GMt could be detected from a scrutiny of
      that text alone, there followed:

      JIM: Before anyone uses up students' time on this, it would be well to
      consider that a positive outcome is to be expected from the assumption of
      Matthean priority. AMt Judaized his source, and AMk de-Judiazed his source
      (which was primarily Matthew). A substantial positive correlation is then
      to be expected between Judaistic areas of Matthew that look like
      redactions, and (de-Judaized) gaps within Mark's parallels at these points.

      BRUCE: OK, OK, call off the kiddies. I retract my offer. I welsh on my bet.
      But I take note of the concession that philology, even naive philology, is
      capable of figuring something out by merely examining the, so to speak,
      physical evidence. I am so pleased to have this on the record that I will
      not point out that the concept of "Matthean priority" is somewhat at odds
      with the concept of "Matthean sources."

      Where then do things stand with Authorial Matthew? I think that they stand
      in favor; that is, that the concept of Authorial Matthew is acceptable to
      future discussion. Someone *doing something* with the materials, whether
      received, recalled, or imagined. Someone with something in mind. Not a
      passive copyist. All *right.*

      I note that nobody challenged me on my earlier assumption that GMt had what
      I then called a "block" structure. This is actually only one of many views
      of Matthean structure. Davies and Allison, though giving Bacon the edge,
      end by quoting with approval Gundry to the effect that one should not
      impose a structure on Matthew. That is the sort of statement with which no
      right-seeming person would care to disagree. It is subsumed in the larger
      statement: Nobody should impose *anything* on *anything,* with all
      substitution-variants of which no right-seeming person would care to
      disagree. The question is whether "impose" is the right word for the
      situation. Several of us, evidently including all parties to that thread so
      far, think that there is a structure *there to be observed,* rather than an
      amorphous blank on which structures can only be imposed.

      For future reference, here is a simple outline of the Bacon 1918
      "pentateuchal" theory (that the blocks of the structure are intended to
      correspond to the five books of the Torah) as summarized by D and A
      (Matthew, 1/59f) and further summarized by myself:

      Prologue: Mt 1-2 (Genealogy and Birth)

      Narrative 1: Mt 3:1-4:25
      Discourse 1: Mt 5:1-7:27 (Sermon on the Mount)
      Cadence 1: Mt 7:28f "And when Jesus had finished these sayings"

      Narrative 2: Mt 8:1-9:35
      Discourse 2: Mt 9:36-10:42 (Mission and Martyrdom)
      Cadence 2: Mt 11:1 "And when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve
      disciples"

      Narrative 3: Mt 11:2-12:50
      Discourse 3: Mt 13:1-52 (The Kingdom of Heaven)
      Cadence 3: Mt 13:53 "And when Jesus had finished these parables"

      Narrative 4: Mt 13:54-17:21
      Discourse 4: Mt 17:22-18:35 (Church Administration)
      Cadence 4: Mt 19:1 "Now when Jesus had finished these sayings"

      Narrative 5: Mt 19:2-22:46
      Discourse 5: Mt 23:1-25:46 (Eschatology; Farewell)
      Cadence 5: Mt 26:1 "When Jesus finished all these sayings"

      Epilogue: Mt 26:3-28:20 (Last Supper to Resurrection)

      * * * * * *

      Surely one impressive argument for this thesis is not simply the pattern of
      alternating narrative and discourse, though that is already pretty
      impressive, but the marking of the end of the discourse segments by
      variants of the same phrase. Lest that seem to be a self-establishing
      proposal, however, I may add that the Kingsbury theory, also quoted by D
      and A, has a tripartite plan, *no* division of which corresponds with *any*
      of the above, but with both divisions also marked by a recurring phrase,
      namely "From then began Jesus . . . " (Mt 4:17, 16:21). Is this a
      simultaneous structure? Or can it be disabled by argument?

      In any case, given that this structure is well observed and so to speak in
      grain, we might next look at the transitions from one block to the next, to
      see if we can detect (in Matthew, or if one likes in Matthew with a peek at
      Mark) signs of disarrangement of the constituent material. If so, then
      Matthew is not a primary narrative, but follows upon something earlier. If
      not, then it *is* a primary narrative, with all that that might imply for
      the history of Christian belief.

      * * * * * *

      PS: In the event that my withdrawal of the Matthean philology project has
      been insufficiently prompt, and has accordingly left in its wake flocks of
      disappointed young persons from Eureka to Eastcheap, I can (this is a
      serious offer) supply a substitute project. Get hold of a copy of Mencius
      (either Legge/Dover or Lau/Penguin is quite satisfactory, both in PB), and
      note the doublet near the end of 1A3 (Legge 1A3:4, Lau p53 "if the mulberry
      is planted") and *at* the end of 1A7 (Legge 1A7:24, Lau p58 "if the
      mulberry is planted"). Note that the passages are identical except for two
      tiny variants, one noted by Legge and the other by Lau. Heaven only knows
      why not both by both. You are entitled to assume that the implicit
      chronology of the interviews in MC 1 is in the order they occur in the text
      (except 1B16). Questions: (1) What is the probable directionality of the
      variants? (2) Are both passages plausible in respective context as merely
      reiterated words of the historical Mencius (HM)? (3) Does either passage
      show rhetorical inconsecutivity in context? (4) If No to #2, which passage
      is likelier to be an imitation of the other? (5) If one or both are
      post-Mencian constructions, inserted into the record by posthumous Mencian
      followers, what is the likeliest scenario of creation and/or insertion?

      Questions about, and answers to, this Mencian project may be sent to me
      privately (brooks@...), and will as appropriate be reposted
      to my Chinese philology E-mail discussion group, consisting of a mixture of
      90 students and professionals worldwide, for consideration and comment
      there. Answers to questions, or any comment by that group on submitted
      answers, will be sent to respondent by return (or soonest) E-mail. Any
      *really* gung-ho students (as we say over there) may be directly enrolled
      in that E-mail discussion. Where they will find others already launched,
      but ready to welcome them.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... This would not be a good idea, because all (existing) versions of this document are still under copyright. Those who are so inclined can visit Jim
      Message 34 of 34 , Sep 12, 1998
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        At 10:37 PM 9/11/98 -0700, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
        >I'm sure the list would be grateful to have this "candidate document" (a
        >document which you frequently refer to, but don't ever name here or ever
        >produce any exemplar of in your posts) *sent here to the list*, along
        >with some explanation of how you know that this "candidate" is genuine.

        This would not be a good idea, because all (existing) versions of
        this document are still under copyright. Those who are so inclined
        can visit Jim Deardorff's web site themselves to see some quotations
        of the document and come to their own conclusions.

        Stephen Carlson
        --
        Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
        Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
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