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FGH Notes 1-4

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic On: Farrer-Goulder Hypothesis Notes 1-4 From: Bruce Suppose that, for whatever reason, it is desired to convince four people, four carefully
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 19, 2005
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      To: Synoptic
      On: Farrer-Goulder Hypothesis Notes 1-4
      From: Bruce

      Suppose that, for whatever reason, it is desired to convince four people,
      four carefully selected and rational people, of the merits of the FGH. To do
      this, it does not suffice to overturn Q, since several competing Synoptic
      hypotheses also lack Q. The FGH, as I understand it, consists of these
      propositions:

      1. No Q
      2. No other conjectural texts
      3. Mk > Mt >> Lk
      4. Unique matter in Mt and Lk is referred to authorial invention.

      All of these need to be successfully defended against challenges.

      The position taken by Udo Schnelle in The History and Theology of the New
      Testament Writings (hereafter NTW) seems to me to make a good discussion
      partner in this effort, since it clearly states its conclusions and its
      grounds for them, and it also lists points at which various alternative
      proposals seem to it to fail. This conveniently focuses the discussion.

      A propos Proposition 3, above, we have this statement on NTW 169-170: "On
      the other hand, on the assumption that canonical Mark lay before both
      Matthew and Luke, it is difficult to explain why both of them decided to
      omit the parable of the seed growing secretly of Mark 4:26-29. There is no
      clear redactional reason for their joint omission of Mark 2:27, 9:48, and
      15:44."

      On the FGH, the position is more precisely not that "both of them
      independently decided" to omit the material; rather, that Mt decided to omit
      it, and Lk, coming later and being aware of Mt, agreed to leave it omitted.

      Very well. It then becomes the task of FGH to provide reasons for the joint
      or serial omission, so as to save Proposition 3 as viable in the eyes of the
      reasonable reader. The list of things to be accounted for is encouragingly
      short: four items. I am going to devote this note to them. I may mention in
      passing that it is perhaps a thing of some difficulty to enter fully into
      the mind of an ancient and unknown Gospel writer, and that an account which
      convincingly explains *most* of such a writer's omissions is not necessarily
      unsatisfactory. There may well be a residue which was perfectly clear to
      that writer, but whose logic we cannot now easily discern. Our best course,
      probably, is to leave it as an admitted residue, and to rest our case on the
      well-explained parts. To my mind Michael Goulder, though theoretically he
      has the task of explaining everything in Mt > Lk terms, perhaps fails
      through succeeding too much, the less convincing suggestions standing
      alongside, and perhaps detracting from, the more convincing ones. Be that is
      it may, here would be my suggestions on the four points identified by NTW as
      challenges to the Mk > Mt >> Lk proposition of the FGH. Comment would be
      welcome.

      (1) Mk 4:26-29, the Seed Growing Secretly. To my eye, this is a puzzling
      passage, whose meaning is either unclear or not necessarily benign. More
      cogent than my opinion will be the opinions of reputable NT people, and I
      cite in support those in the Interpreter's Bible commentary of half a
      century ago. Speaking for text criticism, F Grant says "Perhaps they [Mt and
      Lk] stumbled at the word AUTOMATH (of itself), as if the kingdom spread by
      some "automatic" or physical principle, apart from the will of God or the
      response of men." That seems indeed to be a point. The parable gives no
      scope, it denies scope, for any action by the hearers of the parable, and it
      also does not focus on, or give evidence for, the activity of God. The thing
      will just happen. Seen in this way, the coming event wholly lacks any
      ethical or intentional dimension. This might well be thought to be a serious
      difficulty. Speaking then for the clergy, H Luccock in the same volume
      remarks "Note - for this has often been misunderstood - that the real point
      of the parable is not the gradualness of the growth of the seed, but the
      sureness of the growth, its inevitability, due to the nature of the earth."
      I comment that something which has been "frequently misunderstood" is not
      suitable lesson material in the first place, and I can readily understand a
      Gospel constructor not wishing to have to deal with those future
      misunderstandings. I may add to Luccock's comment that the apparent point of
      Mk 4:26-29 is the lack of visibility of the uncontrolled process: suddenly
      it is at hand, in a fully realized condition. That is a perfectly possible
      way for the Kingdom of God to appear. But it contradicts a theme which,
      though absent in Mark, is stressed in Matthew 16:1-4 (followed by Luke
      12:54-56): people need to be able to read the signs (analogy of weather
      prediction) and see that the Kingdom is at hand. It is expected that they
      will, and it is accounted a fault if they do not. Given this view as held by
      Matthew, it is not surprising if he omitted from Mark a short bit that
      seemed to be directly contradictory to that view, nor is it greatly
      surprising either, given Luke's agreement with Matthew's censure of the
      Pharisees for not "being able to interpret the signs of the times," that he
      would have silently agreed to leave the rejected Markan passage alone,
      rather than to make a show of reviving it so as to score a point over his
      rival Evangelist (as on a few occasions he seems to have done). All in all,
      the parable is puzzling in itself, and for Matthew (and Luke) perhaps also
      directly problematic as to the nature of the Kingdom. There would thus seem
      to be sufficient difficulties to justify its omission by later Evangelists.

      (2) Mk 2:27 "And he said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for
      the Sabbath." This is preceded by material present in Mt/Lk, and followed by
      this, which is also present in Mt/Lk:

      Mk 2:28 "Therefore the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

      That is, the omission is from the middle of an otherwise retained passage.
      If we consider the matter as a Jewish lawyer might have done, the general
      statement of Mk 2:27 does not necessarily relate to the supposed specific
      Sabbath violation by Jesus's disciples. Of course the Sabbath rules of rest
      were instituted for the benefit of men in general, but this does not justify
      particular men in doing whatever pleases them on the Sabbath. So wide a
      prescription has the potential to render the Sabbath rules null and void in
      their entirety. Whereas the final conclusion, that Jesus and his followers
      (like David, and his followers, in an earlier time) have a special right and
      need to transgress a particular rule on one particular occasion, limits the
      threat to established law, and to that extent makes a more acceptable case
      for the disciples' behavior. In the rest of this story (omitting Mk 2:27),
      there is a circumstantial case for the transgression, and not a general
      abrogation of the Sabbath laws. Was then Mk 2:27 later interpolated in Mk,
      as has been suggested? Perhaps not likely, since it seems to be a step in
      the Markan argument (such as it is). Some texts (D and Old Latin) actually
      omit 2:27, an interesting parallel to its treatment in Mt/Lk. Why did they
      do so? I am not directly informed. Whatever their reason, I note this later
      copyists' omission stand as a possible parallel to the behavior of Mt/Lk,
      and thus as possible evidence of discomfort with this verse on the part of
      early users of the Markan text. Klostermann [not seen] notes that the
      general principle of 2:27 was adopted by second-century rabbis, but that
      still lay in the future as of Mt/Lk. I think there are grounds for
      suspecting that they were uncomfortable with the verse, and that their
      omission of it is therefore not perplexing. This might have been especially
      the case for Matthew, who is generally concerned to present Jesus as not
      abrogating, but on the contrary as fulfilling, the Jewish law.

      That the Matthean version as a whole (Mt 12:1-8) is non sequitur in several
      ways, is a problem within Matthew. Such things frequently happen, though,
      when an original is tampered with by a second user. It is not so easy to
      change an original, even a flawed original, without creating other problems
      in the process.

      (3) Mk 9:48. "Where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." This
      follows the threat of being "thrown into Hell" in 9:47. It is followed in
      turn by 9:49 "For every one will be salted with fire"[also ignored by both
      Mt and Lk] and, at a distance, by 9:50b "Have salt in yourselves, and be at
      peace with one another" [yet again ignored by both Mt and Lk]. The problem
      is thus wider than 9:48 alone.

      One thing often noted about this sequence in Mk is that it seems to be a
      bunching of statements whose only connection is by keyword (fire, salt), and
      which do not make a consecutive discourse. Quite possibly they were an
      attempt on Mk's part to string together some odds and ends of tradition. If
      so, the attempt has not impressed later readers as successful. A later
      Evangelist, coming on this not too coherent series in his source text, might
      well decide to save trouble by smoothing parts of it and omitting the rest.
      This is just what Mt in particular has done. For Mk's rather unsettlingly
      graphic passage

      Mk 9:26b-27 ". . . than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, where the worm
      does not die, and the fire is not quenched."

      Mt has this:

      Mt 18:9b " . . . than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire."

      If (as NTW goes on to propose) Mt used a copy of Mk (Deutero-Mark) in which
      9:27 was absent, how came he to combine the word "fire" with the word
      "hell?" Where did he pick up the word "fire?" It is philologically easier to
      suppose that it was in his source text, and that when he had come upon this
      jumbled and none too comfortable ending of Mk 9, he saved out of 9:48 (and
      merged with the preceding passage) the only word which would not create
      problems of narrative inconcinnity or undue reader repugnance. He then
      picked up, with greater literary polish, and at a different location, so
      that the question of unconsecutiveness in Markan context does not arise, the
      following Mk 9:50 ("Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness,
      how will you season it?"), and reworked it so as to repeat the theme of
      rejection, thus making it self-interpreting: (Mt 5:13: "You are the salt of
      the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be
      restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and
      trodden under foot by men").

      [Does salt actually lose its taste? Marjoram, yes, but salt, in my
      experience, no. However, we are here concerned with the pulpit and not the
      kitchen. It seems to me that Matthew has gone some distance to make the
      Markan jumble literarily presentable, not only by omitting some parts
      (including the most unsettlingly graphic ones), but by refashioning other
      parts. It is enough for present purposes to note that, given his
      repositioning of the word "fire," he has not really omitted, but rather
      drastically reprocessed, Mk 2:27. This passage thus does not really belong
      on the list of omissions; rather, the list of free treatments. It deserves
      explanation either way, and the above is my suggestion.

      (4) Mk 15:44. "And Pilate wondered if he were already dead, and summoning
      the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead."

      One should look at a synopsis, where we see that (as in the preceding
      example) it is not simply a question of Mt/Lk omitting this verse, and
      otherwise preserving Mk. Rather, as Grant again points out, it is a question
      of Mt and Lk differently rewriting Mk. Where their abbreviations happen to
      be less than a verse (as in Mk 15:42, where both Mt and Lk omit the date,
      "since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath"),
      no problem seems to arise for NTW. Where the omissions include a whole
      verse, it is said that a problem exists. But the whole of Mk 15:42-47 and
      parallels, seen together, is a tissue of restatements. Mk's line about
      Pilate granting Jesus's body to Joseph of Arimathea is retained in Mt, but
      omitted in Lk. The three descriptions of Joseph also vary. And so on.

      The threshold of what constitutes a problem for NTW thus seems to me
      inconsistent. All the differences are problems of a sort, and all of them
      (it still seems to me) can be seen as caused by different styles and
      sensibilities in the rewriting of the Markan original. I do not feel
      constrained to suggest why neither Mt nor Lk picked up the Markan date (the
      day of Preparation). Somehow it just didn't matter to them as much as (for
      whatever reason) it had mattered to Mk. Am I then constrained to explain why
      they agreed in ignoring the concern of Pilate about whether Jesus was
      thoroughly and legally dead?

      Perhaps some might think so. In that case, I would cite as relevant the spit
      miracle Mk 8:22-26, also omitted by Mt/Lk. (The omission by Lk may have
      another basis - thus NTW - and I consider the question of acceptability in
      general). It has been repeatedly suggested, to my mind convincingly, that
      this miracle is too physical for the taste of the increasingly abstract
      later Synoptists. (Ick, say the ten year olds, he spat on him, and when that
      didn't work, he spat on him again. What kind of a miracle is that?). I
      propose that the question of whether Jesus's dead body was really dead (in
      some versions, whether it had shown no signs of life long enough to be
      really dead) is in this same overly physical category, a passage likely to
      arouse repugnance rather than awe in later readers. Forensic medicine?
      Postmortem lividity? Smell? It is perhaps a little too physical for the
      solemn occasion. Death is impressive, as long as it is not you, and as long
      as you are not smelling the stench of the dead bodies. The wise Evangelist
      will probably want to keep it on this higher plane. Keeping it on the higher
      plane is what I imagine that Mt and Lk have done. Hawkins long ago pointed
      out that the more vulgar, the more earthy, the more colloquial, and the more
      immediately physical, parts of Mk tend strongly to be omitted or reworked in
      Mt/Lk. I believe that his observation is valid here. It is a humanly
      intelligible scenario.

      SUMMARY

      We seem then to have (1) in Mk 4:26-29 a passage of uncertain meaning,
      interpretionally dubious already in Mk, and also at variance with a theme
      known to be acceptable to Mt/Lk; (2) in Mk 2:27, a humanly resonant but
      legally too wide justification of some small Sabbath transgressions, which
      not only Mt/Lk but some later copyists, for reasons evidently sufficient for
      themselves, agree in omitting; (3) in Mk 9:48, a somewhat icky passage about
      worms perpetually gnawing dead bodies in hell, itself part of a notably
      nonconsecutive series of chapter-final statements, in which Mt has recast
      rather than actually omitted the particular verse in question; and finally
      (4) in Mk 15:48, another icky passage about whether the body of Jesus on the
      cross has putrefied enough to be certainly dead, to the satisfaction of
      Pilate.

      I have cited confirming opinions, contemporary and ancient, about the
      interpretational difficulties which might have been felt to reside in the
      first two examples. As for the last two, I venture to imagine that if my
      mother were planning material for her Sunday School class (as she was when
      the copy of the Interpreter's Bible now open on my desk belonged to her and
      not to me), she would have passed over those two passages in her lesson
      plans, as suitable only for the older children. If indeed ever.

      None of the four cases thus seems, on examination, to be unintelligible as
      omitted from Mark by the later Synoptists making an often free use of Mark.
      I then submit that the four objections listed by NTW ultimately lack force
      and convincement, and that FGH Proposition 3 is not significantly challenged
      thereby. If other requirements are met by that theory, these cases seem not
      to present grounds for finding the theory after all defective or
      unsuccessful.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • John C. Poirier
      ... Although Goulder makes a lot of item 4, I would not consider it an integral part of FGH. Why does it matter to the FGH stemma where the non-Markan
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 19, 2005
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        E Bruce Brooks wrote:



        > . . . The FGH, as I understand it, consists of these
        > propositions:
        >
        > 1. No Q
        > 2. No other conjectural texts
        > 3. Mk > Mt >> Lk
        > 4. Unique matter in Mt and Lk is referred to authorial invention.

        Although Goulder makes a lot of item 4, I would not consider it an integral
        part of FGH. Why does it matter to the FGH stemma where the non-Markan
        material came from? I've always held that the supports for FGH problematize
        Q only in the sense in which Q is held to have been used *independently* by
        both Matthew and Luke. In my opinion, that there might have been a sayings
        source that Matthew *or* Luke used is not the point (but then it would not
        be labeled "Q", since "Q" conventionally means something used independently
        by Matthew and Luke). I think recent defenders of the FGH (including
        Goodacre) have been a little confused on this point, fighting off the notion
        of a sayings source when the FGH really doesn't have anything to fear from a
        sayings source *per se*. It's just a question of whether Luke accesses that
        sayings source directly or rather reads it through Matthew. (I'm not
        insisting that there *was* a sayings source-I'm just saying that it doesn't
        matter as part of the definition of the FGH.)

        > It then becomes the task of FGH to provide reasons for the joint
        > or serial omission, so as to save Proposition 3 as viable in the eyes of
        the
        > reasonable reader.

        But why should the proponent of FGH need "to provide reasons for the joint
        or serial omission" if the point of the defense is to show FGH's viability
        relative to the 2DH? The 2DH holds to the same omissions, so why is it a
        problem for FGHer's to explain?



        John C. Poirier

        Middletown, Ohio







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic In Response To: John Poirier On: FGH Strategy From: Bruce This is really just a question of how to manage the argument, and I am happy to let
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 19, 2005
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          To: Synoptic
          In Response To: John Poirier
          On: FGH Strategy
          From: Bruce

          This is really just a question of how to manage the argument, and I am happy
          to let people do what they think best. They will anyway. But as a possible
          contribution to strategy:

          JOHN: But why should the proponent of FGH need "to provide reasons for the
          joint or serial omission" if the point of the defense is to show FGH's
          viability relative to the 2DH? The 2DH holds to the same omissions, so why
          is it a problem for FGHer's to explain?

          BRUCE: Depends what is to be accomplished, and the experienced hands can
          judge that better than I can. My sense of it, admittedly from outside NT,
          would be that it is not good to engage only one alternative, since it leaves
          proponents of other views unconvinced; indeed, unaddressed.

          My personal second reason, which is more a matter of heuristic strategy than
          of advocational strategy, is that the FGH, whatever its appeal (and it
          strikes me as the best alternative currently in play), may not in the end
          entirely cover the evidence. There may not only be residues, but residues
          that point elsewhere. For myself, I don't rule out the possibility that some
          prior collection of stories may involved in the larger Synoptic process,
          even it that collection bears little resemblance to Q. I feel we are more
          likely to find any such signs if we go carefully over the FGH ground, not
          solely as a matter of argument, but also as a discovery procedure. Your
          furnace may work fine, when called on under normal conditions, but if you
          have it inspected by a pro, you may find that some safety valve is stuck,
          and wouldn't have worked in an emergency. This in general, as it seems to
          me, is the case for examining the seemingly unproblematic.

          I admit that it is lavish of time, and that my time in particular should be
          spent elsewhere just now. Put it down to unaffordable luxury of procedure.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts
        • Ron Price
          ... Bruce, As it stands your collection of propositions is neither necessary (as John Poirier has pointed out) nor sufficient (because there is no mention of
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 19, 2005
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            Bruce Brooks wrote:

            > The FGH, as I understand it, consists of these
            > propositions:
            >
            > 1. No Q
            > 2. No other conjectural texts
            > 3. Mk > Mt >> Lk
            > 4. Unique matter in Mt and Lk is referred to authorial invention.

            Bruce,

            As it stands your collection of propositions is neither necessary (as John
            Poirier has pointed out) nor sufficient (because there is no mention of the
            double tradition material) to define the FGH.

            A better set of propositions would be the following:

            (1) The material common to Mark and Matthew can best be explained by AMatt
            making use of a written copy of Mark.
            (2) The material common to Mark and Luke can best be explained by ALuke
            making use of a written copy of Mark.
            (3) The double tradition material is best explained by ALuke making use of a
            written copy of Matthew.

            Propositions (1) and (2) deal with Markan priority, for which there is a
            broad scholarly consensus.

            If we assume Markan priority, proposition (3) is all that needs to be added
            to identify the FGH.

            N.B. Proposition (3) is *not* the same as the proposition that ALuke made
            use of a written copy of Matthew.

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          • Matson, Mark (Academic)
            I agree with John. While I tend to follow FGH, I have also thought it entirely possible or likely that Matt and Luke used a variety of other sources. I see
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 19, 2005
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              I agree with John. While I tend to follow FGH, I have also thought it
              entirely possible or likely that Matt and Luke used a variety of other
              sources. I see no reason why that might not be so. If we assume that
              Mark worked in a context of oral traditions, why should that not be so
              for Matt and Luke as well? Certainly that emphasis on the durability
              (and variability??) of oral traditions is what Jimmy Dunn is making in
              his Jesus Remembered. But I think the oral environment is still
              something we struggle to understand (a point Werner Kelber cogently made
              in a fine paper at the SBL a couple of years ago), so we tend to ignore
              that focusing solely on the documentary element.

              The only think I tend to resist is that Luke and Matthew used a common
              written source without reference to each other. It is the latter issue
              that is crucial to me and lead me to the FGH hypothesis. If there was a
              source that Luke and Matthew used (Which if there was I think was
              probably oral; but let's even assume for the sake of argument it was
              written), I find it much harder -- even impossible -- to convincingly
              assert that Luke and Matthew were produced without any relationship of
              one to the other. To me there are sufficient indications that Luke used
              Matthew ( a judgment call on the order, but we all have to make some
              judgment on this). And given a literary connection, if there were a
              common source (Q)-- and given its hypothetical nature it could be oral,
              or notes, or various combinations; who knows?-- it does not sufficiently
              define the relationship between Matthew and Luke. No, for me the
              satisfactory explanation must include either Matt knowing Luke or Luke
              knowing Matt (preferred).

              To me that is the central issue at stake here -- whether or not there is
              a literary relationship between Matthew and Luke. I think it more likely
              than not. The 2DH would rule that out of hand, which is hard for me to
              conceive.



              > E Bruce Brooks wrote:
              > > . . . The FGH, as I understand it, consists of these
              > > propositions:
              > >
              > > 1. No Q
              > > 2. No other conjectural texts
              > > 3. Mk > Mt >> Lk
              > > 4. Unique matter in Mt and Lk is referred to authorial invention.

              To which John Poirer replied:

              > Although Goulder makes a lot of item 4, I would not consider
              > it an integral part of FGH. Why does it matter to the FGH
              > stemma where the non-Markan material came from? I've always
              > held that the supports for FGH problematize Q only in the
              > sense in which Q is held to have been used *independently* by
              > both Matthew and Luke. In my opinion, that there might have
              > been a sayings source that Matthew *or* Luke used is not the
              > point (but then it would not be labeled "Q", since "Q"
              > conventionally means something used independently by Matthew
              > and Luke). I think recent defenders of the FGH (including
              > Goodacre) have been a little confused on this point, fighting
              > off the notion of a sayings source when the FGH really
              > doesn't have anything to fear from a sayings source *per se*.
              > It's just a question of whether Luke accesses that sayings
              > source directly or rather reads it through Matthew. (I'm not
              > insisting that there *was* a sayings source-I'm just saying
              > that it doesn't matter as part of the definition of the FGH.)

              Mark A. Matson
              Academic Dean
              Milligan College http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/personal.htm





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Ron Price
              ... Bruce, My scientific training leads me to prefer to work from first principles where possible, and Q does not fall into this category. Q arises as an
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 20, 2005
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                I had proposed as an alternative working definition of the FGH:

                > (1) The material common to Mark and Matthew can best be explained by AMatt
                > making use of a written copy of Mark.
                > (2) The material common to Mark and Luke can best be explained by ALuke
                > making use of a written copy of Mark.
                > (3) The double tradition material is best explained by ALuke making use of a
                > written copy of Matthew.

                Bruce Brooks commented in a note apparently intended for Synoptic-L:

                > ....... No less an authority than Goulder's student, our own MkG, finds
                > the Q bit in particular sufficiently important to the NT world, as a point
                > of contention, as to deserve separate attention. Call my points #1-2 and
                > #4 luxury notation., and I will agree, but I was trying to make the map
                > show the psychology as well as the schematics.

                Bruce,

                My scientific training leads me to prefer to work from first principles
                where possible, and "Q" does not fall into this category.

                Q arises as an alternative explanation to that of proposition (3) above:

                (3a) The double tradition material is best explained by AMatt and ALuke
                independently making use of a written sayings source (traditionally called
                "Q").

                Of course the best solution is another rather obvious alternative against
                which no one has yet put up a single decent argument:

                (3b) Part of the double tradition material can be explained by ALuke making
                use of a written copy of Matthew, and the remainder by AMatt and ALuke
                independently making use of a written sayings source (Papias' TA LOGIA).

                Psychological footnote: mine is the only solution of the three which, if
                proved to be true, would imply that the third propositions of each of the
                other two were partly correct. If either the 2ST or the FGH were proved
                true, then advocates of the other would look unmitigatedly stupid.

                Ron Price

                Derbyshire, UK

                Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
              • E Bruce Brooks
                [Sorry, by mistake this did go only to Ron. Wrong button. In case anyone felt puzzled by the lacuna in thread, here is the original. / Bruce] ... To: Synoptic
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 20, 2005
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                  [Sorry, by mistake this did go only to Ron. Wrong button. In case anyone
                  felt puzzled by the lacuna in thread, here is the original. / Bruce]

                  ----- Original Message -----

                  To: Synoptic
                  In Response To: Ron Price
                  On: FGH
                  From: Bruce

                  No real difference here. My working definition of the FGH was:

                  1. No Q
                  2. No other conjectural texts
                  3. Mk > Mt >> Lk
                  4. Unique matter in Mt and Lk is referred to authorial invention.

                  For which Ron proposed to substitute:

                  (1) The material common to Mark and Matthew can best be explained by AMatt
                  making use of a written copy of Mark.
                  (2) The material common to Mark and Luke can best be explained by ALuke
                  making use of a written copy of Mark.
                  (3) The double tradition material is best explained by ALuke making use of a
                  written copy of Matthew.

                  These three items are what my #3 was intended to symbolize (I retained the
                  symbolism from an earlier posting on all possible Synoptic theories). That
                  is, as against, eg

                  Mk > Mt > Lk (Mk used by Mt, and Mt in turn used by Lk)

                  I suggested, again in symbolic terms,

                  Mk > Mt >> Lk (Mk used by Mt, and BOTH used by Lk).

                  Denial of Q is merely implied. But the denial of Q was Farrer's point of
                  departure, and the absence of all other sources is explicit in Goulder. No
                  less an authority than Goulder's student, our own MkG, finds the Q bit in
                  particular sufficiently important to the NT world, as a point of contention,
                  as to deserve separate attention. Call my points #1-2 and #4 luxury
                  notation., and I will agree, but I was trying to make the map show the
                  psychology as well as the schematics.

                  As for focusing on the Mk > Mt relation as the real key to the matter, as
                  Mark Matson separately suggests, I certainly have no objection. I would
                  agree that getting that cleaned up definitively would greatly simplify any
                  remaining questions. I would be glad to join in any such discussion, and I
                  would be even gladder to sit by watching it succeed without any input or
                  effort on my part.

                  My other suggestion was merely tactical. It has nothing to do with the logic
                  of the situation, but rather with its rhetoric. Given limited resources, why
                  not try to convince people who are more or less ready to be convinced,
                  especially when they have so conveniently spelled out the few points at
                  which they are not yet convinced? If nobody likes Udo Schnelle as a specimen
                  of near-convincement, what's wrong with Davies-Sanders? That useful book
                  essentially declared for FGH, but it also identified some areas of
                  unconvincement. Wouldn't it help the cause if those areas of almost
                  convincement were systematically addressed? If I were in the market with a
                  theory, I would be very glad of the chance to enlist a well known and widely
                  respected senior figure on that theory's behalf. But the opportunity so far
                  seems to have been passed up.

                  Not my cause, and so not my concern. But as a more or less sympathetic
                  bystander, I will admit to being puzzled.

                  I was reading the other day William Bulger's memoirs ("While the Music
                  Lasts," Houghton Mifflin 1996). Bill was the Massachusetts Senate President
                  for a number of years; once a powerful figure in state politics. Bill is
                  Irish. He knows, more or less by birth, how politics works. He tells a
                  number of stories from experience that are a salutary shock for the
                  unpolitical academically minded person, such as myself. We tend to think
                  that the truth will make its own way, right? The politicians know that it
                  doesn't, and they know what to do about it. Who are the twelve leading
                  figures in NT today? Which of them are closest to accepting the FGH
                  position? What would it take to convince them fully? Work on that area of
                  near agreement. That's the approach. Treat it as though you had only a few
                  hours to accomplish it (Bulger op cit, 240f).

                  Whether this kind of thinking would get anywhere I don't know. At minimum,
                  the FGH might well emerge from the resulting examining of its own roots and
                  implications notably clarified and perhaps strengthened. Perhaps also
                  changed in the process, as I earlier ventured to suggest.

                  (My personal view, earlier expounded, is that the Synoptic Problem is not
                  valid as currently stated, so that no solution to the problem, as stated,
                  including FGH, can be adequate either. My interest in FGH is that it looks
                  to me like the best lemma, the best intermediate position, the best
                  jumping-off point from which to reach what I suspect will prove the right
                  answer).

                  Bruce

                  E Bruce Brooks
                  Warring States Project
                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                • Stephen C. Carlson
                  For many scholars, the synoptic problem is not an end, but a means to an end: understanding the historical Jesus. I can see how these two issues are related
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
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                    For many scholars, the synoptic problem is not an end,
                    but a means to an end: understanding the historical
                    Jesus. I can see how these two issues are related on
                    the Q side, where Q has been important for accessing
                    the teachings of Jesus, but what about the Farrer-side
                    of the issue. Aside from E. P. Sanders, perhaps, I
                    can't think of any detailed approaches to the HJ from
                    the Farrer perspective. Am I missing any one? What
                    would it look like?

                    Stephen Carlson
                    --
                    Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                    Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
                    Author of: The Gospel Hoax, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932792481
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