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The living stream of oral tradition

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  • Ron Price
    I ve been listening to Mark Goodacre s NT Pod on the arguments against Q. It s good of him to enable people to hear first hand how the NT is being taught in a
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 23, 2010
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      I've been listening to Mark Goodacre's NT Pod on the arguments against Q.
      It's good of him to enable people to hear first hand how the NT is being
      taught in a modern university. I would like to have replied directly, but
      could not because I don't belong to any of the groups the software insists
      on for those who make comments. (Am I missing something here, or are
      potential responders being deliberately filtered?)

      He invokes Occam's Razor against the hypothetical Q (so far, so good), but
      in the very same presentation he also invokes the "living stream of oral
      tradition" in an attempt to counter the argument about 'alternating
      primitivity'. Isn't this also a hypothetical source, and shouldn't it be
      included in the Goodacre (as opposed to the Goulder) version of the Farrer
      Theory? There is surely an inconsistency here.

      There was indeed some oral tradition available to Luke. For instance he
      probably knew that Jesus' followers had expected him to liberate his country
      from the Romans (24:21), and that there had been an armed struggle prior to
      Jesus' arrest (as hinted in 22:49). But when Luke was written over 60 years
      after the death of Jesus, would the oral tradition have included reliably
      memorized sayings of Jesus? I doubt it. After all, most of the primitive
      churches had been founded by Paul or his close associates, and except on the
      rare occasions when it suited his arguments (e.g. 1 Cor 9:14, in 'Letter
      A'), Paul did not treat the sayings of Jesus as very important (e.g. 1 Cor
      2:2, in 'Letter B').

      I suggest that apart from the few who had acquired a copy of the logia
      (which pre-dated the influence of Paul), members of the primitive churches
      had very little knowledge of the sayings of Jesus until the publication of
      Mark and then Matthew.

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
    • Chuck Jones
      Ron, You make a great point. Einstein is credited with saying, Make everything be as simple as possible, but not simpler.  By the time all the caveats,
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 23, 2010
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        Ron,

        You make a great point.
        Einstein is credited with saying, "Make everything be as simple as possible, but not simpler."  By the time all the caveats, footnotes, addenda, probabilities and "must'ves" are appended to no-Q theories, simple isn't simple anymore, much less simplest.

        Chuck

        Rev. Chuck JonesInterim Executive DirectorWestar InstituteThe Jesus Seminar

        --- On Tue, 2/23/10, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:
        I've been listening to Mark Goodacre's NT Pod on the arguments against Q.

        It's good of him to enable people to hear first hand how the NT is being

        taught in a modern university. I would like to have replied directly, but

        could not because I don't belong to any of the groups the software insists

        on for those who make comments. (Am I missing something here, or are

        potential responders being deliberately filtered?)



        He invokes Occam's Razor against the hypothetical Q (so far, so good), but

        in the very same presentation he also invokes the "living stream of oral

        tradition" in an attempt to counter the argument about 'alternating

        primitivity' . Isn't this also a hypothetical source, and shouldn't it be

        included in the Goodacre (as opposed to the Goulder) version of the Farrer

        Theory? There is surely an inconsistency here.






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jeff Peterson
        Ron, We have positive evidence of oral tradition as a feature of the first Christian generation from both Paul (esp. 1 Cor 11:23) and Luke (note PAREDOSAN in
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 23, 2010
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          Ron,

          We have positive evidence of oral tradition as a feature of the first
          Christian generation from both Paul (esp. 1 Cor 11:23) and Luke (note
          PAREDOSAN in 1:2); Paul also treats the sayings of Jesus as an authoritative
          source with a defined content (cf. 1 Cor 7:25), and it's problematic in
          method to assume from his occasional correspondence the extent to which he
          was acquainted with teachings attributed to Jesus, or how much he may have
          taught his congregations about Jesus' sayings in the course of founding a
          church.

          Your "*logia*" source, on the other hand, is much more speculative. Papias
          supplies no evidence for it, as when he characterizes the *logia*, he refers
          to "things said or done" by Jesus, collected in books like Mark's or
          Matthew's -- i.e., *logia* doesn't mean "sayings," it means "teachings" or
          "oracles" and is exemplified in Gospels with a biographical shape. The only
          reason for holding to the existence of a (mostly) sayings source would be a
          solid demonstration that Matthew and Luke independently made use of it; but
          E. P. Sanders noted some time ago that a literary relationship sufficient to
          commend their independent use of a lost source serves just as well to
          establish direct use of one Gospel by the author of the other. As I argued
          in a 2002 essay on "Order in the Double Tradition and the Existence of Q,"
          the one argument remaining for Q is the differing order of the Double
          Tradition in Matt and Luke, and that's not a compelling argument if we allow
          Luke any creativity in the ordering of his material.

          Jeff Peterson
          Austin Graduate School of Theology
          Austin, Texas

          On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 8:30 AM, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          > I've been listening to Mark Goodacre's NT Pod on the arguments against Q.
          > It's good of him to enable people to hear first hand how the NT is being
          > taught in a modern university. I would like to have replied directly, but
          > could not because I don't belong to any of the groups the software insists
          > on for those who make comments. (Am I missing something here, or are
          > potential responders being deliberately filtered?)
          >
          > He invokes Occam's Razor against the hypothetical Q (so far, so good), but
          > in the very same presentation he also invokes the "living stream of oral
          > tradition" in an attempt to counter the argument about 'alternating
          > primitivity'. Isn't this also a hypothetical source, and shouldn't it be
          > included in the Goodacre (as opposed to the Goulder) version of the Farrer
          > Theory? There is surely an inconsistency here.
          >
          > There was indeed some oral tradition available to Luke. For instance he
          > probably knew that Jesus' followers had expected him to liberate his
          > country
          > from the Romans (24:21), and that there had been an armed struggle prior to
          > Jesus' arrest (as hinted in 22:49). But when Luke was written over 60 years
          > after the death of Jesus, would the oral tradition have included reliably
          > memorized sayings of Jesus? I doubt it. After all, most of the primitive
          > churches had been founded by Paul or his close associates, and except on
          > the
          > rare occasions when it suited his arguments (e.g. 1 Cor 9:14, in 'Letter
          > A'), Paul did not treat the sayings of Jesus as very important (e.g. 1 Cor
          > 2:2, in 'Letter B').
          >
          > I suggest that apart from the few who had acquired a copy of the logia
          > (which pre-dated the influence of Paul), members of the primitive churches
          > had very little knowledge of the sayings of Jesus until the publication of
          > Mark and then Matthew.
          >
          > Ron Price
          >
          > Derbyshire, UK
          >
          > Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Mark Goodacre
          Thanks for the comments on the podcasts, Ron. No, there are no filters set up. As the Guardian would say, Comment is free . As a general comment on your
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 23, 2010
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            Thanks for the comments on the podcasts, Ron. No, there are no filters set
            up. As the Guardian would say, "Comment is free".

            As a general comment on your thoughts, Ron, and on yours too, Chuck, I would
            say that I am often surprised by the way that Occam's Razor is represented
            in this context. It is simply a question of not multiplying entities beyond
            what is necessary. I and others have argued that Q is unnecessary because
            the data is better explained by Luke's direct familiarity with Matthew
            alongside his use of Mark. Oral tradition is not an unnecessary entity
            that is superfluous to requirements but is something that we know was
            present, through Paul's witness to Jesus tradition, through Luke's preface,
            through Papias's comments, or through common sense. Of course the
            difficulty with oral tradition is that it is by its nature lost, except when
            it is crystallized in texts. Scholars of Christian origins rightly draw
            attention to use of oral traditions in discussions of Luke's use of Mark,
            Matthew's use of Mark, or other relationships. The only reason that this
            appeal is not made in the question of the double tradition is that we do not
            have a literary text of Q and so *every* detail can projected onto the
            hypothetical text.

            Best wishes
            Mark

            On 23 February 2010 10:11, Chuck Jones <chuckjonez@...> wrote:

            >
            >
            > Ron,
            >
            > You make a great point.
            > Einstein is credited with saying, "Make everything be as simple as
            > possible, but not simpler." By the time all the caveats, footnotes,
            > addenda, probabilities and "must'ves" are appended to no-Q theories, simple
            > isn't simple anymore, much less simplest.
            >
            > Chuck
            >
            > Rev. Chuck JonesInterim Executive DirectorWestar InstituteThe Jesus Seminar
            >
            >
            > --- On Tue, 2/23/10, Ron Price <ron.price@...<ron.price%40virgin.net>>
            > wrote:
            > I've been listening to Mark Goodacre's NT Pod on the arguments against Q.
            >
            > It's good of him to enable people to hear first hand how the NT is being
            >
            > taught in a modern university. I would like to have replied directly, but
            >
            > could not because I don't belong to any of the groups the software insists
            >
            > on for those who make comments. (Am I missing something here, or are
            >
            > potential responders being deliberately filtered?)
            >
            > He invokes Occam's Razor against the hypothetical Q (so far, so good), but
            >
            > in the very same presentation he also invokes the "living stream of oral
            >
            > tradition" in an attempt to counter the argument about 'alternating
            >
            > primitivity' . Isn't this also a hypothetical source, and shouldn't it be
            >
            > included in the Goodacre (as opposed to the Goulder) version of the Farrer
            >
            > Theory? There is surely an inconsistency here.
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >



            --
            Mark Goodacre
            Duke University
            Department of Religion
            Gray Building / Box 90964
            Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
            Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

            http://www.markgoodacre.org


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Coleman A. Baker
            Indeed, Mark. We have no evidence of the hypothetical Q document but we do have evidence that there existed a living stream of oral tradition. As Mark notes,
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 23, 2010
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              Indeed, Mark. We have no evidence of the hypothetical Q document but we do have evidence that there existed a living stream of oral tradition. As Mark notes, the problem with oral tradition is that it is written in textual form and thus lost. I see no inconsistency in this.

              Great series, by the way, Mark!

              Coleman A. Baker
              PhD Candidate
              Brite Divinity School, TCU
              www.colemanabaker.com
              817-932-0859

              On Feb 23, 2010, at 9:24 AM, Mark Goodacre wrote:

              > Thanks for the comments on the podcasts, Ron. No, there are no filters set
              > up. As the Guardian would say, "Comment is free".
              >
              > As a general comment on your thoughts, Ron, and on yours too, Chuck, I would
              > say that I am often surprised by the way that Occam's Razor is represented
              > in this context. It is simply a question of not multiplying entities beyond
              > what is necessary. I and others have argued that Q is unnecessary because
              > the data is better explained by Luke's direct familiarity with Matthew
              > alongside his use of Mark. Oral tradition is not an unnecessary entity
              > that is superfluous to requirements but is something that we know was
              > present, through Paul's witness to Jesus tradition, through Luke's preface,
              > through Papias's comments, or through common sense. Of course the
              > difficulty with oral tradition is that it is by its nature lost, except when
              > it is crystallized in texts. Scholars of Christian origins rightly draw
              > attention to use of oral traditions in discussions of Luke's use of Mark,
              > Matthew's use of Mark, or other relationships. The only reason that this
              > appeal is not made in the question of the double tradition is that we do not
              > have a literary text of Q and so *every* detail can projected onto the
              > hypothetical text.
              >
              > Best wishes
              > Mark
              >
              > On 23 February 2010 10:11, Chuck Jones <chuckjonez@...> wrote:
              >
              >>
              >>
              >> Ron,
              >>
              >> You make a great point.
              >> Einstein is credited with saying, "Make everything be as simple as
              >> possible, but not simpler." By the time all the caveats, footnotes,
              >> addenda, probabilities and "must'ves" are appended to no-Q theories, simple
              >> isn't simple anymore, much less simplest.
              >>
              >> Chuck
              >>
              >> Rev. Chuck JonesInterim Executive DirectorWestar InstituteThe Jesus Seminar
              >>
              >>
              >> --- On Tue, 2/23/10, Ron Price <ron.price@...<ron.price%40virgin.net>>
              >> wrote:
              >> I've been listening to Mark Goodacre's NT Pod on the arguments against Q.
              >>
              >> It's good of him to enable people to hear first hand how the NT is being
              >>
              >> taught in a modern university. I would like to have replied directly, but
              >>
              >> could not because I don't belong to any of the groups the software insists
              >>
              >> on for those who make comments. (Am I missing something here, or are
              >>
              >> potential responders being deliberately filtered?)
              >>
              >> He invokes Occam's Razor against the hypothetical Q (so far, so good), but
              >>
              >> in the very same presentation he also invokes the "living stream of oral
              >>
              >> tradition" in an attempt to counter the argument about 'alternating
              >>
              >> primitivity' . Isn't this also a hypothetical source, and shouldn't it be
              >>
              >> included in the Goodacre (as opposed to the Goulder) version of the Farrer
              >>
              >> Theory? There is surely an inconsistency here.
              >>
              >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              > --
              > Mark Goodacre
              > Duke University
              > Department of Religion
              > Gray Building / Box 90964
              > Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
              > Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530
              >
              > http://www.markgoodacre.org
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • brooks@asianlan.umass.edu
              To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Oral Tradition From: Bruce RON: Mark Goodacre , , , invokes Occam s Razor against the hypothetical Q (so
              Message 6 of 13 , Feb 23, 2010
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                To: Synoptic
                Cc: GPG
                In Response To: Ron Price
                On: Oral Tradition
                From: Bruce

                RON: Mark Goodacre , , , invokes Occam's Razor against the
                hypothetical Q (so far, so good), . . .

                BRUCE: Depends. The best theory is the simplest one *that covers the
                data.* In particular, there should be no assumptions in the theory
                that are not doing work in the theory, no wheels not engaging other
                wheels, no non-loadbearing struts. But the theory needs to be as
                complicated as the data, and the data in this case (interrelationships
                of Mk as followed by Mt and Lk) may in fact be complicated. For
                example, the Q / no Q option may be a false binary: it may not exhaust
                the possibilities. Ron himself has what I would call a modified Q. And
                I am on record as saying that Michael Goulder (whose work I repeat
                that I find foundational in this area) probably pushes his theory too
                far in trying to account for *every* feature of common Mt/Lk material
                as derived by Lk from Mk. My sense is that Lk had his independent
                knowledge of some Christian formulas. Not from any other book he had
                read, or any informant he interviewed, but simply from his own
                personal experience as a member of a Christian group. For this whole
                area, and it may have been considerable, Luke didn't need Matthew to
                tell him about Christian tradition; he had learned his Christianity
                elsewhere. So if not Q (and I agree with those who find Q in its
                present form untenable), there may be a C (community praxis) which was
                among the common sources for Mt and Lk. Given his own contact with C,
                Lk may at several points be preferring the simpler original form,
                rather than the conspicuously Judaized form he found (and was offended
                by) in Matthew.

                RON: . . . but . . . he also invokes the "living stream of oral
                tradition" in an attempt to counter the argument about 'alternating
                primitivity'. Isn't this also a hypothetical source, and shouldn't it be
                included in the Goodacre (as opposed to the Goulder) version of the Farrer
                Theory? There is surely an inconsistency here.

                BRUCE: MarkG has already replied, but I remain unsatisfied, since he
                still seems to envision "oral tradition" as a thing; a thing out there
                somewhere. Not likely. Much more likely, to my mind, is that Luke had
                his own directly experienced tradition; he had learned the Lord's
                Prayer by saying it a thousand times, from childhood up. He didn't
                need anything else. He didn't need to see it written down somewhere in
                the bookstore.

                In general, and having watched the progress of the idea over several
                decades, it seems to me that "oral tradition," that frequently invoked
                magic phrase, is easily the flabbiest of explanatory devices, both in
                NT and in Homeric studies (and I could supply some truly horrendous
                examples from Sinology). The problem is that, without more work than
                it usually gets, the magic phrase will cover anything whatever, and
                there is no way to check it. Unless the tradition is specified more
                closely, and thus more checkably, than that phrase, I find "oral
                tradition" analytically worthless.

                RON: There was indeed some oral tradition available to Luke. For instance he
                probably knew that Jesus' followers had expected him to liberate his country
                from the Romans (24:21), and that there had been an armed struggle prior to
                Jesus' arrest (as hinted in 22:49). But when Luke was written over 60 years
                after the death of Jesus, would the oral tradition have included reliably
                memorized sayings of Jesus? I doubt it. After all, most of the primitive
                churches had been founded by Paul or his close associates,

                BRUCE: Ron is still treating these things as data Luke studied out
                from someplace; historical information he got the same way we today
                would get it - go to the newspaper files or whatever. I find this a
                surpassingly unreal scenario.

                We know nothing about the founders of the earliest Jesus movement cell
                groups, most obviously those in Syria, but Alexandria too is a blank
                for the first hundred years or so. There is some evidence that at
                least the near-northern ones were founded by original followers of
                Jesus (or by himself), and that they carried their own ideas of Jesus
                and the lore about him, plus of course their later theology based on
                that lore. Some of these groups were probably converted by Jesus
                during his lifetime; others by his followers then or shortly after.
                Nobody seems to factor in this phase of things. People from Lietzmann
                to Jackson-McCabe, inclusive, all buy the Acts scenario, that the
                apostolic mission began from Jerusalem. That in effect blanks out the
                entire lifetime of Jesus as having no effect whatever on the
                subsequent history of his movement. Such is Death Christian theory. I
                don't buy it. I think it is a coverup. I think it is a rewrite. And I
                think that if we take the minimum necessary assumptions into account,
                as to what was going in early Christianity besides the Jerusalem gang,
                we are going to get a better picture; a better base to think from.

                RON: . . . except on the rare occasions when it suited his arguments
                (e.g. 1 Cor 9:14, in 'Letter A'), Paul did not treat the sayings of
                Jesus as very important (e.g. 1 Cor
                2:2, in 'Letter B').

                BRUCE: More than that, Paul declares explicitly that he intends to
                have nothing to do with Jesus's lifetime. His Christianity is Death
                Christianity. All that tells me is that there was at the time a
                competing Life Christianity which Paul knew about, but rejected.
                Arguing from the necessary assumptions mentioned above, it follows
                (for me) that Life Christianity was not only present along with Death
                Christianity, but that it was the older form.

                Notice that when Paul DOES quote a "saying of the Lord," it is
                predominantly on matters having to do with church government or
                (thinking of divorce) civil behavior. That is, things that look ahead
                to the maintenance of the movement in the longer wait that developed
                for the Final Days. I won't again mention my reconstructed Mark, but
                even ignoring the philological evidence, and taking things simply at
                their face, the sayings of Jesus in Mark that address conditions after
                Jesus's death are clearly prospective and legitimizing. Most obvious
                is the bit about why his disciples do not fast. They will (and indeed
                they did), after he was gone. That passage is not a remembered saying
                of Jesus. It is an *invented* saying of Jesus, inserted in Mark in
                order to countenance later practice. It is just these later "church
                order" sayings that Paul is relatively open to. The actual teachings
                of Jesus, he cares for not at all. What Jesus taught about God and how
                to get there coincided not at all with Paul's own convictions in the
                matter. Paul cares instead for certain teachings of the Church *about*
                Jesus. There is, I would suggest, a world and a half of difference
                between the two.

                RON: I suggest that apart from the few who had acquired a copy of the logia
                (which pre-dated the influence of Paul), members of the primitive churches
                had very little knowledge of the sayings of Jesus until the publication of
                Mark and then Matthew.

                BRUCE: Again, it depends. How many Jesus sayings would the Bethsaida
                Church have known? Chiefly, the ones they had heard Jesus say. An
                assurance or two, perhaps in indirect form (eg, the Seed Parable), or
                a hellfire threat (this is the Salt series on which Dave Gentile has
                worked). That would be about it. It was not red-letter sayings of
                Jesus that stirred these people, and convinced them in the first
                place; it was the content of Jesus's teaching. What that was, Mark for
                the most part assumes we know, and does not spell out. He is largely
                concerned to tell the part of the story that the Bethsaida people
                would NOT have known directly, or would not have known how to
                interpret satisfactorily. Or the Antioch people, or the Capernaum
                people, or the Damascus people, or the Caesarea Philippi people, or
                the Chorazin people. It was for them, or for someone situatated
                similarly to them, that Mark most likely wrote his Gospel. And it was
                the number and needs of people in that situation that gave Mark a
                wider audience, and in time made his work authoritative for at least
                much of the Galilee/Syria territory,

                That not everyone, especially (say) the conservative Jews in Edessa,
                was satisfied by it, the existence of Matthew testifies.

                Or so it looks from here.

                Bruce

                E Bruce Brooks
                Warring States Project
                University of Massachusetts at Amherst
              • Coleman A. Baker
                Indeed, Mark. We have no evidence of the hypothetical Q document but we do have evidence that there existed a living stream of oral tradition. As Mark notes,
                Message 7 of 13 , Feb 23, 2010
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                  Indeed, Mark. We have no evidence of the hypothetical Q document but we do have evidence that there existed a living stream of oral tradition. As Mark notes, the problem with oral tradition is that it is written in textual form and thus lost. I see no inconsistency in this.

                  Great series, by the way, Mark!

                  Coleman A. Baker
                  PhD Candidate
                  Brite Divinity School, TCU
                  www.colemanabaker.com
                  817-932-0859

                  On Feb 23, 2010, at 9:24 AM, Mark Goodacre wrote:

                  > Thanks for the comments on the podcasts, Ron. No, there are no filters set
                  > up. As the Guardian would say, "Comment is free".
                  >
                  > As a general comment on your thoughts, Ron, and on yours too, Chuck, I would
                  > say that I am often surprised by the way that Occam's Razor is represented
                  > in this context. It is simply a question of not multiplying entities beyond
                  > what is necessary. I and others have argued that Q is unnecessary because
                  > the data is better explained by Luke's direct familiarity with Matthew
                  > alongside his use of Mark. Oral tradition is not an unnecessary entity
                  > that is superfluous to requirements but is something that we know was
                  > present, through Paul's witness to Jesus tradition, through Luke's preface,
                  > through Papias's comments, or through common sense. Of course the
                  > difficulty with oral tradition is that it is by its nature lost, except when
                  > it is crystallized in texts. Scholars of Christian origins rightly draw
                  > attention to use of oral traditions in discussions of Luke's use of Mark,
                  > Matthew's use of Mark, or other relationships. The only reason that this
                  > appeal is not made in the question of the double tradition is that we do not
                  > have a literary text of Q and so *every* detail can projected onto the
                  > hypothetical text.
                  >
                  > Best wishes
                  > Mark
                  >
                  > On 23 February 2010 10:11, Chuck Jones <chuckjonez@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> Ron,
                  >>
                  >> You make a great point.
                  >> Einstein is credited with saying, "Make everything be as simple as
                  >> possible, but not simpler." By the time all the caveats, footnotes,
                  >> addenda, probabilities and "must'ves" are appended to no-Q theories, simple
                  >> isn't simple anymore, much less simplest.
                  >>
                  >> Chuck
                  >>
                  >> Rev. Chuck JonesInterim Executive DirectorWestar InstituteThe Jesus Seminar
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> --- On Tue, 2/23/10, Ron Price <ron.price@...<ron.price%40virgin.net>>
                  >> wrote:
                  >> I've been listening to Mark Goodacre's NT Pod on the arguments against Q.
                  >>
                  >> It's good of him to enable people to hear first hand how the NT is being
                  >>
                  >> taught in a modern university. I would like to have replied directly, but
                  >>
                  >> could not because I don't belong to any of the groups the software insists
                  >>
                  >> on for those who make comments. (Am I missing something here, or are
                  >>
                  >> potential responders being deliberately filtered?)
                  >>
                  >> He invokes Occam's Razor against the hypothetical Q (so far, so good), but
                  >>
                  >> in the very same presentation he also invokes the "living stream of oral
                  >>
                  >> tradition" in an attempt to counter the argument about 'alternating
                  >>
                  >> primitivity' . Isn't this also a hypothetical source, and shouldn't it be
                  >>
                  >> included in the Goodacre (as opposed to the Goulder) version of the Farrer
                  >>
                  >> Theory? There is surely an inconsistency here.
                  >>
                  >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --
                  > Mark Goodacre
                  > Duke University
                  > Department of Religion
                  > Gray Building / Box 90964
                  > Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
                  > Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530
                  >
                  > http://www.markgoodacre.org
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Ron Price
                  ... Mark et al., This distinction is debatable. The entity posited by the 2ST is a document *which included all the double tradition material*. The entity
                  Message 8 of 13 , Feb 24, 2010
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                    Mark Goodacre wrote:

                    > ..... I and others have argued that Q is unnecessary because
                    > the data is better explained by Luke's direct familiarity with Matthew
                    > alongside his use of Mark. Oral tradition is not an unnecessary entity
                    > that is superfluous to requirements but is something that we know was
                    > present, .....

                    Mark et al.,

                    This distinction is debatable.

                    The entity posited by the 2ST is a document *which included all the double
                    tradition material*.

                    The entity posited by Mark's version of the FT is oral tradition *which
                    included all the examples of more primitive wording needed to explain the
                    occasional greater originality of Luke*.

                    The entity posited by my radical form of the 3ST is the "logia" *containing
                    the aphorisms roughly as described on my web site*.

                    I think a difference in 'necessity' only comes in when we compare these with
                    Goulder's version of the FT, which doesn't posit any of these three
                    entities, nor any equivalent entity. So was Goulder right here? I think not,
                    partly because his explanations of Lukan texts usually taken to have been
                    more original are far from satisfactory.

                    Where does this leave us? The Synoptic Problem is somewhat more complex than
                    implied by Goulder's stricter version of the FT, which was lacking in
                    explanatory power especially for some of the aphorisms. This leaves us with
                    the 2ST, the 3ST and Mark's version of the FT. But synoptic diagrams are
                    essentially data transfer diagrams. So surely the Goodacre FT diagram should
                    include the
                    'oral-tradition-including-texts-showing-greater-Lukan-originality' entity
                    for completeness.

                    Ron Price

                    Derbyshire, UK

                    Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                  • Ron Price
                    ... Jeff, You made this claim in another thread, and I challenged it there. ... The (mostly) sayings source known as Q is such a mess that no clear-minded
                    Message 9 of 13 , Feb 24, 2010
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                      Jeff Peterson wrote:

                      > ..... when he [Papias] characterizes the *logia*, he refers
                      > to "things said or done" by Jesus, .....

                      Jeff,

                      You made this claim in another thread, and I challenged it there.

                      > ..... The only
                      > reason for holding to the existence of a (mostly) sayings source would be a
                      > solid demonstration that Matthew and Luke independently made use of it;

                      The "(mostly) sayings source" known as Q is such a mess that no clear-minded
                      person could ever have written it. The 'mostly' bit alone gives it away as
                      an artificial construction.

                      But what about a solid demonstration of a sayings source that contains only
                      aphorisms, that is poetic, that has a hundred internal links, that is a
                      'pleasing arrangement', that explains certain mistranslations, that makes
                      sense of the synoptic writers' redaction of its aphorisms, and that reflects
                      a pre-Pauline era. Did this 'logia' once exist or did I invent it? Let's
                      just say this: if I had such poetic skills I would have been very proud of
                      my composition. As it is I merely reconstructed it from the synoptic
                      evidence, like a moderately complicated jig-saw puzzle.

                      Ron Price

                      Derbyshire, UK

                      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                    • Mark Goodacre
                      ... It s not a question of my version of the FT but a question of whether or not we accept the presence of oral traditions in antiquity, or whether one
                      Message 10 of 13 , Feb 24, 2010
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                        On 24 February 2010 14:47, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:

                        > The entity posited by Mark's version of the FT is oral tradition *which
                        > included all the examples of more primitive wording needed to explain the
                        > occasional greater originality of Luke*.

                        It's not a question of my "version of the FT" but a question of
                        whether or not we accept the presence of oral traditions in antiquity,
                        or whether one thinks that people only communicated via texts. This
                        is the case for two-source theorists and others too. As I mentioned
                        previously, the only reason that oral tradition does not get factored
                        in to discussions of the double tradition by two-source theorists is
                        that they have an absent document onto which every variation can be
                        projected.

                        As it happens, each scholar will assess the influence of oral
                        traditions differently. Michael Goulder tended to be a
                        minimum-sources person and only occasionally appeals to oral tradition
                        but it's in his work too, e.g. in the women who followed Jesus in Luke
                        8.1-3. I am inclined to think there must have been more examples of
                        this, but am constantly impressed by just how straightforward it is to
                        see Luke redacting Matthew. See, for example, the text book example
                        of "Blessed are the poor" in Luke 6.20, which makes excellent sense as
                        Luke's redaction of Matthew (Case Against Q, chapter 7).

                        One of the remaining problems is that Michael Goulder's arguments
                        against alternating primitivity are still largely unknown or
                        misunderstood. On the basis of his work, I think it is clear that the
                        reconstruction of Q has an inbuilt bias towards Luke because of his
                        far larger vocabulary, his higher number of hapaxes and his
                        disconcerting habit of varying his synonyms.

                        Best wishes
                        Mark
                        --
                        Mark Goodacre
                        Duke University
                        Department of Religion
                        Gray Building / Box 90964
                        Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
                        Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

                        http://www.markgoodacre.org
                      • Ron Price
                        ... Mark, I already admitted the presence of *some* oral tradition in the message which opened this thread. I don t know of anyone who would deny the existence
                        Message 11 of 13 , Feb 24, 2010
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                          Mark Goodacre wrote:

                          > It's not a question of my "version of the FT" but a question of
                          > whether or not we accept the presence of oral traditions in antiquity,
                          > or whether one thinks that people only communicated via texts.

                          Mark,

                          I already admitted the presence of *some* oral tradition in the message
                          which opened this thread. I don't know of anyone who would deny the
                          existence of some oral tradition, nor the existence of verbal communication
                          in the first or any other century.

                          As I see it, the question as it applies to 'alternating primitivity' is
                          whether the oral tradition available to Luke would have included
                          sufficiently accurate memories of the relevant primitive aphorisms (probably
                          originating in a different language in a different country and at least 60
                          years old by his time) to allow him to make corrections to the corresponding
                          texts in Matthew. This is what I find difficult to believe.

                          Anyway, thanks for the interesting discussion!

                          Ron Price

                          Derbyshire, UK

                          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                        • Mark Goodacre
                          ... OK, so we are agreed on that dynamic. ... As I understand the argument from alternating primitivity, it is stated with respect to relative primitivity and
                          Message 12 of 13 , Mar 2 9:23 AM
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                            On 24 February 2010 12:50, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > I already admitted the presence of *some* oral tradition in the message
                            > which opened this thread. I don't know of anyone who would deny the
                            > existence of some oral tradition, nor the existence of verbal communication
                            > in the first or any other century.
                            >

                            OK, so we are agreed on that dynamic.

                            >
                            > As I see it, the question as it applies to 'alternating primitivity' is
                            > whether the oral tradition available to Luke would have included
                            > sufficiently accurate memories of the relevant primitive aphorisms
                            > (probably
                            > originating in a different language in a different country and at least 60
                            > years old by his time) to allow him to make corrections to the
                            > corresponding
                            > texts in Matthew. This is what I find difficult to believe.
                            >

                            As I understand the argument from alternating primitivity, it is stated with
                            respect to relative primitivity and not absolute antiquity. I would share
                            your scepticism of the notion that Luke had some pipeline going back to the
                            30s. But we know that he had access to traditional material in addition to
                            what he found in Mark / Matthew for a range of reasons, his preface, the
                            traditions in Acts, the similarities between his eucharistic tradition and 1
                            Cor. 11, comparisons of his unique material with details in Josephus and so
                            on.

                            All best
                            Mark
                            --
                            Mark Goodacre
                            Duke University
                            Department of Religion
                            Gray Building / Box 90964
                            Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
                            Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

                            http://www.markgoodacre.org


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Ron Price
                            ... Mark, Of course. What I failed to mention was the evidence of antiquity in many of the aphorisms, especially Semitic parallelism which appears alien to the
                            Message 13 of 13 , Mar 3 1:12 AM
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                              Mark Goodacre wrote:

                              > As I understand the argument from alternating primitivity, it is stated with
                              > respect to relative primitivity and not absolute antiquity.

                              Mark,

                              Of course. What I failed to mention was the evidence of antiquity in many of
                              the aphorisms, especially Semitic parallelism which appears alien to the
                              Greek language in which they are presented to us. So I see (relative)
                              primitivity in the aphorisms as being a likely indication of the antiquity
                              of the older variant.

                              > I would share your scepticism of the notion that Luke had some pipeline going
                              > back to the 30s.

                              My scepticism applies to the availability and reliability of oral tradition.
                              Actually I think Luke did have a pipeline, but it was back to the 40s - a
                              written collection of the aphorisms of Jesus. I think the rehabilitation of
                              Papias' statement on Matthew is long overdue.

                              > But we know that he had access to traditional material in addition to
                              > what he found in Mark / Matthew for a range of reasons, his preface, the
                              > traditions in Acts, the similarities between his eucharistic tradition and 1
                              > Cor. 11, comparisons of his unique material with details in Josephus and so
                              > on.

                              My investigations have unearthed extra evidence which leads me to confirm my
                              suspicions that Lk 22:19b-20 was not in the original text of Luke, so I beg
                              to differ in regard to the eucharistic tradition. The rest of your point is
                              well taken. Nevertheless the traditions available to Luke were limited. He
                              still probably had to make up speeches for his heroes as some previous Greek
                              writers had done. Also the traditions seem to have varied greatly in
                              reliability. It appears to me that there is a great gulf in this respect
                              between the aphorisms, which seem to have great antiquity, and the remainder
                              of the gospel material, the detail of which is occasionally credible, but is
                              often late and/or unreliable. This gulf is readily explained on the one hand
                              by a written source of aphorisms, and on the other by a broadly sceptical
                              attitude to the reliability of oral tradition in the context of the synoptic
                              gospels.

                              Ron Price

                              Derbyshire, UK

                              Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
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