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Reviewing Questioning Q Reviews

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  • Ken Olson
    I think Bruce et al. have made some perceptive remarks about the hostile nature of the reviews by some Q proponents. It seems to me also that the reviews have
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2005
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      I think Bruce et al. have made some perceptive remarks about the hostile
      nature of the reviews by some Q proponents. It seems to me also that the
      reviews have been selective rather than representative in their portrayals
      of the book.

      Foster characterizes the book as polemical based on one comment of Perrin's
      (which I didn't think was that bad, but I'll grant Foster this one) but
      allows that the other contributions were not as polemical. So why
      characterize the whole book that way? He also criticizes some of the
      contributions for not dealing with the question of order while failing to
      address the three contributors (Peterson, Matson, and me) that do deal with
      aspects of that issue. He really stepped on my toes in saying there's
      nothing new in the book when he had previously criticized Farrer people in
      his review of Goodacre's Case Against Q for not responding to Downing's
      criticisms based on compositional considerations. Well, I've responded to
      Downing now.

      To push another personal peeve, Verheyden's comments on my article used a
      typical strategy of Q advocates: point out that Farrer theorists "must" or
      "are forced" to take a particular position while insinuating without
      demonstration that that position is somehow untenable. He points out that I
      have to accept that in some places Luke would have to have followed Matthew
      instead of Mark in the triple tradition. The implication is that, where he
      has two sources that have different versions of a number of stories, an
      author will always prefer to follow the same source and will never choose to
      follow the other instead. Tain't so. Or, at least, Verheyden provides no
      evidence it is. In fact, I would be far more inclined to believe in Q if
      there were no pericopes where Matthew is the middle term.

      Verheyden then points out that I admit that Luke doesn't use all of
      Matthew's Markan material. This is true, and precisely what we would
      expect. Luke doesn't use all of Mark's Markan material either. Why would
      we expect him to make a point of using all of Matthew's Markan material?

      Following that, he criticizes me (and thus the Farrer theory) for holding
      that Lk. 11.21-22 is Luke's free paraphrase of the Markan/Matthean version
      of the strong man saying. My point was that the same position is widely
      held by Q believers (I cited Jacobson, Neirynck, and Nolland in the article;
      there are many others), and Verheyden offers no argument that it is
      unlikely. Similarly, he criticizes me for suggesting that Luke recognized
      the Matthean doublet about casting out demons by the prince of demons
      (9.32-34, 11?, 12.22-24), and used the earlier version in place of the
      latter. He suggests that this is compositionally complex. I suppose it is
      somewhat complex. It's also a compositional procedure assumed on the 2DH
      (see Streeter, or Fitzmyer on Luke). Where Mark and Q overlap, Matthew and
      Luke recognize the overlap and Matthew conflates the two versions and Luke
      follows one and omits the other.

      Much of the point of my article was that the allegedly "complex"
      compositional procedures assumed on the Farrer theory are paralleled in
      other Hellenistic literature and also on the 2DH. Verheyden continues the
      long-established line of criticizing the Farrer theory for holding things
      which the 2DH also holds. I was arguing that compositional considerations
      don't give us reason to prefer the 2DH over Farrer. I don't think
      Verheyden's shown any different, and either he missed the point or he tried
      to bury it.

      Best,

      Ken

      Kenneth A. Olson
      Itinerant PhD Student
      currently at Duke University
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