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Re: [J_D_G_DunnSeminar] Q and Alternating Primitivity

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  • Mark Goodacre
    Dear Jimmy Many thanks for the candid answer. ... Even now it is laid at the root of the tree, as Q would say! ... I feel very happy with this emphasis and it
    Message 1 of 4 , May 4, 2001
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      Dear Jimmy

      Many thanks for the candid answer.

      > Do I detect sounds of an ax being grinded here?

      Even now it is laid at the root of the tree, as Q would say!

      > But you're basically right. From my angle the protest is against
      > an (in
      > effect) exclusively literary model of dependence (so that changes have
      > to be put down to deliberate 'editing/redaction'). But if I'm right,
      > the traditioning process was inherently more variable, so that
      > differences can be explained other than in terms of editing.

      I feel very happy with this emphasis and it is one of the things I
      found most refreshing about your paper, not least having spent so
      much time reading Synoptic Problem scholarship in which the
      influence of oral tradition is not sufficiently taken into consideration.
      What concerns me in particular is the very thing you were drawing
      attention to in the conclusion, the tacit assumption in much
      scholarship that oral retellings of the Jesus story somehow died
      out as soon as the evangelists began to write (or dictate!).

      The analogy I like is of the Disney versions of well known fairy tales
      like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. The production
      of grand-scale, one might almost say definitive versions of these
      tales did not obliterate the continued oral re-tellings of them. Yet
      one of the interesting things is to look at how the Disney versions
      have influenced some of the retellings, lending them new
      characters, motifs, names and so on. I reckon that the production
      of major works like the gospels was a bit like this -- Matthew
      presumably already knew a great deal about the Jesus story before
      he came into contact with Mark's Gospel, but Mark's Gospel had a
      major influence on the way he conceived of the Jesus story -- it
      effected it, interacted with it but did not obliterate it.

      > Since with oral traditionalists I'm also questioning the concepts
      > of
      > 'original' (and thus also 'more primitive') your point holds good.
      > All we have are variable traditions (in typical oral mode); both/all
      > may be as equally 'primitive'.
      > Have I conceded something I shouldn't?

      Only if you are keen to be wedded to old paradigms like Q for their
      own sake; and I know you are happy to challenge consensus views
      when the evidence demands it : ) My difficulty is this. Why do
      we accept the existence of Q? Because sometimes Matthew,
      sometimes Luke gives us the more original wording in double
      tradition material. But you, rightly in my view, want to rethink the
      way in which we conceive such concepts as "more original", "more
      primitive", especially in the light of the standard literary way in
      which this is so often conceived. What was more original, Blessed
      are the poor in spirit or Blessed are the poor? Luke's version of the
      Lord's Prayer or Matthew's? Because scholars want to argue for
      greater Lucan primitivity on some occasions and greater Matthaean
      primitivity on others, the excessive dependence on the literary
      paradigm demands something very much like the Q hypothesis, a
      document that allows us to place all the scholarly conjectures
      about the most primitive versions of double tradition material into
      one literary text. Might I look forward to your dispensing with Q
      some time soon?

      Thanks for a great fortnight on this seminar and much continued
      food for thought -- it is very much appreciated.
      Mark
      -----------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
      Birmingham B15 2TT
      United Kingdom

      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
      Homepage
      http://NTGateway.com
      The New Testament Gateway
    • Meta Dunn
      Dear Mark, I wondered if you would want to push me down that line! The bottom line for me is how we best explain the character of the Synoptic tradition in
      Message 2 of 4 , May 7, 2001
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        Dear Mark,
        I wondered if you would want to push me down that line! The bottom line
        for me is how we best explain the character of the Synoptic tradition in all
        its diversity. Some of it points to literary dependence of a 'common
        source' kind; so I accept the case for a modest Q. Other points to a
        non-literary dependence - oral tradition. Other points to an Evangelist's
        awareness of both. So I don't see that I can dispense with Q yet. Sorry
        about that. But thanks for the dialogue - to be resumed as our paths
        criss-cross in days ahead.
        Jimmy

        Mark Goodacre wrote:

        > Dear Jimmy
        >
        > Many thanks for the candid answer.
        >
        > > Do I detect sounds of an ax being grinded here?
        >
        > Even now it is laid at the root of the tree, as Q would say!
        >
        > > But you're basically right. From my angle the protest is against
        > > an (in
        > > effect) exclusively literary model of dependence (so that changes have
        > > to be put down to deliberate 'editing/redaction'). But if I'm right,
        > > the traditioning process was inherently more variable, so that
        > > differences can be explained other than in terms of editing.
        >
        > I feel very happy with this emphasis and it is one of the things I
        > found most refreshing about your paper, not least having spent so
        > much time reading Synoptic Problem scholarship in which the
        > influence of oral tradition is not sufficiently taken into consideration.
        > What concerns me in particular is the very thing you were drawing
        > attention to in the conclusion, the tacit assumption in much
        > scholarship that oral retellings of the Jesus story somehow died
        > out as soon as the evangelists began to write (or dictate!).
        >
        > The analogy I like is of the Disney versions of well known fairy tales
        > like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. The production
        > of grand-scale, one might almost say definitive versions of these
        > tales did not obliterate the continued oral re-tellings of them. Yet
        > one of the interesting things is to look at how the Disney versions
        > have influenced some of the retellings, lending them new
        > characters, motifs, names and so on. I reckon that the production
        > of major works like the gospels was a bit like this -- Matthew
        > presumably already knew a great deal about the Jesus story before
        > he came into contact with Mark's Gospel, but Mark's Gospel had a
        > major influence on the way he conceived of the Jesus story -- it
        > effected it, interacted with it but did not obliterate it.
        >
        > > Since with oral traditionalists I'm also questioning the concepts
        > > of
        > > 'original' (and thus also 'more primitive') your point holds good.
        > > All we have are variable traditions (in typical oral mode); both/all
        > > may be as equally 'primitive'.
        > > Have I conceded something I shouldn't?
        >
        > Only if you are keen to be wedded to old paradigms like Q for their
        > own sake; and I know you are happy to challenge consensus views
        > when the evidence demands it : ) My difficulty is this. Why do
        > we accept the existence of Q? Because sometimes Matthew,
        > sometimes Luke gives us the more original wording in double
        > tradition material. But you, rightly in my view, want to rethink the
        > way in which we conceive such concepts as "more original", "more
        > primitive", especially in the light of the standard literary way in
        > which this is so often conceived. What was more original, Blessed
        > are the poor in spirit or Blessed are the poor? Luke's version of the
        > Lord's Prayer or Matthew's? Because scholars want to argue for
        > greater Lucan primitivity on some occasions and greater Matthaean
        > primitivity on others, the excessive dependence on the literary
        > paradigm demands something very much like the Q hypothesis, a
        > document that allows us to place all the scholarly conjectures
        > about the most primitive versions of double tradition material into
        > one literary text. Might I look forward to your dispensing with Q
        > some time soon?
        >
        > Thanks for a great fortnight on this seminar and much continued
        > food for thought -- it is very much appreciated.
        > Mark
        > -----------------------------
        > Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
        > Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
        > University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
        > Birmingham B15 2TT
        > United Kingdom
        >
        > http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
        > Homepage
        > http://NTGateway.com
        > The New Testament Gateway
        >
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