Thursday, June 21, 2012

But, but...

I'm in the middle of the rhetorical analysis for my thesis of the passage from Luke 6 commonly know as the Sermon on the Plain. (I use the term "commonly" since it's apparent that it's only commonly called that among scripture scholars.) I'm looking at a particular transition, and people commonly note that this transition is a bit odd, but they don't seem to go much further with it. It occurs after the last of the woes and at the beginning of the teaching on love:
“Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
“But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
The Greek looks like this:

Οὐαὶ ὅταν ⸂καλῶς ὑμᾶς⸃ εἴπωσιν ⸀πάντες οἱ ἄνθρωποι, κατὰ ⸂τὰ αὐτὰ⸃ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς ψευδοπροφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.
Ἀλλὰ ὑμῖν λέγω τοῖς ἀκούουσιν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν, καλῶς ποιεῖτε τοῖς μισοῦσιν ὑμᾶς, εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς καταρωμένους ⸀ὑμᾶς, προσεύχεσθε ⸀περὶ τῶν ἐπηρεαζόντων ὑμᾶς.
The conjunction between the two verses is ἀλλά, which is a logical contrastive. It differs from the one used in the parallel passage in Matthews sermon at 5:43:

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you[.]
and the Greek:
Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη· Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου καὶ μισήσεις τὸν ἐχθρόν σου. 44 ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ προσεύχεσθε ὑπὲρ τῶν διωκόντων ὑμᾶς
The conjunction used here is δὲ, which is also a logical contrastive. However, δὲ is a general contrastive, while ἀλλά is a strong contrastive. Yet the contexts seem to be the opposite of what they should be. In Matthew, what precedes δὲ is contrary to the clause that follows, whereas in Luke, what precedes ἀλλά seems to have no relation to what follows.

So am I missing something here? It seems like Luke, who's Greek is usually considered excellent, has an odd error here. I imagine it's probably an issue with later redaction, but I would like to know what other scripture scholars think about it.
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