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RE: [Synoptic-L] Lk dependent on Mt 5:39-48?

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  • Matson, Mark (Academic)
    Good question. Let me jump in with my own tentative reply, and I would like to see how other Farrer-type people respond. First, I would think that Luke knew of
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 8, 2004
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      Good question. Let me jump in with my own tentative reply, and I would like to see how other Farrer-type people respond.
      First, I would think that Luke knew of Matthew's approach toward this material from the Sermon on the Mount Section.  He retains it in his sermon on the mount, although he has a different focus, and so dispenses with the "you have heard it said, but I say" format that is somewhat cross-examining the understanding of the Law.
      But Luke's focus is to utilize the material within the context of "love your enemies"... and so he reframes the Matthean material so that it is more of a stand-alone teaching (perhaps flowing out of the woes in the beatitudes, reacting against the selfishness of the rich/powerful) on love of others and its importance as a crucial teaching.  Notice that the teaching begins in 6:27 with "love your enemies", and is completed in 6:35 with "love yor enemies."  And this flows into a related issue of judging.
      Is he using Matthew?  I would say yes, but in a strictly "source-dependent" way.  He is freely recasting the material into his own compositional product that sees a series of major themes that he wants to emphasize (e.g. riches, or love, or prayer) by creating thematic clusters.
      Now I also  think it possible that he knew much of this material from some oral sources as well.  I don't think we can be so dogmatic as to nail down precisely all his sources, and I certainly would not rule out of hand the possibility of other sources having some influence here. (only Goulder is that dogmatic)  If there was an independent source,it may have had an influence on the way Luke phrased the issue.
      But for me the emphasis would be on Luke's freedom as a composer, and his willingness to utilize Matthew (and Mark) in a very creative and dialogical way.  Thus we find at times some very close verbatim similarity, but at other times (and here would be an example) he is willing to transform the Matthean material more loosely.  At the same time, it also appears that strong similarity between Luke and Matthew here suggests some literary linkage.  and I also think a "Q" theory would have the same problem of positing the "original" source Q that can explain how Luke and Matthew would differ so much.
      Mark A. Matson
      Academic Dean
      Milligan College
      -----Original Message-----
      From: owner-synoptic-l@... [mailto:owner-synoptic-l@...] On Behalf Of Tim Reynolds
      Sent: Saturday, November 06, 2004 11:57 PM
      To: Tim Lewis; synoptic-l@...
      Cc: Ted
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Lk dependent on Mt 5:39-48?

      on 5/11/04 7:01 PM, Tim Lewis at tlewistlewis@... wrote:

      I would like to know if there is agreement amongst Farrer theorists about when a Mt-Lk parallel is (or is not) to be derived from Lukan dependence on Mt's version. E.g. the Lord's prayer is often taken to have already existed with local variations so that Lk is not actually dependent on Mt for it.

      Is the material in Mt 5:39-48// Lk 6:27-36 on retaliation and loving enemies really seen by Farrer theorists as Luke's "omitting and redistributing Matthean matter" (quoting in part from Goodacre, Case Against Q, p98)? There are virtually no significant verbal agreements here at all. Would Farrer theorists all agree with Goodacre here that Luke is dependent on Mt for this material? Am I missing something? Is it simply Mt's grouping of material that Lk depends on, perhaps?

      Tim Lewis

      Timothy M. Lewis
      Cranbourne, VIC 3977
      Part-time Greek Tutor at Whitley College,
      Melbourne College of Divinity, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

      This whole class of cruces evaporates if Luke is, as I proposed a couple of weeks ago, differentiating his text as much as possible from Mt, systematically prefering his own "pirated" text and material from his informant (Mary or a longtime associate)  to Mt.


      tiny tim
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic-L In Response To: John Lupia On: Lk
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 8, 2004
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        To: Synoptic-L
        In Response To: John Lupia
        On: Lk < Mt 5:39-48?
        From: Bruce

        Omitting as much as possible from previous messages:

        1. [Lk om Mt 5:38 and similar passages]
        JOHN: Perhaps Luke does not omit at all, and that it is Matthew who writes
        "you have heard that it was said" referring to Luke's Gospel that he
        (Matthew) based his text on.
        BRUCE: That's the other possibility. Either Mt put these previous-law
        references in (a Lukan original) or Lk left them out (from a Mt original).
        Both posited behaviors are consistent for their respective authors. So
        expressed, it's not strong enough to count as a directionality indicator,
        and I note that McNicol et al, Luke's Use of Matthew (1996) does not take
        this sequence as an example. But Tim's challenge was to show that an
        intelligible picture of ALk could be proposed for this passage, and I think
        that has been met. Personally, I find it the more likely case that a
        legalistic Mt (with his vision of a New Law being handed down on a Different
        Mountain), who inconsistently urges avoiding litigation but still speaks
        largely in terms of judicial procedure, would be simplified and generalized
        by Luke for small bodies of the faithful, living increasingly outside Jewish
        law and also probably without access, on favorable terms, to Roman law. But
        I wouldn't go to SBL with nothing more than that in my pocket.

        2. [Mt "right cheek," Lk om "right"]
        JOHN: Luke's text appears more primitive. Matthew appears to be writing
        "right cheek" in accordance with the Roman ritual of manumitting a slave,
        something that would seem to be a latter development.
        BRUCE: If Lk took "right" this way, no wonder he dropped it. But I frankly
        can't see what a manumission ritual would be doing where the context
        requires not freedom, but insult. The older commentators took it as such
        (walking past "right," or lamely suggesting that it is natural to mention
        "right" first, though no explicit "left" follows). More recently, Davies and
        Allison (1988) 1/543 give references to show that a slap was an insult as we
        would have expected, and that a slap on the right cheek (necessarily a
        backhanded slap, assuming a right-handed assailant) was especially
        offensive; so also Gundry (2ed 1994) 95: "But surpassing righteousness
        requires meekness even in the face of the worst insult." If this was Mt's
        sense, then it might well have worked better for readers equally acquainted
        with such authorities as m. B. Qam. 8:6, but less well for a wider audience,
        such as I suspect Lk to have been addressing.

        3. [Lk takes away < Mt would borrow from]
        JOHN: It is MT who specifies "borrow" as a criteria. Luke leaves the term
        broadly expressed that includes borrowing with or without permission
        (perhaps assumed by the borrower) and includes those who take away goods by
        force (not to sue for the return of the goods). This appears more primitive
        as a text compared to Matthew's, that addressed what appeared ambiguos in
        Luke. In other words, the Church raised questions about Luke's text and
        Matthews later text answered them.
        BRUCE: It's always possible that later believers required a more detailed
        code of procedure, and that development can certainly be seen at many points
        in the Pauline corpus. And it is agreed that Mt is here more specific, and
        Lk more general. But I can't see that this necessarily makes Lk "more
        primitive." Whether he was well advised or no, he seems to be concerned,
        here as in the previous two cases, to take the rules out of the specific
        Occupied Palestine context, and put them in broader terms. I can imagine
        that being a workable agenda for an early Gospel writer, without prejudice
        to the parallel need of the faithful for more elaborate rules of procedure.
        Those rules of procedure seem to have been rules of self-governance or local
        governance, and echoes of Jewish or Roman law would not necessarily have
        been relevant. Thus, I don't see the Matthean specificity here as plausible
        answers to procedural questions likely to have been raised by the early
        Church about a formulation such as that of Lk. I see the Mt version as a
        plausible first attempt to define Christian law adversatively, against the
        explicit precedent of formerly applicable codes. Luke relies more on natural
        law and sensibility.

        4. [Lk om Mt 5:43 "love your neighbor"]
        JOHN: Compare Luke 6:27-28, the apparently more primitive text.
        BRUCE: No, Lk 6:27 (in parallel to Mt 5:44) is the more revolutionary text.
        See next. The point here is that, as in all other cases, Mt has, and Lk
        lacks, these adversative references to earlier codes. All those differences
        are certainly one difference, and they certainly have a single explanation,
        and that explanation must make consecutive sense with other explanations.

        5. [Lk 6:27 < Mt 5:44; q Fitzmyer]
        JOHN: In this case Matthew appears to rewrite what Luke had already
        BRUCE: That is certainly how Fitzmyer, a staunch advocate of the Two Source
        Hypothesis, himself consciously took it. I was merely concerned to point out
        that his wording is at war with his advocacy; he speaks of Luke "adding"
        (never mind from where) to the parallel Matthew. This is not an envisionment
        that the 2SH allows. Silent slippage into the opposing view. I suspect there
        is quite a bit of this going around, and that it tends to show that the 2SH
        is really not tenable, in detail, as a sufficing account of Synoptic

        6. [Lk transfers "love your enemies" maxim to head of section]
        JOHN: [No comment]
        BRUCE: I venture to reiterate my point, that the repositioning of this
        passage illumines a previously less consecutive order in Matthew, and that
        it is therefore plausible as an improvement on Matthew. Commentators,
        without necessarily mentioning Synoptic implications, have frequent praise
        for this positioning (see my original note). They do not step forward
        equally to point out virtues in the Matthean placement. If better, than
        presumptively later. Anything is possible, but it is hard to see Mt burying
        the Lukan theme statement in the midst of a bunch of examples and
        illustrations of it, if the Lukan version was what Mt had to work from (or,
        what is equivalent, if Lk under the title "Q" was what he had to work from).
        Here, I suggest, Lk is not only omitting Mt's recurring adversative-context
        legal statements, but replacing one of them by a deep principle from which
        the following examples can be seen as flowing. Two changes, not one. If
        there is a directionality indicator anywhere in this basket, I think this is
        probably it.

        And I will add that a general study of Lukan repositionings seems to me to
        be fruitful in directionality indications, of which the few I have so far
        scrutinized all point in the same direction. They show Luke not as a clumsy
        copyist of Mt, but as a reactor to and critic of Mt, shaping (and reshaping)
        Matthean doctrine and its presentation with his own consistent style and
        agenda. Not that Mt *lacked* an agenda, but that Lk is concerned to one-up


        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Tim Reynolds
        ... You got that right. tim Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@bham.ac.uk
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 16, 2004
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          on 8/11/04 11:09 PM, E Bruce Brooks at brooks@... wrote:

          > Not that Mt *lacked* an agenda, but that Lk is concerned to one-up
          > him.
          > Bruce

          You got that right.


          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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