Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and Mark?

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Secret Alias
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Secret Alias » Sun May 28, 2017 7:27 am

And yet... here is a logion about deeds, not (Q-like or Thomas-like) sayings.
And yet not a logion of the Lord or God. I wonder whether logia spoken by humans can include descriptive activity and logia of God necessarily are oracular in nature
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun May 28, 2017 7:40 am

Secret Alias wrote:
And yet... here is a logion about deeds, not (Q-like or Thomas-like) sayings.
And yet not a logion of the Lord or God. I wonder whether logia spoken by humans can include descriptive activity and logia of God necessarily are oracular in nature
Well, maybe. But are these not deeds (Micah 6.4-5)?

4 “Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt
And ransomed you from the house of slavery,
And I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam.
5 “My people, remember now
What Balak king of Moab counseled
And what Balaam son of Beor answered him,
And from Shittim to Gilgal,
So that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord.”

Not quite a story, to be sure. But deeds, right?
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Secret Alias » Sun May 28, 2017 7:50 am

But it is God speaking these words through a human I guess.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun May 28, 2017 8:09 am

Secret Alias wrote:But it is God speaking these words through a human I guess.
So you are saying that only the בּת קול itself is subject to these rules? That would certainly limit the field. The vast majority of the time we hear the voice of God, it is through human (prophetic) speech, is it not?
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Secret Alias » Sun May 28, 2017 11:10 am

I really don't know. I guess I should say that more often otherwise the way I write makes me seem unnecessarily argumentative. I don't know the answer. Irenaeus clearly takes Papias to mean a narrative gospel of Matthew so on one level it's an open and shut case. My problem is just that logion means oracle. I can't account for how Christians could have used that word in a way that was at odds with the rest of the Greek speaking world. I don't necessarily mean a voice from heaven but a human being speaking through the holy spirit I guess (to borrow Christian terminology). Inspired words.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Sun May 28, 2017 12:51 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:Papias critical point seems to be the anecdotal form of Mark’s account and this reminds me of the schorlarly claim that Mark’s stories are like “pearls on a string”. The critique could be that GMark is just “a bunch of anecdotes” and therefore not an acceptable ancient “bios”. It would be interesting to know whether the Greek words “οὐ μέντοι τάξει“ could mean something like “he wrote not systematically” or so.
Lucian, How to Write History 47-48:

1 As to the facts themselves, [the historian] should not assemble them at random, but only after much laborious and painstaking investigation. He should for preference be an eyewitness, but, if not, listen to those who tell the more impartial story, those whom one would suppose least likely to subtract from the facts or add to them out of favor or malice. When this happens let him show shrewdness and skill in putting together the more credible story. 2 When he has collected all or most of the facts, let him first make them into a series of notes [ὑπόμνημά], a body of material as yet with no beauty or continuity. Then, after arranging them into order [τάξιν], let him give it beauty and enhance it with the charms of expression, figure, and rhythm.

The ancient process of book publication seems to have had (at least) two distinct stages: first there were notes; then there was a published book, polished and ready to go. Here is Galen on such notes, from the prologue of Concerning His Own Books:

Why the many read my [books] as their own, you yourself know the reason, most excellent Bassus. For they were given to friends and disciples without inscription, as nothing was for publication, but were made for those who requested to have notes [ὑπομνήματα] of what they heard.

This ought to remind us of Eusebius' quotation of Clement of Alexandria in History of the Church 6.14.5-7, where "many called upon Mark" to write what Peter had preached, and Mark, "having made the gospel, gave it out to those who had requested it."

Such "notes" are not supposed to be "in order" yet. Here again, Papias is not critiquing Mark himself; he is actually giving him excuses for a work which was considered to be out of order.

Often Greco-Roman figures would write their own memoirs (Latin commentarii), which would actually be thought of as belonging to the "notes" stage of the process, ready for an historian to take up and turn into something more polished. Amusingly, Julius Caesar's memoirs caused problems for those who would wish to turn them into histories, as Suetonius relates in Life of Julius Caesar 56:

[Cicero writes:] He wrote memoirs [commentarios] to be strongly commended indeed. They are naked, straightforward and lovely, stripped of the vesture of every adornment of oration; but while he wished others to have these things prepared, whence those who wished to write a history might assume, he ended up gratifying the inept, who wish to use the curling-irons on them. Sane men, in fact, he deters from writing.

[Hirtius writes:] They are so approved in the judgment of all men as to have taken opportunity away from writers, rather than to have offered them one. Our admiration for his accomplishment, nevertheless, is greater than that of the rest; for they know how well and faultlessly, and we also how easily and quickly he wrote them out.

This strikes me as the highest praise possible for a writer: even his rough draft was a masterpiece.

But the point for our purposes seems to be that Papias is excusing Mark's actions ("he did not err") on the grounds that his text was supposed to be a first step, not a published work. This idea is what leads, I think, to Clement's story about Mark being requested (like Galen was) to write something up from Peter's oral preaching (like Galen's notes were written up from his oral lectures). This idea also lies behind Stephen Carlson's translation of the verb προγεγράφθαι in Clement's comments (referred to above) as "published openly" (not "written beforehand"): Matthew and Luke were ready for publication, while Mark was still just a set of notes, handed out for the needs of Peter's audience.

(How far this early Christian impression of the gospel of Mark reflects the author's intentions is open for discussion, obviously.)
Excellent. Thank you for that.
This ought to remind us of Eusebius' quotation of Clement of Alexandria in History of the Church 6.14.5-7, where "many called upon Mark" to write what Peter had preached, and Mark, "having made the gospel, gave it out to those who had requested it."
Clement wrote here "γραφῆς ὑπόμνημα".


Another use of τάξις by Papias is mentioned in the writings of Andrew of Caesarea
And Papias has thus, word for word: But to some of them, clearly those that were once divine, he both gave to rule over the cosmic arrangement around the earth and enjoined to rule well. And he says in the following:
It turns out that their order ended up as nothing. (Εις ουδεν δεον συνεβη τελευτησαι την ταξιν αυτων.)
And the great dragon, the ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, was cast out. The one who deceives the whole inhabited earth was cast down to the earth, along with his angels.

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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun May 28, 2017 1:05 pm

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:Clement wrote here "γραφῆς ὑπόμνημα".
Yes. :)
Another use of τάξις by Papias is mentioned in the writings of Andrew of Caesarea....
Interesting. Good one.

This may be the connection between chronological order (which is the kind of order that best fits Papias' talk of eyewitnesses) and literary order (which is the kind of order that the Greco-Roman literary jargon seems to point to):

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On Thucydides 9 (Loeb translation): What need I say further? The whole of the book is broken up in this way, and continuity of narrative is destroyed. Predictably, we wander here and there, and have difficulty in following the sequence of events described, because our mind is confused by their separation and cannot easily or accurately recall the half-completed references which it has heard. But history should be presented as an uninterrupted sequence of events [χρὴ δὲ τὴν ἱστορικὴν πραγματείαν εἰρομένην εἶναι καὶ ἀπερίσπαστον], particularly when it is concerned with a large number of them which are difficult to comprehend. It is clear that Thucydides’ principle is wrong and ill-suited to history: for no subsequent historian divided up his narrative by summers and winters, but all followed the well-worn roads which lead to clarity.

Dionysius may think that the literary order of a book of history ought to be chronological. In this case, since Papias seems to be treating the gospel texts as history in some way (note his emphasis on drawing upon eyewitnesses, for example), then the answer to the question of whether the "order" he has in mind is literary or chronological may be both.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun May 28, 2017 1:08 pm

Compared to the chronology of John, in which Jesus commutes back and forth between Galilee and Judea several times amidst various festivals, the gospel of Mark can really look as if Mark dropped events from Galilee in the first half of his text and events from Judea in the second half, with no effort to sort them out. Dionysius accosts Thucydides for dividing up his narrative artificially by summers and winters, and perhaps Papias would accost Mark, were it not for the excuses he gives, for dividing up his narrative artificially between Galilean and Judean ministry periods.
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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Mon May 29, 2017 11:52 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:This may be the connection between chronological order (which is the kind of order that best fits Papias' talk of eyewitnesses) and literary order (which is the kind of order that the Greco-Roman literary jargon seems to point to):

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On Thucydides 9 (Loeb translation): What need I say further? The whole of the book is broken up in this way, and continuity of narrative is destroyed. Predictably, we wander here and there, and have difficulty in following the sequence of events described, because our mind is confused by their separation and cannot easily or accurately recall the half-completed references which it has heard. But history should be presented as an uninterrupted sequence of events [χρὴ δὲ τὴν ἱστορικὴν πραγματείαν εἰρομένην εἶναι καὶ ἀπερίσπαστον], particularly when it is concerned with a large number of them which are difficult to comprehend. It is clear that Thucydides’ principle is wrong and ill-suited to history: for no subsequent historian divided up his narrative by summers and winters, but all followed the well-worn roads which lead to clarity.

Dionysius may think that the literary order of a book of history ought to be chronological. In this case, since Papias seems to be treating the gospel texts as history in some way (note his emphasis on drawing upon eyewitnesses, for example), then the answer to the question of whether the "order" he has in mind is literary or chronological may be both.
I would not limit it to these two meanings of “order”. It could also mean a theological order.

Ben C. Smith wrote:Compared to the chronology of John, in which Jesus commutes back and forth between Galilee and Judea several times amidst various festivals, the gospel of Mark can really look as if Mark dropped events from Galilee in the first half of his text and events from Judea in the second half, with no effort to sort them out. Dionysius accosts Thucydides for dividing up his narrative artificially by summers and winters, and perhaps Papias would accost Mark, were it not for the excuses he gives, for dividing up his narrative artificially between Galilean and Judean ministry periods.
A good argument that Papias meant a chronological order could be that he was probably in a Johannine camp. Is there another argument beside the fact that the meaning as chronological order would make a good sense?

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Re: Ancient notices of the differences between Matthew and M

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon May 29, 2017 3:03 pm

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Ben C. Smith wrote:This may be the connection between chronological order (which is the kind of order that best fits Papias' talk of eyewitnesses) and literary order (which is the kind of order that the Greco-Roman literary jargon seems to point to):

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, On Thucydides 9 (Loeb translation): What need I say further? The whole of the book is broken up in this way, and continuity of narrative is destroyed. Predictably, we wander here and there, and have difficulty in following the sequence of events described, because our mind is confused by their separation and cannot easily or accurately recall the half-completed references which it has heard. But history should be presented as an uninterrupted sequence of events [χρὴ δὲ τὴν ἱστορικὴν πραγματείαν εἰρομένην εἶναι καὶ ἀπερίσπαστον], particularly when it is concerned with a large number of them which are difficult to comprehend. It is clear that Thucydides’ principle is wrong and ill-suited to history: for no subsequent historian divided up his narrative by summers and winters, but all followed the well-worn roads which lead to clarity.

Dionysius may think that the literary order of a book of history ought to be chronological. In this case, since Papias seems to be treating the gospel texts as history in some way (note his emphasis on drawing upon eyewitnesses, for example), then the answer to the question of whether the "order" he has in mind is literary or chronological may be both.
I would not limit it to these two meanings of “order”. It could also mean a theological order.
How would a theological order be out of Mark's reach simply for not having been a follower of Jesus? What would it mean for Peter's ad hoc preachings to be out of order theologically?
Ben C. Smith wrote:Compared to the chronology of John, in which Jesus commutes back and forth between Galilee and Judea several times amidst various festivals, the gospel of Mark can really look as if Mark dropped events from Galilee in the first half of his text and events from Judea in the second half, with no effort to sort them out. Dionysius accosts Thucydides for dividing up his narrative artificially by summers and winters, and perhaps Papias would accost Mark, were it not for the excuses he gives, for dividing up his narrative artificially between Galilean and Judean ministry periods.
A good argument that Papias meant a chronological order could be that he was probably in a Johannine camp. Is there another argument beside the fact that the meaning as chronological order would make a good sense?
Well, yes, there is another, of a rather inferential nature. About five Papian fragments can be placed in one of the five books. The stuff about his purpose in writing and about the writings of Mark and Matthew are said to belong to the first book, which makes sense on any theory, since that is material for the preface. There is a saying about children which is placed in the first book, as well, which does not help us much going in. And the death of James and John is placed in the second book, which may be a good time to be getting to the part of the narratives of Matthew and Mark where they ask for special places in the kingdom, though that is too much of an inference to be probative. The more probative cases are the saying about the vines, which appears to be a eucharistic comment, and the narrative about the death of Judas appearing in the fourth book. This is compatible with a design whereby the first four books go through Jesus' career in chronological order, leaving book five for the postresurrection narratives about Justus Barsabbas and others.
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