Re: [Synoptic-L] Q
- To: Synoptic
In Response To: Tim Lewis
In defining the Synoptic Problem, for those who think there is one, Tim had
TIM: I think the question refers to the likelihood or unlikelihood that (at
least) two Gospel authors had a copy (or perhaps an identical copy) of the
first written Gospel rather than writing independently. / The reply to such
a question has to be that the Synoptic Problem as it is usually defined,
already assumes that at least two of the Gospel texts must be literarily
(inter)connected, hence the "problem" of ascertaining whose dependence on
whom even if this is on an earlier document (proto-Gospel).
BRUCE: No misunderstanding is likely, but in a technical sense, I would take
issue with "at least two of the Gospel texts." Surely it is "three." If we
label the three Synoptics as A, B, C, then I think that solutions where one
of the Synoptics stands apart, unconnected to either of the others, such as
I would symbolize by the formula A | B, C (and its possible variants) would
not be regarded as responding to the question as usually posed. Nor, as Tim
points out, would solutions of the type A | B | C, where all three Synoptics
arose independently of each other. The solutions available to the Synoptic
Problem, on this understanding, and omitting complications due to the
inclusion of other sources, are not the total theoretical 25, but only the
trebly connected 18.
To list the 18 (or the 25) is merely a matter of combinatorics. It is set
forth in various places; my own version, hopefully a convenient one, will be
found at http://www.umass.edu/wsp > Biblica > Synoptic > Theories.
Corrections always welcome.
E Bruce Brooks
Research Professor of Chinese
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst