Q and Papias

In response to David L. Moore <Dvdmoore@aol.com>:

> 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.

Nearly all of the differences in order between Mt and Mk arise out of the
section between Mk 3:13-6:13, which begins with the calling of the twelve
and terminates with their sending out. You would probably agree that on the 
hypothesis of Marcan priority explaining these differences isn't a big problem.
Matthew has made the calling and sending adjacent pericopes starting the 
discourse in Mt 10, which is not in itself an unreasonable editorial decision.
The consequence is he then had to juggle the intervening sections from Mk 
around a bit: the sower, etc. in Mk 4 gets moved to Matthew's parable 
chapter 13, while legion, the daughter of Jairus and the woman with an issue 
of blood in Mk 5 get moved forward to Mt 8-9.

Outside of that section Mk 3:13-6:13 I have only found two (minor?) changes in

(1) The healings of Peter's mother-in-law (Mk 1:29-31) and of the leper 
    (Mk 1:40-end) are inverted in Matthew (Mt 8:14f and Mt 8:1-4 respectively).

(2) The cursing of the fig tree (Mk 11:12-14//Mt 21:18-22) comes before the
    cleansing of the temple in Mk and after it in Mt.

I would doubt whether it really makes much sense to think of either 
evangelist (or some hypothetical translator) using one gospel as a source
for the other only for specified chapters. If feels very ad hoc.

> 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.  

Well, I think you're right, though if the only choice were between Kurzinger's
translation and Aramaic Matthew I'd plump for Kurzinger. Some British scholars
(e.g., Graham Stanton in his 1992 book on Matthew, "A Gospel for a New 
People", p 116f) do cite Kurzinger with approval. It seems to me more likely
that Papias is simply wrong, or, perhaps better, that Papias is passing on a 
false tradition, which probably arose out of the desire to make Matthew seem 
more "apostolic" and close to Jesus than he really was.

The Revd. William Raines   ||   Telephone: 061-224 1310
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