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[Synoptic-L] Re: Goodacre on Fatigue

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 11/21/2003 1:25:18 PM Eastern Standard Time, eric.eve@harris-manchester.oxford.ac.uk writes: [I had written] ... I meant to explain the Matt
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 21, 2003
      In a message dated 11/21/2003 1:25:18 PM Eastern Standard Time, eric.eve@... writes:

      [I had written]
      > > Thanks for at least imagining the scenario of a late Mark here, but don't you agree that the Matt 8 text is now difficult to explain on the hypothesis of Markan priority?
      >
      > I took this to be a challenge to explain the Matt 8 text on the hypothesis of Markan priority, which is what I attempted to do. But if you invite me to explain something "on the hypothesis of Markan priority" how can you complain when I offer an explanation "assuming Markan priority"? And how am
      I meant to explain the Matt 8 text on the basis of Markan priority unless "I simply assume Markan priority" for the purposes of the explanation?>>

      I was not blaming you for simply assuming Markan priority here, but for thinking that your explanation was successful, whereas I pointed out that it in fact failed to respond to my question as to why Matt would miss an opportunity to harp on a favorite theme of his in his parallel to the story of the healed leper in Mark? What I hoped you would do was to admit that Matt 8:1-4 is difficult to explain on the basis of Markan priority. Instead you illustrated that the point by a rather convoluted explanation, which I suppose is equally valuable. I ought not to have complained.

      By the way, this time your response to my mail arrived in my box prior to my mail itself. Is there a Markan priority bias to the distribution of mail on this list?:)

      Leonard Maluf
      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
      Weston, MA


      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Eric Eve
      ... Ah, then perhaps the way in which I ordered my response was at fault, for my final point was intended to challenge your thesis that paradoxical
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 21, 2003
        Leonard Maluf wrote:

        > I was not blaming you for simply assuming Markan priority here, but for
        > thinking that your explanation was successful, whereas I pointed out that
        > it in fact failed to respond to my question as to why Matt would miss an
        > opportunity to harp on a favorite theme of his in his parallel to the
        > story of the healed leper in Mark? What I hoped you would do was to admit
        > that Matt 8:1-4 is difficult to explain on the basis of Markan priority.
        > Instead you illustrated that the point by a rather convoluted explanation,
        > which I suppose is equally valuable. I ought not to have complained.

        Ah, then perhaps the way in which I ordered my response was at fault, for my
        final point was intended to challenge your thesis that "paradoxical
        publication" is Matthean rather than Markan property, and of course that
        point needs to be established before the rest of my explanation can stand.
        To my point that Mark does have a parallel to Mark 4.22 and exhibits the
        same theme at Mk 7.36 (where Matthew doesn't) you replied:

        > You're right here, and this illustrates that the "ownership" argument
        > has to be formulated and used with care. "Ownership", in the mere sense
        > of quantitative instances of a theme's occurence, does not necessarily
        > point to priority. Otherwise, Luke would be prior to Matthew on the basis
        > of the fact that he uses the formula: "your faith has saved you" four
        times
        > to Matthew's once. Yes, Mk 4:22 is something of a parallel to Matt
        10:26-27,
        > but notice how Mark reworks the saying drastically to serve as an
        introduction
        > to his own invented parable (remotely based on Matt 13:24-30) of 4:26-29.

        But whereas I take your point that ownership isn't simply a matter of
        relative frequency, I'm afraid your reply doesn't convince me that the theme
        of "paradoxical publication" is primitive to Matthew rather than Mark. On my
        reading of Mark, 4:22 is not only an introduction to 4:26-29 but also a clue
        to the whole parable section, not least Mark 4:2-20 (the parable of the
        sower and its interpretation); why does everything "come in
        parables/riddles" to those outside? Because (at least here) the Markan Jesus
        uses concealement as a strategy for revelation, just as in the various
        parables various kinds of seeds are buried (concealed) in order to sprout up
        (be revealed). It is when Jesus first speaks the word plainly/openly
        (PARRHSIAi TON LOGON ELALEI - Mk 8.31) instead of 'sowing' it in parables
        (hO SPEIRWN TON LOGON SPEIREI - Mk 4.13) Peter (the PETRWDES of the
        parable?) at once rejects it. Hence the Markan Jesus speaks TON LOGON in
        parables to suit his audience's capacity to hear, KAQWS HDUNANTO AKOUEIN (Mk
        4.33). On this interpretation, Mk 4.2-33 is all (at one level) on the theme
        of "paradoxical publication", and given the occurrences at Mk 1.45 and 7.36
        (if indeed these belong to the same motif) one can hardly claim that the
        theme is unMarkan (in the sense of being at home in Mark - I'm not claiming
        that this argument of itself necessarily shows that the idea originates with
        Mark, only that it's one that's important to Mark).

        What is needed to make your argument the clincher that you want it to be is
        a demonstration that Mark obtained this theme from Matthew rather than vice
        versa. So far this seems to be something you are now simply asserting.
        Without such a demonstration that the theme is primitive to Matthew, or else
        so congenial to Matthew that he would almost certainly have taken over every
        occurrence of it he found in his source, your point about Mark 1.45 loses
        its force and, I think, the explanation I offered of Matthew's
        redaction/composition on the basis of Markan priority is perfectly
        legitimate. Of course, I do need to make it clear that an additional
        assumption I'm making here is that the occurrences of the "paradoxical
        publication" theme in Matthew can be explained as borrowings from Mark of a
        theme that Matthew finds only mildly useful, not one in which he is so
        compellingly interested as you suppose.

        In any case one must also be careful of assuming a later author would always
        take over a reference to a theme in which he is meant to be interested. For
        example Luke is generally reckoned to be pretty interested in the Spirit,
        yet he has 'finger of God' for Matthew's 'spirit of God' at Mt 12.28 // Lk
        11.20, which supporters of Q regularly trot out as an argument against
        Luke's use of Matthew. I happen to think this particular argument can be
        countered quite readily, but its logic seems dangerously parallel to that
        you're trying to use in the case of Mk 1.45 (if Matthew had seen this theme
        he's so keen on he would surely have taken it over from Mark 1.45: if Luke,
        who is so keen on the spirit, had seen 'spirit of God' at Mt 12.28 he would
        surely have taken it over at Lk 11.20).

        But that's a subsidiary point; my main point is that it first has to be
        established that "paradoxical publication" really is so important to Matthew
        that he could not have resisted borrowing any reference to it from his
        source(s), and ITSM that this has yet to be established.

        > By the way, this time your response to my mail arrived in my box prior to
        > my mail itself. Is there a Markan priority bias to the distribution of
        mail
        > on this list?:)

        That's probably because my response to your mail came directly from me to
        you (since I copied you explicitly) whereas your copy of your own mail had
        to wait until the list server did whatever it does to incoming mail before
        forwarding it to list members.

        Best wishes,

        Eric



        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 11/21/2003 1:32:58 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... I think the argument is getting a bit sidetracked, not to say obfuscated, with this and
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 21, 2003
          In a message dated 11/21/2003 1:32:58 PM Pacific Standard Time, eric.eve@... writes:


          Ah, then perhaps the way in which I ordered my response was at fault, for my
          final point was intended to challenge your thesis that "paradoxical
          publication" is Matthean rather than Markan property, and of course that
          point needs to be established before the rest of my explanation can stand.


          I think the argument is getting a bit sidetracked, not to say obfuscated, with this and your following observations. I don't remember ever saying that "paradoxical publication" is Matthean RATHER THAN Markan property. If I did, I shouldn't have. Any evangelist is occupationally predisposed to be rather keen on the idea of "paradoxical publication" of the Gospel message. It is precisely what he is engaged in, after all. My original use of the "ownership" argument, if you will remember, was in a very different type of context. I claimed that the warp and woof of the leper story was Matthean -- and not Markan -- because the story's substance is keen on showing Jesus upholding the Jewish Law, which is clearly a concern of Matthew's, and not of Mark's. This was one of two arguments I carefully laid out in favor of the priority of Matt in this particular set of Gospel parallels. This, after having rebutted Goodacre's fatigue argument for the priority of Mark in this passage. In the interests of full disclosure, I should state at this point that I would rate the two positive arguments I made for Matthean priority in this passage as valid, not particularly strong, and certainly not decisive (exactly the rating I gave to the argument for Markan priority, based on macro considerations of Synoptic Gospel contents). Nevertheless, I believe my arguments are not negligible, especially by dint of their cumulative effect, and I haven't yet seen either an effective defense of Goodacre's fatigue argument in response to my criticisms of same, or an alternative offer of arguments in favor of Markan priority in, and based solely on, this particular set of parallels. I strongly suspect that no such arguments exist, and that therefore the evidence at this level of consideration tilts strongly (or perhaps just tilts) in favor of Matthean priority. I may yet write a further series of essays showing in particular the features of Luke's and Mark's text in this set of parallels that could very arguably be viewed as secondary. Altogether I would then have proved my original contention that the evidence from an empirical study of individual Gospel parallels does not confirm the hypothesis of Markan priority that might be reasonably assumed on the basis of macro-considerations.

          Leonard Maluf
          Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
          Weston, MA

        • Maluflen@aol.com
          In a message dated 11/21/2003 1:32:58 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... Good points. Let me accept your argument that the theme of paradoxical publication is
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 22, 2003
            In a message dated 11/21/2003 1:32:58 PM Pacific Standard Time, eric.eve@... writes:


            But whereas I take your point that ownership isn't simply a matter of
            relative frequency, I'm afraid your reply doesn't convince me that the theme
            of "paradoxical publication" is primitive to Matthew rather than Mark. On my
            reading of Mark, 4:22 is not only an introduction to 4:26-29 but also a clue
            to the whole parable section, not least Mark 4:2-20 (the parable of the
            sower and its interpretation); why does everything "come in
            parables/riddles" to those outside? Because (at least here) the Markan Jesus
            uses concealement as a strategy for revelation, just as in the various
            parables various kinds of seeds are buried (concealed) in order to sprout up
            (be revealed).


            Good points. Let me accept your argument that the theme of "paradoxical publication" is even more Markan than it is Matthean, that Mark perhaps has a kind of "ownership" of the theme. Now, let us return to Mark's story of the healed leper. What we find is a section of that story that Mark has in common with Matthew, whose substance is owned by Matthew, and which is therefore probably taken by Mark from Matthew, and a section (1:45) that is unique to Mark, which introduces a theme of which Mark is demonstrably very fond. These data are most congenial to the hypothesis of a late Mark who was using Matthew, but had to add a part to the story in order to make it relevant to his community or acceptable for his evangelical purposes.

            Leonard Maluf
            Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
            Weston, MA
          • Karel Hanhart
            ... From: Eric Eve To: Synoptic-L Cc: Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 22, 2003
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Eric Eve <eric.eve@...>
              To: Synoptic-L <synoptic-l@...>
              Cc: <Maluflen@...>
              Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003 6:49 PM
              Subject: [Synoptic-L] Re: Goodacre on Fatigue


              > Leonard Maluf wrote:
              >
              > >> But there is no need to read the negative command of Jesus in Matthew
              as
              > a command to silence in this sense, as G. does.

              Eric answered:
              > > I confess I'm not sure what you have in mind. So far as I can tell
              MHDENI +
              > a form of EIPEIN comes in two other places in Matthew (16.20 & 17.9);
              these
              > do look like commands to silence, but in both cases this is because a
              direct
              > object is supplied (TO ORAMA in 17.9 and the nouh clause hOTI AUTOS ESTIN
              hO
              > CRISTOS in 16.20). At Mt 9.30 one finds the construction ORATE MHDEIS
              > GINWSKETW addressed to the pair of recently healed formerly blind men,
              which
              > looks like a command to silence without any direct parallel in Mark or
              Luke.
              > Perhaps one could argue (using your ownership argument) that Matthew is in
              > these three cases displaying fragments of a secrecy theme that more
              properly
              > belong to Mark, but I don't think that's what you're driving at.

              Karel's remarks:

              Agreed. The secret motif is primarily Markan. In the dilemma Markan or
              Matthean priority, therefore, one should prefer Markan priority.
              Since Matthew's TWO BLIND MEN are brought up in the discussion, the fact
              that Mark has Jesus heal two different kinds of blind persons, Matthew'
              version is more easily explained as dependent on Mark. He does not have to
              explain the Markan cryptic wordplay in10,46 : bar (Aramaic) and Timaios
              (Greek). Timaios is the title of Plato's widely known main work. Mark
              pictures here a Judean adept of Plato. Matthew does not have a bar-timaios
              in his version. He does not have the second cryptic Markan blind man either,
              who was healed in two stages ("I can see people like trees, walking" 8,24).
              It refers to the parable of Jotam in which indeed "the trees WENT OUT to
              anoint a king". The parable of the trees is a hapax in Tenach, the only
              instance of walking trees. By simply placing the two men together Matthew
              simply combines the two Markan 'healings'. Matthew likes to present his
              material in orderly fashion.
              One must take into account that Mark's gospel was soon copied and sent to
              Matthew's community rather quickly. As I see it, Matthew's Gospel was meant
              for a much larger Judean Christian reading circle than was Mark's Gospel.
              Mark's revised post-70 version was meant mostly, if not only, for the
              community in Rome. After it was sent top Matthew it gained wide approval.
              I would take this opportunity to mention that thus far I havenot
              received a
              rebuttal on the argument that Matthew also reflects knowledge of the
              remarkable time indicator in Mark's passion/resurrection theme (8,31; 9,31
              and 10,34) in Mt 27,63, "that impostor has said while he was still alive.
              "AFTER THREE days I will rise again". Here again Matthew appears to avoid
              Mark's cryptic meaning for the sake of his larger audience (including the
              children and simple folk in the audience).
              The argument that in Hebrew "on the third day" and "after three days" have
              the same meaning does not hold. 1) Mark's opened tomb story does take place
              "on the third day", the Sunday in spite of the emphatic "after three days"
              predictions. Mark goes (deliberately?) against the grain of the early
              confession "raised on the THIRD DAY", stating emphatically three times that
              the Son of Man or Human One would rise AFTER THREE DAYS. He also indicates
              the bewilderment of the disciples questioning what this this "rising from
              the dead" of the Son of Man might mean (9,9).
              2) Matthew, however, returns to the expression "on the third day"
              consistent with the tradition in 16,21, 17,23; 20,19. In Mt 27,63, however,
              the author mocks the high priests (plur!). They cite Mark's "after three
              days!" and they demand on Saturday that the guards must keep Jesus from
              rising ""untill the third day", that is till Tuesday. The high priests in
              narration time are hopelesly confused. The entire scene is dripping with
              irony for they apparently misunderstood the passion prediction altogether.

              cordially,


              Karel k.hanhart@...




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            • Eric Eve
              ... that ... did, I ... keen on ... precisely ... No, you didn t say that it so many words, but I took it to be implied by your earlier question Why would
              Message 6 of 11 , Nov 25, 2003
                Leonard Maluf wrote:

                > I think the argument is getting a bit sidetracked, not to say obfuscated,
                > with this and your following observations. I don't remember ever saying
                that
                > "paradoxical publication" is Matthean RATHER THAN Markan property. If I
                did, I
                > shouldn't have. Any evangelist is occupationally predisposed to be rather
                keen on
                > the idea of "paradoxical publication" of the Gospel message. It is
                precisely
                > what he is engaged in, after all.

                No, you didn't say that it so many words, but I took it to be implied by
                your earlier question "Why would Matthew have missed an opportunity to harp
                on a favorite theme of his by reproducing Mark 1:45 is some form or other?"
                You have since apparently conceded that "the theme of 'paradoxical
                publication; is even more Markan than it is Matthean, that Mark perhaps has
                a kind of 'ownership' of the theme." The point of my response is that if the
                'paradoxical publication' theme is primarily Markan, you may be
                misdescribing it as 'a favourite theme' of Matthew, since on the thesis of
                Markan priority it would be something Matthew had taken over from Mark
                without any deep commitment to it, so that Matthew's failure to reproduce
                the substance of Mark 1:45 in situ presents no particular problem for the
                thesis of Markan priority. I suspect that where this is really leading is
                that "ownership" argument can often be difficult to apply in a
                non-reversible manner, since it does not always select between (a) a theme
                casually mentioned by Evangelist A that appeals to Evangelist B and so is
                taken up and developed by Evangelist B and (b) a theme casually mentioned by
                Evangelist A that is a remnant of something taken over from Evangelist B who
                has developed it far more fully. 'Paradoxical Publication' could be one
                case in point, and Matthew's greater interest in cleansing of lepers in
                relation to Mark could be another.

                To take another example, you earlier argued that the theme of cleansing of
                lepers was more Matthean property than Markan, and the main argument offered
                was the relative frequency of the theme in the two Gospels, citing Matt 10.8
                & 11.5. Mt 11.5 is, of course, paralleled at Lk 7.18, and Lk also refers to
                the cleansing of lepers in Jesus' programmatic Nazareth Sermon (Lk 4.27) and
                in his story of the cleansing of 10 lepers (Lk 17.12ff), so that of the
                three Evangelists it is arguably Luke who gives this theme the greatest
                prominence. Are we then to conclude that it is Lukan property that Matthew
                has borrowed? I assume not, and you will of course quite rightly protest
                that 'property' is not simply a matter of enumeration, but the point of my
                argument here is once again to question the weight of your ownership
                argument.


                > My original use of the "ownership" argument,
                > you will remember, was in a very different type of context. I claimed that
                > the warp and woof of the leper story was Matthean -- and not Markan --
                > because the story's substance is keen on showing Jesus upholding the
                Jewish Law,
                > which is clearly a concern of Matthew's, and not of Mark's.

                And you are quite right to remind of this, since I haven't addressed this
                point. You are, of course, also right that Matthew is much more careful (and
                thus concerned) to present Jesus as upholding the Jewish Law than is Mark
                (although I'm not sure the Markan Jesus is quite so cavalier towards the
                Torah as he's sometimes made out to be either). But I think a prior question
                that needs to be ask is what Mark intended by the phrase EIS MARTURION
                AUTOIS at 1.44 - is the primary motivation (a) to keep the Mosaic law or (b)
                to secure the leper's return into society (for which the procedure commanded
                would presumably have been a practical necessity no matter what one thought
                of it in theory)? Again, this appeal to Moses would not be totally unique in
                Mark - in no Markan mention of Moses (7.10; 9.4, 5; 10.3, 4; 12.19, 26) is
                there any criticism of Moses, it rather appears to be assumed that the
                authority of Moses is a presupposition shared between Jesus and his
                opponents - thus Jesus can appeal to Moses' authority at 7.10 & 12.26.

                That said, I take your point that, ceteris paribus, the theme looks more
                Matthean than Markan here, so this could be allowed to have some weight in
                the scales for Matthean priority - I'm just not sure how much weight,
                because (as I've indicated) I'm not sure how well the ownership argument
                really works.

                > In the interests of full
                > disclosure, I should state at this point that I would rate the two
                positive
                > arguments I made for Matthean priority in this passage as valid, not
                particularly
                > strong, and certainly not decisive (exactly the rating I gave to the
                argument
                > for Markan priority, based on macro considerations of Synoptic Gospel
                contents).

                Perhaps we're not disagreeing wildly about the worth of this particular
                argument then?

                > Nevertheless, I believe my arguments are not negligible, especially by
                dint
                > of their cumulative effect,

                Well, that's partly why I've been challenging other parts of your arguments
                (and I realize I've one more to come back to, which I'll take up below). In
                other words, I'm no so convinced of their cumulative effect.

                > and I haven't yet seen either an effective defense
                > of Goodacre's fatigue argument in response to my criticisms of same,

                I'm not sure I was wholly convinced by your rebuttal of Goodacre here, not
                least because you seem to have back-tracked on your translation argument.
                The trouble is I can think of an alternative rebuttal, or at least
                neutralisation, of Goodacre's argument. On the face of it I think Goodacre
                is right that if Matt 8.4 is a command to silence (which you have allowed it
                may be) then it sits uneasily with the presence of the crowd in 8.1; the
                problem is that this argument can be run in reverse at Matt 9.18-26//Mark
                5.40-43 where Mark, but not Matthew, has a command to silence that Matthew
                lacks, and the Markan command to silence is notoriously nonsensical in its
                context (how can the girl's recovery possibly be kept secret?). On the other
                hand one could use this as an 'ownership' argument in favour of Markan
                priority (which, I fully appreciate, is to depart from what Goodacre does
                here): if Mark is so keen on the theme of commands to silence that he uses
                one here that apparently makes no narrative or historical sense, this must
                be a theme that's important to him - important enough, in fact, to be
                regarded as Markan property (see also Mk 7.36, 8.26). The command to silence
                at Mt 1.4 (if it be taken that way) is thus rather more likey to be derived
                from Mk 1.44 than vice versa.

                You earlier argued (and I have not addressed this before) that the
                appearance of KAQARISMOU and PARAKALWN in Mark suggested the use of
                secondary Oberbegriffe. Part of my difficulty in responding to this is that
                I have some trouble seeing the force of it in the first place - at least in
                relation to these particular examples. The verb PARAKALEW is used 9 times by
                Mark, 9 times by Matthew and 7 times by Luke, so there cannot be an obvious
                trend in an increasing use of this verb by secondary authors in whatever
                order you place them. Moreover, I fail to see why PARAKALWN cannot be
                primitive to Mark at Mk 1.40 if it is primitive to Matthew at Matt 8.5 or
                (on the thesis of Matthean priority) PARAKELOUN at 8.31 & 14.36. Conversely,
                PARAKALWN is lacking from the parallel to this account in Pap Eg 2.35-57 -
                is this a good argument for Mark's posteriority in relation to Pap. Eg. 2?

                Again, I'm afraid I don't see any force in your argument concerning
                KAQARISMOU at Mk 1.44 // Lk 5.14. It just seems the most natural way of
                expressing the purpose/kind of the offering in view.

                Best wishes,

                -- Eric







                -------------------------------
                Dr Eric Eve
                Harris Manchester College
                Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TD
                Tel: 01865 281473



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