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Re: [Synoptic-L] Questioning Questioning Q

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  • Karel Hanhart
    Eric, In the post below who is snipping whom in the following phrase, I end with one tiny ... You were citing Verheyden, I think, after his sentence, Once
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 17, 2005
      Eric,

      In the post below who is "snipping" whom in the following phrase, "I end
      with one tiny
      > suggestion.
      > [much snipped]
      > It fails, for instance, with the Question at Caesarea Philippi (Mt
      > 16:13-16

      You were citing Verheyden, I think, after his sentence, "Once the threat of
      a
      > prior GMark is eliminated, the theoretical need for a Q Hypothesis
      > immediately vanishes, and the modern Griesbachians in fact dispense with
      > it." Didn't your reply begin after that point?
      Why would you 'snip'your own answer? Please, clarify.

      Karel



      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Eric Eve" <eric.eve@...>
      To: <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 3:23 PM
      Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Questioning Questioning Q


      >E Bruce Brooks wrote:
      > This recent volume (Intervarsity 2004) has received notice in Reviews of
      > Biblical Literature (5 Sept 2005),
      > Thanks for calling my attention to this review.
      > This rhetorical advantage of Q is very substantial. Verheyden makes
      > continual use of it and
      > of its even more sinister cousins. "We already know that objection" is
      > his
      > Leitmotif. It is not necessary to actually answer the objection. It
      > suffices
      > to point out that the objection is not novel.
      > My initial impression from reading Verheden's review is that he also not
      > entirely even-handed in his assumption of where the burden of proof should
      > lie. For example, his main critism of my contribution seems to be that I
      > have not proved that the doubts I raise about the possibility of a
      > reconstructed Mark apply to Q; but he has firstly not made clear what he
      > would count as such a proof and has secondly not offered a single argument
      > to the contrary. The unwritten assumption seems to be that the Q theory is
      > true unless it is *proved* to be false.
      > That's already a losing scenario. But in the view of this outsider, a
      > still
      > more impregnable aspect of Q, not logically or rhetorically but
      > practically,
      > is the fact that the community of believers will simply not accept GMark
      > as
      > the earliest, and thus most authoritative, version of the tradition of
      > Jesus. {snip] Central belief, as defined by that
      > community, requires to be supported by Matthew and Luke, and thus if
      > threatened by an authoritative GMark, as is presently the case, the
      > community is determined, by some means, to restore full authority to the
      > portions of Matthew and Luke not attested in GMark. [snip]
      >
      > [much snipped] It is suggestive that
      > the only non-Q theory to win significant modern support is the Griesbach
      > theory, which puts GMark in third position, and by doing so eliminates
      > the
      > problem which Q offers to solve in a different way. Once the threat of a
      > prior GMark is eliminated, the theoretical need for a Q Hypothesis
      > immediately vanishes, and the modern Griesbachians in fact dispense with
      > it.
      >
      > This being so (as far as I can detect from my outside position), it is
      > futile to think of convincing the larger community of the unreality of Q,
      > unless the Griesbach situation can itself become widely popular, which
      > does
      > not seem to be happening.
      > I would be more convinced by this if there were a demonstrable correlation
      > between faith stance and positions held on the Synoptic Problem, but I'm
      > not
      > at all sure that there is. So far as I am aware, it is not the case that
      > all
      > Q-sceptics are outside 'the community of believers' and all Q-supporters
      > within. I'm inclined to doubt even that a majority of FGH (Mark without Q)
      > supporters are hostile or indifferent to Christian belief.
      >
      > It may be that there's a vested interest in belief in Q, but if so, it is
      > probably not faith related; if it exists it is more likely be the vested
      > interest of 'scholarly orthodoxy' quite apart from 'religious orthodoxy',
      > namely that a great deal has been written on the gospels on the assumption
      > of the 2DH, and a great many standard textbooks and commentaries assume
      > it,
      > and that it's the assumed default position of a great majority of scholars
      > who are not particularly interested in examining the question for
      > themselves
      > since they have what are, to them, quite legitimately more interesting
      > questions to pursue. In particular (see my comments on Oxford below), I
      > suspect that such scholarly orthodoxies tend to be self-perpetuating since
      > they get passed on from one generation to the next - but positions can
      > shift
      > with time.
      >
      > Whatever the merits of "Questioning Q" as an argument (and I would be
      > interested to see a criticism by someone with standing in the field, yet
      > inclined toward the FG Hypothesis), I would thus judge that it was bound
      > to
      > fail in its intended purpose, namely, as a general deconvincement
      > concerning
      > Q. But as long as it is understood that the audience likely to be
      > receptive
      > to such an argument is probably numbered in the low teens (it is not even
      > clear to me that more than a small minority of the Synoptic List
      > subscribers
      > doubt the reality of Q), there is probably no harm in proceeding with it,
      > but essentially as a gratuitous exercise in logic, and in a small room
      > with
      > the door closed.
      > I have no idea what the proportion of Q-sceptics and Q-supporters is among
      > the subscribers to Synoptic-L, but it seems to me that a sizeable
      > proportion
      > of people who post here are Q-sceptics of one form or another (posts in
      > support of the 2DH here seem to be to be relatively rare). And in any
      > case,
      > your conclusion seems unduly pessimistic; to paraphrase, you seem to be
      > saying "don't bother with rational debate when vested interest holds the
      > field." If that's true, then we're all wasting our time!
      >
      > Again, I don't know how far the present generation of undergraduates may
      > be
      > indicative of future generations of scholars, but from the exam papers I
      > marked this summer I'd say Q-scepticism is every bit as popular as
      > Q-support
      > among undergraduates finishing at Oxford; of course, this probably
      > reflects
      > views on the synoptic problem held among their teachers, but it doesn't
      > suggest that Q-scepticism is such an unpalatable point of view that it's
      > only worth discussing among a few eccentric devotees of lost causes.
      > How, on that understanding, and assuming this list to be the room in
      > question, might one reasonably proceed de novo? I end with one tiny
      > suggestion.
      >
      > [much snipped]
      >
      > It fails, for instance, with the Question at Caesarea Philippi (Mt
      > 16:13-16
      > || Mk 8:27-29 || Lk 9:13-20), where the theory of independent invention
      > is
      > not plausible, since the coincidences would be too great. Some reliance
      > of
      > two of them ultimately on a third is (on those assumptions) unavoidable.
      > If
      > so, then we can proceed, with this one arbitrarily selected passage, to
      > ask:
      > in terms of directionality theory, where do the lines of connectedness
      > lie?
      > And at the same time, what motive can be assigned to the authorial
      > departures from what is explained by that connectedness? If
      > directionality
      > can be consistently assigned, AND if intelligible motives can be found
      > for
      > departures from directionality, then the Synoptic Problem (insofar as it
      > is
      > represented by this passage) would be solved, and the solution could then
      > be
      > checked for evidence of outside, non-Synoptic, sources - things remaining
      > unexplained by the solution.
      > The trouble is that arguments about authorial motives so often turn out to
      > be reversible, at least, that's how it's often appeared to me in previous
      > debates on this list. This is no doubt because quite a bit of subjectivity
      > comes into making such judgments; what appears plausible and compelling to
      > one scholar may not seem at all so to another. This is not simply because
      > we're all biased in favour of arguments that tend to support our own
      > position (though there's no doubt an element of that), but also because we
      > each have our own individual intellectual temperaments, and so we all make
      > (sometimes quite subtly) different evaluations on such issues as what
      > needs
      > to be explained, what counts as a satisfying explanation, and what is more
      > plausible than what.
      > Other approaches are doubtless possible, and I would be interested to
      > hear
      > what other List members think they might be. If the discussion of the
      > Synoptic Problem, intertwined as it presently is with the Q Problem, were
      > back at Day One. Right now, counting from Wilke/Weisse, it's at Day
      > 60,993,
      > and it seems to be at something of a dead end.
      > And there may be any number of reasons for that, of which the nature of
      > the
      > data is one that surely looms large.
      >
      > Thanks for your thoughts,
      >
      > Eric
      > ----------------------------------
      > Eric Eve
      > Research Fellow and Tutor in Theology
      > Harris Manchester College, Oxford
      > http://users.ox.ac.uk/~manc0049/
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-l
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Eric Eve
      Dear Karel, I m currently on holiday and won t be back at my desk for another two weeks, so I don t have access to correspondence to check this point. But from
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 17, 2005
        Dear Karel,

        I'm currently on holiday and won't be back at my desk for another two weeks,
        so I don't have access to correspondence to check this point. But from
        memory and the presence of "[much snipped"], I'd say I was still citing
        Verheyden at that point.

        Regards,

        Eric

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Karel Hanhart [mailto:k.hanhart@...]
        > Sent: 17 September 2005 10:42
        > To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com; Eric Eve
        > Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Questioning Questioning Q
        >
        >
        > Eric,
        >
        > In the post below who is "snipping" whom in the following phrase, "I end
        > with one tiny
        > > suggestion.
        > > [much snipped]
        > > It fails, for instance, with the Question at Caesarea Philippi (Mt
        > > 16:13-16
        >
        > You were citing Verheyden, I think, after his sentence, "Once the
        > threat of
        > a
        > > prior GMark is eliminated, the theoretical need for a Q Hypothesis
        > > immediately vanishes, and the modern Griesbachians in fact
        > dispense with
        > > it." Didn't your reply begin after that point?
        > Why would you 'snip'your own answer? Please, clarify.
        >
        > Karel
        >
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Eric Eve" <eric.eve@...>
        > To: <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 3:23 PM
        > Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Questioning Questioning Q
        >
        >
        > >E Bruce Brooks wrote:
        > > This recent volume (Intervarsity 2004) has received notice in
        > Reviews of
        > > Biblical Literature (5 Sept 2005),
        > > Thanks for calling my attention to this review.
        > > This rhetorical advantage of Q is very substantial. Verheyden makes
        > > continual use of it and
        > > of its even more sinister cousins. "We already know that objection" is
        > > his
        > > Leitmotif. It is not necessary to actually answer the objection. It
        > > suffices
        > > to point out that the objection is not novel.
        > > My initial impression from reading Verheden's review is that he also not
        > > entirely even-handed in his assumption of where the burden of
        > proof should
        > > lie. For example, his main critism of my contribution seems to be that I
        > > have not proved that the doubts I raise about the possibility of a
        > > reconstructed Mark apply to Q; but he has firstly not made clear what he
        > > would count as such a proof and has secondly not offered a
        > single argument
        > > to the contrary. The unwritten assumption seems to be that the
        > Q theory is
        > > true unless it is *proved* to be false.
        > > That's already a losing scenario. But in the view of this outsider, a
        > > still
        > > more impregnable aspect of Q, not logically or rhetorically but
        > > practically,
        > > is the fact that the community of believers will simply not
        > accept GMark
        > > as
        > > the earliest, and thus most authoritative, version of the tradition of
        > > Jesus. {snip] Central belief, as defined by that
        > > community, requires to be supported by Matthew and Luke, and thus if
        > > threatened by an authoritative GMark, as is presently the case, the
        > > community is determined, by some means, to restore full
        > authority to the
        > > portions of Matthew and Luke not attested in GMark. [snip]
        > >
        > > [much snipped] It is suggestive that
        > > the only non-Q theory to win significant modern support is the
        > Griesbach
        > > theory, which puts GMark in third position, and by doing so eliminates
        > > the
        > > problem which Q offers to solve in a different way. Once the
        > threat of a
        > > prior GMark is eliminated, the theoretical need for a Q Hypothesis
        > > immediately vanishes, and the modern Griesbachians in fact
        > dispense with
        > > it.
        > >
        > > This being so (as far as I can detect from my outside position), it is
        > > futile to think of convincing the larger community of the
        > unreality of Q,
        > > unless the Griesbach situation can itself become widely popular, which
        > > does
        > > not seem to be happening.
        > > I would be more convinced by this if there were a demonstrable
        > correlation
        > > between faith stance and positions held on the Synoptic
        > Problem, but I'm
        > > not
        > > at all sure that there is. So far as I am aware, it is not the
        > case that
        > > all
        > > Q-sceptics are outside 'the community of believers' and all Q-supporters
        > > within. I'm inclined to doubt even that a majority of FGH (Mark
        > without Q)
        > > supporters are hostile or indifferent to Christian belief.
        > >
        > > It may be that there's a vested interest in belief in Q, but if
        > so, it is
        > > probably not faith related; if it exists it is more likely be the vested
        > > interest of 'scholarly orthodoxy' quite apart from 'religious
        > orthodoxy',
        > > namely that a great deal has been written on the gospels on the
        > assumption
        > > of the 2DH, and a great many standard textbooks and commentaries assume
        > > it,
        > > and that it's the assumed default position of a great majority
        > of scholars
        > > who are not particularly interested in examining the question for
        > > themselves
        > > since they have what are, to them, quite legitimately more interesting
        > > questions to pursue. In particular (see my comments on Oxford below), I
        > > suspect that such scholarly orthodoxies tend to be
        > self-perpetuating since
        > > they get passed on from one generation to the next - but positions can
        > > shift
        > > with time.
        > >
        > > Whatever the merits of "Questioning Q" as an argument (and I would be
        > > interested to see a criticism by someone with standing in the
        > field, yet
        > > inclined toward the FG Hypothesis), I would thus judge that it
        > was bound
        > > to
        > > fail in its intended purpose, namely, as a general deconvincement
        > > concerning
        > > Q. But as long as it is understood that the audience likely to be
        > > receptive
        > > to such an argument is probably numbered in the low teens (it
        > is not even
        > > clear to me that more than a small minority of the Synoptic List
        > > subscribers
        > > doubt the reality of Q), there is probably no harm in
        > proceeding with it,
        > > but essentially as a gratuitous exercise in logic, and in a small room
        > > with
        > > the door closed.
        > > I have no idea what the proportion of Q-sceptics and
        > Q-supporters is among
        > > the subscribers to Synoptic-L, but it seems to me that a sizeable
        > > proportion
        > > of people who post here are Q-sceptics of one form or another (posts in
        > > support of the 2DH here seem to be to be relatively rare). And in any
        > > case,
        > > your conclusion seems unduly pessimistic; to paraphrase, you seem to be
        > > saying "don't bother with rational debate when vested interest holds the
        > > field." If that's true, then we're all wasting our time!
        > >
        > > Again, I don't know how far the present generation of
        > undergraduates may
        > > be
        > > indicative of future generations of scholars, but from the exam papers I
        > > marked this summer I'd say Q-scepticism is every bit as popular as
        > > Q-support
        > > among undergraduates finishing at Oxford; of course, this probably
        > > reflects
        > > views on the synoptic problem held among their teachers, but it doesn't
        > > suggest that Q-scepticism is such an unpalatable point of view that it's
        > > only worth discussing among a few eccentric devotees of lost causes.
        > > How, on that understanding, and assuming this list to be the room in
        > > question, might one reasonably proceed de novo? I end with one tiny
        > > suggestion.
        > >
        > > [much snipped]
        > >
        > > It fails, for instance, with the Question at Caesarea Philippi (Mt
        > > 16:13-16
        > > || Mk 8:27-29 || Lk 9:13-20), where the theory of independent
        > invention
        > > is
        > > not plausible, since the coincidences would be too great. Some
        > reliance
        > > of
        > > two of them ultimately on a third is (on those assumptions)
        > unavoidable.
        > > If
        > > so, then we can proceed, with this one arbitrarily selected passage, to
        > > ask:
        > > in terms of directionality theory, where do the lines of connectedness
        > > lie?
        > > And at the same time, what motive can be assigned to the authorial
        > > departures from what is explained by that connectedness? If
        > > directionality
        > > can be consistently assigned, AND if intelligible motives can be found
        > > for
        > > departures from directionality, then the Synoptic Problem
        > (insofar as it
        > > is
        > > represented by this passage) would be solved, and the solution
        > could then
        > > be
        > > checked for evidence of outside, non-Synoptic, sources -
        > things remaining
        > > unexplained by the solution.
        > > The trouble is that arguments about authorial motives so often
        > turn out to
        > > be reversible, at least, that's how it's often appeared to me
        > in previous
        > > debates on this list. This is no doubt because quite a bit of
        > subjectivity
        > > comes into making such judgments; what appears plausible and
        > compelling to
        > > one scholar may not seem at all so to another. This is not
        > simply because
        > > we're all biased in favour of arguments that tend to support our own
        > > position (though there's no doubt an element of that), but also
        > because we
        > > each have our own individual intellectual temperaments, and so
        > we all make
        > > (sometimes quite subtly) different evaluations on such issues as what
        > > needs
        > > to be explained, what counts as a satisfying explanation, and
        > what is more
        > > plausible than what.
        > > Other approaches are doubtless possible, and I would be interested to
        > > hear
        > > what other List members think they might be. If the discussion of the
        > > Synoptic Problem, intertwined as it presently is with the Q
        > Problem, were
        > > back at Day One. Right now, counting from Wilke/Weisse, it's at Day
        > > 60,993,
        > > and it seems to be at something of a dead end.
        > > And there may be any number of reasons for that, of which the nature of
        > > the
        > > data is one that surely looms large.
        > >
        > > Thanks for your thoughts,
        > >
        > > Eric
        > > ----------------------------------
        > > Eric Eve
        > > Research Fellow and Tutor in Theology
        > > Harris Manchester College, Oxford
        > > http://users.ox.ac.uk/~manc0049/
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-l
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
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