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Re: [Synoptic-L] Q

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic In Response To: Tim Lewis From: Bruce In defining the Synoptic Problem, for those who think there is one, Tim had said: TIM: I think the question
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 9, 2006
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      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Tim Lewis
      From: Bruce

      In defining the Synoptic Problem, for those who think there is one, Tim had
      said:

      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.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Research Professor of Chinese
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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