Dating the Lord's Prayer

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Bernard Muller
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Re: Dating the Lord's Prayer

Post by Bernard Muller »

to Ken Olson,
Thank you Ken for your comments:

You wrote:
It is not at all obvious that Luke could not have gotten his material for 12.1b from Mark 8.15 and/or Matt 16.6, 11 unless one first establishes that he did not know either Mark 6.47-8.27a or Matt 14.24-16.13a, as indeed you claim he did not.
Luke not knowing the so-called Bethsaida mini gospel from gMark, I explained that here:
Now, I'll go into Luke not knowing about gMatthew next, by commenting on:
Mark 6.45- 8.26 (Luke’s so-called Great Omission of Markan material which would have fallen between Luke 9.17 and 9.18)

Walking on Water
Thematic doublet of The Stilling of the Storm (Mark 4.35-41); Jesus shows power over wind and wave; the disciples were afraid but should have had faith in him.
However, there is no Jesus walking on water in the Stilling of the Storm (Mark 4.35-41 & Matthew 8:23-27.)
And neither Mark nor Matthew considered these so-called thematic doublets as redundant.
Healings at Gennesaret
Also in Matthew: 14.34-36
What Defiles A Person
Gentile mission delayed until Acts, ruling on what it is permissible to eat in Acts 10.9-16; 11.4-10
Also in Matthew 15.10-20
Syrophoenician Woman
Gentile mission delayed until Acts; note in the Lukan version of the Centurion’s Boy in Luke 7.1-10, the Centurion is kept off stage and sends a delegation of Jewish elders in Luke 7.3-5.
Also in Matthew 15.21-28. I don't see much relevance with the story of the Centurion's boy. And I don't think the Centurion is kept off stage, even if he does not initially contact Jesus in person.
Feeding of the Four Thousand
Doublet of the Feeding of the Five Thousand (Mark 6.35-44)
Neither Mark nor Matthew thought the dual feedings were a doublet. Furthermore, the Feeding of the Five & Four Thousand in Matthew has a detail which would be dear to the feminist outlook of Luke (women, not only men, also benefit from the miralous feedings), which is not in Luke.
Pharisees Seek A Sign
=Luke 11.29, 12.54-56
Luke 12.54-56 is very remote from 11.29.
But 11.29, for me anyway, is a saying from gMark which has been added up by a Q author. Then Luke & Matthew used the Q version rather than Mark's.

I think the conventional definition should be modified as such:
Q is part of the common material found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke without, or with, textual relationship in the Gospel of Mark.
Q-->GLuke & GMatthew
GMark-->Q-->GLuke & GMatthew

Therefore, Q would also include longuest "minor agreements", supporting Q as being a document instead of doing the opposite.

When Q is intermediary between gMark and Gluke & gMatthew, the longuest "minor agreements" can be explained by the Q author getting a passage from GMark, then injecting in it new wording not in GMark, which got copied by "Luke" & "Matthew" (with both, most of the time, still adding up more).

However I can understand it certainly can be argued that Luke got 11.29-32 from Matthew 12.38-42.

Overall, in the so-called Bethsaida mini gospel, there are a significant amount of items not found in Luke, even when appearing in Matthew.

Cordially, Bernard
Ken Olson
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Re: Dating the Lord's Prayer

Post by Ken Olson »

The Lord’s Prayer as a Matthean Composition Based on Mark (recap of Goulder 1963 and Olson 2014)

It is widely held in New Testament scholarship that Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer is generally more primitive than Matthew’s and largely goes back to Jesus himself. Michael Goulder challenged this consensus, first in his article ‘The Composition of the Lord’s Prayer’ (1963), and in several publications since.1 Goulder argued that the Lord’s Prayer had been composed by the author of Matthew’s gospel on the basis of Jesus’ teaching on prayer in Mark’s gospel. Jesus gives his disciples direct instruction on how to pray twice in Mark. The first instance comes in Jesus’ response to Peter’s observation that the fig tree that Jesus cursed has withered: ‘And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses’ (Mk 11.25, RSV). The second comes in the Gethsemane story, where Jesus exhorts his disciples to ‘pray that you may not enter into temptation’ (Mk 14.38). Additionally, Jesus’ own prayer on Gethsemane provides another example of how to pray. In Matthew, the second time Jesus prays to the Father, he concludes the prayer saying: ‘Thy will be doneT’ (Mt. 26.42). Goulder argued that these examples of Jesus’ prayers provided the core upon which Matthew constructed the Lord’s Prayer in the form given in his gospel (Mt. 6.9-13), which was then used in an abbreviated form by Luke (Lk. 11.2-4).

The majority opinion is that Matthew and Luke are dependent on a hypothetical Q source and that the shorter version of the prayer in Luke better represents what was in the source, with a few exceptions such as Luke’s change of “debts” to sins.” According to this view, the Matthean material that is unparalleled in Luke was added, either by Matthew or in a version of Q that came to Matthew (Qm) to improve the rhythm or poetry of the prayer for liturgical use. It is also widely held that liturgical texts lengthen in the course of transmission.

The formulation of G. D. Castor is fairly representative of the majority opinion:
‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ is only a further definition of ‘Thy kingdom come’. So also ‘Deliver us from evil’ only states in a positive form what “Lead us not into temptation” expresses negatively. These clauses amplify, but they add no new element of thought; nor do they contain anything extensively Jewish which Gentiles would have any reason to omit. The very reverse is nearer the truth. Both petitions are to be explained as interpretive additions to liturgical use, and not as Lukan omissions. (G. D. Castor, Matthew’s Sayings (1918) 53-54).
If Castor is correct that “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and “Deliver us from the evil one” only restate what precedes them, does it follow that Matthew added them to an originally shorter version of the text? Couldn’t the fuller, more poetic text be earlier and Luke later eliminated the unnecessary verbiage that adds no new thought to the text? Eliminating unnecessary repetition from his sources is a recognized Lukan tendency, although not an invariable one (he sometimes allows repetition to stand or even introduces repetition himself).

Also, there is no universal rule that liturgical texts lengthen over time. There are many examples that go the other way. Josephus gives shorter versions of biblical prayers in his retelling of Jewish history in the Antiquities. The shortening of Apocryphal Psalm 151.1-2 in the Syriac version is probably the closest parallel to the Lord’s Prayer. For that matter, when Luke was writing his gospel, he was writing an episodic narrative, not a liturgical text. It only became a liturgical text after its acceptance by the church. It is sometimes argued that Luke would not have dropped Matthew’s full address “Our Father in heaven,” because (1) he would not have dared to omit something from a prayer revered in the church, and (2) the fact that he has Jesus address the Father as “Lord of heaven and earth” in Luke 10.21, which shows the description of the Father as in heaven was congenial to him. The problem with this argument is that it (1) retrojects the respect the church later had for the Lord’s Prayer onto the time of Luke, whereas if Matthew composed it, it would have been of fairly recent vintage and perhaps not yet accepted as authoritative, and (2) neglects to take account of the sequence of Luke’s narrative. Jesus addresses the Father as “Lord of heaven and earth" the very first time he directly addresses the Father at 10.21. Every time Jesus addresses the Father in Luke after Luke 10.21, he uses the simple “Father” (or “the Father” in the latter part of Luke 10.21): Luke 11.2, 22.42, 23.34 if authentic, 23.46. Luke may well have felt that exactly which Father Jesus addressed was made clear in the first instance and he did not need to reestablish the identity of the Father each time Jesus addressed him subsequently.

I’m including a screenshot of the table I made to help conceptualize this theory (being too lazy to reformat it for the forum). I have mixed two or three different English translation to bring out the points I’m trying to make, and included the Greek in one place for clarity.
The Lords Prayer set out on a table.png
The Lords Prayer set out on a table.png (138.4 KiB) Viewed 558 times
Thus, Mark 11.25 and Mark 14.36-38 together can provide about half the material for Lord’s Prayer. The material that remains unaccounted for is:

(1) May your name be honored (Matt 6.9)

Goulder suggests Matthew may have taken this from the LXX of the Ten Commandments from Deuteronomy 5: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Deut. 5.11) and turned the negative command into a positive petition using the verb from the following commandment, “Keep the day of the sabbath to honor (or sanctify, or hallow) it.” (Deut. 5.12).

(2 ) May your kingdom come (Matt 6.10)

Goulder argues that it is odd that, if Jesus gave his his disciples specific instructions on how to pray, not only does Mark not mention it (except where it shows up in fragmented form in Mark 11.25 and 14.38), but Paul uses the Aramaic formula marana tha, “Our Lord come,” rather than the more familiar “Thy kingdom come”/ “May your kingdom come” known to us from Matt 6.10/Luke 11.2. He suggests that the latter may not yet have been in use in Paul’s time, but that it supplanted “Our Lord come!” after Matthew and Luke began to circulate.

Goulder thinks “May your kingdom come” as a petition (like marana tha), may have been suggested to Matthew by Mark’s (non-petition) 9.1, which Matthew renders: "I tell you the truth, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom” at Matt 16.25.

(3) on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6.10)

With “May your will be done” (or “Thy will be done”) this is an explication or gloss of the previous petition. God’s kingdom coming is the same thing as his will being done also on earth as it currently is in heaven.

(4 ) Give us today our daily bread (Matt 6.11)

Goulder points out that Matthew has a similar teaching of Jesus concerning bread and petitioning the Father at Matt 7.9-11:

Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, although you are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matt 7.9-11; there is a Lukan parallel at Luke 11.11-13, but it does not mention bread),

5 But deliver us from the evil one

This is another petition that repeats or glosses the previous one. There is some disagreement on whether the final word is masculine (“the evil one” or Satan) or neuter (“evil” the abstract concept). Most commentators and most recent translations favor the former. Matthew has Jesus refer to Satan as “the evil one” in the interpretations of the The Parable of the Sower (13.19) and The Parable of the Wheat and Tares (Matt 13.38). He is the only one of the evangelists who does. Luke likely understood the reference to the evil one as a gloss or poetic reiteration of the previous line, as he knows that Satan is the tempter in the Temptation Narrative (Matt 4.1/Mark 1.13/Luke 4.2) .

None of this, of course, definitely proves that Matthew composed the Lord’s Prayer and other theories are impossible. But I think it is a very plausible hypothesis, and I argue in my paper that the International Q project has no effective argument against it or establishing the shorter Lukan version of the prayer as earlier. I’m not expecting anyone to be fully convinced of this by a single post on the net, but perhaps people will grant the plausibility of the theory and I would encourage them to read Goulder’s paper and mine if possible.
Last edited by Ken Olson on Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Dating the Lord's Prayer

Post by Ben C. Smith »

Ken Olson wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:42 amNone of this, of course, definitely proves that Matthew composed the Lord’s Prayer and other theories are impossible. But I think it is a very plausible hypothesis, and I argue in my paper that the International Q project has no effective argument against it or establishing the shorter Lukan version of the prayer as earlier.
It makes a lot of sense, Ken. And I agree that it steals the bullets from Q's guns.

Just for my own clarity:

1 Corinthians 16.22: 22 If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha!

Didache 10.6: 6 “Let grace come and let this world pass away. Hosannah to the God/son/house of David. If any man be holy, let him come! If any man be not, let him repent. Maranatha! Amen.”

Mark 11.22-26: 22 And Jesus answered and says to them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted to him. 24 Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you for your offenses. [26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your offenses.]”

Mark 14.35-38: 35 And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began praying that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. 36 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” 37 And He comes and finds them sleeping, and says to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Keep watching and praying, so that you will not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 6.9-13: 9 “Pray, then, in this way, ‘Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors; 13 and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’”

Luke 11.2-4: 2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread, 4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us; and do not lead us into temptation.’”

Bernard Muller
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Re: Dating the Lord's Prayer

Post by Bernard Muller »

to Ken Olson,
Nothing in what you proposed prevents the view that "Mark" heard (from an eyewitness) about the Lord's prayer (11:25, 14:36,38) and then a Q author got parts of the Lord's prayer according to gMark and then added his own stuff.
That would be according to: gMark-->Q-->gLuke & gMatthew

I plan to start a new thread titled Demonstrating Q (Quelle) was a document and "Luke" did not know gMatthew.

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Peter Kirby
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Re: Dating the Lord's Prayer

Post by Peter Kirby »

Bernard Muller wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:56 am I planned to start a new thread titled Demonstrating Q (Quelle) was a document and "Luke" did not know gMatthew.
Bernard Muller
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Re: Dating the Lord's Prayer

Post by Bernard Muller »

Thanks Peter,
Yes, I plan and NOT I planned.

Cordially, Bernard
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