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2947Re: [Synoptic-L] Joe Weaks: Reconstructed Mark thesis

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  • Ronald Price
    Feb 23, 2011
      Joe Weaks is quoted as writing:

      > The text of MarQ is a poor reconstruction of Mark both in its extent, and in
      > its content. In extent, MarQ is but half of the size of Mark. It lacks
      > significant pericopes, many of which are foundational to a typical
      > understanding of the literary, theological, redactional characteristics of
      > Mark. In terms of content, even within the traditions that have been
      > reconstructed, their final forms are at times but a shadow of their instance
      > in Mark. The changes in verbal and grammatical frequency are profound evidence
      > to this fact. Many of the principle theological and literary features of Mark
      > are lost to MarQ. Likewise, there are predominant features in MarQ that have
      > no corresponding occurrence in Mark.
      From my own experience in reconstructing the Œlogia¹, there seem to be three
      conditions which must be satisfied if any such reconstruction is to be

      Firstly and most obviously, the material which constituted the source must
      all be available in some form in the extant documents.

      Secondly it must be possible at the outset to lay down criteria by which it
      will be possible to identify the material which belongs to the source to be
      reconstructed, and these criteria must be substantially independent of the
      (sometimes impenetrable) behaviour of the first century authors of the
      extant documents.

      Thirdly the source must have been highly coherent, so that when it is being
      reconstructed, the original internal links will emerge as if by magic to
      facilitate completion of the jigsaw.

      As far as Joe¹s experiment is concerned, the third criterion was not
      fulfilled. For Mark, though structurally coherent, certainly cannot be said
      to be highly coherent. Also I suspect the second criterion was not
      fulfilled. If so, then his results may lend some support to the above

      As far as Q is concerned, the second criterion was definitely not fulfilled,
      for the scope of Q is defined not only by what Matthew and Luke copied, but
      also by a narrow hypothesis as to where they were copying from (exclusively
      from Q and in no part from each other). Nor, as can be seen in retrospect by
      a critical observer, was the third criterion fulfilled.

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK


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