>Brian Wilson wrote--
>The work is a fine very scholarly attempt to reconstruct the text of Q
>on the assumption that the Two Document Hypothesis is true. It is not a
>critical text of Q, since if Q existed no manuscripts of it have
>survived, and, in any case, Q may never have existed at all. A critical
>edition of Q would have all its pages blank.
Stephen Carlson replied --
>I'd think that your comments would have more cogency if the title were
>"A Text Critical Edition of Q." But, by itself, the word "critical"
>only means that rigorous thought went into producing the edition of Q.
I agree that the cogency of my comments would be even greater
if the title were "A Text Critical Edition of Q". I think the cogency of
what I actually wrote, however, remains.
The word "Critical" is not by itself in "The Critical Edition of Q", but
is part of the phrase "Critical Edition".
You cannot have a critical edition of a hypothetical document that does
not exist, and may never have existed.
You can have a critical edition of a document that has extant
manuscripts. It is possible to have a critical edition of the Gospel of
Matthew, for instance. The edition is constructed by critically
examining the extant manuscripts, and choosing between observed
variants. If there were no manuscripts of Matthew there would be no
critical edition of it.
Brian Wilson also wrote --
>I have been trying to think of an alternative title that would fit the
>contents of the published book. What about "The Reconstruction of Q" ?
To which Stephen Carlson replied --
>Your title is fine, because that's what it is. There's also "A Source
>Critical Edition of Q".
I suggest that "A Source Critical Edition of Q" does not fit the
contents of "The Critical Edition of Q" . Its writers make very clear
that their work is certainly not source criticism, but redaction
>"The emergence of Q as a text originally written in Greek, whose
>Matthean and Lukan redaction can often be detected and discounted by
>applying the methods and results of redaction criticism in identifying
>Matthean and Lukan redactional traits in their treatment of Mark made a
>critical edition of Q seem at least a possibility." (page lxvi)
Source-critical questions such as the "layering" of Q in a succession of
documentarily dependent sources, or of whether reconstructed Q reflects
an earlier source of the sayings of Jesus, or of a Q community, are
explicitly not on the agenda --
>"Hence its [the CEQ's] method has neither presupposed a view as to the
>layering of the text of Q, nor a view as to what extent or in what way
>Q reflects the sayings of Jesus and/or of the Q community." (page
The aim of Robinson, Kloppenborg Verbin and Hoffmann in "The Critical
Edition of Q" is, on the assumption that the Two Document Hypothesis is
true, to use redaction criticism of the synoptic gospels to fill in the
lacunae between the wording of "minimal Q" which is the wording common
to Matthew and Luke (but not Mark). Such redaction criticism cannot
proceed even the tiniest step without first assuming the Two Document
The book is a thoroughly scholarly redaction-critical reconstruction of
Q on the assumption that the Two Document Hypothesis is true. It is not
a critical edition of a hypothetical document which may never have
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".
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