The Holtzmann-Gundry Solution to the Synoptic Problem (Three Source Hypothesis)
The solution that Mike is flirting with is one that attempts to retain what he sees as some of the advantages of the Two-Source Theory, Matthew's and Luke's knowledge of Mark and Q, while at the same time embracing what he sees as some of the advantages of the alternative theory that Luke knows Matthew as well as Mark.
On a basic level, the difficulty with this hypothesis is that it concedes defeat on the key premise for the postulation of Q. Normally speaking, the existence of Q is predicated on the basis of arguments that Luke could not have known Matthew's Gospel. If Luke knows Matthew, then there is no need to explain the double tradition material on the grounds that they both independently accessed a hypothetical document.
While commenting on Mike's post, I realized that my comment was taking on the proportions of a blog post of its own, so I am moving a revised version of that comment here.
In support of the solution, Mike notes E. P. Sanders's prophecy in 1969:
I rather suspect that when and if a new view of the Synoptic problem becomes accepted, it will be more flexible and complicated than the tidy two-document hypothesis. With all due respect for scientific preference for the simpler view, the evidence seems to require a more complicated one.It is perhaps worth bearing in mind, though, how Sanders's own view changed over the subsequent twenty years. In Studying the Synoptic Gospels, co-authored with Margaret Davies in 1989, he accepts Goulder's hypothesis that Luke knew Matthew as well as Mark, with the important modification that he does think Luke has other sources too, a modification with which I agree and for which I have argued too.
There is a general issue here too that the discussion of "simple" against "complex" can mask. Scholars of yesteryear were often reticent to think seriously about issues of memory and oral tradition in the way that they configured the problem. Gundry's half-way house between Farrer and the 2ST is symptomatic of this -- he is thinking in purely literary terms as a means of configuring his solution.
Mike's post is to some extent falling prey to the same issue by finding Q a solution to issues of "alternating primitivity". The Two-Source Theory projects every variation onto a textual base and does not take seriously what Luke himself tells us, that he was working with both oral and literary sources (Luke 1.1-4). It's a point I have often made, but here is a quotation of one iteration of it:
One of the potential difficulties with the Q hypothesis, and something endemic to the discussion of “alternating primitivity”, is the routine confusion between literary priority and the relative age of traditions. For a long time scholars have accepted that Matthew and Luke might witness to different, sometimes more primitive versions of material they share with Mark. It is an obvious extension of this principle to see Luke sometimes witnessing to more primitive versions of material he nevertheless shares with Matthew. The reduction of the variety and richness of oral tradition to the level of the reconstruction of the precise wording of an hypothetical document is one of the more unfortunate consequences of the Q theory, in which consideration of the double tradition is inevitably forced into purely literary terms. The recognition that Luke was literarily dependent on Matthew (as well as Mark) challenges the exegete to take seriously those places where he apparently witnesses to a different, perhaps more primitive tradition, leading to a reassessment of – and perhaps ultimately a more nuanced role for – oral tradition in Synoptic relationships (Case Against Q, 188).The main difficulty, though, with the Holtzmann-Simons-Gundry approach is that once Luke's knowledge of Matthew is (rightly) conceded, there is no need for Q. The high verbatim agreement between Matthew and Luke means that we are not dealing with later, secondary overlay, but direct copying by Luke of Matthew -- Q actually causes problems for making sense of that high verbatim agreement.
The issue of order is similar. Gundry appeals to Q in order to explain Luke's order. This approach works with the notion that an evangelist's order was largely dictated by source constraints, the kind of perspective that made sense in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but makes less sense now. Further, as I have often pointed out before, postulating a Q to explain Luke's order only throws the problem back to Matthew's order. The different ordering of the double tradition is a fact; at least one person, Matthew or Luke or both, has done some rearranging.
Mike's specific concern, though, is that Luke's use of Matthew "leaves us wondering why he broke up Matthew’s speeches quite so abruptly and artlessly". This remark takes us back to the value judgements that I and others have criticized in the past. I suppose that I have a higher opinion of Luke's art than Mike who is here in the tradition of Streeter, Kümmel and others, but I would repeat that (a) Luke does the same with Mark's speeches; (b) the value judgement is not shared by contemporary artists; (c) narrative-critical reflection on the alleged artless episodes provides further pause. There is no point repeating all of these arguments here, though I would encourage at least some reflection on the issues raised in any assessment of Luke's alleged abrupt and artless rearrangement.
Mike rightly points out that Luke's knowledge of Matthew helps to explain the minor agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark, but he adds that the "three source" approach may also help to explain the Mark-Q overlaps. I am not so sure. If anything, it tends to confuse the issue. The problem with the so-called Mark-Q overlap material is that it contradicts the assertion that Luke and Matthew never agree in major ways against Mark, something that is used to argue for the independence of Matthew and Luke, and so Q. But since Matthew and Luke do indeed agree in major ways against Mark, one of the key reasons for postulating Q is removed. Having Luke working with Q and Matthew here has no explanatory advantage.
To illustrate the point rather than leaving it at the abstract level, Mark has "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit" (Mark 1.8). Matthew and Luke have "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand . . ." (Matt. 3.11-12, Luke 3.16-17). We gain nothing by suggesting that Q is finishing Mark's sentences here if one already has a theory in which Matthew is redacting Mark. No, Matthew is the one finishing Mark's sentences and he is copied by Luke.
Thanks again to Mike for his stimulating post.