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[Synoptic-L] Did Luke-Acts know Matthew?

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    This is an adaptation of my weblog post, phrased to get a discussion going. Perhaps another place to look for Luke s knowledge of Matthew is in his other work:
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 7, 2004
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      This is an adaptation of my weblog post, phrased to get a discussion going.

      Perhaps another place to look for Luke's knowledge of Matthew is in his
      other work: the Acts of the Apostles. In the 19th chapter of Acts, Paul has
      met some disciples in Ephesus who knew the baptism of John but did not
      receive the Holy Spirit and explains: "John baptized with the baptism of
      repetence, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after
      him, that is, in Jesus." (Acts 19:4 NRSV)

      This recalls John the Baptist's explanation from the gospels. Which one is
      closest to Acts 19:4?

      Matt 3:11 "I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more
      powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He
      will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (NRSV)

      Mark 1:7-8 He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful that I is coming
      after me, I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.
      I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize with the Holy Spirit."
      (NRSV)

      Luke 3:16 John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more
      powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thongs of his
      sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (NRSV)

      John 1:33 "I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize
      with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is
      the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'" (NRSV)

      Of the four gospels, only Matt 3:11 juxtaposes, as does Acts 19:4, the
      motifs of a baptism of repentance (John) with the one coming after (Jesus).
      According to the Critical Edition of Q (p. 14, at Q 3:16b, which
      aggressively adds Jesus's baptism to Q because of too many minor
      agreements), the phrase "for repentance" is Matthew's redaction of Q's
      baptism. Does this mean that the author of Luke at Acts 19:4 knows Matthew,
      or, that the editors of CEQ are wrong and Q is more like Matthew than we
      thought?

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Weblog: http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/hypotyposeis/blogger.html
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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    • Mark Goodacre
      ... This is a fascinating observation -- thanks very much for sharing it. On such occasions I like to try to get into the Q theorist s shoes to see if I could
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 7, 2004
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        On 7 Jan 2004 at 8:54, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:

        > Of the four gospels, only Matt 3:11 juxtaposes, as does Acts 19:4, the
        > motifs of a baptism of repentance (John) with the one coming after
        > (Jesus). According to the Critical Edition of Q (p. 14, at Q 3:16b,
        > which aggressively adds Jesus's baptism to Q because of too many minor
        > agreements), the phrase "for repentance" is Matthew's redaction of Q's
        > baptism. Does this mean that the author of Luke at Acts 19:4 knows
        > Matthew, or, that the editors of CEQ are wrong and Q is more like
        > Matthew than we thought?

        This is a fascinating observation -- thanks very much for sharing it.
        On such occasions I like to try to get into the Q theorist's shoes
        to see if I could answer it if I were persuaded of Q. What I think I
        would say would be that there is a third option.

        (1) It is not that Luke knows Matthew -- we know that that is not
        possible for a variety of reasons, chief among which are (a) Luke's
        eccentric editorializing that would be implied by that theory & (b)
        the phenomenon of alternating primitivity in double tradition.

        (2) And it cannot be that Q is more like Matthew than we previously
        thought. If Q had featured repentance here, Luke would have carried
        it over so producing the same juxtaposition of repentance + coming
        one in Luke 3. After all, we know that Luke has no aversion to
        repentance -- it is a favourite in his Gospel (e.g. Luke 5.32R, 15.7
        QD, 24.47). On the other hand, repentance is something Matthew might
        have added in Matt. 3 (e.g. cf. the prominence the theme is given in
        Matt. 3.2). So Q did not have repentance here.

        (3) So where did Luke get it from in Acts 19? It was probably his
        memory of these two features, both of them congenial, from Mark and
        Q. John's baptism of repentance is a key feature of Mark 1; the
        announcement of the coming one is a key feature of Q 3 and Q 7. So
        he juxtaposes them himself in Acts 19 in the same way that Matthew
        juxtaposed them himself in Matt. 3. So there is nothing here that
        cannot be explained by independent redaction.

        Mark
        -----------------------------
        Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
        Graduate Institute for Theology & Religion
        Dept of Theology
        University of Birmingham
        Elmfield House, Bristol Road tel.+44 121 414 7512
        Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376

        http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
        http://NTGateway.com


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      • John C. Poirier
        It s interesting that a bunch of Q skeptics are trying to play-act as Q believers, but I want to do the same. ... I doubt that this is what Luke would have
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 7, 2004
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          It's interesting that a bunch of Q skeptics are trying to play-act as Q
          believers, but I want to do the same.

          Mark Goodacre wrote:

          >And it cannot be that Q is more like Matthew than we previously
          >thought. If Q had featured repentance here, Luke would have carried
          >it over so producing the same juxtaposition of repentance + coming
          >one in Luke 3. After all, we know that Luke has no aversion to
          >repentance -- it is a favourite in his Gospel (e.g. Luke 5.32R, 15.7
          >QD, 24.47).
          >
          I doubt that this is what Luke would have done. Matthew's formula is
          constructed as a contrast, implicitly lowering the value of John's
          baptism. Luke perhaps would have rescued his favored theme of
          repentance from that contrast: repentance is not something that the new
          baptism replaces, so Luke is careful to remove any mention of repentance
          in such close connection (a *formulaic* connection!) with John's
          baptism. Repentance is an integral part of the post-Pentecost summons
          (cf. Acts 2-3).

          I admit that there is a hole in this reasoning: water baptism is
          connected with repentance in Acts 2:38 ("Repent, and be baptized . .
          ."), so where is the implied obsolescence of the contrast? Obviously,
          there is no obsolescence, as far as ritual goes. Nevertheless, the
          original formula in the gospels is constructed as a contrast, and in
          that specific context it may have been difficult for Luke to follow Q.

          On this reading, Q is more like Matthew, and Luke's reproduction of Q's
          formula in Acts 19 is simply a lapse on his part.


          John C. Poirier
          Middletown, Ohio



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        • John C. Poirier
          [I tried sending this over an hour go, but it apparently didn t go through. I m now resending, with a slight change.] It s interesting that a bunch of Q
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 7, 2004
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            [I tried sending this over an hour go, but it apparently didn't go
            through. I'm now resending, with a slight change.]

            It's interesting that a bunch of Q skeptics are trying to play-act as Q
            believers, but I want to do the same.

            Mark Goodacre wrote:

            > And it cannot be that Q is more like Matthew than we previously
            > thought. If Q had featured repentance here, Luke would have carried
            > it over so producing the same juxtaposition of repentance + coming one
            > in Luke 3. After all, we know that Luke has no aversion to repentance
            > -- it is a favourite in his Gospel (e.g. Luke 5.32R, 15.7 QD, 24.47).
            >
            I doubt that this is what Luke would have done. Matthew's formula is
            constructed as a contrast, implicitly lowering the value of John's
            baptism. Luke perhaps would have rescued his favored theme of
            repentance from that contrast: repentance is not something that the new
            baptism replaces, so Luke is careful to remove any mention of repentance
            in such close connection (a *formulaic* connection!) with John's
            baptism. Repentance is an integral part of the post-Pentecost summons
            (cf. Acts 2-3).

            I admit that there is a hole in this reasoning: water baptism is
            connected with repentance in Acts 2:38 ("Repent, and be baptized . .
            ."), so where is the implied obsolescence, bound up in the contrast?
            Obviously, there is no obsolescence, as far as ritual goes.
            Nevertheless, the original formula in the gospels is constructed as a
            contrast, and in that specific context it may have been difficult for
            Luke to follow Q.

            On this reading, Q is more like Matthew, and Luke's reproduction of Q's
            formula in Acts 19 is simply a lapse on his part.


            John C. Poirier
            Middletown, Ohio




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          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... Coincidence (here in the form of independent redaction ) is always possible but not often probable. For one, this independent redaction by Luke in
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 7, 2004
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              Mark Goodacre <M.S.Goodacre@...> wrote:
              >(3) So where did Luke get it from in Acts 19? It was probably his
              >memory of these two features, both of them congenial, from Mark and
              >Q. John's baptism of repentance is a key feature of Mark 1; the
              >announcement of the coming one is a key feature of Q 3 and Q 7. So
              >he juxtaposes them himself in Acts 19 in the same way that Matthew
              >juxtaposed them himself in Matt. 3. So there is nothing here that
              >cannot be explained by independent redaction.

              Coincidence (here in the form of "independent redaction") is always
              possible but not often probable.

              For one, this independent redaction by Luke in conflating Mark and
              Q differs from Luke's usual practice of not conflating Mark and Q elsewhere,
              while such conflation is more characteristic Matthew's behavior's with Mark
              and Q. So, this scenario proposes that, if Q is not more like Matthew
              that we thought, then Luke himself is more like Matthew than we thought.

              Also, if Acts 19:4 is independent redaction, by adding "for repentance" to
              the baptism account transmitted by Luke, what is the purpose of this
              redactional change? Repentance is not a theme in the Acts passage nor is
              it developed, so its inclusion is gratuitous in Acts but not however in Matt.,
              where repentance was earlier introduced as a theme at Matt 3:2. This
              suggests that it is part of Luke's source, much like "heal the sick among
              them" in Thomas 14:4 is an out-of-place spur that indicates dependence
              on Luke's form of the missionary instructions where the phrase in Luke
              10:4-11 is not out of place.

              A good theory would do well to minimize the number of anomalies it has,
              I would suggest that Acts 19:4 is yet another anomaly even under the
              name of "independent redaction."

              (A fourth possibility, which now occurs to me, is Matthew's knowledge of
              Acts, but I leave that to others to defend, hopefully by adducing any other
              corroborating evidence of that possibility.)

              Stephen Carlson

              --
              Stephen C. Carlson,
              mailto:scarlson@...
              "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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            • Ron Price
              Surely a good case could be made for Acts 1:2 as a reminiscence of Mt 28:16-20. Acts refers to the day when [Jesus] was taken up to heaven (a scenario
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 7, 2004
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                Surely a good case could be made for Acts 1:2 as a reminiscence of Mt
                28:16-20.

                Acts refers to "the day when [Jesus] was taken up to heaven" (a scenario
                implied but not stated in the Mt text); "giving instructions" (c.f. "Go etc.
                in the Mt text); "through the Holy Spirit" (mentioned in Mt 28:19); "to the
                apostles whom he had chosen" (the 11 disciples of Mt 28:16).

                There is also the reference to a mission to PANTA TA EQNH in Lk 24:47,
                c.f. Mt 28:19. The mission is to be "in his name" (Lk), c.f. "in the name of
                ... the Son ..." (Mt).

                So it looks to me as if the author of Luke-Acts had been quite impressed
                by Matthew's splendid ending, even if he did change the wording to suit his
                own purposes.

                Ron Price,

                Derbyshire, UK


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              • David Miller
                Last week Stephen Carlson proposed that the mention of baptism of repentance together with the prediction of a coming one in Acts 19:4 is best explained by
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 12, 2004
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                  Last week Stephen Carlson proposed that the mention of "baptism of
                  repentance" together with the prediction of a "coming one" in Acts 19:4 is
                  best explained by positing Luke's knowledge of Matthew. Mark Goodacre
                  suggested that a Q theorist would likely respond as follows:

                  > > (3) So where did Luke get it from in Acts 19? It was probably his
                  > > memory of these two features, both of them congenial, from Mark and
                  > > Q. John's baptism of repentance is a key feature of Mark 1; the
                  > > announcement of the coming one is a key feature of Q 3 and Q 7. So
                  > > he juxtaposes them himself in Acts 19 in the same way that Matthew
                  > > juxtaposed them himself in Matt. 3. So there is nothing here that
                  > > cannot be explained by independent redaction.

                  Stephen Carlson replied: "A good theory would do well to minimize the number
                  of anomalies it has,
                  I would suggest that Acts 19:4 is yet another anomaly even under the
                  name of 'independent redaction.'"

                  I would like to suggest that Acts 19:4, understood within the larger context
                  of references to John in Acts, is not anomalous. Perhaps a missing link
                  here is Acts 13:24-25 where John's "baptism of
                  repentance" is mentioned immediately before John's prediction of a coming
                  one: "before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance
                  to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his work, he said,
                  'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after
                  me..."

                  The mention of John's "baptism of repentance" (not "baptism for repentance")
                  in Acts 13 as well as 19 suggests that the theme is not gratuitous in Acts.
                  In any case, Acts 19:4 has more in common with Acts 13:24-25 than it does
                  with Matt 3:11.

                  It is interesting to note that if we omit Mark's description of John in Mark
                  1:5-6, the prediction of a coming one (1:7) follows a reference to John's
                  preaching of a baptism of repentance (1:4). Both Acts 13 and 19 focus on
                  what John said--the extended description of John himself is naturally
                  omitted. In Acts 13:24-25 the "baptism of repentance" is separated from the
                  prediction of a coming one to a greater extent than it is in Acts 19:4, but
                  in neither passage is a statement about repentance and baptism placed on
                  John's lips. Only Matthew has John combine the two in one first person
                  address.

                  David Miller
                  Ph.D. (Cand.), Biblical Area
                  Dept. of Religious Studies
                  McMaster University


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