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RE: [Synoptic-L] Re: Query on Q

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  • Weaks, Joe
    Wieland, et al, I am currently writing a dissertation reconstructing what we can of Mark from the text of triple tradition pericopes in Matthew and Luke
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 13, 2006
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      Wieland, et al,

      I am currently writing a dissertation reconstructing what we can of Mark from the text of triple tradition pericopes in Matthew and Luke (assuming an historical construct where it was "Q" that survived, and not Mark). Even at the early stages I am in, the results are shouting out. It calls into question the reliability of a reconstructed document in many regards.
      By late summer, I hope to start posting reconstructed pericopes online for feedback.
      Cheers,
      Joe

      Rev. Joseph Weaks, PhD (Cand)
      Brite Divinity School, TCU, Fort Worth


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Wieland Willker
      Sent: Tue 6/13/2006 6:05 AM
      To: Synoptic-L
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] Re: Query on Q

      Exactly as you write Bruce.
      What this experiment would show is that what one reconstructs is not necessarily the truth. It shows how weak the Q+Mark = Everything theory is.
      What some have reconstructed as Q is probably quite far from the truth IMHO.*
      It's not that simple: Q reconstructed. Period. Ready.
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic-L Cc: GPG In Response To: Wieland Willker From: Bruce WIELAND: Bruce, your theorizing is ok, but keep in mind that we are dealing with human
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 14, 2006
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        To: Synoptic-L
        Cc: GPG
        In Response To: Wieland Willker
        From: Bruce

        WIELAND: Bruce, your theorizing is ok, but keep in mind that we are dealing
        with human action/interaction and this is not always rational or following
        Ockham's razor.

        BRUCE: I hadn't invoked Ockham's razor. As for rational, it is not so much
        the rational I have been trying to capture, as the logically inevitable. As
        Farmer says, and I think unanswerably, no matter how many complications
        there are (the existence of other texts, etc), the Synoptics were still
        written in SOME order: one first, another second, and the third last. This
        is physically inevitable, no matter what their literary relationships may
        be.

        (I have tried recently to introduce into Synoptic discourse the possibility
        that one or more of the Synoptics may be accretional, and thus not confined
        to a single compositional date. The present argument assumes simple texts,
        but this should still be valid as long as we specify that we are discussing
        the final authorial or proprietary version of each).

        Farmer (in Step One of his essay, previously cited) displays several
        parallel passages. These are: Mt 15:32-29 || Mk 8:1-10, not in Lk [Feeding
        of the Four Thousand], Mk 1:21-28 || Lk 4:31-37, not in Mt [Jesus in the
        Synagogue at Capernaum], and Mt 8:7-10 || Lk 7:6-9, not in Mk [The
        Centurion's Servant], plus the triple passage Mt 8:2-4 || Mk 1:40-45 || Lk
        5:12-16 [Healing of a Leper]. Farmer shows, again I think persuasively, that
        where two of the three Synoptics have common material and the third lacks a
        parallel, the nature of the parallel two passages is such that a literary
        relationship must obtain. That is, no matter how much else may be true, of
        these passages or of others in the Synoptics, there are literary
        relationships linking all, not just some, of the Synoptics. That is, there
        really is a Synoptic Problem, and the answer to it has the form of a
        three-way relationship. If solving it does not remove all doubt from every
        line of the texts involved, well, fine, we can take up that residue when it
        becomes apparent exactly what it consists of. But whether Synoptic
        relationships are the whole story or only part of it, they exist as a
        problem, and the problem can be worked on, and perhaps solved.

        As for how many possible solutions to it there may be, leaving aside the
        presence of other texts in the final answer, that too is amenable to logic.
        I think that 25 covers the territory entirely. There are not any other
        variants. It's like combinatorics: you can list all the possibilities. It
        then remains to see if some possibilities can be eliminated, and if so,
        which ones remain as viable contenders.

        WIELAND: It is perfectly possible that
        - Lk and Mt used more sources, perhaps similar ones, perhaps catechetic
        manuals.

        BRUCE: Specifically allowed for in the above. It doesn't prevent our
        addressing the Synoptic part of the problem.

        WIELAND: - Lk and Mt knew each other and they corresponded.

        BRUCE: This is merely one way that Lk/Mt might have been in contact. It is
        necessary for the Synoptic Problem only to determine that they WERE in
        contact. Farmer, to my mind, has established that each pair of the Synoptic
        authors were in contact, in one direction or another.

        WIELAND: - Lk only later got to know Mt and copied only a few things.

        BRUCE: Same reply. The mode of their acquaintance is immaterial.

        [But I add parenthetically: If you mean to suggest that Lk was partly
        written before Lk made contact with Mt's text, I happen to agree. I devote a
        chapter to it in a vaguely planned book. That is (in my opinion, and I
        haven't space here to give the analysis that leads me to it; some points
        have appeared previously in Synoptic), there are at least two phases of Lk,
        one when he knew only Mk, and followed it extensively, and a second one
        where he made contact with Mt, leading to rearrangement of his previous text
        and the addition of a lot of new material from, or (in the case of the birth
        narratives) adversatively inspired by, Mt. I think these complications are
        important. But even they don't prevent us from chronologizing the final
        stage of Lk, which even on this view would come after Mt, and would have
        used Mt. The complication doesn't invalidate the conclusion].

        WIELAND: - oral traditions have been used

        BRUCE: To what is this an alternative? If it means that rather than making
        up his new material, Luke reflected the notions of others, who themselves
        made it up, that is perfectly possible. But neither this complication nor
        the addition of written sources to the three-way picture will invalidate the
        solution of the three-way picture. However complex the picture, the three
        Synoptics are in some sort of relationship.

        WIELAND: - short written notes existed, transferred between various
        Christian groups

        BRUCE: Same answer.

        WIELAND: - Lk or Mt used another document based on something like Q.

        BRUCE: Same answer. This is merely multiplying ways of stating the same
        possible complication.

        WIELAND: - post-apostolic editing took place.

        BRUCE: What "apostolic" means here I do not know. I suspect it means "during
        the time of the Evangelists who wrote the respective Gospels," and if so, I
        think it may miss a point I was trying to make in an earlier exchange. It
        was this: There are roughly two periods in the history of any text: (1) an
        authorial period, when it is still being formed under the original authors
        or their institutional successors. This period may last for a few hours or a
        few centuries. There is only one copy of the text in existence throughout
        this period, however long it may be, and it is held by the authors or more
        generally by the institution in which they function: a local church, or
        whatever you like. (2) a public period, when the text begins to be copied
        for others to read. It is here that scribal errors are possible, and it is
        here that we have, or can hope to have, outside witnesses to the text (and
        to any scribal errors introduced into it). But any formative processes (and
        I would class "editing" among them) are confined to the first or authorial
        period. (3) In exceptional cases, such as happened to Acts in the Bezae
        manuscript, a copyist may take a work in hand to expand or otherwise
        drastically improve. Or a Marcion may expurgate a previously existing
        Gospel. This sort of thing effectively reopens the text to author-type
        formative processes. There are Chinese examples also; such things do happen.
        But it is usually possible to detect them by conventional text-critical
        means, because they happen in the time period when manuscript copies may in
        principle exist. In the case of Acts in Bezae, we rely on those manuscripts
        to establish exactly what it is that the Bezae person has done to Acts.

        As for post-"authorial" editing of Mark, I think it is possible to show
        (though again, not within the proper confines of this note; I think I am
        already over my allowed six lines) that the text of Mark varied not at all
        between the time that Matthew used it, and the time that Luke used it. That
        is, I think the sequence Mk > Mt > Lk can be directly and not inferentially
        demonstrated. If so, the "minor agreements" (not to mention the Major
        Agreements) merely show that the second of Luke or Matthew rather liked a
        change that the other had introduced into his assimilated version of the
        Markan material.

        But if Mk had undergone changes between its use by one Synoptist and the
        next, that would be a finesse that we would discover on checking off all
        Synoptic features and traits that were accounted for by our Synoptic
        relationship picture. There might be such a residue, or there might not; we
        don't know a priori. The first thing to do on arriving at a Synoptic theory
        (and I still suggest that the previous argument leaves the Ropes Hypothesis
        as the sole survivor) would naturally be to eliminate from all three texts
        everything that is accounted for by that theory, and then see what is left
        to deal with.

        At that point, an interim-editing theory (like the triple Mark theory of
        Wendling and others) might emerge, or a hypothetical text might need to be
        conjectured, or anything at all. So . . .

        WIELAND: The truth is IMHO in any case more complicated than simply Mk > Mt
        >> Lk
        or something like that.

        BRUCE: Maybe. As now repeatedly acknowledged. But that does not prevent a
        Synoptic core relationship from existing, and from being recovered.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Wieland Willker On: Synoptic Relations [under rubric Query on Q ] From: Bruce BRUCE [Previously, and quoting Farmer]: the
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 14, 2006
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          To: Synoptic
          Cc: GPG
          In Response To: Wieland Willker
          On: Synoptic Relations [under rubric "Query on Q"]
          From: Bruce

          BRUCE [Previously, and quoting Farmer]: the Synoptics were still written in
          SOME order: one first, another second, and the third last. This is
          physically inevitable

          WIELAND [In response]: Why is that? Perhaps Mt and Lk were written at the
          same time.

          BRUCE: Possible, but as it happens, excluded by Farmer's own further
          demonstration. He shows that the closeness of wording between ANY TWO of the
          Synoptics is such as to be best explained by one of them being a source for
          the other. This requires some time differential.

          WIELAND: Or what about this: Mt and/or Lk used some earlier draft of Mk,
          then later Mk was slightly revised. Then also Lk got to know Mt and changed
          a few points in his edition. Who is earlier? It's all not that simple.

          BRUCE: Already asked and answered. But to repeat: The accretional
          possibility does potentially complicate the simple three-way Synoptic
          diagram. My suggested solution was that we take the final state of each
          Synoptic as the thing with which we are presently concerned. If we get
          two-way relationships (that is, text A now seems to be using B, but in a few
          moments, text B seems to be using A), then multiple stages *within Synoptic
          purview* may need to be recognized.

          My own researches have kept that possibility in mind; I have tried to be
          alert for signs of such situations (for samples of reciprocal relationship
          between two texts, see Appendix 3 of my book, The Original Analects, already
          immodestly referred to). As earlier hinted, my best sense of things at this
          moment is that the complex accretion process in Mk is already finished by
          the time Mt and Lk come along, so that this particular growth situation need
          not complicate the Synoptic problem. (The growth of Lk is another matter).
          Thus:

          BRUCE [Previously]: As for post-"authorial" editing of Mark, I think it is
          possible to show...that the text of Mark varied not at all between the time
          that Matthew used it, and the time that Luke
          used it.

          WIELAND: Not at all? How do you know? You know "The Great Omission" by Lk?

          BRUCE: Thought you'd never ask. But as I may have mentioned before, we
          Chinese are polite people, and I can't without an appearance of
          insubordination expound on this list what has been determined by the current
          SBL leadership to be of no NT interest. So I will have to defer this
          particular question until I can find a venue that will at once (1) avoid
          offense to the NT powers that be, and (2) give me reasonable priority
          protection. Maybe I will get a lecture invitation (as at UNC and Yale last
          fall), or maybe the local SBL committee, unlike the national, will look with
          favor on that proposal (as they did with another proposal this past April).
          Meanwhile, with regret, I must give you what we over here call a rain check
          for that particular answer.

          BRUCE [Previously, in summing up]: that [complication] does not prevent a
          Synoptic core relationship from existing, and from being recovered.

          WIELAND: ok, but how relevant is this? To simply know Lk used Mt, what does
          it say? Almost nothing, if we don't know in what way, at what time and to
          what extent.

          BRUCE: Good Grief, Wieland; it says a lot. It eliminates many possible
          Synoptic theories from further consideration, thus greatly clearing the
          board of distractions and analytical dead ends. It establishes a time
          sequence and a textual relationship, both of which, as you will know, have
          been minutely debated (in both directions) in past decades. At *what time*
          (what year of the clock) this took place is not material to estimating the
          *nature* of the use made of Mt by Lk, which is the core of the Synoptic
          Problem (thought it would be fun to know). And as to exactly what of Mt aLk
          used, and to what end? Well, the ability to ask and investigate that
          problem, the confidence to work on that and not on seventeen other things,
          is what has been gained by the present argument.

          It looks like an advantage to me. As a scientist, you want more. OK, I will
          try to provide it, but in justice to the things I am supposed to be doing
          instead, and in deference to the proprieties which as a Chinese person I am
          inclined to respect, it may take me a little while.

          Best wishes,

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        • Emmanuel Fritsch
          Chuck Jones said:
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 19, 2006
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            Chuck Jones said:
            << 2. To me, the fact that Q is not extant today is the single most
            irrelevant argument made against it.
            [..] Mk is the only one that is still extant. There is nothing at all
            surprising that Q, if it existed, would not be extant. It would be
            surprising if in fact it were >>

            More over, imagine the second century christian holding both Q and Luke
            (or Matthew) and owning only a single set of ink and papyrus to copy
            only one of them. Which one would have he copy ? The most complete, "so
            that nothing will be lost".

            In that perspective, the absence of proto-gospels is quite normal, and
            may not be found as a great arguments against their existence.

            Chuck Jones said:
            << Mt omitted much more of Mk than Lk did. Did he also omit large
            portions of Q? Is some of the L material from Q? We'll never know
            (without an archeological discovery like that of Thomas). >>

            As I used to say, Boismard tried to do it, and many points in his work
            look still valid.

            Emmanuel.

            > Bruce,
            >
            > Two observations:
            >
            > 1. That was brilliant thought excercise--very well said.
            > 2. To me, the fact that Q is not extant today is the single most
            > irrelevant argument made against it. Lk says in his prologues there
            > were "many" written accounts of Jesus and that he researched them for
            > his book. All but Mk (or Mt) are lost.
            >
            > The literary style of Mk, Mt and Lk align with this prologue
            > observation--in form the synoptics (including Mk) are collections of
            > brief, stand-alone vignettes about things Jesus said or did. So Mk had
            > at least one (lost) source. Mt had M, Lk had L (he says "many"
            > sources, actually), Mt and Lk had Mk. Mk is the only one that is still
            > extant. There is nothing at all surprising that Q, if it existed,
            > would not be extant. It would be surprising if in fact it were.
            >

            >
            > Chuck
            >
            > E Bruce Brooks <ebbrooks@...
            > <mailto:ebbrooks%40resgs.umass.edu>> wrote:
            > To: Synoptic
            > In Response To: Wieland Willker
            > On: Q
            > From: Bruce
            >
            > Responses on my amateur Q query have been most helpful; further ones would
            > be also appreciated; I don't mean to stop the flow by picking up on
            > Wieland's last paragraph. But merely as an interlude:
            >
            > WIELAND: One direction to go with the material we have is (what I already
            > proposed years ago and what Eric Eve started), to reconstruct the text of
            > Mark from Mt and Lk alone. Then compare the result with the Mark we have.
            >
            > BRUCE: Don't understand. If we had only Mt and Lk and were comparing them
            > for the first time, we would find a lot of overlap (some of it with
            > extensive rewording), and also some striking material that was unique to
            > each (including cognate parts like the birth narratives, that are so
            > different that they need to be treated as parallels rather than as
            > overlaps). It would soon occur to someone to isolate the overlap material,
            > and see if it made sense as a common source.
            >
            > That reconstructed possible source, I suppose, would contain (1)
            > everything
            > in Mk, except a few odd and even offensive bits, plus (2) everything now
            > ascribed by some to Q.
            >
            > If then Mk were suddenly rediscovered and compared with that
            > reconstruction,
            > the conclusion would be, Hmm, our reconstructed source is actually two
            > things, one part is in this new Mk, but the rest must be from somewhere
            > else, call it R for Residue.
            >
            > No? We would then have a Two Source Theory.
            >
            > Bruce
            >
            > E Bruce Brooks
            > Warring States Project
            > University of Massachusetts at Amherst
            >
            > [Of course the other thing to do with Mt and Lk, these being imagined
            > to be
            > all that is available, and it having been said by an early Church Father
            > that a conflated Gospel had once existed, would be to conflate the extant
            > texts in order to arrive at the probable text of that Gospel. This would
            > lead to terrible trouble in the birth narrative sections, and the hired
            > hands would come back and say, What do you want us to do with this stuff
            > which is narratively analogous but can't be conflated without simply
            > sacrificing one or the other? And we, the Principal Investigators, as they
            > are called on this side of the water, might say, In these cases, just
            > leave
            > those parts out, and conflate what is conflatable. OK, they would do that.
            > Then they say, What about order differences? We answer: Never mind
            > order, or
            > arbitrarily follow Lk for the order, just put them together. And they
            > would
            > finish up by producing a hypothetical conflated Gospel. It would be longer
            > than either, since it would include all material unique to Mt or Lk
            > and not
            > somehow contradicted in the other.
            >
            > Now assume the same result as above: Mk is suddenly discovered in the
            > sands
            > of Egypt. If it were then compared with the hypothetical Conflation
            > Gospel,
            > what would be the reaction?
            >
            > First, the investigators would congratulate themselves on finessing the
            > birth narratives, since the recovered text agrees in not containing
            > them. So
            > far so good.
            >
            > But Second, they would be shocked at how short Mk is, compared with their
            > rational prediction of its contents. What would be their next step,
            > conceptually? (1) To conjecture a second, still lost, Conflation Gospel? I
            > don't think this would square with the patristic testimony that
            > started them
            > off. There is no reason to think that a Conflation Gospel would have been
            > written in two pieces, and enshrined in separate texts altogether, and
            > anyway, the patristic statement mentioned one Conflation Gospel, not
            > two. So
            > that line seems to lead nowhere. (2) To work on their conception of
            > how the
            > conflation should have been done? Much more likely. They would then
            > come, in
            > sequence from the top, to something like Mt 5:3, 6 || Lk 6:21-22:
            >
            > "Blessed are [the] poor, for 'theirs] is the Kingdom of Heaven [= God].
            > Blessed are [those] who hunger, for [they] shall be satisfied
            >
            > They need to find reason why this did not appear in the Conflated Gospel.
            > What's the reason?]
            >
            > __________________________________________________
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            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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            >




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          • John C. Poirier
            ... The recent flurry of posts on the reasons for believing in Q all seem to identify the Q hypothesis strictly with any imagination that there is a sayings
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 19, 2006
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              Emmanuel Fritsch wrote (supporting Chuck Jones's point that the lack of Q's continued existence is a poor argument against the Q hypothesis):

              > . . . imagine the second century christian holding both Q and Luke (or Matthew) and owning only a single
              > set of ink and papyrus to copy only one of them. Which one would have he copy ? The most complete, "so
              > that nothing will be lost".

              The recent flurry of posts on the reasons for believing in Q all seem to identify the Q hypothesis strictly with any imagination that there is a sayings source behind the gospels. May I remind everyone (for what is probably the sixth or seventh time) that the "Q hypothesis" refers strictly not to arguments given for a sayings source *simpliciter*, but rather to a sayings source used *independently* by Matthew and Luke. In other words, if you (or I) believe that there probably *was* a sayings source behind the gospels, but that it was probably used directly only by Matthew, with its words mediated to Luke through Matthew (or vice versa), then you (or I) simply don't believe in Q as such.

              What I'm saying is that probably three fourths of the arguments being given here for Q do not strike in the least bit against Q skepticism, because in fact those arguments confuse "Q" with the appeal to *any* posited sayings source as an ultimate source for the double tradition. I don't believe in Q, yet I believe that there probably is a sayings source lying in the background of the double tradition. Giving reasons for why there probably was a sayings source does not make it necessary or probable that Luke didn't know Matthew (obviating the need for that sayings source to be an independent source for both gospels), or vice versa.


              John C. Poirier
              Middletown, Ohio




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            • Chuck Jones
              John, I m curious about your observation I ve snipped below. How is it that you believe in a source behind the double tradition but don t believe in Q? I
              Message 6 of 15 , Jun 19, 2006
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                John,

                I'm curious about your observation I've snipped below.

                How is it that you believe in a source behind the double tradition but don't believe in Q? I understand Q to be a shorthand way of referring to that source.

                Chuck

                John wrote:
                I don't believe in Q, yet I believe that there probably is a sayings source lying in the background of the double tradition.








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              • John C. Poirier
                Chuck Jones wonders about the logic of my statement: I don t believe in Q, yet I believe that there probably is a sayings source lying in the background of
                Message 7 of 15 , Jun 19, 2006
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                  Chuck Jones wonders about the logic of my statement: "I don't believe in Q, yet I believe that there probably is a sayings source lying in the background of the double tradition."

                  I'll try to explain it in a different way: Those who believe that Luke used Matthew, or Matthew used Luke, must (?) hold an opinion about where the first among those two gospels got the sayings. Now Goulder thinks that Matthew made many of them up. But what about those of us who don't think Matthew made them up, and who think Matthew likely derived them from a source? Would believing that imply that we believe in Q? Not according to the true definition of Q, which consists of two propositions: (1) that there was a sayings source behind the double tradition, and (2) that that source was used independently by Matthew and Luke. Believing in (1) but not (2) amounts to not believing in Q *per se*, although it amounts in believing in a source that looks like Q. The difference is not in what comprises the source, but in how it was transmitted to Matthew and Luke.

                  John C. Poirier
                  Middletown, Ohio


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                • Chuck Jones
                  John, Got it. Makes perfect sense. Thanks, Chuck John C. Poirier wrote: Chuck Jones wonders about the logic of my statement: I don t
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jun 20, 2006
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                    John,

                    Got it. Makes perfect sense.

                    Thanks,

                    Chuck

                    "John C. Poirier" <poirier@...> wrote:
                    Chuck Jones wonders about the logic of my statement: "I don't believe in Q, yet I believe that there probably is a sayings source lying in the background of the double tradition."

                    I'll try to explain it in a different way: Those who believe that Luke used Matthew, or Matthew used Luke, must (?) hold an opinion about where the first among those two gospels got the sayings. Now Goulder thinks that Matthew made many of them up. But what about those of us who don't think Matthew made them up, and who think Matthew likely derived them from a source? Would believing that imply that we believe in Q? Not according to the true definition of Q, which consists of two propositions: (1) that there was a sayings source behind the double tradition, and (2) that that source was used independently by Matthew and Luke. Believing in (1) but not (2) amounts to not believing in Q *per se*, although it amounts in believing in a source that looks like Q. The difference is not in what comprises the source, but in how it was transmitted to Matthew and Luke.



                    .





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