NT Exam 3 - The Gospels

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Covering the Synoptic Problem, and the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John

Why do we have new translations?

1. Our ability to understand the meaning of ancient languages
2. The way we use our own language
3. NOT because the original meaning has changed!

3 Basic Approaches to Translation

1. Literal/Formal
2. Free/Paraphrase
3. Dynamic Equivalence

Literal/Formal Translation

"word for word"
-ich gehe nach Hause -> i go to house -> I'm going home
-ex: NASB
-danger: can fail to make clear

Free/Paraphrase Translation

"meaning"
-if scripture was written in "street Greek" shouldn't we translate it into "street English?"
-often group focused (e.g. Cotton Patch Gospel)
-becomes very dated very fast
-not developed by a committee, often just one person
-ex: The Message
-danger: Translator's agenda; can add, leave out or distort

Dynamic Equivalence Translation

"middle of the road"
-a smoothing out of translation AND meaning
-not afraid to move away from the literal in order to make clear
-ex: NIV
-danger: faces all four issue of translation

Summary of Translation

-somethings just need teaching (OT sacrificial system)
-having one good translation of each approach is the way to go

Old Testament Paradigms

-Abraham
-Passover
-Exodus
-The "Incident"
-Joshua & Conquest
-Kingly Tradition
-Exile
In the Jewish mind: Paradigms + Interp of OT + Jewish Rebellions + Apocalyptic Lit = Time of Fulfillment is Near

Abraham Paradigm

promised descendants
will be a blessing to the nations
promised Land

Passover Paradigm

God's care and protection

Exodus Paradigm

Moses: an agent of redemption

"The Incident" Paradigm

The Golden Calf
Religious Leaders point back to this event as the root of the Apostasy in the OT

Joshua and Conquest Paradigm

Jesus is a Joshua "type" and Joshua is a Jesus "type"
Yeshua (Joshua) in Hebrew is transliterated Jesus in Greek
means "Ywh is Salvation"

Kingly Tradition Paradigm

David, 'nuf said

Exile Paradigm

collapse of the Kingdom

Jewish Expectation (and speculation) of Messiah

...

Eschatalogical Framework of NT

...

Testimonia Theory

-writing of OT Scripture fulfilled
-OT and Jesus' fulfillment put together in a codex
-used to debate/convince Jews of Jesus' messiah-ship
-"notebook" format

The Gospel of Thomas

-non-canonical, 2nd c gnostic, pseudepigraph
-alludes to and quotes NT
-includes stories/quotes of Jesus which may have actually happened
-Nag Hammadi: 350 AD. Coptic copy with 114 sayings of Jesus, found in 1945
-Oxyrhynncus: 2nd or 3rd c. Fragments with 32 sayings, found in 1904, published 1970s

The Gospel of Peter

-non-canonical, 2nd c gnostic, pseudepigraph
-docetic depiction of the crucifixion
-9th c. copy found in a monk's coffin
-Oxyrhynncus fragments: 2nd or 3rd c.

Early Church approach to the Synoptic Problem

Harmonies
-combined Gospels into one, called a harmony
-examples: Tatian's Diatessaron (c. 150), Augustine (400)
-maintained Matthew came first, written in Hebrew
-Mark is a Greek recension (reader's digest version)

3 Hypotheses Concerning the Synoptic Problem

1. Griesbach, Mtt first
2. Holtzmann, two source
3. Streeter, four source

Griesbach Hypothesis
(diagram)

1783

Pericope

a section of text that holds together
often related to genre

Wording in a Shared Pericope
(3 diagrams)

...

Holtzmann Hypothesis

1863

Streeter's Hypothesis

1924

Curiosity of Sequence
(evidence of Markan Priority)

-when Mtt & Lk use Markan pericopes, they are almost always in the same order in which they are found in Mk
-when Mtt & Lk use Q, the sequence is all over the place
-Mtt uses Q in small batches
-Lk uses Q in large hunks

Style of Writing
(evidence of Markan Priority)

-Mark's Greek is very awkward
-Matthew & Luke fix/smooth it out

Length
(evidence of Markan Priority)

-Mark is shorter
-If a recension, why would he leave out the Lord's Prayer, Beatitudes, "love your enemies..." ?

Mark's Material
(evidence of Markan Priority)

Often incomplete, easily misunderstood & embarrassing. Mtt and Luke smooth it out.
ex: Jesus calming the storm

Mark's Agenda

-to answer the question "Who is He?"
-Mark is claiming Jesus is the Son of God, despite the cross

Mark - Authorship

we have no explicit author but we DO have
1) witness of Church fathers - Eusebeus (3c) says that Papias (2c) says someone said that Mark wrote it, listening to Peter
2) Mark's bad rep - he deserted Paul on the first missionary journey. If anyone was going to invent an author, why would they pick Mark?
3) Relationships - several other scriptures tell us that John Mark was in Rome with Peter around the date of authorship

Mark - Provence (where it was written)

Rome. The evidence:
1. Tradition
2. Language - Mark uses Aramaic and translates it, he also transliterates Latin into Greek (so, his readers know Latin but not Aramaic)
3. Purpose of Proclamation - the cross does not prevent Christ from being the Son of God, addressing the Roman issues with the crucifixion

Mark - Date

-Late 50s or very early 60s
-precedes Lk and Acts
-Acts probably written before Paul's death (64) in 63, so Mk must come before this.

Mark - Style

-fits a Roman mindset (give us the story, not the extra details)
1) historic present tense
2) participle pile up - lots of "ing"
3) εὐθὐς - "immediately" used as a fill word
4) Abruptness - not concerned with the birth of Christ, in the first 13 verses: OT foundations, John the Baptist, Jesus, Jesus' baptism, Jesus sent to the wilderness/temptation and the beginning of ministry

Mark - Structure

Chiasm

Text-Critical Issue of Mark

The ending of Mark, 16:9-20
-The Byzantine Text has these verses
-The Alexandrian Text omitts

Solutions to the Text-Critical Issue of Mark

1) vs 8 is simply the end
2) the book was never finished, something happened to prevent the ending from being written
3) the Resurrection account was planned for a second volume following Luke-Acts pattern (little evidence for this)
4) the ending was lost
5) the resurrection account was already widely known and circulated (the weakest argument)

Matthew - Authorship

Matthew is not a logical choice for an invented author
Church Tradition: Papias - Matthew written in Aramaic
Theory - an Aramaic testimonia book (M) became the basis of the Gospel along with Mk and Q.

Matthew - Date

1 c. document for sure.
Question: before or after 70 (temple destruction)?
Liberal need the date to fall after 70 AD so Matt. put Jesus' temple prediction in his mouth
Conservatives don't care

Matthew - Structure and Focus

Testimonia theory.
Moses motif: -monarch killing babies -Egypt -wilderness -40 -giving law from the mountain -12 tribes, 12 disciples -feeding the 5000, manna in the wilderness
A five book structure, reflects Pentateuch

Luke - Authorship

Church Tradition
From Scripture we know:
-A gentile doctor (Col 4:11,14) of what is unknown
-with Paul at the end of his life (II Tim 4:11)
-may have traveled with Paul (changes from "they" to "we" in Acts)
-direct access to Mary, her children or someone close to her
Theophilus - a real person or literary device (name lit. means "friend of God"). if real, a patron of Luke

Luke - Style

-Two volumes (the only one done intentionally)
-LXX style with a classical touch
-- Luke/Acts written like they belong to scripture already
-clearly educated and studied

Luke - Structure

Three themes woven together throughout the book
"L" Material of the Infancy Narrative:
-Mtt writes about scripture fulfilled, Lk writes like he's continuing scripture
-canticles (Mary's Magnificat = Hannah's Song in I Sam)
-Samuel parallels

Three Themes of Luke

1) The role of the Holy Spirit in Luke/Acts - fits Lk's goal to demonstrate gentile acceptance. Sets this up throughout Gospel
2) Jesus as the Son of God - birth announcement (to Mary), spiritual conception, the Baptism, see also Jesus - Adam Typology
3) The Jubilee Connection - a year of Jubilee close to the beginning of Jesus' ministry. The claim of fulfilling Isaiah 61

John - Date

90s
-Liberals say Christology is too advanced and place it around 200
-1920, P52 (fragment of a copy) discovered. dated 100-125
in order for copies to exist, it had to come earlier.

John - Authorship

Centers on 2 questions
1) Who is the "beloved disciple?" a literary device?
-many scholars accept that he is the author. we know:
-named John, not necessarily the Apostle
-a teen of a High Priestly family
2) Who is the author?
-John the Apostle
-a John, not the Apostle
-Johannine Community (see Audience)

John - Audience

Johannine Community (disciples and followers of John)
-Christians under Domitian persecution
-isolated community, still a part of synagogue life, facing temptation to turn b/c of Jewish pressure under persec.

John - Structure

Ch 1:1-18 - Prologue
Ch 1 - 12 - Book of Signs, exactly seven signs/miracles
Ch 13 - 20 - Book of Glory, the passion
Ch 21 - Epilogue

John's "I am" Statements

without a predicate = "God is."
with a predicate = source of life, exclusivity (there is NO other)
I am the way
I am the resurrection and the life
I am the vine
I am the bread of life
I am the light of the world

John's Relation to the Synoptic Gospels
(three theories)

1) A supplement- John knows at least one Synoptic and adds material
2) An interpretation- writing an explanation.
3) Literary Independence** - John is writing his own gospel, not adding to or explaining the other.

σωματικα

physical, historical
Clement's comment on the Synoptic Gospels

πνεγματικα

spiritual
Clement's comment on John

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