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Joe Weaks: Reconstructed Mark thesis

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  • Wieland Willker
    I am not sure if this has already been posted here, but Joe Weaks thesis, in which he is studying a reconstructed text of Mark from Mt and Lk, is online
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 23, 2011
      I am not sure if this has already been posted here, but Joe Weaks' thesis,
      in which he is studying a reconstructed text of Mark from Mt and Lk, is
      online available:

      Go to http://www.worldcat.org
      And enter: Mark without Mark weaks


      MARK WITHOUT MARK:
      PROBLEMATIZING THE RELIABILITY OF A
      RECONSTRUCTED TEXT OF Q
      by
      Joseph Allen Weaks
      January 2010
      383 pages

      Compare: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Synoptic/message/518


      Here's his conclusion:

      "Summary Implications
      The text of MarQ is a poor reconstruction of Mark both in its extent, and in
      its content. In extent, MarQ is but half of the size of Mark. It lacks
      significant pericopes, many of which are foundational to a typical
      understanding of the literary, theological, redactional characteristics of
      Mark. In terms of content, even within the traditions that have been
      reconstructed, their final forms are at times but a shadow of their instance
      in Mark. The changes in verbal and grammatical frequency are profound
      evidence to this fact. Many of the principle theological and literary
      features of Mark are lost to MarQ. Likewise, there are predominant features
      in MarQ that have no corresponding occurrence in Mark.
      In the end, once Mark has been reconstructed from the common material in
      Matthew and Luke, several pitfalls are revealed in working with that
      reconstructed text. Again and again the defining features of Mark are lost
      in the text of MarQ. In analyzing the reconstruction, predominant and
      cohesive features of MarQ stand out in such a way that, when compared to
      canonical Mark, they can be seen to be false positives. Some significant
      vocabulary occurs in MarQ that never occurs in Mark, and some occurs in Mark
      that never occurs in MarQ.
      Scholars that work with the text of Q need to find new analogies for how to
      make use of any reconstructed text of the Q source. To reclaim a source from
      Matthew and Luke is to unravel two stages of degradation of the text, both
      the evangelist's use of the text and then the scholar's process for
      "de-redacting" it back out. Previous defenses of the resulting text of Q
      center on the collective wisdom and self-confirming quality of the
      reconstruction process. The proposal here is that the question to ask is not
      how good or reliable or easy was the process of reconstructing a text behind
      Matthew and Luke. The reconstruction here was performed with a set of ideal,
      implausible (yet possible) methods that are even superior to those used for
      Q. Rather, the question to ask is how representative is the resulting
      reconstruction to the actual source document that Matthew and Luke both
      used. The answer is "Not very."
      When Matthew's and Luke's Marcan source is reconstructed from their non-Q,
      common material, the resulting reconstructed text is strikingly
      differentiated from the canonical text it is approximating. The tremendous
      difference shines a spotlight on the profoundly tenuous nature of a
      reconstructed text. It even begs the question as to whether those who work
      in source and redaction criticism have done a disservice to historians by
      presenting them with a text of Q, as unreliable as it is, with little
      guidance regarding the limited level of analysis, dissection, and
      stratification that a reconstructed text can endure."



      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><
      --------------------------
      Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie
      Textcritical commentary:
      http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/
    • Ronald Price
      ... From my own experience in reconstructing the Œlogia¹, there seem to be three conditions which must be satisfied if any such reconstruction is to be
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 23, 2011
        Joe Weaks is quoted as writing:

        > The text of MarQ is a poor reconstruction of Mark both in its extent, and in
        > its content. In extent, MarQ is but half of the size of Mark. It lacks
        > significant pericopes, many of which are foundational to a typical
        > understanding of the literary, theological, redactional characteristics of
        > Mark. In terms of content, even within the traditions that have been
        > reconstructed, their final forms are at times but a shadow of their instance
        > in Mark. The changes in verbal and grammatical frequency are profound evidence
        > to this fact. Many of the principle theological and literary features of Mark
        > are lost to MarQ. Likewise, there are predominant features in MarQ that have
        > no corresponding occurrence in Mark.
        >
        From my own experience in reconstructing the Œlogia¹, there seem to be three
        conditions which must be satisfied if any such reconstruction is to be
        successful.

        Firstly and most obviously, the material which constituted the source must
        all be available in some form in the extant documents.

        Secondly it must be possible at the outset to lay down criteria by which it
        will be possible to identify the material which belongs to the source to be
        reconstructed, and these criteria must be substantially independent of the
        (sometimes impenetrable) behaviour of the first century authors of the
        extant documents.

        Thirdly the source must have been highly coherent, so that when it is being
        reconstructed, the original internal links will emerge as if by magic to
        facilitate completion of the jigsaw.

        As far as Joe¹s experiment is concerned, the third criterion was not
        fulfilled. For Mark, though structurally coherent, certainly cannot be said
        to be highly coherent. Also I suspect the second criterion was not
        fulfilled. If so, then his results may lend some support to the above
        criteria.

        As far as Q is concerned, the second criterion was definitely not fulfilled,
        for the scope of Q is defined not only by what Matthew and Luke copied, but
        also by a narrow hypothesis as to where they were copying from (exclusively
        from Q and in no part from each other). Nor, as can be seen in retrospect by
        a critical observer, was the third criterion fulfilled.

        Ron Price,

        Derbyshire, UK

        http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Matson, Mark (Academic)
        Joe presented the results of this at the SBL (Synoptic Gospels section) last fall. It was well received. I found his presentation very convincing. Mark A.
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 23, 2011
          Joe presented the results of this at the SBL (Synoptic Gospels section) last fall. It was well received. I found his presentation very convincing.

          Mark A. Matson
          Academic Dean
          Milligan College
          423-461-8720
          http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/mmatson/personal.htm


          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          > Of Wieland Willker
          > Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 11:33 AM
          > To: Synoptic-L
          > Subject: [Synoptic-L] Joe Weaks: Reconstructed Mark thesis
          >
          > I am not sure if this has already been posted here, but Joe Weaks' thesis,
          > in which he is studying a reconstructed text of Mark from Mt and Lk, is
          > online available:
          >
          > Go to http://www.worldcat.org
          > And enter: Mark without Mark weaks
          >
          >
          > MARK WITHOUT MARK:
          > PROBLEMATIZING THE RELIABILITY OF A
          > RECONSTRUCTED TEXT OF Q
          > by
          > Joseph Allen Weaks
          > January 2010
          > 383 pages
          >
          > Compare: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Synoptic/message/518
          >
          >
          > Here's his conclusion:
          >
          > "Summary Implications
          > The text of MarQ is a poor reconstruction of Mark both in its extent, and
          > in its content. In extent, MarQ is but half of the size of Mark. It lacks
          > significant pericopes, many of which are foundational to a typical
          > understanding of the literary, theological, redactional characteristics of
          > Mark. In terms of content, even within the traditions that have been
          > reconstructed, their final forms are at times but a shadow of their
          > instance in Mark. The changes in verbal and grammatical frequency are
          > profound evidence to this fact. Many of the principle theological and
          > literary features of Mark are lost to MarQ. Likewise, there are
          > predominant features in MarQ that have no corresponding occurrence in
          > Mark.
          > In the end, once Mark has been reconstructed from the common material in
          > Matthew and Luke, several pitfalls are revealed in working with that
          > reconstructed text. Again and again the defining features of Mark are lost
          > in the text of MarQ. In analyzing the reconstruction, predominant and
          > cohesive features of MarQ stand out in such a way that, when compared to
          > canonical Mark, they can be seen to be false positives. Some significant
          > vocabulary occurs in MarQ that never occurs in Mark, and some occurs in
          > Mark that never occurs in MarQ.
          > Scholars that work with the text of Q need to find new analogies for how
          > to make use of any reconstructed text of the Q source. To reclaim a source
          > from Matthew and Luke is to unravel two stages of degradation of the text,
          > both the evangelist's use of the text and then the scholar's process for
          > "de-redacting" it back out. Previous defenses of the resulting text of Q
          > center on the collective wisdom and self-confirming quality of the
          > reconstruction process. The proposal here is that the question to ask is
          > not how good or reliable or easy was the process of reconstructing a text
          > behind Matthew and Luke. The reconstruction here was performed with a set
          > of ideal, implausible (yet possible) methods that are even superior to
          > those used for Q. Rather, the question to ask is how representative is the
          > resulting reconstruction to the actual source document that Matthew and
          > Luke both used. The answer is "Not very."
          > When Matthew's and Luke's Marcan source is reconstructed from their non-Q,
          > common material, the resulting reconstructed text is strikingly
          > differentiated from the canonical text it is approximating. The tremendous
          > difference shines a spotlight on the profoundly tenuous nature of a
          > reconstructed text. It even begs the question as to whether those who work
          > in source and redaction criticism have done a disservice to historians by
          > presenting them with a text of Q, as unreliable as it is, with little
          > guidance regarding the limited level of analysis, dissection, and
          > stratification that a reconstructed text can endure."
          >
          >
          >
          > Best wishes
          > Wieland
          > <><
          > --------------------------
          > Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
          > http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie
          > Textcritical commentary:
          > http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • Joseph
          ... And I found Mark Matson to be very kind (and astute!). I hope to publish that SBL paper so that a summary of the statistical data can be more widely
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 24, 2011
            --- "Matson, Mark (Academic)" wrote:
            > Joe presented the results of this at the SBL (Synoptic Gospels section) last fall.
            > It was well received. I found his presentation very convincing.


            And I found Mark Matson to be very kind (and astute!).

            I hope to publish that SBL paper so that a summary of the statistical data can be more widely available.

            Joe

            ----------------------
            Rev. Joseph Weaks, PhD
            Raytown Christian Church
            macbiblog.blogspot.com
            ----------------------
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