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2782Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: [XTalk] The Great Omission

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Aug 3, 2010
      To: Synoptic, CrossTalk
      Cc: GPG
      In Response To: Dennis Goffin (and Bob Schacht)
      On: Lukan Great Omission
      From: Bruce

      Bob asks for details about previous attempts to fom a model for the Lukan
      Omission in terms of lost codex leaves. I am afraid that on this point my
      memory is not well supported by my Rolodex. All I can say at this point is
      that, as hinted in my earlier note, one attempt was based on wordcounts of
      Mark, and another on letter counts. For the reason I gave (neither Greek
      words nor Greek letters are isometric, unlike Chinese characters), neither
      approach bodes well.

      I was also asked to respond to Dennis Goffin's objection.

      DENNIS: Reading the relevant passage in Streeter, I notice that he makes an
      excellent case for 'the Great Omission' to have been no such thing, merely
      that Luke got an earlier version of gMk than was finally published.

      BRUCE: That's a fair summary of Streeter 172-174. The interesting part
      starts at the bottom of p174, and begins to get warm at the bottom of p175.
      Keep on reading.

      DENNIS: Nor do I see anything in Hawkins' view that necessarily militates
      against it.

      BRUCE: Streeter quotes Hawkins' opinion that the style of the disputed
      matter is "if anything, more Marcan than Mark." I might add that the style
      of Colossians and of 2 Thessalonians is more Pauline than Paul. It is just
      here that they betray their possibly secondary nature: the craftsman is
      plying his trade a little too zealously. In Mark, it is quite possible that
      at some point in the fornative process, much of the material here disputed
      was indeed added to a previously existing text. If Luke had had a sort of
      interim copy of Mark, including the the early layers but lacking the later
      layers, we might explain the Omission - but again, only if the omission
      coincided with pericope boundaries. It is Streeter's point (and mine) that
      this is not the case. So that theory is untenable. It is also untenable for
      other reasons, not all of them previously exposed (at least not by myself)
      on this family of E-lists. Roughly: there are significant stretches of Mark
      where the most obvious Markan style markers are either absent or (like kai)
      reduced to statistically unremarkable levels. If Luke lacked *all* of this
      late-layer material, then we might think (except for the ragged edges of the
      Omission, which would still resist this explanation) that he had somehow
      gotten hold of an early author's manuscript. But he does not. The Omission
      is the only long stretch of Mark which is not represented one way or another
      in Luke. Then his Vorlage was an essentially complete Mark, except for the
      two pieces recently discussed.

      DENNIS: I notice also that Streeter talks about the copy of gMk that Luke
      got as a papyrus roll, not a codex.

      BRUCE: That's Streeter's slip. His "Small Omission." I have ventured to
      correct it. I don't see how a torn papyrus roll could leave behind it the
      situation Luke seems to have confronted. A simple tear might have been
      patched, with only minimal illegibility along the mend; that pattern is not
      what Luke shows. A tear with loss of one half would result in half a Mark,
      which again is not what Luke shows. What Luke shows would need to have been
      brought about by two tears, with loss of the middle section, but with the
      outside sections somehow patched together. It is very hard to imagine this
      for a roll, but very easy for a codex. (Some of my own books have loose or
      lost signatures or pages; it is a characteristic vulnerability of the codex

      DENNIS: What are the clinchers against the above?

      BRUCE: See previous, and above all, read Streeter (with Greek text
      preferably in hand) past p175 and into the top of 178, slightly downplaying
      the rest of 178 and following, where Streeter lapses into a more
      conventional guise.

      The lamp that is hidden will be revealed, as the Good Books say, but it will
      not necessarily remain long on view.

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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