[Excavating-Q] Reply to Ken Olson
- Dr. Olson asks an important question concerning the extent of Q:
"Now, given that Mark and Q overlapped, and that Luke might have omitted
pericopes from Q, how do we know that Q did not overlap more extensively
with the triple tradition than the cases you state under (b) above? If it
is Luke's habit, when faced with an overlap or redundancy in his sources, to
choose one version and ignore the other, how do we know that Luke *always*
chose the Q version? You have criteria that identify *when* Luke chooses
the Q version, but how de we know that these are not the minority of cases
and that Luke more often preferred the
"The reason I ask is that, in the traditionally defined Mark-Q overlap
passages in Luke, there are minor agreements between Luke and Mark that are
explained as Luke's reminiscences of Mark when he is primarily following Q.
If Luke has reminiscences of one of his sources when he's primarily
following the other, might not minor agreements between Matthew and Luke in
the triple tradition be explained as Lucan reminiscences of Q when he is
primarily following Mark?"
What Dr. Olson proposes is logically possible. The most obvious example of
what he suggest are Luke 3:21-22, where there a several MAs: ANOIGW vs.
SCHIZW; EP' AUTON vs EIS AUTON and some general agreements in grammar.
Moreover, Luke appears to be influenced mainly by Mark in the framing of the
divine voice (unless we read,as Harnack did, with Beza). Luke 3:21-22 has in
fact been included in a number of Q reconstructions, including the new
Critical Edition of Q (Leuven: Peeters-Minneapolis: Fortress 2000) (where my
dissent was in the minority). The same might go for Luke 10:25-28, Mark
4:10-11, and several other texts.
As a general comment, I think that the MA phenomenon is a very complex one
that will not admit of a single type of account on the 2DH. As is well
known, many types of resolutions have been proposed, some recensional (Ur-
and Deutero-Markus); some redactional; some involving Q or other non-Markan
sources; and some text-critical. Although it would be lovely if one solution
worked consistently, I do not believe that this is the case. A text critical
solution to the MA at Mark 14:65, for example, is strained and a
coincidental redaction solution stretches my view of coincidence. On the
other hand, I think that a redactional solution works perfectly well at Mark
Hence, I would certainly not treat *all* MAs alike, but I would grant that
some of the MA might admit of the solution Dr. Olson suggests (for example,
PERIXWROS TOU IORDANOU at Luke 3:3 and par.). But as for the MA in, for
example, Markan miracle stories or the Passion narrative, I would be
extremely hesitant to adopt this sort of solution. If I were to come up with
some criteria by which to assess MA pericopae, I guess that I'd propose an
adaptation of Vassliladis' criteria for Sondergut: we might be justified in
extending Q to include triple tradition materials with MAs (a) which are
components of texts already assigned to Q, (b) which are stylistically
coherent with other Q materials, and (c) where other means of accounting for
the MAs seem implausible. Such a set of criteria is not going to end up
including many of the MA pericopae that have not already been considered.
This is the _Excavating Q_ Seminar (Oct. 23 -- Nov. 10 2000).
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