If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
jude77
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If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by jude77 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:26 pm

If anyone is new to the Synoptic Problem and needs an overview here is a link to an online copy of Mark Goodacre's "The Synoptic Problem: A Way Through the Maze".

https://archive.org/stream/synopticprob ... 0/mode/2up

The digitizing of the book was done by Duke University, so my assumption is it's legal. If it's not please feel free to delete the link.

Ken Olson
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Re: If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by Ken Olson » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:44 pm

It's legal. Here's the companion web site:

http://www.markgoodacre.org/maze/
Welcome to the companion site for The Synoptic Problem: A Way Through the Maze. This book first appeared in print in 2001 in Sheffield Academic Press's "Biblical Seminar" series. It was reissued by T and T Clark in 2004 in the series "Understanding the Bible and Its World". In 2011, the author, with Duke University and the Internet archive, made it available to everyone for free, in toto, on the web here:

http://www.archive.org/details/synopticproblemw00good

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toejam
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Re: If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by toejam » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:42 pm

Great resource, for sure. This was the first book I read on the synoptic problem.
My study list: https://www.facebook.com/notes/scott-bignell/judeo-christian-origins-bibliography/851830651507208

Charles Wilson
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Re: If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by Charles Wilson » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:21 pm

1. Jude77 and Ken:
Thank you very much for Posting all of this!

2. outhouse! You're not just a Lurker now are ye?

Michael BG
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Re: If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by Michael BG » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:02 pm

Thank you Jude77

I found it interesting that both Matthew and Luke have “bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus (Mt 1:21, Lk 1:31), even if the Greek is only identical for - ”son and you shall call his name Jesus”

I was surprised to read Mark Goodacre asserting that in the double tradition Matthew never suffers from editorial fatigue. Does anyone know of any examples which prove Mark Goodacre wrong?

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Re: If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by Ken Olson » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:41 pm

Paul Foster has argued that Matthew's uses of "kingdom of God" at Matt 12.28; 19.24; 21.31,43 should count as fatigue because Matthew generally prefers "kingdom of heaven" (32 times) and suggests Matthew has lapsed in these few cases [Is it Possible to Dispense with Q NovT 2003)] This looks very little like fatigue as described by Goodacre because it doesn't occur within pericopes and causes no tension with the logic of the story. In fact, in some cases "kingdom of God" would be required (or at least strongly suggested) by the context, e.g. Matt 12.28 where KoG is being paralleled to "Spirit of God."

One scholar (I could dig up his name if I had to) at SBL two years ago suggested "He will baptize you with the holy spirit and fire" is a Matthean lapse because the audience is Pharisees and Sadducees and it is unthinkable (or so he argued) that John was saying Jesus would baptize them with the holy spirit. I don't recall the details of the argument, but it struck me that (1) there are others present besides the Pharisees and Sadducees and the saying does not mean each individual would get both the spirit and fire (they might get one or the other and (2) while Matthew definitely has it in for the Pharisees, I'm not positive this means he thought zero Pharisees or Sadducees would repent.

Best,

Ken
Last edited by Ken Olson on Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:42 pm

Michael BG wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:02 pm
I found it interesting that both Matthew and Luke have “bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus (Mt 1:21, Lk 1:31), even if the Greek is only identical for - ”son and you shall call his name Jesus”
This agreement looks startling at first sight. Unfortunately, it is obvious that both Matthew and Luke are here drawing upon Isaiah 7.14, which contains "son and you shall call his name" in its entirety, word for word in the Old Greek, thus reducing the unmitigated agreements of Matthew and Luke (against Isaiah 7.14) down to the name Jesus alone:

Isaiah 7.14: ...ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει καὶ τέξεται υἱόν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Εμμανουηλ....

Matthew 1.21: τέξεται δὲ υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν....

Luke 1.31: ...συλλήμψῃ ἐν γαστρὶ καὶ τέξυἱὸν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν.

I was surprised to read Mark Goodacre asserting that in the double tradition Matthew never suffers from editorial fatigue. Does anyone know of any examples which prove Mark Goodacre wrong?
It is not the purest example of fatigue one may find, but the fact that Matthew 22.7 has the king in the parable of the wedding feast actually destroying a city in the middle of inviting people to his feast, and the feast is apparently still there after the war, indicates to me that Matthew's version of this parable is secondary to Luke's and Thomas' versions. I have written about this parable before: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3173. The inconsistencies and weirdnesses in Matthew's version seem to derive from his having combined the basic parable with other motifs.
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Ken Olson
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Re: If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by Ken Olson » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:19 pm

Ben Smith wrote:
It is not the purest example of fatigue one may find, but the fact that Matthew 22.7 has the king in the parable of the wedding feast actually destroying a city in the middle of inviting people to his feast, and the feast is apparently still there after the war, indicates to me that Matthew's version of this parable is secondary to Luke's and Thomas' versions. I have written about this parable before: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3173.
On the theory that the gospels were written in the order Mark Matthew Luke Thomas (Farrer-Goulder-Goodacre, with the emphasis on Goulder), Mark's parable of the Wicked Tenants (Mark 12:1-9) is Matthew's sole source (Kunigunde suggests this in the thread you linked).
Ben: The inconsistencies and weirdnesses in Matthew's version seem to derive from his having combined the basic parable with other motifs
This is basically true on Goulder's theory. However, the basic parable is Mark's Wicked Tenants, and Matthew has changed the motif from landlord-tenant imagery to king-wedding guest imagery. This means that if Matthew is fatigued, he's fatigued in relation to Mark. (Commonly used terms like "Double Tradition" and "Matthew's non-Markan material" are problematic because, well, there really isn't such a thing on Goulder's theory).

I gave a paper on this topic at the 2013 Society of Biblical Literature conference in Baltimore. My abstract:

A Parable in a New Key: Matthew’s Wedding Banquet as a Retelling of Mark’s Wicked Tenants
Program Unit: Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative
Ken Olson, Duke University

The resemblance between the Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Matt 21:33-46//Mark 12:1-12//Luke 20:9-19) and the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matt 22:1-14) has long been noted. The dominant theory is that this resemblance is due to Matthew’s borrowing language from the Wicked Tenants (“and he sent his servants”; “again he sent other servants”) and conflating it with a Great Dinner parable he knew from another source which he shared with Luke, whose gospel preserves a more original version of the parable. In Midrash and Lection in Matthew (1974), Michael Goulder challenged this theory, arguing that the Wedding Banquet is Matthew’s own rewriting of the Wicked Tenants from Mark, replacing the imagery of a landowner sending servants to collect rent from his tenants with that of a king sending his servants to invite guests to his son’s wedding feast. Goulder dispensed with the hypothetical Q source and suggested that Luke’s Great Dinner is not only later than but a rewriting of Matthew’s parable. Goulder’s general thesis is that the non-Markan parables in Matthew and Luke are to be ascribed primarily to the creative work of the evangelists and are not directly attributable to Jesus. While Goulder’s overall approach to the parables has by and large not been adopted by scholars working on them (with the significant exception of John Drury), his theory that the Parable of the Wicked Tenants served as Matthew’s primary model for the Wedding Banquet can nevertheless cast a great deal of light on some of the problematic features of Matthew’s text. For Matthew, Mark’s Wicked Tenants lacks two points that needed to be made clear. First, the state of God’s people after the coming of God’s Son is not simply a continuation of the old landowner-tenant relationship with a new group of tenants. Second, the judgment on the Jews who rejected God’s claim on them is not the final eschatological judgment which is still to be faced by those who answered God’s call. Matthew deals with these issues by replacing the landlord-tenants imagery with wedding banquet imagery and appending an additional mini-parable in 22.11-14 in which a guest at the wedding faces judgment. Matthew’s introduction of these issues causes tensions with the setting of his story in two places. First, the murder of the servants and the murderers’ subsequent destruction by the servants’ master makes good narrative sense within a narrative about rent collection by an absentee landlord, but seems bizarrely out of place in a story about wedding invitations. Second, the king has the errant guest at the wedding thrown directly into the outer darkness, which collapses the distinction between the king in the story and God, whom the king represents. Both of these instances suggest that Matthew’s primary interest is in his theological message, not in the consistency of the narrative he uses as a vehicle to express it. To borrow J. M. Soskice’s words from Metaphor and Religious Language: “Either we understand this passage as a metaphor or we do not understand it.”

I’m building on previous work on the Farrer theory:

Goulder, M.D., Midrash and Lection in Matthew (1974) 415-418 (foundational, but Goulder’s explanation assumes his lectionary theory, which is not actually necessary to make his source critical theory work).
Drury, John, The Parables in the Gospels (1989) 96-100; 123-124 (excellent, but brief)
Goulder, M.D., Luke: A New Paradigm (1989) 588-594.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:41 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:19 pm
Ben Smith wrote:
It is not the purest example of fatigue one may find, but the fact that Matthew 22.7 has the king in the parable of the wedding feast actually destroying a city in the middle of inviting people to his feast, and the feast is apparently still there after the war, indicates to me that Matthew's version of this parable is secondary to Luke's and Thomas' versions. I have written about this parable before: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3173.
On the theory that the gospels were written in the order Mark Matthew Luke Thomas (Farrer-Goulder-Goodacre, with the emphasis on Goulder), Mark's parable of the Wicked Tenants (Mark 12:1-9) is Matthew's sole source (Kunigunde suggests this in the thread you linked).
Yes, on the theory of gospel origins highlighted above, Mark's parable of the tenants must be Matthew's inspiration. However, it is my purpose to approach each pericope or section without any particular theory of gospel origins in mind.
Ben: The inconsistencies and weirdnesses in Matthew's version seem to derive from his having combined the basic parable with other motifs
This is basically true on Goulder's theory. However, the basic parable is Mark's Wicked Tenants, and Matthew has changed the motif from landlord-tenant imagery to king-wedding guest imagery.
Matthew appears to be of two minds, then, in his use of Mark. On the one hand, he has changed the reactions to the messengers to be more in accordance with the idea of accepting or declining invitations to a banquet:

Matthew 22.3-5: 3 "He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 4 Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.' 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his field, another to his business."

On the other hand, however, he has also retained the more violent reactions to the messengers from the parable of the tenants:

Matthew 22.6-7: 6 "The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city."

Why has Matthew both made changes to the servants' errands which ease the parable (of the tenants) perfectly into its new setting (a king's feast) and then, after that section, retained exactly those elements of the servants' errand which most conflict with that new setting? What suggests itself to me immediately is that Matthew is, in fact, of two minds here: he has combined elements of two different parables hailing from (at least) two different sources, and is not the originator of either set of elements. (The motifs of sending servants to collect rent and of sending servants to invite people to a banquet are similar enough that perhaps there is a common origin for them both in the stock of folk tales and such, but as a point of fact, approaching the matter from a neutral stance, there are two different self-contained parables to contend with, of which Mark's parable of the tenants is only one. The parable of the great feast in Luke and in Thomas is its own unit, well told and unified, no matter what its source.)
This means that if Matthew is fatigued, he's fatigued in relation to Mark.
I regard this statement as inaccurate on structural grounds. It boils down to the question: has Matthew made a mess of things by adding stuff from Mark to stuff from Luke, or has he done so by adding stuff from his own imagination to stuff from Mark? In the abstract it is impossible to decide between these two options, since the "fatigue" requires elements both from Mark and from Luke (or Matthew's imagination); it is their combination that is problematic. Already, then, at least in the abstract, "fatigue in relation to Mark" is a leading statement, one which depends upon the assumption that Matthew used Mark and then Luke used both. But, again, it is my purpose to examine the pericope without any such assumptions.

So we have to get concrete, and this is where the hypothesis of Matthean conflation emerges as the more likely option, IMO:

Matthew 22.1-14: 1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4 Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ 5 But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7 But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 8 Then he says to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. 11 But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he says to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Mark 12.1-12: 1 And He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and put a wall around it, and dug a vat under the wine press and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 2 At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. 3 They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others. 6 He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those vine-growers said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ 8 They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; 11 this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” 12 And they were seeking to seize Him, and yet they feared the people, for they understood that He spoke the parable against them. And so they left Him and went away.

Luke 14.16-24: 16 But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; 17 and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ 19 Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ 20 Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ 21 And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.’”

Material in Matthew which is thematically closer to Mark than to Luke is in red; material in Matthew which is thematically closer to Luke than to Mark is in green; and material in Matthew which is more uniquely Matthean than either Marcan or Lucan is in blue.

What is clear is that one can remove both the distinctively Matthean material and the decidedly Marcan material from Matthew's version and be left with a complete parable in its own right: one that is basically a mild rewrite of Luke's parable. One cannot, however, remove the Lucan material and be left with any kind of cohesive parable. The Matthean and Marcan stuff depends upon the Lucan stuff for its meaning, while the reverse is not true; the basic parable resembles what we find in Luke more than what we find in Mark.

Structurally, then, if you are correct that Matthew knew no more than Mark's parable of the tenants, Matthew (A) created a new, cohesive parable about a feast by changing servants collecting rent to servants inviting people to a banquet before (B) borrowing again from the same exact part of Mark's parable, this time retaining unchanged the motif of the servants being killed for their trouble, and (C) borrowing the collateral motif of destruction from another part of Mark's parable, with the result that the cohesion of the parable created in step A was ruined. The other option seems far simpler on its face: Matthew (A) borrowed some elements from Mark and (B) interjected them into the parable from Luke, and the additions did not always play well with the Lucan parable.
For Matthew, Mark’s Wicked Tenants lacks two points that needed to be made clear. First, the state of God’s people after the coming of God’s Son is not simply a continuation of the old landowner-tenant relationship with a new group of tenants.
Matthew replicates the parable of the tenants in 21.33-46. What changes, if any, has he made to that parable in situ which clarify that "the state of God's people after the coming of God's son is not simply a continuation of the old landowner-tenant relationship with a new group of tenants?"
I’m building on previous work on the Farrer theory:

Goulder, M.D., Midrash and Lection in Matthew (1974) 415-418 (foundational, but Goulder’s explanation assumes his lectionary theory, which is not actually necessary to make his source critical theory work).
Drury, John, The Parables in the Gospels (1989) 96-100; 123-124 (excellent, but brief)
Goulder, M.D., Luke: A New Paradigm (1989) 588-594.
Thank you. I have read Goulder but not Drury.

ETA: It may mean nothing, but the motif of rejecting invitations stands alone in another section of Luke which parallels a section of Matthew:

Luke 9.57-62: 57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” 61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say goodbye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Matthew 8.18-22: 18 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. 19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 Jesus says to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus says to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

Both would-be disciples in Matthew are volunteers, whereas one of the three would-be disciples in Luke is actually invited to be a disciple and gives an excuse.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:04 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Charles Wilson
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Re: If anyone is new to Q and the Synoptic Problem

Post by Charles Wilson » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:02 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:41 pm
Why has Matthew both made changes to the servants' errands which ease the parable (of the tenants) perfectly into its new setting (a king's feast) and then, after that section, retained exactly those elements of the servants' errand which most conflict with that new setting? What suggests itself to me immediately is that Matthew is, in fact, of two minds here: he has combined elements of two different parables hailing from (at least) two different sources, and is not the originator of either set of elements.
Ben --

Isn't that one of Matthew's problems? For ex., Jesus rides into Jerusalem on an ass and a horse:

Matthew 21: , 7 (RSV):

[2] saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.
...
[7] they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon.


The Story of the Lunatic finds 2 lunatics in Matthew. Etc.
"This isn't a bug, it's a feature!"

CW

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