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I sometimes wonder if the differences were intended to be corrections.  Did the writers of Matthew or Luke write the story differently because they had the one in hand and thought that it was wrong so they wanted to correct it and wrote it the way they saw it. 

 

or

 

Are the versions simply theological in nature and the differences are there because they are intended to reflect the theology of the writer.

 

Or maybe both?

 

Good questions. My own view is that none of the gospels were written by an eyewitness, but that each was written for a specific group of believers in a certain place. That is, "Matthew" was written in Antioch for the group there, etc.

 

It seems that each group, although tied together by basic beliefs (Resurrection, etc) stil had its own local traditions, and that these traditions were handed down (as Luke says) from those who were eyewitnesses. And in transmission, there was inevitably some change in details. In Mark, for example, there is only a young man (GR: "neanikos," meaning teenager) in the tomb. In Luke and Matt, this becomes angels.

 

But John has a story which seems unique, with Mary Magdalene playing a major role. There are those, in fact, who claim that "the beloved disciple" was Mary M.

 

It seems that Matt & Luke didn't know of each other's work (unless possibly Luke knew of Matt). So for a time, each Christian community would have only one gospel to work with. Also, there were more than four. Luke says that there were "many" accounts. Among these for Luke would be Mark and maybe the hypothetical "Q." But what others he was referring to we can't be sure.

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Hello Althea and others,

 

Two things occur to me after reading the forgoing posts. One is:

 

Jesus didn't like writing, or was a bad writer, although he was a great orator. Either he told his Disciples things like "Luke, did you get that thing I did up on the Mount? I thought it was quite good." OR his disciples buried Jesus's writing because it dídn't do credit to Jesus' teachings. "This is awful, it will ruin the whole message; let's get rid of it for His own good!"

 

Another thought that occured to me, as an editor, is wouldn't it be cool to redo the Bible, to lose some of the OT, to remove some nonessential passages? You could end up with something like "The Holy Bible for Dummies" or the Reader's Digest Bible. For those of you who have studied more broadly, this may already have been done. Still, I bet that we would all choose different Books that were essential or nonessential. ;)

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Another thought that occured to me, as an editor, is wouldn't it be cool to redo the Bible, to lose some of the OT, to remove some nonessential passages?  You could end up with something like "The Holy Bible for Dummies" or the Reader's Digest Bible.  For those of you who have studied more broadly, this may already have been done.  Still, I bet that we would all choose different Books that were essential or nonessential.  ;)

 

 

It has been done by various people. Luther wanted to throw out James (A book I like) and Revelation (I agree with him on that one). I believe that THomas JEfferson actually took scissors/knife to the bible and cut out stuff he didn't like (I could have the wrong founding father or could be spreading a myth, too). But I personally would like to take out passages, too, maybe not whole books.

 

Linguists and other expert-experts rearrange text. That makes for some interesting reading because some parts of the bible read differently.

 

Maybe we could work on that here! Rewrite the bible :D

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Hi Flow

            I kind of see your point that maybe Jesus wrote something and it could have been suppressed. I could have said that as far as we know Jesus wrote nothing. However it is equally possible that Jesus just didn't trust the written word that much.

 

              One of Jesus' " hard sayings" was something like " you've heard it said you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultry. But I say if you look on a woman with lust you've commited adultry with her in your heart, and if you say "you fool" you 're destined for the hell fire." (I'm paraphrasing here since these words are pretty well known).

 

              These words usually anger liberals more than conservatives( although they can't keep these impossible moral codes either). Zen writer K Leong says that both sides miss the point. He believes that Jesus was deliberately being ridiculous and absurd in setting up these impossible moral codes, to show that enlightenment does not come from following codes. Humanity can usually get around rules like "do not kill" ,"do not steal". They just apply the Golden Rule of "whoever has the gold makes the rules " If a rich man steals a whole country he's just a great explorer or statesmen. If a poor man steals a belt buckle he'll be hung," says Chuang Tzu .

 

                  Maybe Jesus felt that truth was something that was beyond words.

 

MOW

The picture of Jesus we have from Crossan, Borg, and others was that of a very wise man whose relationship to his Abba and his vision of the Kingdom set him apart from others, but that he was nonetheless a peasant, and very likely illiterate.

 

The Buddha never left written texts either. As with Jesus, it fell to his disciples within the next generation to begin to record his message. As is the case, so often, a teacher teaches by the spoken word for an immediate audience. Written texts are unnecessary, and only become important as those disciples, wanting to pass on the wisdom of the teacher, seek to codify that wisdom.

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Hi Flow

            I kind of see your point that maybe Jesus wrote something and it could have been suppressed. I could have said that as far as we know Jesus wrote nothing. However it is equally possible that Jesus just didn't trust the written word that much.

 

              One of Jesus' " hard sayings" was something like " you've heard it said you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultry. But I say if you look on a woman with lust you've commited adultry with her in your heart, and if you say "you fool" you 're destined for the hell fire." (I'm paraphrasing here since these words are pretty well known).

 

              These words usually anger liberals more than conservatives( although they can't keep these impossible moral codes either). Zen writer K Leong says that both sides miss the point. He believes that Jesus was deliberately being ridiculous and absurd in setting up these impossible moral codes, to show that enlightenment does not come from following codes. Humanity can usually get around rules like "do not kill" ,"do not steal". They just apply the Golden Rule of "whoever has the gold makes the rules " If a rich man steals a whole country he's just a great explorer or statesmen. If a poor man steals a belt buckle he'll be hung," says Chuang Tzu .

 

                  Maybe Jesus felt that truth was something that was beyond words.

 

MOW

The picture of Jesus we have from Crossan, Borg, and others was that of a very wise man whose relationship to his Abba and his vision of the Kingdom set him apart from others, but that he was nonetheless a peasant, and very likely illiterate.

 

The Buddha never left written texts either. As with Jesus, it fell to his disciples within the next generation to begin to record his message. As is the case, so often, a teacher teaches by the spoken word for an immediate audience. Written texts are unnecessary, and only become important as those disciples, wanting to pass on the wisdom of the teacher, seek to codify that wisdom.

 

 

Socrates apparently never wrote anything either. It was left to Plato to write it all down.

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Hi Flow

             I kind of see your point that maybe Jesus wrote something and it could have been suppressed. I could have said that as far as we know Jesus wrote nothing. However it is equally possible that Jesus just didn't trust the written word that much.

 

              One of Jesus' " hard sayings" was something like " you've heard it said you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultry. But I say if you look on a woman with lust you've commited adultry with her in your heart, and if you say "you fool" you 're destined for the hell fire." (I'm paraphrasing here since these words are pretty well known).

 

               These words usually anger liberals more than conservatives( although they can't keep these impossible moral codes either). Zen writer K Leong says that both sides miss the point. He believes that Jesus was deliberately being ridiculous and absurd in setting up these impossible moral codes, to show that enlightenment does not come from following codes. Humanity can usually get around rules like "do not kill" ,"do not steal". They just apply the Golden Rule of "whoever has the gold makes the rules " If a rich man steals a whole country he's just a great explorer or statesmen. If a poor man steals a belt buckle he'll be hung," says Chuang Tzu .

 

                  Maybe Jesus felt that truth was something that was beyond words.

 

MOW

The picture of Jesus we have from Crossan, Borg, and others was that of a very wise man whose relationship to his Abba and his vision of the Kingdom set him apart from others, but that he was nonetheless a peasant, and very likely illiterate.

 

The Buddha never left written texts either. As with Jesus, it fell to his disciples within the next generation to begin to record his message. As is the case, so often, a teacher teaches by the spoken word for an immediate audience. Written texts are unnecessary, and only become important as those disciples, wanting to pass on the wisdom of the teacher, seek to codify that wisdom.

 

 

Socrates apparently never wrote anything either. It was left to Plato to write it all down.

Yeah! Forgot all about Socrates! Just adds further affirmation that teaching is primarily an oral acitvity, and it's left to others to write down the teachings.

 

Paul, on the other hand, did a lot of teaching in print, but he was only secondarily a teacher. His first role was as mission developer who had to do a lot of backtracking and putting out fires in congregations he had begun. This is where he brought in the teaching he did--as context for the issues he was dealing with by correspondence with distant and far-flung churches.

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I sometimes wonder if the differences were intended to be corrections.  Did the writers of Matthew or Luke write the story differently because they had the one in hand and thought that it was wrong so they wanted to correct it and wrote it the way they saw it.  

 

or

 

Are the versions simply theological in nature and the differences are there because they are intended to reflect the theology of the writer.

 

Or maybe both?

 

Good questions. My own view is that none of the gospels were written by an eyewitness, but that each was written for a specific group of believers in a certain place. That is, "Matthew" was written in Antioch for the group there, etc.

 

It seems that each group, although tied together by basic beliefs (Resurrection, etc) stil had its own local traditions, and that these traditions were handed down (as Luke says) from those who were eyewitnesses. And in transmission, there was inevitably some change in details. In Mark, for example, there is only a young man (GR: "neanikos," meaning teenager) in the tomb. In Luke and Matt, this becomes angels.

 

But John has a story which seems unique, with Mary Magdalene playing a major role. There are those, in fact, who claim that "the beloved disciple" was Mary M.

 

It seems that Matt & Luke didn't know of each other's work (unless possibly Luke knew of Matt). So for a time, each Christian community would have only one gospel to work with. Also, there were more than four. Luke says that there were "many" accounts. Among these for Luke would be Mark and maybe the hypothetical "Q." But what others he was referring to we can't be sure.

Yup! I would go further, though, and point out that not only do we see differences such as you point out, but each author--none of whom were actually the disciple named, such as Matthew Mark, and John--wrote for a different audience with different concerns, and at different times. Matthew and Mark were writing for a distinctly Jewish audience, whereas Luke was writing more for the Gentile Christians and also wrote the book of Acts, which picks up where his Gospel pretty much leaves off. John's audience was facing some real pressure from the Jewish community in the years following the destruction of the Temple and persecution by the Romans that leads to some passages that have been read as definitely anti-Semitic and the Jews are depicted as the ones who sought Christ's death while the Romans were basically passive performers in the drama, doing the bidding of the Jews. You don't see that at all in Mark, the oldest Gospel account.

 

Also, Q, a sayings Gospel, is pretty much accepted as more than simply hypothetical. It is possible to even reconstruct Q by looking at Matthew and Luke, subtracting what they obviously borrowed from Mark, and setting aside the common elements that are left. Those common elements are basically the reconstructed Q.

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I sometimes wonder if the differences were intended to be corrections.  Did the writers of Matthew or Luke write the story differently because they had the one in hand and thought that it was wrong so they wanted to correct it and wrote it the way they saw it. 

 

or

 

Are the versions simply theological in nature and the differences are there because they are intended to reflect the theology of the writer.

 

Or maybe both?

 

Good questions. My own view is that none of the gospels were written by an eyewitness, but that each was written for a specific group of believers in a certain place. That is, "Matthew" was written in Antioch for the group there, etc.

 

It seems that each group, although tied together by basic beliefs (Resurrection, etc) stil had its own local traditions, and that these traditions were handed down (as Luke says) from those who were eyewitnesses. And in transmission, there was inevitably some change in details. In Mark, for example, there is only a young man (GR: "neanikos," meaning teenager) in the tomb. In Luke and Matt, this becomes angels.

 

But John has a story which seems unique, with Mary Magdalene playing a major role. There are those, in fact, who claim that "the beloved disciple" was Mary M.

 

It seems that Matt & Luke didn't know of each other's work (unless possibly Luke knew of Matt). So for a time, each Christian community would have only one gospel to work with. Also, there were more than four. Luke says that there were "many" accounts. Among these for Luke would be Mark and maybe the hypothetical "Q." But what others he was referring to we can't be sure.

Yup! I would go further, though, and point out that not only do we see differences such as you point out, but each author--none of whom were actually the disciple named, such as Matthew Mark, and John--wrote for a different audience with different concerns, and at different times. Matthew and Mark were writing for a distinctly Jewish audience, whereas Luke was writing more for the Gentile Christians and also wrote the book of Acts, which picks up where his Gospel pretty much leaves off. John's audience was facing some real pressure from the Jewish community in the years following the destruction of the Temple and persecution by the Romans that leads to some passages that have been read as definitely anti-Semitic and the Jews are depicted as the ones who sought Christ's death while the Romans were basically passive performers in the drama, doing the bidding of the Jews. You don't see that at all in Mark, the oldest Gospel account.

 

Also, Q, a sayings Gospel, is pretty much accepted as more than simply hypothetical. It is possible to even reconstruct Q by looking at Matthew and Luke, subtracting what they obviously borrowed from Mark, and setting aside the common elements that are left. Those common elements are basically the reconstructed Q.

 

Yes, there is strong evidence for Q in Matt & Luke's overlap. What I meant was there is no actual document that we know of.

 

There are tantalizing things too, like the Gospel of the Ebionites, or an early gospel attributed to Matt, apparently written in Aramaic. In Acts, Luke records events in Jerusalem an throughout the Diaspora, in the places Paul went. But he says nothing about Galilee, Jesus' home turf. The Ebionites appear to be his followers back there. But they got left behind when the gospel became Hellenized.

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I just had to post this.

 

I was sitting in my living room at the computer. The television was on . All of a sudden a Pepsi commercial comes on that says "Want free gas?.....drink Pepsi "

 

Didn't whoever wrote that commercial ,think about what they were implying??

 

 

MOW

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I just had to post this.

 

I was sitting in my living room at the computer. The television was on . All of a sudden a Pepsi commercial comes on that says "Want free gas?.....drink Pepsi "

 

Didn't whoever wrote that commercial ,think about what they were implying??

MOW

 

 

:lol::lol::lol:

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