A sample of (one of) my issue(s) with the synoptic problem.

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Ken Olson
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Re: A sample of (one of) my issue(s) with the synoptic problem.

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:14 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 6:45 pm
to Kunigunde Kreuzerin,
Mary ‘bore a son’ (έτεκεν υίόν, Mt. 1.25; Lk. 2.7).
OK, but is it enough to say "Luke" copied the phrase from gMatthew? "Luke" used the phrase at the birth of Jesus but "Matthew" put it well before that.

[snipped]
Magi and shepherds close the scene by returning whence they had come; and Luke then notes that ‘his name was called Jesus’ at his circumcision, just as Matthew says that Joseph called his name Jesus (1.25).
If "Luke" knew gMatthew (1:25 ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα), she would have Jesus named by the angel well before Jesus was born. However, in Lk 2:21, Jesus is named (κληθὲν) by the angel prior to Joseph at the circumcision (ἐκλήθη τὸ ὄνομα). So we have, as named by an angel "ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα" <=> "κληθὲν".

Finally, "Luke" did not give a time slot for gMatthew having the threesome going to Egypt, staying there for a while and then coming back. It does not look here "Luke" knew about gMatthew.
Two comments here.

Fist, Luke does have Jesus named by an angel before Jesus was born:
Luke 1.31 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.

Luke 1.31 καὶ ἰδοὺ συλλήμψῃ ἐν γαστρὶ καὶ τέξῃ υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν.
While Matthew has:
Matt 1.21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

Matt 1.21 1.21 τέξεται δὲ υἱὸν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν, αὐτὸς γὰρ σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν.
I believe that υἱὸν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν is the longest verbatim agreement between Luke and Matthew in the Nativity stories.

Second, I'm not clear on what your (Bernard's) theoretical assumptions are. While I (and nearly everyone) would agree that close agreement in wording and sequence between two documents is evidence for literary dependence (direct or indirect), it does not follow that lack of agreement is proof of literary independence. Mark Goodacre discusses the 'plagiarist's charter' in Thomas and the Gospels, pp. 45-46, 54-56) in reference to GThomas, but the same principle holds here. Absence of agreements with Matthew in certain places in Luke is not proof of Luke's ignorance of Matthew as a whole.

There are a lot of passages in Luke that are broadly similar to passages in Matthew but contain few verbatim agreements and large differences in fact (to use the term broadly). These are found in the Infancy and Passion Narratives, in the M and L material, and even occasionally in Luke's Markan blocks. It has been common for scholars to suggest that Luke had a different version of the same passage from an otherwise unknown source in these places, simply because they believe that Luke would not have recast material in his source without some conflicting tradition that allowed him to do so.

I think this is a holdover from the period when the canonical gospels were considered to be historically accurate accounts of the life of Jesus (a theory still widely held among religious conservatives, but rare on this list). It's assumed that no historian would simply contradict his source and must always be following some source fairly closely for everything he writes. This is not a theory I accept (it's true of good historians, but not of bad historians or writers of fiction), and I think anyone who assumes it must provide justification for believing it.

Best,

Ken

Bernard Muller
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Re: A sample of (one of) my issue(s) with the synoptic problem.

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:44 pm

to Ken Olson,
Fist, Luke does have Jesus named by an angel before Jesus was born:
Luke 1.31 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.

Luke 1.31 καὶ ἰδοὺ συλλήμψῃ ἐν γαστρὶ καὶ τέξῃ υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν.
Lk 1.31, including "you will name him Jesus", is spoken to Mary by an angel.
I believe that υἱὸν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν is the longest verbatim agreement between Luke and Matthew in the Nativity stories.
I agree for υἱὸν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν . But what precedes υἱὸν is different: τέξῃ (Lk) <=> τέξεται δὲ (Mt). And I don't see why "Luke" would change the two words of gMatthew if she copied, word by word, its next seven words.
There are a lot of passages in Luke that are broadly similar to passages in Matthew but contain few verbatim agreements and large differences in fact (to use the term broadly). These are found in the Infancy and Passion Narratives, in the M and L material, and even occasionally in Luke's Markan blocks.
OK.
It has been common for scholars to suggest that Luke had a different version of the same passage from an otherwise unknown source in these places, simply because they believe that Luke would not have recast material in his source without some conflicting tradition that allowed him to do so.
(bolding mine)
Suggested believed possibilities with no evidence.
I think this is a holdover from the period when the canonical gospels were considered to be historically accurate accounts of the life of Jesus (a theory still widely held among religious conservatives, but rare on this list). It's assumed that no historian would simply contradict his source and must always be following some source fairly closely for everything he writes. This is not a theory I accept (it's true of good historians, but not of bad historians or writers of fiction), and I think anyone who assumes it must provide justification for believing it.
(bolding mine)
I agree.

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A sample of (one of) my issue(s) with the synoptic problem.

Post by mlinssen » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:52 pm

I think that what you just bolded was meant for you to respond to, Bernard. If not meant to mean you

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Re: A sample of (one of) my issue(s) with the synoptic problem.

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:36 pm

mlinssen wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:52 pm
I think that what you just bolded was meant for you to respond to, Bernard. If not meant to mean you
Indeed.

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Re: A sample of (one of) my issue(s) with the synoptic problem.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Oct 28, 2020 4:07 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:14 am
Luke does have Jesus named by an angel before Jesus was born:
Luke 1.31 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.

Luke 1.31 καὶ ἰδοὺ συλλήμψῃ ἐν γαστρὶ καὶ τέξῃ υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν.
While Matthew has:
Matt 1.21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

Matt 1.21 1.21 τέξεται δὲ υἱὸν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν, αὐτὸς γὰρ σώσει τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν.
I believe that υἱὸν καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν is the longest verbatim agreement between Luke and Matthew in the Nativity stories.
I think that this claim has to at least bring Isaiah 7.14 in for consideration. Matthew as good as tells us that Isaiah is his source:

Matthew 1.21-23: 21 “She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled, 23 “Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall name Him Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

And Luke appears to draw from Isaiah, as well, since he adds ἐν γαστρί, which is present in Isaiah but absent from Matthew:

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.

Matthew and Luke agree against Isaiah only for the name of Jesus (as opposed to Immanuel). Luke agrees with Isaiah against Matthew, as I mentioned, by adding ἐν γαστρί. Matthew agrees with Isaiah against Luke by using τέξεται instead of τέξῃ. Matthew also changes καί to δέ, which he does countless times to Mark, so why not also to Isaiah? But this creates another small (and probably meaningless) agreement between Isaiah and Luke against Matthew.

I suppose ἐν γαστρί could be a coincidence. Matthew 1.18 uses it, though in narration, and not in conjunction with the prediction. The only other relevant place it appears is in Matthew 24.19 = Mark 13.17 = Luke 21.23a, in which all three synoptists agree verbatim except for a δέ being absent from Luke which is present both in Matthew and in Mark. So it is hardly a Lucan phrase. At the moment, then, it seems more likely to me that Luke drew ἐν γαστρί from Isaiah than from some phantom agreement with Matthew three verses earlier (or from his own Lucan wheelhouse).

On balance, then, it seems likely to me that both Matthew and Luke are drawing upon Isaiah, departing from the prophet only for the name of Jesus (which is not a very impressive agreement, and which seems, in fact, almost inevitable to me). If so, then Luke would be drawing from Matthew at most the idea of drawing from Isaiah for this angelic prediction, which is not quite the same claim as the verbatim sequence of words shared by Matthew and Luke would suggest without Isaiah being considered.

That said, I do wonder, though, how secure the καλέσεις is in Isaiah 7.14:

Isaiah 7.14 in Rahlf's.png
Isaiah 7.14 in Rahlf's.png (19.3 KiB) Viewed 4584 times

So Sinaiticus seems to have καλέσει, while the Vulgate has vocabitis. Is it possible that one of these represents the true Greek text, and that the καλέσεις in Isaiah 7.14 is a harmonization from Matthew and/or Luke? If that were so, then of course Luke and Matthew would share a more substantial agreement against Isaiah than the mere name of their protagonist.

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Re: A sample of (one of) my issue(s) with the synoptic problem.

Post by mlinssen » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:59 pm

ότι ιδού συ εν γαστρί έχεις και τέξη υιόν

και έτεκεν [η γυνή] υιόν και εκάλεσε το όνομα αυτού Σαμψών και ηυξήθη [το παιδάριον] και ευλόγησεν [αυτόν κύριος
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 4:07 pm

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Re: A sample of (one of) my issue(s) with the synoptic problem.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:13 am

Yes, the announcement about Sampson is quite similar, as well.

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