Q and Papias
In reference to a conjecture for an Aramaic Matthew translated to Greek by
Mark, email@example.com (William Raines) writes:
>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.
I had begun, in my recent post, to include a caveat to the effect that
similar ordering of the material in Matthew and Mark would somehow have to be
satisfactorily explained for an Aramaic Matthew translated by Mark to be
considered valid. But then I _began_ to peruse a synopsis from Matthew 8:1
onward (including parallels), and it seemed that the ordering of the
pericopes didn't warrant the caveat, so I left it out. Upon reading your
post, however, I went through the rest of the synopsis and found that, IMO,
the order of the material in Mat. chapters 8 through 13 do not demand
dependence. But the material from Mat. chapter 14 to chapter 23 (Agreement
in order from the Olivet discourse on should probably not be considered
significant.) does show dependence of one sort or another. This could mean
(continuing with the conjecture for an originally Aramaic Matthew.) that Mark
had a copy of Aramaic Matthew and relied heavily on it in composing his
chapters 4 through 12, or that Matthew had a copy of Mark and relied on it in
chapters 14 through 23 (shades of Q!) or that Matthew's translator supplied
material from Mark, amplifying Mark's text and improving its style. IMO, the
first of these options is the most congenial. Whether that means it is true,
is another question.
I am aware of Kurzinger's translation of E(BRAIDI DIALEKTW as "using
jewish forms of expression." Frankly, it does not seem to be the most
straightforward way of taking Papias's Greek. DIALEKTW and E(RMENEUW in
reference to one another - as they are in Eus., Ch. Hist. 3:39:16 - should
normally be translated as "language" and "translate" respectively.
Kurzinger's contention that H(RMHNEUSE here should be translated
"interpreted" because a cognate noun in the previous verse may be translated
"interpreter," seems, at best, unconvincing. It would appear there is an
effort to make our understanding of Papias conform to accomodate the idea of
an originally Greek Matthew which is required by the Two Source hypothesis.
IMO, either Papias's statement is simply false or Matthew was originally
written in Aramaic.
David L. Moore