Reading Luke with the L/M (Farrer-Goulder-Goodacre-Watson-et-al) hypothesis instead of Q

Until now, I have been a Q*bert, which may or may not change in the future. In any case, the purpose of this page is to make note of instances in which the L/M (FarrerGoulderGoodacreWatson-et-al)-hypothesis would seem to make better sense of data, at least to me. I have no idea whether or not it will shift me to the L/M position, but it seems to me that the only way to test a given hypothesis is to try to present it (to oneself and others) in the strongest light and see what results from this experiment. Interestingly, alongside my exposure to arguments advanced by Mark Goodacre and Francis Watson, I have been especially moved to grapple with this issue by my translation of Michael Wolter’s Luke commentary (which endorses the Q hypothesis, albeit with important qualifications [Das Lukasevangelium, pp. 12-14; cf. A. Fuchs’s criticism of Wolter]). In short, Wolter’s extensive documentation of the so-called “minor agreements” and his discussion of possible explanations for them in each case (which unfortunately does not include interaction with Goodacre, though there is occasional interaction with Goulder) has made me much more aware of the amount of material that needs to be explained (away) in order to maintain that Luke does not know Matthew (or vice versa as Hengel argued: see The Four Gospels and Riesner’s chapter in Earliest Christian History; cf. also A. Fuchs’s criticism of Hengel here and here). In any case, as I continue to work through Wolter I hope to highlight phenomena in Luke that seem to me to work better from within a L/M framework, which may or may not move me to abandon the Q framework that I have worked with until now. I am aware that my own discussion will undoubtedly fall far short of what has already been said by scholars such as Farrer, Goulder, Goodacre and Watson, but since it is often the case that one only really feels the strength of arguments if one formulates them oneself, I have decided to do so here.

Luke 3:4 – Matthew 3:3 – Mark 1:2 with Luke 7.27 and Matthew 11.10 (GK): it is noteworthy that Luke 3:4 and Matthew 3:3 both differ from Mark 1:2 in such a way that we no longer find a mixed quotation is cited as a Isaiah text and that the text from Mark that is missing here is found in Luke 7.27 and Matthew 11.10. While other explanations of this data can be advanced (see e.g. Wolter, ad loc), the explanation that Matthew made a change that was followed by Luke is arguably more cogent than its competitors.

Luke 3:23-38 / Matthew 1:2-16 (GK): Wolter, ad loc, argues that Luke probably created the genealogy himself, with the form critical rationale that the genre genealogies is not attested as an independent text but only as part of a superordinated genre. If this is so, however, then it would seem unlikely that Matthew and Luke independently encountered existing genealogies, which means that one would have to postulate that they found a genealogy in Q or that they independently decided that a genealogy should be introduced to their Jesus story. In comparison, it would seem easier to assume that Matthew introduced a genealogy and Luke proceeded to keep this feature while revising the content of the genealogy, most significantly by having it run through Nathan rather than Solomon and having it extend back to Adam/God.

Luke 4:8/Matthew 4:10 – As Wolter, ad loc, Matthew and Luke’s quotation of Deuteronomy 6.3 or 10.20 both deviate from the Septuagint version in the fact that instead of “worship” (προσκυνήσεις) both Septuagint texts have “fear” (φοβηθήσῃ), and unlike Matthew 4.10 and Luke 4:8, the Septuagint texts lack the word “alone” (μόνῳ). While Wolter explains this data by postulating that Q already differed from the Septuagint in this way, which seems possible, it seems to me that the L/M explanation may have greater explanatory power here, since Matthew often introduces προσκυνέω redactionally, though it is, of course, not impossible that this redactional tendency could have been shared by or inspired by Q.

Luke 6:12-19/Mark 3:7-19/Matthew 4:24-25 (Gk): The apparent connections between Luke 6:12-19 and both Mark 3:7-19 and Matthew 4:24-25 seem easiest to explain if Luke knew Mark and Matthew, especially insofar as the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain seem to be placed in the same Markan context.

Luke 6.21, 25/Matthew 5.4 (GK): While it is possible to explain the fact that Luke expands the opposition of “laughing” and weeping” from 6.21 through the addition of “mourning” in 6.25 by appealing to the stereotypical combination of the terms “mourning and weeping” (see Wolter, ad loc), the addition of this word is perhaps more easily explained as evidence of Luke’s familiarity with Matthew 5.4.

Luke 8:1/Matthew 9.35. Wolter, ad loc, provides some interesting data in relation to these verses. On the one hand the similarity of these verses is noteworthy. On the other hand, the Lukan verse seems quite Lukan [preaching/bringing the good news of the kingdom of God] and the Matthew verse quite Matthean [preaching the Gospel of the kingdom]. It would be possible to postulate that this verse was in Q (see e.g. the commentaries of Schürmann; Marshall; Schmithals). Or one could argue that the two evangelists have independently formulated a similar statement (this seems to be the position of Wolter, ad loc [?]). It seems to me, however, that the L/M explanation is stronger in this case: Matthew expressed an idea in typically Matthean language and Luke then took it up and expressed it with typically Lukan expressions.

Luke 9.10-17/Matthew 14.13-12/Mark 6.30-44 [GK]: While Wolter, ad loc, regards it as “recht sicher” that Luke 9.10-17 is independent of Matthew 14.13-21, the quality and quantity of minor agreements that he identifies is certainly striking, and it is not at all obvious to me that this explanation is less plausible than the alternative explanations he registers, namely that it was in Q or that it reflects a secondary revision of Mark’s text that was accessible to Matthew and Luke.

Luke 9.22/Matthew 16.12/Mark 8.31 (GK): After sketching a series of attempted explanations for the agreement between Luke 9.22 and Matthew 16.12, Wolter, ad loc, says that with the exception of the proposal that Luke is dependent upon Matthew, all the explanations are conceivable. It seems to me, however, that positing Luke’s dependence on Matthew works well here and is at least as conceivable as its competitors if one does not rule it out on other grounds.

Luke 9.37-45/Matthew 17.14-23/Mark 9.14-32 (Gk): Due to the extensive negative and positive minor agreements Wolter, ad loc, appeals to several types of explanation (rather than a monocausal explanation). It seems to me that Luke’s dependence on Mark and Matthew is arguably a more attractive explanation for them.

Some (other) Matthew/Luke Agreements [positive and negative] against Mark [details e.g. in Wolter, ad loc]: Mark 6:3/Matthew 13.55/Luke 4.22 (GK); Mark 1:41-42/Matthew 8:2-3/Luke 5:12-13 (Gk); Matthew 13.1-9/Luke 8:4-8 (GK); Matthew 13:9-11/Luke 8:9-10 (GK);


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