4608Re: [Synoptic-L] Alpha Christianity Planning Session at SBL (19 Nov)
- Nov 12, 2012Bruce,
I believe despite the word count of your post, you did not address J and P.
I invite you to do that.
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
> 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.
> E Bruce Brooks
> Warring States Project
> University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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