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Markan non-primitivity & the FT

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  • Ron Price
    Advocates of the Farrer Theory are well aware of the challenge posed by the widely accepted observation labelled Alternating Primitivity . There is another
    Message 1 of 3 , May 19, 2008
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      Advocates of the Farrer Theory are well aware of the challenge posed by the
      widely accepted observation labelled 'Alternating Primitivity'. There is
      another widely accepted but less publicized challenge, namely the almost
      completely universal Markan non-primitivity of aphorisms when compared with
      their corresponding counterparts 'Q'. This is such a pronounced phenomenon
      that most of those who attempt to reconstruct a Q aphorism do not even
      bother to show that the Markan equivalent is less primitive. Fleddermann
      confidently asserts that Mark is always secondary to Q in overlap texts.

      The problem for the Farrer Theory is that whereas Fleddermann and others who
      accept Mark's direct use of Q do not have to invoke oral tradition for these
      aphorisms to get from Q to Mark, and other 2ST supporters have to invoke one
      set of oral traditions from Q to Mark, Farrer supporters presumably would
      have to invoke at least *two* sets of oral tradition. The first set is from
      their common source (whatever that might be) to Mark, and the second set is
      from their common source (via a different and more reliable route?) to the
      much later gospel of Matthew.

      For comparison, the 3ST does not need to invoke any oral tradition to
      account for the transfer of these aphorisms from their written origin in the
      logia, ca. 45 CE, to their appearance in the synoptic gospels.

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic Responding To: Ron Price On: Fleddermann From: Bruce RON: The problem for the Farrer Theory is that whereas Fleddermann and others who accept
      Message 2 of 3 , May 19, 2008
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        To: Synoptic
        Responding To: Ron Price
        On: Fleddermann
        From: Bruce

        RON: The problem for the Farrer Theory is that whereas Fleddermann and
        others who accept Mark's direct use of Q do not have to invoke oral
        tradition for these aphorisms to get from Q to Mark, and other 2ST
        supporters have to invoke one set of oral traditions from Q to Mark, Farrer
        supporters presumably would
        have to invoke at least *two* sets of oral tradition. The first set is from
        their common source (whatever that might be) to Mark, and the second set is
        from their common source (via a different and more reliable route?) to the
        much later gospel of Matthew.

        BRUCE: Without exactly taking up exactly the problem which Ron here proposes
        (interesting as it is, in its way), I would here like to annex my previous
        remark about Synoptic Problemer preference for text sources over reality
        sources. Further, Ron here seems to assume that Fleddermann has proved his
        point that Mark is invariably later than Matthew in common material. As I
        tried to suggest previously, in taking up some specific examples, I don't
        think that this holds up to scrutiny. The problem as stated thus may not
        exist.

        Those inclined to consider Fleddermann's position as final may want to read
        Neirynck's Assessment, which takes up pages 263-307 of Fleddermann's
        monograph; in effect, a monograph in itself.

        Neirynck does not consider that Fleddermann has proved his conclusions. As a
        bottom line, Neirynck considers, to quote him directly, that "Fleddermann's
        monograph on the overlap texts is the most complete study on the Mark-Q
        parallels that is available for the moment. His systematic treatment of all
        instances will prove to be a most useful tool for further investigation.
        Additional references to recent secondary literature I mentioned in my
        annotations are collected in the Bibliographical Supplement." With these
        words, the Assessment concludes. It does no more than recommend
        Fleddermann's list as material for further study. As for the mentioned
        "annotations," in several of them Neirynck argues that Fleddermann's
        text-relation equation is improved if Q is omitted from the equation.

        As to "having to invoke oral tradition," as though that were a last-ditch
        Band-aid expedient and thus a flaw in any Synoptic theory, I should think
        not, if by the hopelessly vague term "oral tradition" we substitute "early
        Movement praxis and belief." To link up with *what must have been there*
        contemporaneous with the Evangelists themselves is not a flaw, it is a
        strength. Of course we must be careful what we predicate of "early Movement
        praxis and belief," but at least there are sources for it apart from the
        eternal Synoptics themselves, and thus some relief from the circularity
        which otherwise complicates such an inferential undertaking.

        Which is just another way of saying that, if defined in such a way that the
        solution to it can be final, the Synoptic Problem cannot be handled without
        going outside the boundary lines which this list has established for its
        permitted discourse.

        A PARABLE

        What is the Synoptic Problem like, and what comparison shall we use for it?
        Consider the landing gear assembly for the next superjet. Our firm has
        contracted for this assembly. We design it, we test it, we consider
        alternatives, and after 115 years, we get all the bugs out. It spins well,
        it brakes well, it resists the anticipated landing stresses perfectly. We
        then send it to the airframe company, and it turns out that it won't mate
        with the wing. The materials don't match, and curvature is not right, and
        the hydraulic lines are in the wrong places. So we have to take it back and
        do it over.

        So also with the Synoptic Problem. We can maybe get something to work, on
        arbitrary curvature assumptions, but if when combined with information and
        thus with constraints from the solution of other Biblical Problems (eg 2
        Thess, James, Colossians) it gives incompatible results, then however
        perfect it may be on its own terms, we are going to have to go back to the
        drawing board with it. And there goes another 115 years.

        OPTIONS

        There are other and wider fora, and if anyone is interested in considering
        the Synoptic Problem as presently unsolved, and with no constraints on
        related issues, I invite them to contact me off-list.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • gentile_dave@emc.com
        Ron: Fleddermann confidently asserts that Mark is always secondary to Q in overlap texts. Dave: I read quite a bit of this book, maybe all of it at one point
        Message 3 of 3 , May 20, 2008
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          Ron: Fleddermann confidently asserts that Mark is always secondary to Q
          in overlap texts.



          Dave: I read quite a bit of this book, maybe all of it at one point or
          another. Very often he slips into showing that the Q version *could*
          have been first in a particular case. But I'd be willing to allow the
          possibility without argument. He often fails (in my opinion) to show
          that Q is probably first. I also recall that I disagreed with his
          assumptions at points. For some passages he does succeed (in my view) in
          showing the Q version to be more probably the earlier, but given the
          uncertain nature of these arguments, that could be consistent with
          Markian priority as well. In addition, where I judge he does succeed, I
          tend to think we are dealing with a late interpolation in Mark.



          Of course, since I'm not providing argument for my view, I don't expect
          this to influence anyone else. That was just my take on it.



          Dave Gentile

          Riverside, IL





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