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4608Re: [Synoptic-L] Alpha Christianity Planning Session at SBL (19 Nov)

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  • Chuck Jones
    Nov 12, 2012

      I believe despite the word count of your post, you did not address J and P.

      I invite you to do that.

      Chuck Jones
      Atlanta, Georgia

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Nov 12, 2012, at 11:36 AM, "E Bruce Brooks" <brooks@...> wrote:

      > To: Synoptic
      > In Response To: Chuck Jones
      > On: Q and Thomas
      > From: Bruce
      > Chuck Jones, though he seems not to be concerned over my view of Thomas as
      > largely post-Synoptic, has taken exception to my characterization (as
      > "fictive") of another candidate for an early Christian witness, namely Q.
      > Permit me to take exception to the exception.
      > Chuck: Q is not fictive. It is non-exstant.
      > Bruce: "Non-extant" would correctly describe a source for which we have
      > evidence, but which happens not to have survived. Thus, the existence of the
      > Didache was known long before a copy turned up; when it did turn up, it was
      > recognized as a known but previously non-extant text. It is now extant. But
      > there is no evidence of any kind, not only no physical evidence, but also no
      > reference in early writings, to anything which can be identified with Q. To
      > call Q "non-extant" thus reifies Q beyond what the evidence (in this case,
      > the complete absence of evidence) will properly warrant.
      > Q is simply a scholarly inference, going back to 1838, from certain
      > distributional facts about Matthew and Luke. Reconstructions of Q (of which
      > there have been at least two dozen over the past century, no two identical)
      > are conjectures based on those facts. They are constructs. I believe the
      > normal meaning of "fictive" (from the verb for "make") will cover this
      > situation. Q is an artifact: a modern scholarly construct based on a modern
      > scholarly inference. The modern inference can be challenged, and the facts
      > on which the modern inference is based can be otherwise explained, as
      > witness Goulder among others. Those who do this, Goulder and the rest, are
      > not denying a fact; they are challenging a construct, by supplying an
      > alternate scenario.
      > Chuck: The consistent bias of your language isn't worthy of scholarly
      > dialogue..
      > Bruce: The word "bias" implies, indeed indicts, a predisposition not based
      > on evidence. The accusation fails in my case, and the word is not
      > appropriate. My own view of Q is not based on any predisposition. It is
      > based on careful study of the claimed evidence for Q (including doublets),
      > and of other possible readings of that evidence. Whether or not I am in
      > error in my own reading of that evidence, my conclusion comes from
      > examination of the evidence. Chuck's accusation that I have reached my
      > position by another route is wrong in fact, and discourteous in context.
      > The accusation of "bias" is very common, as everyone on this list will be
      > aware, for opinions to which someone is warmly opposed. To take another
      > firsthand case, I have consistently taken the position, in material posted
      > to this and similar lists, that Mark is prior to Luke, and that Luke is
      > literarily indebted to Mark. This again is not a childhood fantasy or an
      > unreasoning preference; it is a conclusion from the evidence, a conclusion
      > in which I happen to coincide with many reputable people. (As far as that
      > goes, there are some people who have their doubts about Q, though it might
      > be impolitic to collectively stigmatize them as "biased," since the managers
      > of this list include at least one of them). The upcoming SBL will have at
      > least two panels on other views of the Mark/Luke relation, so it may be said
      > that unanimity as to the conclusion to be drawn from the Mark/Luke evidence
      > does not exist. This, however, does not reduce all views of Mark to "bias."
      > My own view, to which I feel entitled by reason of prior investigation, used
      > to be stigmatized as "biased" by my old friend Leonard Maluf, who for more
      > than ten years regularly asserted that Markan Priority, by whomever held,
      > was simply a result of bias. That accusation too is without foundation.
      > Those who hold Markan Priority have their reasons for doing so, reasons
      > which cannot properly be classed as "bias."
      > As for my "consistency," which Chuck also wishes to make a fault, the
      > evidence in both the Mark and Q cases is very much now what it was last
      > Tuesday, and I ask to be excused for taking the same view of that evidence
      > as I did last Tuesday.
      > As Chuck will remember, with or without consulting the list archive, I have
      > on several occasions not only confessed to a lack of faith in Q, but have
      > given reasons in support of my alternate construal of the Mt/Lk situation;
      > my proposal involves a three-stage formation process for Luke. Again, I may
      > be wrong (though I don't recall that anyone else has offered a satisfactory
      > account of the gross inconcinnity in the position of the Nazareth episode in
      > Luke), but these proposals alone should have hinted to Chuck that my
      > conclusion about Q rests on study, and not on something else.
      > My position on Q, and in particular on my alternative way of accounting for
      > the facts that have led some to posit (sic) a Q, has evolved since about
      > 2006, most stages of that evolution being in some form visible not only to
      > this list, but to anyone who consistently attends local and national
      > meetings of SBL. The reliance on evidence at all points in this sequence, I
      > should think, is manifest, and that alone should prevent a charge of "bias"
      > from arising.
      > In view of all this, which I should not have needed to rehearse, I will
      > appreciate Chuck's restatement of the position.
      > Bruce
      > E Bruce Brooks
      > Warring States Project
      > University of Massachusetts at Amherst

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