This is from Austin Meredith, who, although subscribed, is currently
having technical difficulties posting to Xtalk.
>Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 07:06:37 +0100
>From: Austin Meredith <Ashley_Meredith@...>
>Subject: Proper prior preparation of materials
>>>Because the Petrine denial exists in John, if not in a pre-Johannine
>>>source, the case for "Mark" being the originator of that tradition
>>>depends on one's solution to the Johannine question. As far as I am
>>>aware, this is an issue that enjoys no real consensus and the pendulum
>>>has rocked back and forth a couple times even in this twentieth century.
>>>Therefore, the case for "Mark" being the source of denial tradition
>>>is necessarily contingent on a particular resolution to the Johannine
>> Not necessarily.
>> For if it can be shown that "Mark" invented the denial story (and
>> I believe the case for this is strong), then the Johannine
>> question will have been answered. For John must then be dependent
>> on Mark.
>I have a very general question, that falls under the heading "proper prior
>preparation of materials."
>It seems to me, as a lay person, not a Bible scholar at all, that the above
>concern, one of the contingent relations between various presumptions and
>conclusions, is a very typical concern in these studies. Why then is it,
>that much, much more work is _not_ being done, in cold-bloodedly laying out
>in detail the various contingent relationships between items of inference?
>Another example would be the word(s) which are conventionally translated
>out as "Nazareth," and interpreted to be a placename. In watching the TV
>bio the other night I noticed that it was presumed that we know in some
>way, that the place now known as Nazareth was known as Nazareth during the
>childhood of Jesus. Yet we are very aware that 1.) there is no
>extra-textual corroboration whatever for such an assertion, and that 2.)
>there is another competing account for the presence of the word(s) which
>are conventionally translated out as "Nazareth," that they refer not to a
>village but to a general mode of religious being. In other words, a
>probability of something less than 100% got collapsed in the course of that
>TV bio into a probability of precisely 100%, through the omission of a
>conventional or customary inferential step.
>I can't myself argue cases on this account; I offer it only in illustration
>of my more general question, of -- why it is that more work is not being
>done in cold-bloodedly laying out in detail the contingency relationships
>between various items of inference. Why is it that more work is not being
>put in, on the proper prior preparation of materials?
>The "Jesus Project" is for me a case in point. For all the elaborateness of
>its apparatus, the general impression I get is that it is a "flattened"
>appreciation. That is, all the scholars looked at a particular logon, and
>each one voted on it, once. What, as a lay person, I would have expected,
>would have been less "flattened," more "nuanced." I would have expected "I
>vote NO, because of my presumption XXXXX about the prior issue of YYYY;
>were it not for that presumption, I should have voted YES." I would have
>expected in regard to the various sayings being voted on, that there would
>have been a prior structure. "The first vote will presume that John is
>prior to Mark, and then we will all vote again presuming for the nonce that
>Mark is prior to John. That way, later on, if more manuscript documents
>turn up from the 1st century which bear on the issue of priority, we will
>have more information on the issue of contingency, on which inferences
>depend upon which prior inferences."
>Of course, "We don't have enough money to do it that way" would be a
>complete explanation, but also I would suggest overbroad.
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35