Re: Q and Papias

David L. Moore [dvdmoore@aol.com] writes:

>     If then, Papias is talking about a document with essentially the content
>of what we know as Matthew when he says, "MATQAIOS MEN OUN E(BRAIDI DIALEKTW
>TA LOGIA SUNETAXATO....", we should probably consider the possibility that
>Matthew was written originally in the Aramaic tongue.  If this were so, then
>Matthew, at some early point, was translated into Greek.  If the Gospel of
>Mark were already extant in Greek when Matthew was translated (although not
>necessarily writen before Matthew), it would not be illogical to think that
>the person who was translating could have had a copy of Mark available and
>have conformed Matthew's language to Mark's wherever common subject matter
>permitted.  Such a scenario would also account for the better style of
>Matthew, for the translator would not feel absolutely obligated to slavishly
>follow Mark if Matthew's text did not warrant or if Mark's style were not
>eloquently expressed in certain passages.  Luke, who said that he used
>sources, would have worked from both Aramaic Matthew and from Mark which
>would account for his often agreement with Mark against Matthew if we may
>assume that Greek was Luke's native tongue, and so he would naturally be more
>apt to use Mark in those passages where the latter and Matthew covered the
>same material.  And Luke's inclusion of what is called Q material would be
>his translation from Matthew's Aramaic.

This conjecture couldn't by itself explain why parallel pericopes in Mt 
and Mk almost always appear in the same order, could it? It's the ordering 
as much as the similarities of language which prove the case for some sort 
of literary dependence.

If Papias' remarks really refer to our Matthew, then rather than postulate 
another lost original ("Hebrew Matthew"), maybe one should re-translate 
Papias. "Ebraidi dialecto" might not mean "in the Hebrew language", but 
perhaps something more like "in the Jewish manner" or  "using Jewish 
forms of expression". This was first suggested (I think) by J. Kurzinger 
in an article in NTS thirty years ago:  NTS 10 [1963-4] pp. 108-115.

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