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The "2 1/2 source" hypothesis

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  • Gentile, David
    Tim and I have been tossing some ideas around regarding this, and we thought we d share it here to get a wider range of input. My study suggests that a least a
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 9 8:16 AM
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      Tim and I have been tossing some ideas around regarding this, and we
      thought we'd share it here to get a wider range of input.



      My study suggests that a least a little of Matthew's vocabulary found
      its way into Luke.

      http://www.davegentile.com/synoptics/main.html

      Others have also made this same observation in other ways. The problem
      with this is that for other reasons most scholars have argued that it
      seems fairly unlikely that Luke actually had a copy of Matthew in front
      of him as he worked.



      However, there are other ways Matthian vocabulary could show up in Luke.




      One possibility is that some sayings from Matthew got into independent
      circulation after Matthew was written, or sayings that were already in
      circulation picked up some Matthian vocabulary. Luke then could have
      picked these up. A good example here is the Greek word "Oligopistos",
      "little faith". Mark never uses this word. But then Matthew uses the
      word four times. Twice in sections of Mark he revised, and twice in
      sections of Matthew that have no parallel in Mark.



      The word Oligopistos only occurs once in the text of Luke/Acts. (Luke
      12:28). It has a direct parallel in Matthew 6:30 so in is in "Q". The
      text also occurs in an early Greek fragment of the non-canonical gospel
      of Thomas. So the saying looks to be something that circulated
      independently of its context, as both a part of oral tradition, and part
      of lists of sayings. The fact that Luke has this saying that looks like
      a free oral unit, and also looks like it used Matthian vocabulary, makes
      it quite plausible that Luke picked this up from an oral tradition that
      had been influenced by the publication of Matthew.



      But there are other ways Matthian language could have gotten into Luke.
      For example, we could imagine that the gospel of Matthew comes into use
      in one city. Luke, in another part of the Mediterranean region writes to
      his friend in the city that now uses Matthew. Luke's friend tells him
      some things about the new gospel, and includes certain pieces of the
      text of Matthew in his letter, but does not send a whole text of
      Matthew. Luke then creates his gospel from his copy of Mark, a sayings
      source, and his friend's letter about Matthew.



      This idea works well for a section of text like the "casting out Satan"
      controversy. (Mark 3) The relationship between the three synoptic texts
      seems different here that in most sections. In most sections Mark's text
      seems to be intermediate between Matthew's text, and Luke's text. This
      makes sense, if Matthew and Luke both use Mark's text independently.
      However, in the controversy section, Matthew's text is the intermediary
      one. Another clue here is that while Matthew located this with material
      from Mark, Luke does not locate this text in his gospel with other text
      that he got from Mark; he locates it with text that is generally
      assigned to "Q".



      The scenario that works best for me here is that Luke is working from a
      copy of Mark that does not have the controversy, and a section of text
      identical to Matthew's controversy. Since Mark's controversy breaks up
      two references to the family of Jesus, it is easy to suppose it might
      not have been in some copies of Mark. Luke's copy of Mark would then
      have read something like "He went home again, and once more such a crowd
      collected that they could not even have a meal. When his relations heard
      of this they set out to take charge of him; they said "He is out of his
      mind". [When his relations] arrived and standing outside they sent
      someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told
      him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." "Who are my
      mother and my brothers?" he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a
      circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever
      does God's will is my brother and sister and mother.""



      That seems a little harsh. His family thinks he's nuts and he seems to
      disown them. So we could speculate something like a margin note was made
      here in a version of Mark, explaining why Jesus could not really be
      insane / possessed by an evil spirit, as his family thought. Then in a
      subsequent copy of Mark the controversy got added to and broke up the
      main text. So Luke gets this text from his friend's letter about
      Matthew, and locates it in his gospel separately from the material he
      got from Mark. The controversy moves Margin of Mark => version of Mark
      (leading to ours) => Matthew => Letter to Luke => Luke. It was never in
      Q and never in the original Mark.



      There is yet another possible way for Matthian vocabulary to get into
      Luke. Our surviving copies of Luke could all have been harmonized to
      match Matthew in some parts. So Luke originally used Mark and Q, but the
      gospel of Luke was later modified with text from Matthew. We do know
      that Matthew's gospel became the favorite of the early church, and we
      also know that the heretic Marcion had a version of Luke that was
      different than the one used by the proto-Orthodox church, but we don't
      have a copy of Marcion's version of Luke. It seems reasonable that in
      losing all of Marcion's Luke we have lost some of the original Luke.



      If this is correct, then "Q" was probably a little bit smaller than is
      normally supposed, and only consisted of sayings. In its current
      reconstruction "Q" mostly contains sayings, but it also contains some
      material that is more narrative in character, like the special preaching
      by John the Baptist (Luke 3:7-18). The text about John the Baptist is
      particularly suspect because we know Marcion's Luke was supposed to be
      missing text regarding John. So according to this hypothesis, these
      narrative bits were probably authored by Matthew, and later made their
      way into all surviving copies of Luke.



      All three forms of influence of Matthew on Luke are plausible. There is
      the possibility of pre-production oral influence (an altered "Q"),
      pre-production written influence (a letter to Luke), and post-production
      influence on Luke (church harmonization). I'm not sure we can firmly say
      that it was any one of these. So it might be best to just say Luke was
      influenced by Matthew in one or more of these ways, and then on a case
      by case basis figure out which sort of influence seems to work best for
      a particular piece of text where influence looks to be probable.



      Dave Gentile

      Riverside IL





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mark Goodacre
      ... I am not sure whether most scholars have argued that or whether they have built on the assumption that Luke did not know Matthew, in the light of the
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 9 8:42 AM
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        On 09/02/06, Gentile, David <gentile_dave@...> wrote:

        > My study suggests that a least a little of Matthew's vocabulary found
        > its way into Luke.
        >
        > http://www.davegentile.com/synoptics/main.html
        >
        > Others have also made this same observation in other ways. The problem
        > with this is that for other reasons most scholars have argued that it
        > seems fairly unlikely that Luke actually had a copy of Matthew in front
        > of him as he worked.

        I am not sure whether "most scholars have argued" that or whether they
        have built on the assumption that Luke did not know Matthew, in the
        light of the arguments of Streeter and otehrs. But I would say that
        those arguments need engaging, and are found wanting; e.g. see my own
        attempts to take them on in a book called _The Case Against Q_, which
        was published a couple of years ago.

        > One possibility is that some sayings from Matthew got into independent
        > circulation after Matthew was written, or sayings that were already in
        > circulation picked up some Matthian vocabulary. Luke then could have
        > picked these up. A good example here is the Greek word "Oligopistos",
        > "little faith". Mark never uses this word. But then Matthew uses the
        > word four times. Twice in sections of Mark he revised, and twice in
        > sections of Matthew that have no parallel in Mark.

        See further Goulder's work here, e.g. in the article
        "Self-Contradiction in the IQP", but also elsewhere. Goulder argues
        that the word is Matthew's neologism, not previously found in Greek
        literature. The difficulty for any theory other than direct borrowing
        here is that the pericope in question has remarkably close agreement
        between Matthew and Luke overall, so we are not talking about a word
        here or a phrase there finding its way in.

        > The word Oligopistos only occurs once in the text of Luke/Acts. (Luke
        > 12:28). It has a direct parallel in Matthew 6:30 so in is in "Q". The
        > text also occurs in an early Greek fragment of the non-canonical gospel
        > of Thomas.

        What do you mean by "text"? It is true that there is a parallel to
        this pericope in P.Oxy 655 but the word OLIGOPISTOS is not found.

        > So the saying looks to be something that circulated
        > independently of its context, as both a part of oral tradition, and part
        > of lists of sayings. The fact that Luke has this saying that looks like
        > a free oral unit, and also looks like it used Matthian vocabulary, makes
        > it quite plausible that Luke picked this up from an oral tradition that
        > had been influenced by the publication of Matthew.

        Why not just say that Luke got it out of Matthew?

        With best wishes
        Mark
        --
        Mark Goodacre Goodacre@...
        Associate Professor
        Duke University
        Department of Religion
        314 Gray Bldg./Box 90964
        Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
        Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

        http://NTGateway.com/goodacre
      • Gentile, David
        Hi Mark, Mark: I am not sure whether most scholars have argued that or whether they have built on the assumption that Luke did not know Matthew, in the light
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 9 9:13 AM
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          Hi Mark,


          Mark: I am not sure whether "most scholars have argued" that or whether
          they
          have built on the assumption that Luke did not know Matthew, in the
          light of the arguments of Streeter and otehrs. But I would say that
          those arguments need engaging, and are found wanting; e.g. see my own
          attempts to take them on in a book called _The Case Against Q_, which
          was published a couple of years ago.

          Dave: How about most scholars (but not all, yourself a notable
          exception) support some version of the 2-source hypothesis?

          Mark: See further Goulder's work here, e.g. in the article
          "Self-Contradiction in the IQP", but also elsewhere. Goulder argues
          that the word is Matthew's neologism, not previously found in Greek
          literature. The difficulty for any theory other than direct borrowing
          here is that the pericope in question has remarkably close agreement
          between Matthew and Luke overall, so we are not talking about a word
          here or a phrase there finding its way in.

          Dave: I agree that one way or another it looks like Matthian influence.
          But if "Q" was a "semi-rigid" oral tradition that could be recited by
          rote, then Matthew getting this from "Q" and Luke getting this from a
          Matthian influenced "Q" seems to work, at least for me. Of course this
          does assume the oral tradition was somewhat rigid and able to hold its
          shape reasonably well, in order to achieve the high verbatim agreement.
          And obviously other forms of Matthian influence are possible too. This
          one just seems like a good potential candidate for oral influence, at
          least to me.

          Mark: What do you mean by "text"? It is true that there is a parallel
          to
          this pericope in P.Oxy 655 but the word OLIGOPISTOS is not found.

          Dave: I thought the word was in the fragment. But, I appear to be
          mistaken there.

          Mark: Why not just say that Luke got it out of Matthew?

          Dave: Possible of course. I think the genealogy and nativity are big
          stumbling blocks for many there. The Ferrier hypothesis is still one
          that is not ruled out by my study, as I interpret it. Still, the study
          does seems to lean towards something intermediate between the 2-source
          and Ferrier hypotheses, and that is where I find myself leaning as well
          based on the study itself and other lines of argument.

          Thanks for the feedback,

          Dave Gentile
          Riverside, IL
        • Stephen C. Carlson
          ... My sense is that oral traditions sufficiently rigid to achieve the degree of verbatim agreement we see in the synoptics should also evidence the various
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 9 9:38 AM
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            At 11:13 AM 2/9/2006 -0600, Gentile, David wrote:
            >Dave: I agree that one way or another it looks like Matthian influence.
            >But if "Q" was a "semi-rigid" oral tradition that could be recited by
            >rote, then Matthew getting this from "Q" and Luke getting this from a
            >Matthian influenced "Q" seems to work, at least for me. Of course this
            >does assume the oral tradition was somewhat rigid and able to hold its
            >shape reasonably well, in order to achieve the high verbatim agreement.
            >And obviously other forms of Matthian influence are possible too. This
            >one just seems like a good potential candidate for oral influence, at
            >least to me.

            My sense is that oral traditions sufficiently rigid to achieve
            the degree of verbatim agreement we see in the synoptics
            should also evidence the various mnemonic devices as we see
            in Homer or a reverential attitude to the memorized (oral)
            text that would permit little redaction of the material.
            Neither of these indications for a sufficiently rigid oral
            tradition are evident in the synoptics, however.

            Stephen
            --
            Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
            Weblog: http://www.hypotyposeis.org/weblog/
            Author of: The Gospel Hoax, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932792481
          • Chuck Jones
            All, I m curious, and have been awhile, about source numbering (2 source, 2 1/2 source, etc). It seems to me that regardless of what one concludes about the
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 9 9:53 AM
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              All,

              I'm curious, and have been awhile, about source numbering (2 source, 2 1/2 source, etc).

              It seems to me that regardless of what one concludes about the double tradition (Q), there were sources M and L. My reasoning is simply that, except for the birth narratives, the material that is only in Mt and only in Lk follows the same form as the material in multiple sources. For example, form criticism would suggest that Lk incorporated the parable of the lost coin, which appears only in Lk, from a source, just as he and Mt did with the parable of the lost sheep.

              Or asked another way, the appearance of a pericope in only one gospel does not imply free composition, does it?

              Chuck


              ---------------------------------
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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Dave
              ... Stephen, Maybe if we could recover the actual list of sayings then we would see these features? The list could be quite different than what we think we
              Message 6 of 13 , Feb 9 10:34 AM
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                >
                > My sense is that oral traditions sufficiently rigid to achieve
                > the degree of verbatim agreement we see in the synoptics
                > should also evidence the various mnemonic devices as we see
                > in Homer or a reverential attitude to the memorized (oral)
                > text that would permit little redaction of the material.
                > Neither of these indications for a sufficiently rigid oral
                > tradition are evident in the synoptics, however.
                >
                > Stephen
                > --

                Stephen,

                Maybe if we could recover the actual list of sayings then we would
                see these features? The list could be quite different than what we
                think we see. For example, maybe the order of Matthew/Luke does not
                really match up all that well with the list. Or maybe we are missing
                enough pieces to mask a pattern.

                In any case, its probably not a very important point. I don't think
                the influence of oral tradition alone is enough to account for what
                we see of Matthew in Luke. I'm just saying that when we look at an
                individual piece of Luke that looks like it came from Matthew, the
                idea of oral influence is one that we should consider along we the
                other possible avenues of influence.

                Dave Gentile
                Riverside, IL
              • E Bruce Brooks
                To: Synoptic-L In Response To: Steph Fisher On: Scholar From: Bruce STEPH: what constitutes a scholar? BRUCE: a scholar is someone who knows the literature. E
                Message 7 of 13 , Feb 9 8:32 PM
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                  To: Synoptic-L
                  In Response To: Steph Fisher
                  On: Scholar
                  From: Bruce

                  STEPH: what constitutes a scholar?

                  BRUCE: a scholar is someone who knows the literature.

                  E Bruce Brooks
                  Warring States Project
                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                • Steph Fisher
                  Hello Bruce, I agree that a scholar is someone who knows the literature. It was an unnecessary question but I suggest that nobody has done a count of all
                  Message 8 of 13 , Feb 9 11:23 PM
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                    Hello Bruce,

                    I agree that a scholar is someone who knows the literature. It was an
                    unnecessary "question" but I suggest that nobody has done a count of all
                    those knowledgeable of the literature, therefore, I don't think we can
                    appeal to any consensus regarding some version of a Two Source Hypothesis.

                    Steph Fisher
                    NZ

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "E Bruce Brooks" <ebbrooks@...>
                    To: "Steph Fisher" <steph7@...>; <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 5:32 PM
                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The "2 1/2 source" hypothesis


                    > To: Synoptic-L
                    > In Response To: Steph Fisher
                    > On: Scholar
                    > From: Bruce
                    >
                    > STEPH: what constitutes a scholar?
                    >
                    > BRUCE: a scholar is someone who knows the literature.
                    >
                    > E Bruce Brooks
                    > Warring States Project
                    > University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-l
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --
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                  • Emmanuel Fritsch
                    ... I mean rather : a scholar is someon who uses the right methods for the production of knowledge. Knowing the literature is only a little piece, I hope. And
                    Message 9 of 13 , Feb 10 12:58 AM
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                      E Bruce Brooks wrote:

                      >
                      > STEPH: what constitutes a scholar?
                      >
                      > BRUCE: a scholar is someone who knows the literature.


                      I mean rather :
                      a scholar is someon who uses the right methods for the production of
                      knowledge.
                      Knowing the literature is only a little piece, I hope.

                      And then : who defines the literature ? who defines the right methods ?
                      ;-)

                      a+
                      manu
                    • Emmanuel Fritsch
                      ... Nobody answered. Perhabs the existence of M and L is accepted by the whole Mark-priorist community ? In that case, only debated sources are counted ;-) a+
                      Message 10 of 13 , Feb 10 4:03 AM
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                        Chuck Jones wrote :

                        > All,
                        >
                        > I'm curious, and have been awhile, about source numbering (2 source,
                        > 2 1/2 source, etc).
                        >
                        > It seems to me that regardless of what one concludes about the
                        > double tradition (Q), there were sources M and L. My reasoning is
                        > simply that, except for the birth narratives, the material that is
                        > only in Mt and only in Lk follows the same form as the material in
                        > multiple sources. For example, form criticism would suggest that Lk
                        > incorporated the parable of the lost coin, which appears only in Lk,
                        > from a source, just as he and Mt did with the parable of the lost sheep.
                        >
                        > Or asked another way, the appearance of a pericope in only one
                        > gospel does not imply free composition, does it?
                        >

                        Nobody answered. Perhabs the existence of M and L is accepted by the
                        whole Mark-priorist community ?
                        In that case, only debated sources are counted ;-)

                        a+
                        manu
                      • Steph Fisher
                        Hello Ron, Yes I know it s an odd one - a combination of two brilliant but different scholars. Mark Goodacre concedes the existence of oral sources. Maurice
                        Message 11 of 13 , Feb 10 4:15 AM
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                          Hello Ron,

                          Yes I know it's an odd one - a combination of two brilliant but different
                          scholars. Mark Goodacre concedes the existence of oral sources. Maurice
                          Casey pp. 186-90 sums up his proposed models. But I'm working on it.

                          Best wishes,
                          Steph Fisher
                          Napier NZ

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Ron Price" <ron.price@...>
                          To: "Synoptic-L elist" <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 12:51 AM
                          Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The "2 1/2 source" hypothesis


                          > Steph Fisher wrote:
                          >
                          >> I am especially influenced by the work of both Mark
                          >> Goodacre and Maurice Casey ("An Aramaic Approach to Q")
                          >
                          > Steph,
                          >
                          > That's an interesting combination.
                          >
                          > How would you even begin to reconcile Mark Goodacre's rejection of Q with
                          > Maurice Casey's preference for no less than five "Q"s? (Such a model is
                          > proposed in the book of Casey's which you mentioned, though I don't have
                          > the
                          > page number.)
                          >
                          > Ron Price
                          >
                          > Derbyshire, UK
                          >
                          > Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-l
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
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                        • Steph Fisher
                          Dear Bruce, Absolutely: A consensus, as you suggest, can be appealed to in argument by those so inclined. How good an argument it makes is a separate question.
                          Message 12 of 13 , Feb 10 4:34 AM
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                            Dear Bruce,

                            Absolutely: A consensus, as you suggest, can be appealed to in argument by
                            those so inclined. How good an argument it makes is a separate question.

                            And I appreciate and agree with what you say:

                            A scholar is one who knows the literature, and is capable of weighing the
                            arguments in the literature on their merits. Anyone with a theory is
                            ultimately hoping to persuade the scholarly constituency that their
                            arguments are sound. And if so, we can arrive at a definition of this list:
                            it is a microconstituency.

                            Best wishes,
                            Steph Fisher
                            Napier NZ


                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "E Bruce Brooks" <ebbrooks@...>
                            To: "Steph Fisher" <steph7@...>
                            Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 12:29 AM
                            Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The "2 1/2 source" hypothesis


                            > To: Synoptic
                            > In Response To: Steph Fisher
                            > On: Consensus
                            > From: Bruce
                            >
                            > STEPH: I suggest that nobody has done a count of all those knowledgeable
                            > of
                            > the literature, therefore, I don't think we can appeal to any consensus
                            > regarding some version of a Two Source Hypothesis.
                            >
                            > BRUCE: I would still disagree. Consensus isn't normally determined by an
                            > actual count (what about the highly literate guy up there in Baffin Bay,
                            > with his moose traps and his complete file of Revue Biblique? And anyway,
                            > who has the budget?). It's determined by a sense of those who. I don't
                            > think
                            > it's anything much to appeal to, one way or the other. There was a time
                            > when
                            > the entire field thought that Matthew, Mark, and Luke were literarily
                            > independent, hence the phrase "Triple Tradition," and very few people
                            > would
                            > now accept that. So an opinion is only as good as it is. But it still
                            > exists, and I think that very few knowledgeable persons at the present (I
                            > will nominate the four owners of the Synoptic list as my sample) would
                            > feel
                            > any doubt about what its main outlines are, such as they are. If it
                            > exists,
                            > then it can be appealed to in argument by those so inclined. How good an
                            > argument it makes is a separate question.
                            >
                            > I will now make a statement: "Very many scholars at present accept Markan
                            > Priority, whereas very few are persuaded by arguments for Lukan Priority."
                            > I
                            > haven't taken a poll, or seen the results of one, but I don't expect that
                            > my
                            > previously defined Reference Four will feel otherwise. Then the statement
                            > is
                            > correct. That doesn't mean that the opinion it describes is true, just
                            > that
                            > the opinion has been correctly reported.
                            >
                            > The value of knowledgeable opinion, I should imagine, lies in the
                            > presumption that knowledgeable opinion is reached by weighing evidence, so
                            > that if a given argument has failed to convince, it has failed because the
                            > evidence is insufficient. If nobody now believes in "Triple Tradition" in
                            > the sense of three independent witnesses, it is ultimately because the
                            > arguments for literary interrelationship are strong. In a field coinciding
                            > with an area of belief, like NT, there are obvious possible complications.
                            > But it is expected that "scholars" will precisely "bracket off" their
                            > identity as believers when wearing their philological hats. And that, I
                            > suspect, is also part of what we mean by "scholar," and what this list
                            > means
                            > by calling itself a scholarly discussion. It means that appeals to
                            > evidence
                            > are relevant, and that appeals to dogma are not.
                            >
                            > So I end up by revising my definition: A scholar is one who knows the
                            > literature, and is capable of weighing the arguments in the literature on
                            > their merits. Anyone with a theory is ultimately hoping to persuade the
                            > scholarly constituency that their arguments are sound. And if so, we can
                            > arrive at a definition of this list: it is a microconstituency.
                            >
                            > Thanks for the opportunity to reconsider.
                            >
                            > Bruce
                            >
                            > E Bruce Brooks
                            > Warring States Project
                            > University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
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                          • Lee Edgar Tyler
                            ... I certainly agree that the Synoptics don t evince transmission through oral tradition; the only way I can see to account for the verbal correspondences is
                            Message 13 of 13 , Feb 10 9:07 AM
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                              Stephen C. Carlson wrote:

                              >At 11:13 AM 2/9/2006 -0600, Gentile, David wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >>Dave: I agree that one way or another it looks like Matthian influence.
                              >>But if "Q" was a "semi-rigid" oral tradition that could be recited by
                              >>rote, then Matthew getting this from "Q" and Luke getting this from a
                              >>Matthian influenced "Q" seems to work, at least for me. Of course this
                              >>does assume the oral tradition was somewhat rigid and able to hold its
                              >>shape reasonably well, in order to achieve the high verbatim agreement.
                              >>And obviously other forms of Matthian influence are possible too. This
                              >>one just seems like a good potential candidate for oral influence, at
                              >>least to me.
                              >>
                              >>
                              >
                              >My sense is that oral traditions sufficiently rigid to achieve
                              >the degree of verbatim agreement we see in the synoptics
                              >should also evidence the various mnemonic devices as we see
                              >in Homer or a reverential attitude to the memorized (oral)
                              >text that would permit little redaction of the material.
                              >Neither of these indications for a sufficiently rigid oral
                              >tradition are evident in the synoptics, however.
                              >
                              >Stephen
                              >
                              >
                              I certainly agree that the Synoptics don't evince transmission through
                              oral tradition; the only way I can see to account for the verbal
                              correspondences is through some sort of textual dependence. But there
                              are two caveats: First, we should not look for the sorts of mnemonic
                              devices seen in Homer or other oral epics because these devices inhere
                              in the verse form of the genre. And of course the gospels are not
                              composed in Homeric decasyllable with cesurae at the fourth foot.
                              Unless you have that verse form, you cannot have Homeric mnemonics.
                              Also, there are evident in many of the aphoristic sayings attributed to
                              Jesus mnemonic structures associated with oral tradition. Such forms as
                              "Give unto Ceasar...", "Man was not made for the Sabbath...", or the
                              anaphoric Beatitudes are suggestive or oral composition and
                              transmission. These do not by any means account for the verbatim
                              correspondences we find in the gospels, but probably do account for the
                              preservation of the sayings up to the point where the textual tradition
                              takes over from the oral, as they are both memorable and easily
                              memorizable.

                              Ed Tyler
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