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RE: [Synoptic-L] Discontinuities in texts

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  • David Inglis
    Bob, In aLk s case I think it s not unreasonable to suggest that he may not have had access to all his (possibly) many sources before he started writing.
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 26, 2011
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      Bob, In aLk's case I think it's not unreasonable to suggest that he may not have had access to all his (possibly) many
      sources before he started writing. Instead, he may well have added new material (or edited what he had previously
      written) as more 'sources' came to light over an extended period. However, depending on how careful he was at blending
      the new material into the older, we may or may not be able to distinguish one from the other.

      David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



      From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bob Schacht
      Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 8:12 AM
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Discontinuities in texts

      At 04:33 AM 7/26/2011, David Mealand wrote:

      >This issue arises in a number of places not only in Luke & Acts but also in the very blatant discontinuities in the
      Fourth Gospel.
      >
      >These are often discussed in their NT context and those discussing them tend to bring assumptions about what might or
      might not have caused them....

      David,
      I hope you get a better answer to your question than I can give. Your question raises for me a scenario that I have
      seldom seen discussed: has anyone considered the possibility that some of our NT texts were written over a period of
      time by the same person? In other words, that some of the discontinuities that you refer to result from insertions by
      the same author at a later time?

      For example, Luke writes out a first draft of his gospel on a papyrus quire and carries it around, showing it to various
      knowledgeable persons. They get to talking about some section of the text, and Luke decides to add something about that.
      So he takes some loose pages of papyrus, writes out an editorial insertion, and sticks the loose pages into the quire at
      the appropriate place. Later, he has the original manuscript re-copied with the editorial insertions included. This
      could produce several kinds of discontinuities, including theological, resulting from the author's shifting viewpoints.
      Has this type of scenario been discussed?

      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Bob Schacht
      ... Yes; he makes it clear that he has more than one source, increasing the likelihood of the addition of some sources after the original draft. ... Exactly.
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 26, 2011
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        At 10:32 AM 7/26/2011, David Inglis wrote:
        >Bob, In aLk's case I think it's not unreasonable to suggest that he
        >may not have had access to all his (possibly) many
        >sources before he started writing.

        Yes; he makes it clear that he has more than one source, increasing
        the likelihood of the addition of some sources after the original draft.

        >Instead, he may well have added new material (or edited what he had previously
        >written) as more 'sources' came to light over an extended period.

        Exactly. Luke is more clear than the others that he is a compiler,
        rather than an eye witness.

        >However, depending on how careful he was at blending
        >the new material into the older, we may or may not be able to
        >distinguish one from the other.

        Indeed. In some cases, he might simply have told a copyist to "stick
        the words from this loose page in at the mark in the text on this
        page," without bothering much about careful blending.

        Bob Schacht
        Northern Arizona University


        >David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
        >
        >
        >
        >From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On
        >Behalf Of Bob Schacht
        >Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 8:12 AM
        >To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Discontinuities in texts
        >
        >At 04:33 AM 7/26/2011, David Mealand wrote:
        >
        > >This issue arises in a number of places not only in Luke & Acts
        > but also in the very blatant discontinuities in the
        >Fourth Gospel.
        > >
        > >These are often discussed in their NT context and those discussing
        > them tend to bring assumptions about what might or
        >might not have caused them....
        >
        >David,
        >I hope you get a better answer to your question than I can give.
        >Your question raises for me a scenario that I have
        >seldom seen discussed: has anyone considered the possibility that
        >some of our NT texts were written over a period of
        >time by the same person? In other words, that some of the
        >discontinuities that you refer to result from insertions by
        >the same author at a later time?
        >
        >For example, Luke writes out a first draft of his gospel on a
        >papyrus quire and carries it around, showing it to various
        >knowledgeable persons. They get to talking about some section of the
        >text, and Luke decides to add something about that.
        >So he takes some loose pages of papyrus, writes out an editorial
        >insertion, and sticks the loose pages into the quire at
        >the appropriate place. Later, he has the original manuscript
        >re-copied with the editorial insertions included. This
        >could produce several kinds of discontinuities, including
        >theological, resulting from the author's shifting viewpoints.
        >Has this type of scenario been discussed?
        >
        >Bob Schacht
        >Northern Arizona University
        >
        >
        >
        >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >------------------------------------
        >
        >Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Matson, Mark (Academic)
        David and Mark G: The focus on both Luke and John certainly got my attention. The question I have, and increasingly, is how much authorial control does one
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 26, 2011
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          David and Mark G:

          The focus on both Luke and John certainly got my attention. The question I have, and increasingly, is how much authorial control does one have in writing, and how consistent is our writing?

          I know the normal paradigm is to see variations in language and disjunctures in the flow of narrative as indications of use of a source (hence the reference to John's aporias, which Fortna used famously to find seams of sources, incorrectly I think). But I remember looking back over some writing I did in Grad School, and being struck by how much my writing at points "sounded" like Moody Smith's. I had unconsciously picked up some wording from him. Other times I have looked at older papers and realized the argument started and stopped in weird ways. But it was me writing each of these. I think this is behind David's questions about actual studies of style in various circumstances.

          On the other hand, even if a source is used, a writer often "absorbs it" into his or her own idiom. So sometimes use of sources might become difficult to determine.

          All that is to say that I am increasingly suspicious of "clear" standards for an author's style. Authors can mimic styles (infancy narrative of Luke; or the various speeches in Acts, each with its own style). And authors can absorb other's material -- and in that case what is source and what is composition?

          One other issue -- when one talks about the theology of an author -- do any of us have a cohesive theology or view of life? For instance, I am amazed at people who claim to have an absolute ethic of life (re: abortion, for instance), and yet can in the next breath support the death penalty. To me this is a complete contradiction. And yet... to them they are consistent, or they categorize these in different "pockets" of thought.

          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 David Mealand
          > Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 7:34 AM
          > To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Discontinuities in texts
          >
          >
          > This issue arises in a number of places
          > not only in Luke & Acts but also in the
          > very blatant discontinuities in the Fourth Gospel.
          >
          > These are often discussed in their NT context and those discussing them
          > tend to bring assumptions about what might or might not have caused them.
          >
          > Has anyone seen an empirical study of discontinuities in modern texts and
          > whether they are due to
          > a) the author rewriting their own material or b) the author incompletely
          > absorbing source material or c) another author unevenly adapting an
          > earlier author's work?
          >
          > I can remember a very blatant example of b many years ago when I had set
          > items of very different viewpoints as reading for a seminar. One student
          > contribution dutifully read out plagiarized sentences from A followed by a
          > sentence from B without apparently noting that B contradicted A.
          > (I hasten to add that this did not happen in Edinburgh.) So I can offer
          > limited first hand evidence for b. I also think that I have first hand
          > evidence for discontinuities becoming evident at proof stage in at least
          > one item of mine that I had heavily revised myself before releasing. We
          > also, of course, know of discontinuities which arise simply from errors in
          > copying a manuscript from an exemplar.
          >
          > But if someone knows of a study of causes of discontinuity it might throw
          > more light on the phenomenon.
          >
          > David M.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ---------
          > David Mealand, University of Edinburgh
          >
          >
          > --
          > The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland,
          > with registration number SC005336.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-lYahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • ddcanne@windstream.net
          Philip Wesley Comfort, Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations, writes in his introduction about seven types of changes that could have led to
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 26, 2011
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            Philip Wesley Comfort, Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations, writes in his introduction about seven types of changes that could have led to discontinuities in texts. Additions from "oral tradition," "additions for liturgical use," "additions due to the influence of certain ascetic practices," "emendations due to the tamperings of heretics" (he notes Luke 3:22), "emendations due to doctrinal biaes," "harmonization" and "adustments made by pious scribes." Any of these, it seems, could lead to discontinuity. He then quotes Origen on the diversity of texts in the third century.

            Dennis Dean Carpenter
            Dahlonega, Ga.
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