Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Synoptic Problem Conference Paper

There is a conference in Oxford next week to celebrate the forthcoming centenary of Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem. The conference has a website and many of the papers have been uploaded already:

Oxford Conference on the Synoptic Problem

Although not yet on the site, my paper is available, and I have uploaded it here:

The Evangelists' Use of the Old Testament and the Synoptic Problem (MS Word)

The Evangelists' Use of the Old Testament and the Synoptic Problem (PDF)

4 comments:

Jim Deardorff said...

Your paper is very interesting in the scope of its detail. Concerning why Luke 19:46 does not contain the Markan and Isaihan phrase "for all the nations," have you considered the possibility that its writer did not wish to attribute the practice of burnt offerings and sacrifices to gentiles? On the other hand, the writer of Mark was not so discerning, in his eagerness to add (or include) the pro-gentile phrase.

Frank McCoy said...

An excellent paper. I'd like to add just a few comments regarding "Case Study 1: Mal. 3.1 & Exod. 23.20 in Matt. 11.10 // Mark 1.2 //Luke 7.27"

Mt 11:10b is very close to the LXX of Ex. 23:20, lacking only (the arguably redundant)kai:
Mt 11:10b Idou egw apostellw ton aggelon mou pro proswpou sou
Ex. 23:20a (LXX) Kai idou egw apostellw ton aggelon mou pro proswpou sou

However, Mk 1:2b and Lk 7:27b are identical to another Greek version of Ex. 23:20 also known to Philo:
Mk 1:2b Idou apostellw ton aggelon mou pro proswpou sou
Lk 7:27b Idou apostellw ton aggelon mou pro proswpou sou
Ex. 23:20a (Philo, Mig. 174) Idou apostellw ton aggelon mou pro proswpou sou

Since this means that Matthew is closer to the LXX text in Mt 11:10b than Mark and Luke, this perhaps supports New's contention that Matthew appears to correct the other Synoptic gospels toward the LXX in Mt 11:10.

Here is the second part of the citation and parallels in Malachi and Exodus:
Mk 1:2c hos kataskeuasei ten hodon sou
Mt 11:10c hos kataskeuasei ten hodon sou emprosthen sou
Lk 7:27c hos kataskeuasei ten hodon sou emprosthen sou
Ex. 23:20b (LXX) ina phylaze se en te hodw
Ex. 23:20b (Philo) ina phylaze se en te hodw
Mal. 3:1b (LXX) kai epiblepheta hodon pro prosopon mou

Here, Mark 1:2c, Mt 11:10c and Lk 7:27c all radically differ from Ex. 23:20b—with each, indeed, sharing no words with Ex 23:20b (although hodon and hodw are both variations of hodw).

Yet, at the same time, they also radically differ from Mal 3:1b—with, indeed, each sharing only the word hodon with Mal 3:1b (Note: I am somewhat puzzled by your comment, "The wording of the first part of the quotation is unmistakably Exod. 23.20 LXX, and the rest of the quotation has echoes of Mal. 3.1", because I don't know what you mean by an "echo". Perhaps your point has force, but its not self-evident. It would help if you could add a footnote to your paper outlining these "echoes" of Mal. 3:1 you see in the second part of the citation)

Yet, even further, they are close to no other known scriptural passage either—or, for that matter, any passage from a known non-scriptural document.

This apparently leaves us with two choices:
1. It is the citation of a passage from a non-scriptural source that has been lost to us
2. It is, as expectations from the first part of the citation suggest (for it is clearly Ex 23:20a), Ex 23:20b, but radically altered in wording.

Of these two choices, the second is more likely to be correct. This is because both Matthew and Luke explicitly state that it is scriptural.

Why, though, was Ex 23:20b radically altered in wording?

If (as the Two Gospel Theory necessitates) Matthew was the one who did this altering in wording, then there is no readily apparent reason for him to have done this.

Further, if (as is possible with the Two Source Theory), the author of Q was the one who did this altering in wording, then there is no readily apparent reason for him to have done this either.

However, if (as the Farrer Theory necessitates) Mark was responsible for this radical altering of Ex 23:20b, then there is a readily apparent reason for him to have made this radical altering, i.e., he did it in order to have a transitional link between Ex 23:20a and Isaiah 40:3.

Note that we have this sequence:
Mk 1:2b//Ex 23:20a
Mk 1:2b
Mk 1:3//Isaiah 40:3
This suggests that Mk 1:2b functions as a transitional link between Ex 23:20a and Isaiah 40:3.

Note that we also have this:
Mk 1:2b hos kataskeuasei ten hodon sou (to prepare the way of you)
Mk 1:3b etoimasate ten hodon kuriou (to prepare the way of the Lord)
Here, we find, each passage ends with the phrase “ten hodon” followed by a third word.

This strongly suggests that Mark worded Mk 1:2b in such a fashion as to link it to Isaiah 40:3—particularly Isaiah 40:3b. The reason for him doing this is would have been to clue in the reader that the person spoken to in Ex. 23:20a is the Lord of Isaiah 40:3.

In line with this, it is also the case that Mark links the part of Isaiah 40:3 found in Mk 1:3b with Mk 1:4a:
1:3a phone bowntos en te eremw (a voice crying in the wilderness)
1:4a egeneto iwannes baptizwn en te eremw (John appeared baptizing in the wilderness).
Again, the linkage is at the end of each, where we have, in each case, the phrase en te eremw. The reason for Mark to do this is to clue in the reader that the speaker in Isaiah 40:2 is none other than John.

So, I suggest, Mk 1:2-4 was carefully crafted by Mark. In it, he apparently links Ex 23:20a with Isaiah 40:3 through a radically altered Ex 23:20b in order to equate the person spoken to in Ex 23:20a with the Lord of Isaiah 40:3. In it, he also links the voice of Isaiah 40:3 with John, Matthew used Mk as a source and split off the citation from Ex 23:20 and placed in a different context. Luke used both Mk and Mt as sources and agreed with Matthew's treatment of Mk in this respect.

davidritsema said...

I am actually in Oxford (staying at Regen's Park College) until April 15 on a study tour with B. H. Carroll Theological Institute. I will be presenting a paper at Regent's Park, but I was wondering if this conference is open to the public or not. If it is, I will very much like to drop in and to listen to it on a free day.

Mark Goodacre said...

Hi David. Sorry not to have got to your comment before now. Hopefully you managed to get the answer to your question via the conference website. It would have been good to have met up. All best, Mark