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A First Question

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  • Brian McCarthy
    Dear Prof Dunn, Many thanks to you and to all those who are making this exchange possible. I hope that it will succeed in permanently focusing attention on
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 23 5:18 PM
      Dear Prof Dunn,

      Many thanks to you and to all those who are making this exchange possible. I hope that it will succeed in permanently focusing attention on those critically important first moments when the tradition came into existence and was transmitted upto and beyond the production of the first written documents. (I have not kept up with his work, but I have the impression that in France my teacher of long ago, Pere Boismard of the Ecole Biblique, has been insisting down through the years on the importance of the oral tradition.)

      Here is one question.

      The proposal that Bailey's 'informal controlled tradition' process can be transferred from the stable life of village communities to that of the emerging community of Jesus' inner circle of disciples, is to me persuasive. But it looks as if something has gone seriously awry somewhere between that first moment and the production of Mark's gospel.
      When measured by Mt. and Lk. Mark omits much of the tradition of Jesus's teaching, including elements as distinctive and important as the Lord's Prayer and the command to love ones' enemies. The transmission process seems to have failed and failed badly.

      For me, this problem was masked by the habitual literary approach, with its focus on Q, but now that you have focused us on the qq of the origins and oral transmission of the tradition, it jumps out!

      More to come.

      Brian McCarthy
      Madison WI


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Meta Dunn
      Dear Brian McCarthy, Good question. Thanks. I ve tried to reflect on the question for some time without making much progress. But here s as far as I ve so
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 24 11:18 AM
        Dear Brian McCarthy,
        Good question. Thanks.
        I've tried to reflect on the question for some time without making much progress. But here's as far as I've so far got.
        1) Just as we shouldn't assume that there were communities which did not have any Jesus tradition, so we should avoid the assumption that all communities had the same tradition and all the tradition.
        2) We should also avoid the assumption that the Evangelists recorded all the tradition available to them (Luke's great omission, John 20.30).
        3) I have also cautioned against the assumption that a community knew or owned (double entendre) only one document (Q, Mark, etc.). It is also certainly possible that an individual wrote a Gospel to complement other Jesus tradition preserved orally or in different written form.
        4) So we can ask, Did Mark know more of the Q-type tradition that he has used? Possibly, perhaps probably. Why did he omit it? We could certainly envisage reasons which would explain part or whole of the omission - including more limited aims for Mark's Gospel itself.
        In other words, why should we conclude from the absence of the Lord's Prayer from Mark that something has gone wrong in the traditioning process? But do get back to me if this tentative answer is still too tenative!
        JDGD

        Brian McCarthy wrote:

        > Dear Prof Dunn,
        >
        > Many thanks to you and to all those who are making this exchange possible. I hope that it will succeed in permanently focusing attention on those critically important first moments when the tradition came into existence and was transmitted upto and beyond the production of the first written documents. (I have not kept up with his work, but I have the impression that in France my teacher of long ago, Pere Boismard of the Ecole Biblique, has been insisting down through the years on the importance of the oral tradition.)
        >
        > Here is one question.
        >
        > The proposal that Bailey's 'informal controlled tradition' process can be transferred from the stable life of village communities to that of the emerging community of Jesus' inner circle of disciples, is to me persuasive. But it looks as if something has gone seriously awry somewhere between that first moment and the production of Mark's gospel.
        > When measured by Mt. and Lk. Mark omits much of the tradition of Jesus's teaching, including elements as distinctive and important as the Lord's Prayer and the command to love ones' enemies. The transmission process seems to have failed and failed badly.
        >
        > For me, this problem was masked by the habitual literary approach, with its focus on Q, but now that you have focused us on the qq of the origins and oral transmission of the tradition, it jumps out!
        >
        > More to come.
        >
        > Brian McCarthy
        > Madison WI
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
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