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Fwd: Re: Fw: [Synoptic-L] The codex and readings in parallel

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  • David Barrett Peabody
    ... Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 21:49:06 -0400 From: John C. Poirier Reply-To: John C. Poirier Subject: Re: Fw:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2006
      ----- Forwarded message from "John C. Poirier" <poirier@...>
      -----
      Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 21:49:06 -0400
      From: "John C. Poirier" <poirier@...>
      Reply-To: "John C. Poirier" <poirier@...>
      Subject: Re: Fw: [Synoptic-L] The codex and readings in parallel
      To: David Barrett Peabody <dbpeabody@...>

      [Thanks for this, David. Since you address it to "Colleagues", did you
      intend it to go to the list? It only went to me. (JCP)]

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "David Barrett Peabody" <dbpeabody@...>
      To: "John C. Poirier" <poirier@...>
      Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 7:00 PM
      Subject: Re: Fw: [Synoptic-L] The codex and readings in parallel


      Colleagues,

      Let us not forget that as early as the time of Papias the Gospel of Mark
      had been criticized for "omitting" some material from his gospel, for
      some kind of a faulty order present in that gospel and even, so it
      seems, for falsifying some of the information in that gospel. And what
      would have been the norm by which Mark was being measured and so
      criticized?

      Unfortunately, Papias' own *Interpretation of the Logia of the Lord* is
      not now extant, so we can't consult that, but Eusebius chose to quote
      a few short passages for us from that work of Papias. However, one of
      the passages Eusebius does quote from Papias, in addition to the
      passage dealing with Mark, relates to the composition of Matthew which
      could have been at least one of the norms whereby those critics of Mark
      known to Papias could have decided that Mark omitted material, had a
      faulty order of events or, perhaps, even falsified some things in his
      gospel.

      To be sure Papias defends Mark's composition against these attacks, but,
      in doing so, he provides us evidence of a relatively early controversy
      over the Gospel of Mark, the basis of which is presumably derived from
      a comparison of gospels (minimally of Matthew and Mark, based only upon
      what Eusebius has preserved for us).

      The codex form would have been helpful in making the kinds of
      comparisons which gave rise to these controversies and, of course, also
      for the defense of the "to be canonical" gospels against criticism
      which arose from such comparisons.

      We know also from Eusebius' letter to Carpianus, reprinted in Greek in
      NA27, that a certain Ammonius had produced a "dia tessaron gospel" in
      Alexandria almost a century
      before Eusebius produced his famous "canons" for comparing the parallel
      texts of the gospels. Again, according to Eusebius, Ammonius had taken
      the runnning text of Matthew and attached the parallel texts of the
      other canonical gospels to the side of Matthew for comparative
      purposes. Of course, this destroyed the running order of Mark, Luke and
      John, so Eusebius provided his canons so that each of the canonical
      gospels could be compared with the three others without removing the
      material to be compared from its original literary context.

      By the time of Eusebius, the concern of Constantine was to produce 50
      copies of the "authoritative" Christian Scriptures, so, if there had
      been separate codices for each of the four gospels that were to be
      canonized, it would have been counter-productive to Constantine's
      purposes to have continued that custom. Hence, Eusebius' canons could
      provide for the same kinds of comparisons of the gospels that separate
      codices would have enhanced, but in Constantine's required format of a
      single codex of the authoritative Christian canon.

      Best,

      David B. Peabody


      --
      David Barrett Peabody
      Professor of Religion
      Nebraska Wesleyan University
      5000 St. Paul Ave.
      Lincoln, NE 68504
      (402) 465-2302
      www.nebrwesleyan.edu/people/dbp

      ----- End forwarded message -----


      --
      David Barrett Peabody
      Professor of Religion
      Nebraska Wesleyan University
      5000 St. Paul Ave.
      Lincoln, NE 68504
      (402) 465-2302
      www.nebrwesleyan.edu/people/dbp
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