Saturday, March 24, 2007

Lk's use of Mt? (lecture notes part three)

My opinion on the likelihood of the theory that Lk used both Mk and Mt. . .
I think the Farrer theory rightly questions the assumptions that Lk’s version of the Mt-Lk Double-Tradition (‘Q’ material) is less redactional than Mt’s. Luke should be considered as an author who has shaped and interpreted his sources (just like the author of Mt has, and maybe even more so). So the theory is better than assuming that Lk provides us with the original order of Q and/ or the original wording. But there is not enough clear evidence to show that Lk used Mt as a source for all of the ‘Q’ traditions. We simply do not know the extent of Mt or Lk’s non-Markan sources. Future studies on the Mt-Lk overlap of traditions will definitely be welcomed.

The Law and The Gospel: Gospel as Invitation and The Need for Repentance (Pharisees Think They Don’t Need it)
· Only some Pharisees were convinced Jesus' disciples broke the Sabbath (6:1-5) See Exod 34:21 & Deut 23:25 for laws.
· Blessed is anyone who takes no offence at Jesus (7:1-50) · Jesus tells the self-righteous lawyer "Go and do likewise" (10:37)
· If one wants a future/salvation/life/to be acceptable . . . one has to recognise the need for repentance (13:1-5) · Be Humble or Be Humbled (14:11)
· Leaders are refusing to enter (14:16-24)
· In the eyes of the religious leaders the Gospel is undermining their authority as custodians of the Law and Prophets. They see the Gospel as threatening, rather than as exciting and part of God's continued plan of salvation. (16:16-24)
· The Law and the Kingdom/Reign of God, (Rich man poor man, 16:19-31) thus. . . · Lk tends to agree with the overall import of Scriptures (‘Law and Prophets’) as affirming Jesus’ behaviour and message i.e. If the religious leaders actually did believe the Law and the Prophets, they would not be offended by Jesus' behaviour and message. (16:29)
· Hence "The Kingdom/Reign of God is already within your grasp" its potential exists now! (17:21)
· Difference between Pharisee and the tax collector -- one recognises the need for repentance (18:10-14) cf. Deut 26:10-15 on model prayer.

Eric Franklin, Luke Interpreter of Paul, Critic of Matthew (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1994).
Mark Goodacre, The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and the Synoptic Problem (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2002), chapters 5-7.
Mark Matson, “Luke’s Rewriting of the Sermon on the Mount,” in Mark Goodacre and Nicholas Perrin (eds.) Questioning Q: A Multidimensional Critique (InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, 2004), 43-70. [online @] Mark Allan Powell, “The Religious Leaders in Luke: A Literary-Critical Study,” Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 109, No. 1 (Spring, 1990), 93-110: “Excursus: A Brief Comparison with Matthew,” 108-109.

Texts For Discussion [I've uploaded them in pdf]
(Translation is taken from the NET Bible)

Lk as critic of Matthew? Lk as reaction to Mt's portrait of Jesus?
In Mt the Pharisees are irredeemably opposed to Jesus (and the kind of kingdom he represents). Has Lk rejected the Matthean perception of the Pharisees? Mt calls them "evil" whereas Lk appears to have held out hope for them. It is difficult to argue why or how one author has rejected themes present in another author. How would we know if Lk was opposed to certain aspects of Mt’s presentation of Jesus? The Farrer theory requires that we find remnants of Mt in Lk. But at the same time requires that the material has (apparently) been completely rewritten!

Mt 11:13// Lk 16:16. Jesus only discusses the law once in Lk so this pericope is very interesting. It is a response to the Pharisees who were denigrating Jesus’ message (of grace and repentance). Jesus in effect replies (Although his answer depends on how the verb is read…!): “Don’t worry, you may see all kinds of unsavory people entering the kingdom but it’s not by bending the rules—the rules are still the same, of course the law is still the law despite what you Pharisees have done to it [allowing adultery through divorce]!”

Jesus (Not) in Competition with the Temple (Markan themes rejected)

  1. In the ‘Plucking Grain on the Sabbath’ controversy (Mt 12:1-8// Mk 2:23-28// Lk 6:1-5) Jesus claims to be more important than the Temple in Mt. Does Lk reject this notion or is it omitted because it is not in Lk’s source?
  2. Jesus and the Temple (cf. Mt 27:40// Mk 15:29// Jn 2:19-21) Lk never acknowledges that people thought Jesus had threatened to destroy the Temple (other than predict its doom in Mt 24:1-2// Mk 13:1-2// Lk 21:5-6).
  3. Lk omits the incident of Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree (in Mt and Mk Jesus’ actions in the temple are related to his cursing of the fig tree as symbolic of cursing the Temple).
  4. Mt 21:12// Mk 11:15// Lk 19:45-48. Jesus’ actions in the Temple are less controversial in Lk. Note the difference (the chief priests get upset not because Jesus’ actions against the sellers is controversial but because his teaching is too influential—reiterated again in Lk 21:37-38).
  5. Jesus Death as Atoning for Sins? (Mt 20:28// Mk 10:45) Lk omits this saying. Why?


Eric Rowe said...

In addition to theological and literary tendencies, Luke also had a historical interest. I think that for the hypothesis of Luke using Matthew, Luke's interest in historic accuracy can't be neglected. In addition to his major written sources he had other minor ones, as well as personal testimonies. When somebody asks why Luke would ever want to change the locale of a sermon from a mountain to a boring old plain, I want to say, who knows, maybe somebody he interviewed recalled hearing some of these teachings from Jesus on a plain, and in the interest of accuracy he altered that detail from Matthew.

Tim Lewis said...

I agree that Lk had historical interests too. Apart from John the Baptist's speech there is in my opinion little reason to posit that one of Lk's sources was Mt.