Ken Olson wrote --
>I am not sure I follow the distinction you draw between redaction-
>critical arguments and source-critical arguments.
I would briefly define redaction criticism as attempting to
distinguish between redaction and tradition in each synoptic gospel in
order to discover each synoptist's unique theological views not present
in his sources.
I would briefly define source criticism as putting forward a hypothesis
of the documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels, and
attempting to justify this by showing that it accounts for all observed
synoptic phenomena. (By "phenomena" here I mean what could have been
observed in the synoptic gospels even if no-one had ever thought to put
forward any synoptic documentary hypothesis.)
>It seems to me that your argument from story dualities is a redaction-
>critical argument. When you say, "The pattern of story duality is very
>distinctive, however -- it is utterly unlikely that all three
>synoptists independently created the story duality pattern," ("Duality"
>p. 10), you are identifying the combination of stories as a distinctive
>technique of the author of Greek Notes, i.e., his redaction.
Your re-writing of my argument here does not begin to correspond with
the talk I gave. In the first ten pages of my talk I define a story
duality, I set out example after example of a story duality, I tabulate
the occurrences of story dualities, and I note instances of a story in a
story duality which has no parallel in a story duality in another
synoptic gospel. Nowhere whatsoever in these ten pages do I even mention
the compiler of the Greek Notes, or refer in any way to the Greek Notes
Hypothesis. I could have ended my talk at the end of page ten having
simply observed story dualities and their distribution in the synoptic
gospels and shown that this is a very real difficulty for the 2DH, GH
and FH. Nowhere at all in the first ten pages is there the slightest
trace of any redaction-critical argument or of the compiler of the Greek
Notes being considered a redactor in any way. The arguments on page 10
are all source critical, showing that the 2DH, GH and FH do not account
for observed synoptic phenomena (the story dualities). In no way do the
arguments on page 10 attempt to distinguish between redaction and
tradition in the synoptic gospels, or to trace any synoptist's unique
theological views not present in his sources. The first ten pages of
"Duality" contain nothing at all on redaction criticism but are source
criticism from beginning to end.
>You think it is *unlikely* that all three synoptists created story
>dualities...Yet if, for instance, the Farrer hypothesis is correct,
>then the likelihood that all three evangelists created story dualities
I think --
(1) It is very unlikely that all three synoptists independently created
(2) It is also 100% probable that if the Farrer Hypothesis is what
happened then all three evangelists must have independently created
story dualities, because Mt could not have taken all his story dualities
from Mark, and neither could Luke have taken all his from Matthew or
(3) Therefore, the Farrer Hypothesis is ruled out as very unlikely.
The above is in fact the source-critical argument (slightly compressed)
I use in the fourth paragraph on page 10 of "Duality". So I agree
entirely with you on this point.
>I don't see how your argument based on what it is likely or unlikely
>for the evangelists to have done is so different from Stein's.
The difference is that my argument is source critical and Stein's is
redaction critical. This is indicated by the fact that story dualities
could have been observed in the synoptic gospels even if no synoptic
documentary hypothesis had ever been put forward, whereas Stein's
supposition that Mt added the title "Son of David" to Mk cannot be
observed (and may well be false any way).
>I have two further criticisms of the Greek Notes Hypothesis. One is
>redaction-critical -- Emmanuel Tov's paper "The Composition of 1
>Samuel 16-18 in the Light of the Septuagint Version" [in Jeffrey H.
>Tigay, _Empirical Models for Biblical Criticism_, (Philadelphia:
>University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985) pp. 97-130] argues that the
>Masoretic Text of the David and Goliath story is a later expansion of
>an earlier version preserved in the LXX. In the longer version of the
>story, David, who has already become Saul's arms-bearer (16.21), is re-
>introduced as a new character (17.12-31). Then, after Saul speaks with
>David and attempts to arm him with his own weapons (17.38-40), Saul has
>to ask Abner who the boy fighting Goliath is (18.55-58). If the
>Masoretic additions to the story (conveniently printed in italics in
>Tov's paper, pp. 102-106) are read by themselves, they form a more
I am sorry, but you have not taken the trouble to understand just how
unusual and distinctive story dualities are. The "additions"
(similarities) are not supposed to be read by themselves. They are not
supposed to form a more coherent story. It is the combined version
*minus* the additions (similarities) which is supposed to contain the
more coherent story. So, for instance, the Feeding of the Four Thousand
minus the similarities in wording with the Five Thousand includes the
short story of a feeding with "little fish" only, as shown on page 8 of
"Duality". So the Four Thousand (the combined story) minus the
"additions" (similarities) from the Five Thousand, is more coherent than
the Four Thousand as a whole in which the feeding with little fish fits
awkwardly. I would suggest that you check through all the examples I
set out in the "Duality" talk, and see just what the pattern is. In
fact, it is surprising that any writer at all should have created even
one story duality, once you see what the relationship is between the two
stories. It is very unlikely that two writers should have done this
independently. And it is extremely unlikely that all three synoptists
should have done this independently. Yet on the 2DH, the GH, and the FH,
this is the conclusion to which we are driven. It follows that the story
dualities are a very real difficulty for 2DH, GH and FH alike.
In any case, the passages considered by Tov are several "incidents" or
stories each. The Masoretic version of I Sam 16-18 is three chapters
long extending to one hundred and eleven verses !!! In the "Jerusalem
Bible" these chapters are divided into (1) David is anointed, (2) David
takes service with Saul, (3) Goliath defies the Israelite army, (4)
David arrives at the camp, (5) David volunteers to accept the challenge,
(6) David and Goliath, (7) David the conqueror of Goliath is presented
to Saul, (8) The first stirrings of jealousy in Saul, (9) David's
marriage. It is surely scraping the barrel to suggest that these nine
passages are "one combined story" of a story duality.
Also, the key to analysing a story duality (made clear in its definition
on page 1 of "Duality") is the existence in one story of at least ten
word roots the same and in the same order in the other. In the study of
the material Tov considers, the long passages concerned are not even in
the same language. One version is in Hebrew and the other in Greek!
Moreover, you have not shown that in Tov's study, if the similarities in
wording are omitted from the "simple" story (the "earlier" one), then
the result is a loss of coherence there. This is an essential part of
the definition of story duality.
So I could continue. The fact is that a story duality is not simply a
combination of two stories. It is very much more distinctive than that.
You really do need to look seriously at the definition of a story
duality, see what it says, and see for yourself that there are
occurrences in the synoptic gospels of story dualities as defined.
>This conclusion has two consequences for the Greek Notes Hypothesis.
>First, there is an empirical model for the process hypothesized for
>the GNH. Story dualities do indeed arise in the manner described by
I presume you mean that story dualities arise outside the synoptic
gospels in the manner described by the GNH. In that case, I would
suggest you have not been able to provide one such example.
>Second, the story duality is not a unique creation of the author
The GN had a compiler, not an author. The GN were not a book. The GNH
does not affirm or imply that the story duality is the unique creation
of the compiler of the GN. It is conceivable, but unlikely, that story
dualities exist outside the synoptic gospels. For the purposes of
solving the Synoptic Problem, the significance of story dualities is
that they occur uniquely in each synoptic gospel, and that this is a
real difficulty for the 2DH, GH and FH. This difficulty would still be
there even if story dualities are discovered outside the synoptic
>My second criticism of GNH has to do with the way story dualities are
>distributed. Each story duality consists of a simple (and earlier)
>version and a combined (and later) version. There is at least one
>example in each synoptic where the simple and combined versions are
>found in the same gospel. Therefore, none of the evangelists is
>averse to having either simple or combined versions of stories.
This does not follow. Each evangelist may not have liked story dualities
and may have done his best to get rid of them. Those that we observe
could be those which the synoptists overlooked. There could be many
vestiges of what were story dualities in the GN now "hiding" in the
synoptic gospels because of the editorial work of the synoptists. (There
are vestiges of some story dualities observable. For instance the
Feeding of the Five Thousand forms a story duality with the Feeding of
the Four Thousand in Mark, but these two stories also occur in Matthew
where they do not form a story duality. On the GNH, Matthew has edited
away some of the incoherence present in the GH so that the two stories
do not form a story duality in his gospel, whereas Mark has remained
more faithful to the wording of the GN and therefore has the story
duality in his book.)
>Yet, in the six cases where Mark and another synoptic have a story
>duality, it is always Mark that has the simple (and earlier) version
>and Matthew or Luke that has the combined (and later) version. This
>distribution is improbable and difficult to explain on the hypothesis
>that the three evangelists wrote in ignorance of each other's work.
On the contrary, if you wish to explain this on the GNH it is very easy.
Having copied passages containing "simple" ("earlier") stories of story
dualities, Mark decided to leave out some later passages precisely
because (1) they contained some obvious examples of "combined" ("later")
stories of story dualities and (2) because Mark did not like the
incomplete repetition of the earlier stories in the later stories. The
point is that the "difficulty" you suppose requires that each synoptist
randomly selected material from the GN. This is contrary to the GNH
which states that they each made their own editorial selection from the
GN. The synoptists were authors.
>On the other hand, it is explicable on the hypothesis that Matthew and
>Luke used Mark and were capable of creating their own story dualities.
You fail to consider where Mark might have obtained his story dualities.
Were they mere coincidence in his writing?! It is unlikely that ANY
synoptist would have deliberately created story dualities in his book.
In some cases the incoherence in a story duality is bizarre! It is even
less likely that two synoptists independently decided to create story
dualities. It is very unlikely indeed that all three synoptists did so.
The difficulty remains for the 2DH, GH and FH, therefore, since the
distribution of story dualities is such that no synoptist could have
obtained all his instances from the other two.
In spite of my rebuttal of your arguments above, Ken, I am truly
grateful that you have clearly spent time and trouble in what you have
written. I really would much rather be criticized heavily and negatively
than simply be ignored. Many thanks for your comments.
Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
> "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
> speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".