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Re: [Synoptic-L] Anyone reading the conference papers? I want to discuss age of reconstructed Mk

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic In Response To: Tim Lewis, Stephen Carlson On: Age of the Reconstructed Gospels From: Bruce STEPHEN: Peter Head has a paper on Textual Criticism
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 10, 2008
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      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Tim Lewis, Stephen Carlson
      On: Age of the "Reconstructed Gospels"
      From: Bruce

      STEPHEN: Peter Head has a paper on Textual Criticism and the Synoptic
      Problem, but I'm not sure he discusses the relative ages of the
      reconstructed texts of Mark, Matthew, and Luke.

      BRUCE: Hard to be sure, for two reasons:

      1. The paper is headed "ROUGH DRAFT (incomplete in the final sections)."
      Perhaps Peter, who I think is present on this list, could testify directly
      as to his own opinion?

      2. What is meant by "reconstructed gospels?" The text as in the latest
      Nestle-Aland?

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
    • Tim.Lewis
      In Boring s paper mention is made of T. F. Glasson s 20 instances in which MAs are represented by the Western text of Mark. I guess this means Matthew &
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 11, 2008
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        In Boring's paper mention is made of T. F. Glasson's "20 instances in which
        MAs are represented by the 'Western' text of Mark." I guess this means
        Matthew & Luke use a Western text of Mark (whereas NA27 relies more so on
        Alexandrian text types for reconstructing each of the synoptic Gospels). I'm
        guessing the jury is still out on which text types are earliest.
        Three questions:
        (1) can we say something yet about the relative 'age' of our eclectic texts
        for each Gospel?
        (2) do we know which text types currently dominate in our critical
        recontruction of each of the Gospels?
        (3) has anyone studied this (or planning to?) in relation to the synoptic
        problem?

        I'm about to have a closer look at Peter Head's draft paper.
        Cheers,
        Tim

        -----

        "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:

        Peter Head has a paper on Textual Criticism and the Synoptic
        Problem, but I'm not sure he discusses the relative ages of
        the reconstructed texts of Mark, Matthew, and Luke.

        Stephen Carlson


        --
        Stephen C. Carlson
        Ph.D. student, Religion, Duke University
        Author of The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith's Invention of Secret Mark (Baylor,
        2005)
      • Tim.Lewis
        In answer to Bruce s second question (what is meant by reconstructed gospels? ): yes, it refers to text critics best attempts at reproducing the alleged
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 11, 2008
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          In answer to Bruce's second question (what is meant by "reconstructed gospels?"): yes, it refers to text critics' best attempts at reproducing the alleged 'earliest' texts (i.e. autographs of Mark, Matthew & Luke) i.e. NA27(+).
          Cheers,
          Tim
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: E Bruce Brooks
          To: synoptic@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 3:07 PM
          Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Anyone reading the conference papers? I want to discuss age of reconstructed Mk


          To: Synoptic
          In Response To: Tim Lewis, Stephen Carlson
          On: Age of the "Reconstructed Gospels"
          From: Bruce

          STEPHEN: Peter Head has a paper on Textual Criticism and the Synoptic
          Problem, but I'm not sure he discusses the relative ages of the
          reconstructed texts of Mark, Matthew, and Luke.

          BRUCE: Hard to be sure, for two reasons:

          1. The paper is headed "ROUGH DRAFT (incomplete in the final sections)."
          Perhaps Peter, who I think is present on this list, could testify directly
          as to his own opinion?

          2. What is meant by "reconstructed gospels?" The text as in the latest
          Nestle-Aland?

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • E Bruce Brooks
          To: Synoptic In Response To: Tim Lewis On: Reconstructed Gospels From: Bruce TIM: In answer to Bruce s second question (what is meant by reconstructed
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 11, 2008
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            To: Synoptic
            In Response To: Tim Lewis
            On: Reconstructed Gospels
            From: Bruce

            TIM: In answer to Bruce's second question (what is meant by "reconstructed
            gospels?"): yes, it refers to text critics' best attempts at reproducing the
            alleged 'earliest' texts (i.e. autographs of Mark, Matthew & Luke) i.e.
            NA27(+).

            BRUCE: OK. If I rephrase the question this way:

            "what is the relative age of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as we know them via
            Nestle-Aland 27?"

            am I asking the same question? Otherwise, I think one is simply asking for
            the publication date of NA27. I would proposed to answer it thus:

            "The order of the final compositional versions of these texts is Mark,
            Matthew, Luke."

            Whether right or wrong in fact, does this qualify, in form, as an answer to
            the question?

            Tim's original question was: "Isn't our reconstructed text of Mark later
            than that for Matthew and/or Luke?" I still find that perplexing. The signs
            in the text (as known via the most up-to-date text criticism) seem still to
            point to the conclusion that Mark is earlier than both Matthew and Luke.

            Peter Head (mentioned by Stephen Carlson in his reply, not by Tim) on p259
            of his book has this: "Our first and perhaps most obvious conclusion is that
            *the traditional Christological argument for Markan priority is fatally
            flawed and unable to support on its own the priority of Mark in relation to
            Matthew*" [his italics, my capitalization]. It might then seem that he
            claims to have refuted Markan Priority. Not at all. His second and third
            conclusions are:

            [2] "*the data we have surveyed provide little encouragement for modern
            defenders of the Griesbach hypothesis.*" [ditto]

            [3] "*the Christological argument, if transformed in such a way as to focus
            on the positive redactional interests of the Evangelists, provides powerful
            support for Markan priority.*" [ditto]

            Peter's Oxford paper (cited by Stephen) seems minus its conclusion, but much
            of what is extant does discuss the effect of text criticism on Synoptic
            theory, particularly the fact that certain text critical decisions affect
            the number of "minor agreements" to be dealt with by that theory. That is,
            some MA are referred, by some text critics, to subsequent scribal
            corruption, and not to the respective supposed originals (or better,
            archetypes). I don't get the impression that Peter thinks that the MA vanish
            as an issue, but we should let him speak for himself, presumably in the form
            of a more complete draft. (Perhaps he already has; I notice that Oxford has
            not freshened this portion of its web side since the middle of March).

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          • Tim.Lewis
            No, I was not suggesting that the Gospel of Mark postdated either Matthew or Luke. I was asking if, having better and/or earlier witnesses to the texts of
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 11, 2008
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              No, I was not suggesting that the Gospel of Mark postdated either Matthew or Luke. I was asking if, having better and/or earlier witnesses to the texts of Matthew and Luke, whether our reconstructed/critical text of Mark (NA27) more likely reflected a later text than what we have been able to do for Matthew & Luke. I.e. whether our reconstruction of Mark gets us, say, a reasonable mid-3rd century resemblance, while our recontructions of Mt & Lk push us half a century or so earlier? Has anyone made use of such an argument before? Perhaps this is more so a text critical question which would better suit a different E-list?
              Cheers,
              Tim


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: E Bruce Brooks
              To: synoptic@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 6:11 PM
              Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Anyone reading the conference papers? I want to discuss age of reconstructed Mk


              To: Synoptic
              In Response To: Tim Lewis
              On: Reconstructed Gospels
              From: Bruce

              TIM: In answer to Bruce's second question (what is meant by "reconstructed
              gospels?"): yes, it refers to text critics' best attempts at reproducing the
              alleged 'earliest' texts (i.e. autographs of Mark, Matthew & Luke) i.e.
              NA27(+).

              BRUCE: OK. If I rephrase the question this way:

              "what is the relative age of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as we know them via
              Nestle-Aland 27?"

              am I asking the same question? Otherwise, I think one is simply asking for
              the publication date of NA27. I would proposed to answer it thus:

              "The order of the final compositional versions of these texts is Mark,
              Matthew, Luke."

              Whether right or wrong in fact, does this qualify, in form, as an answer to
              the question?

              Tim's original question was: "Isn't our reconstructed text of Mark later
              than that for Matthew and/or Luke?" I still find that perplexing. The signs
              in the text (as known via the most up-to-date text criticism) seem still to
              point to the conclusion that Mark is earlier than both Matthew and Luke.

              Peter Head (mentioned by Stephen Carlson in his reply, not by Tim) on p259
              of his book has this: "Our first and perhaps most obvious conclusion is that
              *the traditional Christological argument for Markan priority is fatally
              flawed and unable to support on its own the priority of Mark in relation to
              Matthew*" [his italics, my capitalization]. It might then seem that he
              claims to have refuted Markan Priority. Not at all. His second and third
              conclusions are:

              [2] "*the data we have surveyed provide little encouragement for modern
              defenders of the Griesbach hypothesis.*" [ditto]

              [3] "*the Christological argument, if transformed in such a way as to focus
              on the positive redactional interests of the Evangelists, provides powerful
              support for Markan priority.*" [ditto]

              Peter's Oxford paper (cited by Stephen) seems minus its conclusion, but much
              of what is extant does discuss the effect of text criticism on Synoptic
              theory, particularly the fact that certain text critical decisions affect
              the number of "minor agreements" to be dealt with by that theory. That is,
              some MA are referred, by some text critics, to subsequent scribal
              corruption, and not to the respective supposed originals (or better,
              archetypes). I don't get the impression that Peter thinks that the MA vanish
              as an issue, but we should let him speak for himself, presumably in the form
              of a more complete draft. (Perhaps he already has; I notice that Oxford has
              not freshened this portion of its web side since the middle of March).

              Bruce

              E Bruce Brooks
              Warring States Project
              University of Massachusetts at Amherst





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Peter M. Head
              Here is the relevant portion of the slightly less rough draft. Basically on these terms I agree with Tim, but with the nuance that we treat all three somewhat
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 11, 2008
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                Here is the relevant portion of the slightly less
                rough draft. Basically on these terms I agree
                with Tim, but with the nuance that we treat all
                three somewhat individually. (And this has
                relevance to examining proposals for treating the
                minor agreements on the basis of non-harmonised
                readings in early versions of Mark, for example).

                I have already mentioned something
                of the new materials discovered and published in
                the first half of the twentieth century. In some
                ways, the century of the papyri has passed the
                synoptic problem by without making any
                particularly significant impact. While Matthew is
                well served in terms of the number of early
                fragments on papyrus from the late second and
                early third century (P104 = POxy 4404; P64+67;
                P103 = POxy 4403; P77 = POxy 2683&4405), not very
                much text is extant in these four witnesses.
                Indeed, judging by extant manuscripts up to the
                fourth century Matthew (along with John) was one
                of the most popular texts, extant in up to
                seventeen manuscripts, but most of these are only
                a portion of a single leaf, and in three cases
                (which includes P45) fragmentary portions of two
                leaves remain. Of course any evidence is
                important, and the extant fragments can tell us
                something about the relative popularity of the
                gospels (at least in Egypt), about the formats
                and contents of codices etc., but for the text of
                Matthew as a whole we remain dependent on the fourth century uncials.
                This is even more the case for Mark.
                One of the striking results from the last hundred
                years has been the lack of fulfilment of the
                looked for event which Turner mentioned – the
                hope that earlier manuscripts of Mark would
                emerge from the period before the major uncials.
                Indeed, with respect to the text of Mark our
                knowledge has barely moved in a hundred years. In
                the period before the uncials we have only a
                single manuscript: P45, a mid-third century
                codex, originally containing the four gospels and
                Acts, but now extant in only 155 verses, or
                approximately one quarter of Mark.[1] Even then
                this includes the maximal figure, since most of
                the Mark pages are considerably damaged. It is
                notable that if we take Oxyrhynchus material
                alone we have 13 copies of Matthew; 14 copies of
                John; 2 copies of Luke and none of Mark.[2]
                Unlike the other gospels then, we have no access
                to evidence of Mark before or outside of its
                inclusion into this (and then later) four gospel
                codices (unlike the other gospels). In fact the
                absence of Mark’s Gospel becomes a datum of
                significance which is both significant in its own
                right and also cries out for explanation
                (assuming, as I think we must, that this is not
                simply a random kind of variation).
                Only for Luke do we have early papyri with
                extensive amounts of text (esp. P75, but also P4
                and P45: 7 leaves; 5 mss in total for II-IV); and
                even more so for John (P66, P75: twenty mss in total from II-IV).
                Clearly it is a vital concern of NT textual
                criticism to study this early material (as well
                as the early patristic citations) in order to
                understand the transmission of the text back into
                the second century, but the fact remains that our
                knowledge of the text of Matthew and more
                especially Mark in the second - third centuries is extremely limited.


                [1] 4.36-40; 5.15-26; 5.38-6.3, 16-25, 36-50;
                7.3-15; 7.25-8.1, 10-26; 8.34-9.9, 18-31; 11.27-12.1, 5-8, 13-19, 24-28.
                [2] Matthew (13 copies), Luke (2 copies), John
                (14 copies), Acts (3 copies), Romans (4 copies),
                1 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1-2
                Thessalonians, Hebrews (3 copies), James (3
                copies), 1 John, Jude, and Revelation (3 copies).


                At 09:41 11/04/2008, Tim.Lewis wrote:
                >No, I was not suggesting that the Gospel of Mark
                >postdated either Matthew or Luke. I was asking
                >if, having better and/or earlier witnesses to
                >the texts of Matthew and Luke, whether our
                >reconstructed/critical text of Mark (NA27) more
                >likely reflected a later text than what we have
                >been able to do for Matthew & Luke. I.e. whether
                >our reconstruction of Mark gets us, say, a
                >reasonable mid-3rd century resemblance, while
                >our recontructions of Mt & Lk push us half a
                >century or so earlier? Has anyone made use of
                >such an argument before? Perhaps this is more so
                >a text critical question which would better suit a different E-list?
                >Cheers,
                >Tim
                >
                >
                >----- Original Message -----
                >From: E Bruce Brooks
                >To: synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                >Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 6:11 PM
                >Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Anyone reading the
                >conference papers? I want to discuss age of reconstructed Mk
                >
                >
                >To: Synoptic
                >In Response To: Tim Lewis
                >On: Reconstructed Gospels
                >From: Bruce
                >
                >TIM: In answer to Bruce's second question (what is meant by "reconstructed
                >gospels?"): yes, it refers to text critics' best attempts at reproducing the
                >alleged 'earliest' texts (i.e. autographs of Mark, Matthew & Luke) i.e.
                >NA27(+).
                >
                >BRUCE: OK. If I rephrase the question this way:
                >
                >"what is the relative age of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as we know them via
                >Nestle-Aland 27?"
                >
                >am I asking the same question? Otherwise, I think one is simply asking for
                >the publication date of NA27. I would proposed to answer it thus:
                >
                >"The order of the final compositional versions of these texts is Mark,
                >Matthew, Luke."
                >
                >Whether right or wrong in fact, does this qualify, in form, as an answer to
                >the question?
                >
                >Tim's original question was: "Isn't our reconstructed text of Mark later
                >than that for Matthew and/or Luke?" I still find that perplexing. The signs
                >in the text (as known via the most up-to-date text criticism) seem still to
                >point to the conclusion that Mark is earlier than both Matthew and Luke.
                >
                >Peter Head (mentioned by Stephen Carlson in his reply, not by Tim) on p259
                >of his book has this: "Our first and perhaps most obvious conclusion is that
                >*the traditional Christological argument for Markan priority is fatally
                >flawed and unable to support on its own the priority of Mark in relation to
                >Matthew*" [his italics, my capitalization]. It might then seem that he
                >claims to have refuted Markan Priority. Not at all. His second and third
                >conclusions are:
                >
                >[2] "*the data we have surveyed provide little encouragement for modern
                >defenders of the Griesbach hypothesis.*" [ditto]
                >
                >[3] "*the Christological argument, if transformed in such a way as to focus
                >on the positive redactional interests of the Evangelists, provides powerful
                >support for Markan priority.*" [ditto]
                >
                >Peter's Oxford paper (cited by Stephen) seems minus its conclusion, but much
                >of what is extant does discuss the effect of text criticism on Synoptic
                >theory, particularly the fact that certain text critical decisions affect
                >the number of "minor agreements" to be dealt with by that theory. That is,
                >some MA are referred, by some text critics, to subsequent scribal
                >corruption, and not to the respective supposed originals (or better,
                >archetypes). I don't get the impression that Peter thinks that the MA vanish
                >as an issue, but we should let him speak for himself, presumably in the form
                >of a more complete draft. (Perhaps he already has; I notice that Oxford has
                >not freshened this portion of its web side since the middle of March).
                >
                >Bruce
                >
                >E Bruce Brooks
                >Warring States Project
                >University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >------------------------------------
                >
                >Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                Peter M. Head, PhD
                Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
                Tyndale House
                36 Selwyn Gardens
                Cambridge CB3 9BA
                01223 566601
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