Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Off to BNTC 2006

I'm off to Sheffield, the patch of James Crossley and other scholarly luminaries, for the 2006 British New Testament Conference. This will be my last conference following the on-slaught of Tyndale House, SNTS, and EABS in recent times. My papers include:

Historical Jesus Seminar
Who comes from the East and West?: The Historical Jesus and Q 13:28-29

Acts and Synoptics Seminar
The Unity of Luke-Acts: A Review of the Debate and Its Significance

I look especially forward to the main papers by Graham Stanton, Peter Williams and Maurice Casey which are all on topics that interest me.


Mark Goodacre said...

I'm sorry I'll have to miss it, Mike. I'd be interested to hear why you use the notation "Q 13.28-29". As I read your abstract, it is focused on the place of this saying in Historical Jesus studies rather than Q studies. Is there something about the way the saying is framed in Q that is relevant here, e.g. does the Q redaction provide any help with looking at the logion's tradition history? Thanks, Mark.

Michael F. Bird said...

For me the "Q" context is significant and as such I point out that the saying in Q 13.28-29 was not originally attached to the narrative in Mt. 8.5-10/Lk. 7.1-10. Thus, either Matthew (or Qmt) have made the connection between Q 13.28-29 and the narrative about the centurion. That is significant for how we understand the logion as either a reference to the eschatological pilgrimage of the Gentiles or as a reference to the eschatological regathering of Israel, or perhaps something else! Since I think the saying is authentic it is directly applicable to HJ studies.

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, Mike. The "Q 13.28-29" designation is problematic, though, in that the IQP has to invert Luke 13.28 and 29 in order to provide a reference for EKEI. Do you go with the order of Matt. 8.11-12 or with Luke 13.28-29? If the former, would it not be preferable simply to talk about "Matt. 8.11-12 // Luke 13.28-29" to show that you prefer the Matthean order? If the latter, should you not speak instead about "Q 13.29, 28" as the IQP do.

I am also curious on your view of "weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth" which appears here in Q 13.28. Matthew has this expression five times in his Gospel and Luke has it only here. Does this show that Q's language was in fact often Matthean?

Thanks, Mark

Michael F. Bird said...

Mark, the "Q" designation can be problematic and I'm not trying to reconstruct Q per se; still, what is happening at the pre-Lucan/Matthean level is significant for how I tackle the topic and using the designation Q 13.28-29 (or Q 13.29, 28) is one way of noting that. Otherwise, you'll be glad to know that in the forthcoming NTS article I use: "Luke 13.28-29/Matt 8.11-12" in the title!

Michael F. Bird said...
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Mark Goodacre said...

I am delighted to hear that. I raise the question because I have noticed a tendency in some recent work on the Synoptics to use Q chapter and verse references where Q is not in fact being discussed. In other words, some people are using it as a shorthand for writing out the full reference in Matt // Luke. I think that this kind of thing can be inaccurate (e.g. the confusion of literary priority questions with tradition history questions) and potentially misleading, especially to newcomers in the field. I notice you dodge the question on the distinctive Matthean language in the passage, so let me underline the problem here, which is not widely appreciated in the field. If here, in bedrock Q material (i.e. Matthean // Lucan verbatim agreement), one has language that is distinctively Matthean, how do we know that elsewhere, where Matthew's and Luke's language differ, Q was not distinctively Matthean? This is a major problem for the reconstruction of Q, which works on the premise that Q's language was not, in fact, distinctively Matthean.