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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 On: Reconstructed Gospels From: Bruce TIM: In answer to Bruce s second question (what is meant by reconstructed
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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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