Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: [XTalk] Again on Michael Goulder
- Thanks, Bruce. Yes, the memoir came out last September; it may be
that you missed the date stamp on that post. All best, Mark
On 20 July 2010 23:18, E Bruce Brooks <brooks@...> wrote:
> Thanks for the reference, and perhaps especially the pictures. It all helps.
> One correction, though: Michael's memoir Five Stones has been published, and
> is available through the usual channels.
> E Bruce Brooks
> Warring States Project
> University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Department of Religion
Gray Building / Box 90964
Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530
- To: Crosstalk
Cc: Synoptic, GPG, WSW
On: Auch Kleine Dinge: In Memoriam Michael Goulder
Date: 25 July 2010
Time: A little past midnight
In my latitude, 25 July has just begun; formerly St Christopher's Day,
now the day appointed for the recollection of the person and notable
achievements of Michael Goulder, at one time Rector of St
What form of recollection would be most suitable, for a scholarly
discoverer of the first magnitude? As I have elsewhere said of the
Sinologist George Kennedy, perhaps the most suitable way to honor a
discoverer is to keep on discovering. I would thus take this memorial
day as a time for reminding ourselves of our obligation to improve and
extend, and not merely to appreciate, what has been given to us by
previous scholarly achievement.
This does not mean writing another five books on the Psalms, or
another two volumes on Luke, to match Michael in shelf inches. The
point is not to match, but to continue, and for most of us, unsituated
as we are for continuous scholarly investigation, the continuity must
necessarily be in small modules. But the small modules should do more
than talk to themselves. How then shall they get into the continuing
stream of scholarly discourse?
One traditional method is not the book, but the chapter: the small
contribution bundled with others to make a larger contribution. The
academic Festschrift is a not wholly functional example of this mode.
I have before me an interesting variation. It is W K Lowther Clarke's
book New Testament Problems (Macmillan 1929), written before 7 July
1937 and thus while philology was still more or less alive. It was
dedicated to Clarke's teacher Foakes-Jackson, in lieu of the 70th
birthday Festschrift which never happened. Clarke himself had no time
to be a scholar; as he says in his dedicatory epistle, by getting him
an editorial position in the field, "You prevented me from writing the
theological books I had planned." Clarke was the Editorial Secretary
of SPCK, a reviewer of other people's stuff, reading, as he says,
about 1000 books a year, and with no time to do anything but distil
his impressions of them and pass selected impressions on to the
qualified general reader. His book is a further selection of those
impressions, developed as topical essays originally printed in such
church magazines as Church Quarterly Review, Expository Times, and
Review of the Churches. There are 23 essays in 217 pages, or about 9
pages each. They show him acting on what he has read, not merely
taking it in. They show a commendable balance of mind and concision of
style. I recommend them.
Still more do I recommend this medium: the short piece shown to others
as a contribution to the general flow of collective knowledge of the
subject. Books these days run to the hundreds of pages, and they
increasingly retail in the hundreds of dollars. That is a path of
self-extinction, and I need say no more of it, save that the typical
book is also overdeveloped to the point of self-refutation, in its
push (while the author is typically in his twenties, and green behind
the ears) to be "definitive." The shorter note, by contrast, is more
often content to be suggestive; to leave something for others to
develop. The attempt (of which the tragic figure of Einstein should be
a sufficiently minatory example) to finish the work, to do more than,
under present conditions of knowledge, can be well done, is to spoil
The journal is maybe a little better. True, articles in journals (such
is the page-count pressure of the obsolete yet persistent tenure
system) tend to be ever longer: monographs in all but binding. The day
when a half-page note was regularly seen in the Journal of the
American Oriental Society is long gone. But there are other journals
(the one I am currently launching has a median length of 4 pages, and
we routinely refuse articles which reach the lower threshold of
alternate journals, namely 20 pages). And the tendency to gigantism
and to gigantistic pricing can also be resisted by societies or other
journal proprietors who decline to sell out to Cambridge and Company,
simply by declining. Forbearance is among the cardinal scholarly
virtues; the seed and mother of the other virtues. I recommend that too.
A more recent possibility is the electronic forum. These die more
rapidly than journals, they silt up with nonlookers, they turn trivial
or fall silent. But again, in the nature of things, this need not be
the case. It is merely (it seems to me) that the art of managing such
a conversation is still in its infancy, whereas the editorship of
paper media has a more developed tradition of procedure to rely on. We
might thus withhold a judgement of perdition on the attempts, so far,
to get something of the sort going on the airwaves.
As I have elsewhere observed of the Warring States (classical Chinese)
texts, things like this need institutional continuity in order to
survive and maintain ongoing vitality. They can't be too individual or
too circumstantial; or if they start so, they need to be able to
outgrow themselves and get onto a longer track. They need to enter,
and then to survive, their adolescence.
Probably no focus of intellectual exchange has ever been more
productive, per pint consumed, than the coffeehouses of London, in
which the Royal Society would continue its meetings, and the merchants
would get together to balance risks, and Richard Steele would edit the
Guardian, and the gamblers would summon de Moivre from his chess game
to calculate odds for them, thus creating (together with the work of
Bernoulli in Switzerland) the science of statistics.
So another thing we could perhaps use in the current century is a
counterpart to Slaughter's Coffee House. At what commercial but
welcoming venue could the heirs and assigns of Goulder conveniently
meet, this afternoon, to exchange individual observations and develop
Papa Gino, anyone?
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
- Michael Goulder's sense of humour made him one of the most interesting
lecturers I've ever come across. His generosity extended to trying, over an
extended period, to advise me with regard to the possible publication of my
unconventional 'page hypothesis'.
In the 1990s Birmingham University's Faculty of Arts organized 'Day Schools'
on biblical/theological topics. They found a winning formula: choose a
controversial topic, and have Goulder and a more traditional scholar present
opposing viewpoints. On the two such 'Day Schools' that I attended,
Michael's presentations were by far the more convincing in my opinion. The
one I remember best was in 1990 on Mark's Gospel, when his adversary was
I was privileged to have a separate discussion session with Goulder at
Birmingham University. We also corresponded in 1990 and 1996, during which
time I was honoured to receive four letters from him. My hypothesis was
dependent on positing certain early interpolations in Mark, John, and the
Corinthian correspondence. Goulder rejected all such interpolations, but was
nevertheless prepared to offer his advice on other aspects. All this was
before I had made appreciable headway in tackling the Synoptic Problem, so I
never challenged him on this.
Goulder deserves a high ranking among biblical scholars, especially in my
view for his Two Missions theory, for his appreciation of the high degree of
creativity (especially in the parables) in both Matthew and Luke, and above
all for his convincing demonstration of Luke's familiarity with Matthew's
Gospel in passages such as Lk 3:7-9; 3:16-17; 4:1-13; 7:1-10; 7:18-35;
10:21-22; 19:12-27 (for which see his "Luke: A New Paradigm").
Nevertheless history may yet decide that he was over-impressed by Austin
Farrer's too simple assessment that all the pericopes of the Double
Tradition result from Luke's use of Matthew. For Goulder never deduced that
the multitude of Semitic aphorisms in the Double Tradition clearly indicate
an origin several decades earlier than Matthew, and probably require a
written source to explain their transmission to both Matthew and Luke.
Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
- On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 5:04 AM, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:
>I can see an argument that the poetic style of the Double Tradition suggests
> Goulder never deduced that
> the multitude of Semitic aphorisms in the Double Tradition clearly indicate
> an origin several decades earlier than Matthew, and probably require a
> written source to explain their transmission to both Matthew and Luke.
an origin in Aramaic or at least pre-Matthean composition (although Goulder
did a pretty good job identifying common style in Matthaean redaction of
Mark, Q, and M, particularly in his JBL articles; Matthew's date, habits,
and concerns are remarkably similar to Q's).
But it's hard to see how this could "require" a common source rather than
direct use of one Evangelist by another; as Sanders and Davies noted, a
degree of Matthew/Luke agreement close enough to establish independent use
of a common source positively invites explanation by Luke's direct
acquaintance with Matthew (or, much less plausibly, vice versa). And that
holds regardless of the style of the common material and of the source from
which the earlier Evangelist derived it.
Austin Graduate School of Theology
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Jeff Peterson wrote:
> I can see an argument that the poetic style of the Double Tradition suggestsJeff,
> an origin in Aramaic or at least pre-Matthean composition
So far, so good.
> (although Goulder did a pretty good job identifying common style in MatthaeanMy contention here is that Goulder's arguments about common style were based
> redaction of Mark, Q, and M, particularly in his JBL articles; Matthew's date,
> habits, and concerns are remarkably similar to Q's).
primarily on the non-aphoristic passages in Q, which passages I deem to have
a Matthean origin.
> But it's hard to see how this could "require" a common source rather thanThere are three serious problems with this 'invited' explanation. Firstly it
> direct use of one Evangelist by another; as Sanders and Davies noted, a
> degree of Matthew/Luke agreement close enough to establish independent use
> of a common source positively invites explanation by Luke's direct
> acquaintance with Matthew (or, much less plausibly, vice versa). And that
> holds regardless of the style of the common material and of the source from
> which the earlier Evangelist derived it.
assumes we can treat the Double Tradition as a unity when considering the
relationship of the Matt/Luke versions of its material. Secondly it requires
that in every case Luke's version of a DT pericope is secondary to Matthew's
version. Thirdly it assumes that the question of how Matthew acquired the
aphorisms is an irrelevance.
To deal with the first point first, there is a significant difference in
style between the Semitic aphorisms and material such as the Temptation, the
Centurion's Servant, the Talents/Pounds and the Lament for Jerusalem. The
widespread use of Semitic parallelism in the aphorisms indicates an origin
in a Semitic environment several decades before Matthew. The latter material
includes indications of sympathy towards the Gentiles, quotations from the
Septuagint, a hint that Jerusalem had already fallen, the acceptance of a
delay in Jesus' promised return, as well as considerable signs of Matthew's
Concerning indications of greater Lukan primitivity, see the paragraph
headed "Occasional Lukan Originality" in the Web page below.
Thirdly, where did Matthew get the Semitic aphorisms from? Was it from oral
tradition or was it from a written source? It is very unlikely that so many
authentic-looking aphorisms could have been preserved through several
decades of oral tradition spanning the break-up of the Jerusalem Jesus
movement and the era of the dominance of an apostle who took little interest
in the life or sayings of Jesus. Surely therefore Matthew had a written
source containing the aphorisms. Did Luke also use this source? Well there
are the mistranslations in Lk 11:41 & 11:48 which show that at least two of
the woes were taken not from Matthew but from an Aramaic source. Then of
course there's the above-mentioned 'Occasional Lukan Originality'.
Confirmation of the written source comes from the historical testimony of
Papias, which neatly matches a scenario in which the synoptic authors had to
make their own translations of the sayings.
Finally there are the hints dropped by Luke.
(1) I had already found that the aphorisms seemed to be arranged in pairs
when I spotted that Lk 10:1 appears to hint at this. It also hints that
there were 72 sayings in all, and my investigations have shown how a highly
coherent structure can be formed from 72 sayings.
(2) In April 2006 I discovered another hint, this time in Lk 9:28. Here Luke
redacts Mark's "six days" to "about eight days". How odd. Now my posited
structure has four distinct sections, with each section having two equal
halves. We thus have eight half-sections. Luke must have recognized these
because certain material Matthew largely keeps together, Luke splits: the
mission material (part into Lk 9:57-10:12 and part of the rest into ch.12.),
and the judgement material into the woes (ch.11) and the rest (mainly
ch.17). Lk 9:28 is placed immediately after he had copied saying C12 (Mk
9:1), the opening saying in the sixth of eight subsections. Lastly he added
to Mark's version the superfluous "META TOUS LOGOUS TOUTOUS", arguably
confirming that Lk 9:28 referred to the 'logia'.