August 21, 2008

15 Posts on Matthew's Notes

James McGrath kindly put out the word on my Ancient Journalism, Part 1 post. Since that post is attempting to support a larger hypothesis I worked on all summer, I wanted to make a links list here just in case anyone becomes interested and motivated enough to dive into the whole thing. Naturally, and especially with a brand new hypothesis, the most I'm trying to claim (for now) is that it's conditionally plausible and worth further consideration. :)

Note: These are all in reverse order, blog style.

Posts from August:

Matthew: Object Permanence - The 30 years of Matthew’s life before he composed his Gospel are a more important piece of the Synoptic puzzle than any textual variances. We shouldn't just let Matthew's life "not exist", despite the difficulty of attempting to reconstruct it.

Rethinking Matthew’s Notes - If we assume Matthew took notes during Jesus ministry, then my recent theory on the Synoptic composition still seems the most natural, plausible chain of events, to me, six weeks later. This is the one that sparked all the recent conversation.

Posts from July:

Gospel Origin Sequence - The comparative sophistication of Mark, Luke and Matthew, as literary compositions, seems like good evidence of the sequence in which they were ‘published’.

Paul and the Gospels - The apostle to the Gentiles influenced Matthew indirectly through Mark & Luke, and may have influenced Matthew in person (or by proxy) during his Caesarean imprisonment.

Matthew Kept Notes - This is the big one – a concise summary of my working hypothesis on Synoptic origins. Matthew took notes from 30 to 33. Around 50/51, Mark used those notes and eyewitness testimony to compose a simple, compact account. From 57 to 59, Luke gathered several written and oral sources during Paul’s Caesarean imprisonment, including Matt’s notes and Mark’s Gospel. Finally, Matthew collected new material and included parts of his original notes that Mark and Luke had picked over, enhancing it all to fit his new literary vision.

Posts from June:

Gospel Strategy (?) - Does Matthew's content arrangement specifically show his aim to challenge those interested in the "sayings only” version of christianity? (Extension from previous post, below.)

Jewish (Un)Believers - The possibility of James' Epistle as “seeker friendly” outreach to unbelieving Jews, who became persuaded to a point and overtook his constituency without converting to faith in Christ Himself. If so, this contributed to the ongoing trend which eventually provided the inspiration for Matthew’s Gospel.

Problems with Brainstorming - Embarrassing corrections I refuse to cover up. As if I could pretend. Life IS working without a net - so I'm willing to take my lumps while learning.

Little Q’s in 57 AD - A conceptual breakthrough in developing my hypothesis: seeing a christless, crossless Christianity growing in Jerusalem around 57 AD - and partially converted Pharisees using Matthew’s Notes to create literary collections of Jesus’ sayings only. Note: I posit here that very early "sayings gospels" would have used Matthew’s writings as a source, instead of the other way around, as the Q theory claims.

More Brainstorming - The meaning of “undertaken to compile an account” (Lk.1:1) and James the Just as one possible instigator of an unfinished writing project.

Growing in Literacy - The naturally slow expansion of relative competence in literacy explains Matthew’s 26 year gap between note taking and gospel composition. This post also expands the ideas of ancient “developing literacy” I’d been working on in other posts - for which, check my blog index.

Luke and Matthew – Process (?) - Many questions related to Matthew’s whereabouts from 57 to 59 AD and other thoughts related to my brand new thoughts on practical source theory. Mostly, more first steps and brainstorming.

Space Time Parameters - Advice on Source Theory from a seminary-grad & friend intersects with my personal way of thinking about it all.

Imagining Literacy in 52 AD - My very first steps towards a practical (not primarily textual) Synoptic hypothesis.

Can I See Your Notes? - The spark of my whole idea, despite one major flaw. Many thanks, once again, to Mark Goodacre for his eye opening 5th post on Orality & Literacy, which I continue to go back and re-read even still.

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