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Re: [Synoptic-L] The Gadarene/Gerasene Demoniac[s]

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  • Chuck Jones
    Bruce, Two things: First, you omitted the part of my post in which I stated that *all* criteria fail to provide consistent directionality between the three
    Message 1 of 21 , Jun 27, 2006
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      Bruce,

      Two things: First, you omitted the part of my post in which I stated that *all* criteria fail to provide consistent directionality between the three synoptics.

      Second, methodologically I don't think it's fair to omit the trains of thought that produce inconsistent results, on the grounds that they produce inconsistent results, and then continue looking for one or more criteria that will produce consistent results. Isn't that trying too hard to get to a desired answer?

      Chuck

      Rev. Chuck Jones
      Atlanta, Georgia

      BRUCE:
      CHUCK If this doesn't suggest anything else, doesn't it suggest that the
      problem can't be satisfactorily resolved using only the three extant
      documents?

      BRUCE: I wouldn't go that far. It suggests to me only that the problem can't
      be satisfactorily resolved using criteria which give inconsistent results.
      The thing to do, I should think, before multiplying hypothetical entities,
      is to seek criteria which DO give consistent results for the three (or four)
      Synoptics. If none can be found, then surgery on the Synoptic Problem as
      usually stated would be strongly indicated.


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    • Dave Gentile
      In response to Bruce, Chuck Jones writes: Two things: First, you omitted the part of my post in which I stated that *all* criteria fail to provide consistent
      Message 2 of 21 , Jun 27, 2006
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        In response to Bruce, Chuck Jones writes:

        Two things: First, you omitted the part of my post in which I stated
        that
        *all* criteria fail to provide consistent directionality between the
        three
        synoptics.

        Second, methodologically I don't think it's fair to omit the trains
        of thought
        that produce inconsistent results, on the grounds that they produce
        inconsistent
        results, and then continue looking for one or more criteria that
        will produce
        consistent results. Isn't that trying too hard to get to a desired
        answer?

        and Chuck Jones previously wrote -

        Your quote below struck me as key. No matter what criteria we
        use--Dramaticness, Bigness (I like those terms), gramatical
        smoothness,
        organizational clarity, the addition of side comments that support
        theological
        aims, etc.--the data flow back and forth suggesting different
        directions
        depending on the passage one is looking at. If this doesn't suggest
        anything
        else, doesn't it suggest that the problem can't be satisfactorily
        resolved using
        only the three extant documents?

        ================

        Chuck,
        I think there are methods that produce consistant directionality
        *most* of the time. My statistical study is an example.
        http://www.davegentile.com/synoptics/main.html

        This is enough, in my opinion, to establish that the bulk of the
        material has a Mk => Mt => Lk directionalty. But what to make of the
        fact that the arrows don't always point in this direction?

        First, I think we should expect some random "noise". There simply
        may be exceptions where the author, for whatever reason, worked
        against the grain in a particular area of the synoptics.

        Secondly, I think we should take into account that our best
        reconstructions of the gospels may not completely reflect the
        original. In places Mark's text may be an assimilation to Matthew,
        for example, that is present in 100% of existing copies. Or Mark may
        contain late one line edits, that made it into all surviving copies
        of Mark. This could make this one line (or small section) in Mark
        later than the other synoptics, even though the bulk of Mark is more
        primitive.

        My view would be that only if the first and second points here,
        cannot account for the mixed directionality indicators we find in
        some case, do we need the hypothesis of extra documents that have
        become lost.

        Dave Gentile,
        Riverside, IL
      • Chuck Jones
        Dave, You make the very important point that no solution solves the entire problem--all hypotheses leave residue. So the question remains as to which
        Message 3 of 21 , Jun 27, 2006
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          Dave,

          You make the very important point that no solution solves the entire problem--all hypotheses leave residue. So the question remains as to which solutions leave the least residue.

          I am intrigued, though, that your last sentence, retained below, states an explicit methdological bias against lost sources. I don't understand this. We know many early Xn documents were lost, so lack of existence of a proto-Mk, an M, an L, or something like Q should bias the discussion one way or the other.

          I will wager that everyone on this list believes there is at least one lost source--the sayings of Jesus recorded in Mt. The alternative, rejected in a recent discussion, is that Mt made up everything Jesus said!

          Chuck

          Rev. Chuck Jones
          Atlanta, Georgia

          DAVE
          My view would be that only if the first and second points here,
          cannot account for the mixed directionality indicators we find in
          some case, do we need the hypothesis of extra documents that have
          become lost.








          ---------------------------------
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        • Bob Schacht
          ... The usual presumption is based on Occam s Razor, entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, which translates to: entities should not be
          Message 4 of 21 , Jun 27, 2006
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            At 10:51 AM 6/27/2006, Chuck Jones wrote:

            >. . .I am intrigued, though, that your last sentence, retained below,
            >states an explicit methdological bias against lost sources. I don't
            >understand this. . . .

            The usual presumption is based on Occam's Razor, "entia non sunt
            multiplicanda praeter necessitatem,"
            which translates to: entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.
            (Wikipedia). Its the basic principle of parsimony. The Principia
            Cybernetica offers this paraphrase of Occam:
            "one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities
            required to explain anything"

            Literary analysts, IMHO, often take this to an extreme, and will more
            gladly appeal to "authorial creativity" than lost sources. The supposition,
            I suppose, is that authorial creativity exists in greater supply than lost
            sources. In other words, "lost sources" are considered "entities," from
            Occam's putative perspective, but authorial creativity is not.

            Therefore the scholar's game is rigged in favor of authorial creativity in
            a way that amounts to methodological bias. It is quite easy to understand,
            but that doesn't make it right. By this reasoning, an arduous, tortured,
            counter-intuitive "authorial creation" is given more credibility than a
            hypothetical lost manuscript that an editor considers relevant, even if he
            doesn't understand it.

            But if you want to argue for a lost source, you have to make a case for
            it-- you can't just assert that the word "boat" in verse 32 is from a lost
            source. Your lost source has to have some coherence and identifiable
            characteristics, so that it doesn't just become a convenient Deus ex
            machina to appeal to on any occasion. Thus, Q has some credibility because
            it has a kind of definition. It would be methodologically inconsistent to
            deny Q, but posit other lost sources that are less easily defined.

            Bob Schacht
            University of Hawaii







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Horace Jeffery Hodges
            ... tendency, we can also look to the recent history of the Church, where the deification of Mary is certainly still in progress, and where propositions about
            Message 5 of 21 , Jun 27, 2006
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              E Bruce Brooks wrote:

              >>For a further check on the direction of this
              tendency, we can also look to the recent history of
              the Church, where the deification of Mary is certainly
              still in progress, and where propositions about her
              (the Assumption, the Immaculate Conception)are still
              being added to the list of required doctrine. These
              developments very strongly suggest - I cannot but
              think that they compel - the conclusion that the
              trajectory of Mary is an upward one, not a downward
              one, and that no theory of Gospel sequence which
              suggests otherwise, regardless of any other merits it
              may possess, can possibly be true.<<

              This is certainly an exaltation of Mary's status. Does
              it deify her? Not necessarily.

              But to your point about such an upward trajectory,
              namely, that it cannot be reversed (or is *cannot* too
              strong?), wouldn't the devaluation of Mary among
              Protestants in the Protestant Reformation pose a
              counter-example?

              If so, why couldn't a later evangelist lower Mary's
              status?

              Some later Gnostic (I forget which) referred to Christ
              as having passed through Mary like water through a
              tube, which reduces Mary to little more than a
              plumbing aperture.

              What say you?

              Jeffery Hodges

              University Degrees:

              Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
              (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
              M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
              B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

              Email Address:

              jefferyhodges@...

              Blog:

              http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

              Office Address:

              Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
              Department of English Language and Literature
              Korea University
              136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
              Seoul
              South Korea

              Home Address:

              Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
              Sehan Apt. 102-2302
              Sinnae-dong 795
              Jungrang-gu
              Seoul 131-770
              South Korea
            • Horace Jeffery Hodges
              ... tendency, we can also look to the recent history of the Church, where the deification of Mary is certainly still in progress, and where propositions about
              Message 6 of 21 , Jun 27, 2006
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                E Bruce Brooks wrote:

                >>For a further check on the direction of this
                tendency, we can also look to the recent history of
                the Church, where the deification of Mary is certainly
                still in progress, and where propositions about her
                (the Assumption, the Immaculate Conception)are still
                being added to the list of required doctrine. These
                developments very strongly suggest - I cannot but
                think that they compel - the conclusion that the
                trajectory of Mary is an upward one, not a downward
                one, and that no theory of Gospel sequence which
                suggests otherwise, regardless of any other merits it
                may possess, can possibly be true.<<

                This is certainly an exaltation of Mary's status. Does
                it deify her? Not necessarily.

                But to your point about such an upward trajectory,
                namely, that it cannot be reversed (or is *cannot* too
                strong?), wouldn't the devaluation of Mary among
                Protestants in the Protestant Reformation pose a
                counter-example?

                If so, why couldn't a later evangelist lower Mary's
                status?

                Some later Gnostic (I forget which) referred to Christ
                as having passed through Mary like water through a
                tube, which reduces Mary to little more than a
                plumbing aperture.

                What say you?

                Jeffery Hodges

                University Degrees:

                Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                Email Address:

                jefferyhodges@...

                Blog:

                http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

                Office Address:

                Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                Department of English Language and Literature
                Korea University
                136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
                Seoul
                South Korea

                Home Address:

                Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
                Sehan Apt. 102-2302
                Sinnae-dong 795
                Jungrang-gu
                Seoul 131-770
                South Korea
              • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                ... tendency, we can also look to the recent history of the Church, where the deification of Mary is certainly still in progress, and where propositions about
                Message 7 of 21 , Jun 27, 2006
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                  E Bruce Brooks wrote:

                  >>For a further check on the direction of this
                  tendency, we can also look to the recent history of
                  the Church, where the deification of Mary is certainly
                  still in progress, and where propositions about her
                  (the Assumption, the Immaculate Conception)are still
                  being added to the list of required doctrine. These
                  developments very strongly suggest - I cannot but
                  think that they compel - the conclusion that the
                  trajectory of Mary is an upward one, not a downward
                  one, and that no theory of Gospel sequence which
                  suggests otherwise, regardless of any other merits it
                  may possess, can possibly be true.<<

                  This is certainly an exaltation of Mary's status. Does
                  it deify her? Not necessarily.

                  But to your point about such an upward trajectory,
                  namely, that it cannot be reversed (or is *cannot* too
                  strong?), wouldn't the devaluation of Mary among
                  Protestants in the Protestant Reformation pose a
                  counter-example?

                  If so, why couldn't a later evangelist lower Mary's
                  status?

                  Some later Gnostic (I forget which) referred to Christ
                  as having passed through Mary like water through a
                  tube, which reduces Mary to little more than a
                  plumbing aperture.

                  What say you?

                  Jeffery Hodges

                  University Degrees:

                  Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                  (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                  M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                  B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                  Email Address:

                  jefferyhodges@...

                  Blog:

                  http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

                  Office Address:

                  Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                  Department of English Language and Literature
                  Korea University
                  136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
                  Seoul
                  South Korea

                  Home Address:

                  Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
                  Sehan Apt. 102-2302
                  Sinnae-dong 795
                  Jungrang-gu
                  Seoul 131-770
                  South Korea
                • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                  Oops. The usual apologies for double-posting. Jeffery Hodges University Degrees: Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley (Doctoral Thesis: Food as Synecdoche in John s
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jun 27, 2006
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                    Oops. The usual apologies for double-posting.

                    Jeffery Hodges

                    University Degrees:

                    Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                    (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                    M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                    B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                    Email Address:

                    jefferyhodges@...

                    Blog:

                    http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

                    Office Address:

                    Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                    Department of English Language and Literature
                    Korea University
                    136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
                    Seoul
                    South Korea

                    Home Address:

                    Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
                    Sehan Apt. 102-2302
                    Sinnae-dong 795
                    Jungrang-gu
                    Seoul 131-770
                    South Korea
                  • E Bruce Brooks
                    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Bob Schacht On: Lost Sources BOB: Literary analysts, IMHO, often take this to an extreme, and will more gladly appeal to
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jun 28, 2006
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                      To: Synoptic
                      Cc: GPG
                      In Response To: Bob Schacht
                      On: Lost Sources

                      BOB: Literary analysts, IMHO, often take this to an extreme, and will more
                      gladly appeal to "authorial creativity" than lost sources. The supposition,
                      I suppose, is that authorial creativity exists in greater supply than lost
                      sources. In other words, "lost sources" are considered "entities," from
                      Occam's putative perspective, but authorial creativity is not.

                      Therefore the scholar's game is rigged in favor of authorial creativity in a
                      way that amounts to methodological bias. It is quite easy to understand, but
                      that doesn't make it right.

                      BRUCE: This may be a fair complaint of some contemporary analysts, but let
                      me add by way of context that I don't think it well describes the larger
                      Synoptic Problem history.

                      The Church, as I read the record, has always been troubled by differences
                      among the supposedly authentic and certainly canonical Gospels. Papias'
                      comment on Mark is basically a defense of his veracity, and specifically
                      includes the assertion that Mark did not make anything up. And to the 18th
                      and 19th century scholars, giants in their way, the Evangelists were
                      literally Saints, persons a level above the rest of us, and moreover,
                      writing under divine inspiration. That they should get anything wrong was a
                      proposition fraught with difficulty; that they should make anything up was a
                      thought only difficultly thinkable. Even during the 20c, the idea that, say,
                      Luke might be a theologian in his own right, rather than a stenographer with
                      a halo, has gained ground very slowly, and I would say, based on an
                      admittedly incomplete reading of the literature, still incompletely.

                      Over this earlier period, given these background thoughts, it seems to have
                      been found on the whole preferable to regard the Evangelists as personally
                      accurate, and to refer any variations to prior sources which the Evangelists
                      are representing in good faith. Hence, I should think, the Streeter
                      many-source hypothesis, hence the great profusion of posited sources in
                      theories such as that of Boismard. With this much apparatus in place, with
                      every passage plugged in somewhere, usually to a conjectural and thus
                      uncheckable document, it was possible to regard the Evangelists as, at
                      worst, faithful transcribers of what was available to them, and thus as
                      innocent of any problems that lay at an earlier, and non-canonical, level.

                      Occam's Principle excludes entities in a theory which are not doing work in
                      the theory, other than to rescue an inadequate theory from the stubborn
                      facts. It excludes epicycles. It doesn't preclude complex solutions to
                      problems which are really complex ("praeter necessitatem" certainly allows
                      "necessitatem," it is not an appeal for simplicity per se). The first task
                      in solving the Synoptic Problem, from Occam's point of view, would I suppose
                      be to determine just how complex the situation is in fact. I am not sure
                      that work has actually proceeded along those lines, but a new start is
                      always possible, and this might be one place to consider starting.

                      As to "literary creativity," I would agree with Bob that it has to be
                      handled responsibly, and not taken to extremes, if only we can determine the
                      boundary between mean and extremes. The danger of "literary creativity" as
                      an explanation is that with sufficient ingenuity, it can be used to explain
                      anything, which means that its real explanatory power, in some hands, may be
                      zero. I should think that a first rule for explanations by "literary
                      creativity" is that the tenor of a particular style of creativity should be
                      more or less consistent: even creativity is not wholly capricious. Then the
                      question is: Do someone's set of creativity suppositions for one Gospel make
                      sense together, as the work of a reasonably consistent personality? If not,
                      then I would think that the supposer of those suppositions has somewhere
                      crossed beyond the plausibility boundary.

                      For myself, I would still think that the phrase "literary creativity" is
                      partly misleading, and that the more fruitful category is rather
                      "theological creativity." I get the sense that the Evangelists were trying
                      to make sense of Jesus, and that their books are a series of such attempts,
                      formed in part by rapidly changing outside conditions, and in part by the
                      inner nature of the believer group, which itself was undergoing changes, of
                      membership as well as of receptivity.

                      Bruce

                      E Bruce Brooks
                      Warring States Project
                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                    • E Bruce Brooks
                      To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Chuck Jones On: Synoptic Methodology (was: Gadarene Demoniacs) From: Bruce CHUCK: Two things: First, you omitted the part
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jun 28, 2006
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                        To: Synoptic
                        Cc: GPG
                        In Response To: Chuck Jones
                        On: Synoptic Methodology (was: Gadarene Demoniacs)
                        From: Bruce

                        CHUCK: Two things: First, you omitted the part of my post in which I stated
                        that *all* criteria fail to provide consistent directionality between the
                        three synoptics.

                        BRUCE: Maybe it was intentional. I haven't space to review all suggestions,
                        and I am not sure that all of them, if properly handled, would fail in this
                        way. I can give what to me are some hopeful examples separately, if desired.

                        CHUCK: Second, methodologically I don't think it's fair to omit the trains
                        of thought that produce inconsistent results, on the grounds that they
                        produce inconsistent results, and then continue looking for one or more
                        criteria that will produce consistent results. Isn't that trying too hard
                        to get to a desired answer?

                        BRUCE: I agree there is a point here. I would put it this way: An
                        expectation of consistent results involves the prior assumption that there
                        is only one set of relations among the three Synoptics. But there may be a
                        more complex situation. I have pointed out at length one kind of complexity
                        that could occur: if the Synoptics are not integral texts (which occupy only
                        one point in the time and relational stream) but growth texts (which may
                        turn up at more than one place in those streams). In the latter case, it is
                        possible that a valid directionality test might indeed correctly give
                        opposite readings at different points.

                        But only within certain limits.

                        My researches on the growth text possibility (which I think can be
                        established in some detail for Mark and also for Luke) are meant to clarify
                        the degree to which this sort of thing can lead to seemingly wrong, but in
                        fact accurate, directionality readings. So far, I find that the growth
                        stages in Mark are prior to both Matthew and Luke, that is, Mark had reached
                        its final stage before either Matthew or Luke came on the scene. So
                        accretion in Mark (as I imagine) is very interesting, since through it we
                        may watch early Church doctrines actually growing, but it is also irrelevant
                        to Synoptic deliberations, and it does not complicate the Synoptic Problem
                        as such. With Luke, however, there might indeed be a problem, not presently
                        well defined by researches at our HQ, but a problem which might complicate
                        the Synoptic situation in the way here envisioned.

                        If we accept these results, preliminary as they are, then we might way, A
                        good directionality indicator will never show Mark as last in the series; it
                        should generally turn up as first. On the other hand, that same indicator,
                        or any equally good one, may hesitate as to the relative priority of Matthew
                        and Luke. It might do so (a la Harnack) because Matthew and Luke differ in
                        how much they editorially rely on an earlier source, but it also might do so
                        because the relative priority of Matthew and Luke is itself not the same at
                        all points.

                        That's a more complex situation, but on my own conclusions to date, it would
                        seem to be a better basis for evaluation than the simple classic Three-Body
                        Problem as it is usually stated. I accept it as a correction to my earlier
                        comment. Accepting it, let's go back and review my 26 June evaluation of
                        Leonard's Dramaticness Criterion (or whatever one likes to call it, I don't
                        recall Leonard giving it any name at all).

                        REVIEW OF DRAMATICNESS IN GADARA

                        In the three test passages I happened to light on in my recent comment on
                        that criterion, I found the following implied orders:

                        1. Gadarene Demoniac: Matthew > Luke > Mark
                        2. Temptation of Jesus: Mark > Matthew > Luke
                        3. Beatitudes: Mark > Luke > Matthew

                        Of these, the second and third are consistent with the Synoptic situation as
                        above redefined, but the first is not. Then the differences between Results
                        2 and 3 do not necessarily disqualify the criterion as Synoptically useful,
                        but Result 1 does.

                        But let us make haste slowly. We can now ask, as analysts in a difficult and
                        constantly changing situation: What do we do with the Dramaticness
                        Criterion? Two out of three cases showed its operation as consistent with
                        other evidence. Must we discard it, as the third of these results presently
                        suggest? Or is it possible to reinterpret the Demoniac case in light of it,
                        in a way which will save the Criterion as viable? Or, alternatively, can we
                        show that something else, perhaps the secondary adaptation of outside and
                        thus refractory material (as I suggested was the case in the Cunning Steward
                        story), is at work here, and thus explains the seeming failure of our
                        criterion in that instance?

                        I leave the adaptation possibility for those equipped to respond to it. But
                        here would be a possible reading of the Demoniac case which would not
                        conflict with the evidence from the Trajectories, and which also would be
                        within the more stringent Relationship tests, as far as those limits can
                        presently be specified on that independent basis.

                        1. In gross terms of number of demoniacs, and in a few other points also,
                        such as total length, Mark and Luke are more similar than is Matthew to
                        either of them.

                        2. Matthew's doubling of the demoniacs (as was recently pointed out) is akin
                        to his double healings elsewhere, in all cases without Synoptic parallel.
                        Two Demoniacs are more dramatic than one Demoniac, therefore by at least one
                        possible application of the Criterion, Matthew is later than at least one of
                        Mark and Luke. (I made fun of this possibility earlier, but I here entertain
                        it seriously, as an experiment)

                        3. Of what we here consider to be the two possible precedents for Mt, namely
                        Mk and Lk: Are there phrases in the Matthean account which aMt could only
                        have drawn from Mark? Yes: "the other side" (Mt 8:28 || Mk 5:1, not in Lk),
                        the direct quote "Send us into the swine" (Mt 8:31 || Mk 5:12; given in Lk
                        as indirect discourse), and "from the neighborhood" (Mt 8:34 || Mk 5:17, not
                        in Lk). Are there points in the Mt version which have equally precise
                        parallels only in the Lk version? None that I can see at this moment. Then
                        of the two candidates which our previous Dramaticness Criterion analysis has
                        identified, Mk and only Mk remains a viable candidate for a direct source
                        for Mt. [Notice that I have here shifted from trying to read the minds of
                        the respective Synoptists, which I regard as an uncertain enterprise, to
                        seeing what words in a given version can be accounted for, or not, in terms
                        of another version, which is a more objective business altogether).

                        4. If Mt can be shown to have had before him, and to have adopted bits of
                        wording from, Mk but not Lk, then it follows that either (1) Lk is later
                        than Mt, in which case of course Mt could not have been aware of him, or (2)
                        Lk is *at this point* later than Mt, without prejudice to the Mt/Lk sequence
                        which may prevail elsewhere, this being the complication which I have
                        introduced above, or (3) Lk too is earlier than Mt, but Mt did not know Lk.

                        5. That Mt and Lk are in general unaware of each other tends to be ruled out
                        by the many places elsewhere in these texts where Mt and Lk share identity
                        of wording as against Mk. These places include not only the Major
                        Agreements, which are thought by some to imply a prior source, but also the
                        more than 700 Minor Agreements, as catalogued by Neirynck and his colleagues
                        (the exact total was 774 in the 1974 edition, and 772 in the 1991 revision,
                        which took account of changes in the base text that were made in the 26th
                        edition of Nestle-Aland), which have NOT been so far construed as implying a
                        separate source, and which thus remain to be handled within the limits of
                        the Synoptic Gospels themselves. These collectively make the mutual
                        ignorance theory untenable. So does the demonstration in Farmer, The
                        Synoptic Problem: A Critical Appraisal (2ed 1976 p199-232, repr Bellinzoni,
                        The Two-Source Hypothesis, 1985, p163-197), Step One. I regard the latter in
                        particular as an unanswerable demonstration, and will accept it here as
                        such.

                        6. This leaves us, as I read the logic of the situation, with options (1) or
                        (2), both of which require that Lk is later than Mt, either in whole or in
                        relevant part. This is consistent with the Trajectory arguments (which hold
                        that Lk in its final form is later than Mt), and thus causes no problems.

                        RETROSPECTIONS

                        7. Can we live with this result? In some (but not now all) versions, it
                        requires that Lk in this section knew Mt but ignored it in favor of Mk,
                        which it then subjected to independent variations. Streeter found this
                        behavior that of a madman, but only, I think, because he ignored the clear
                        implication of Luke's introductory statement, which tells us that he both
                        knew earlier versions of the Jesus story, and was not satisfied by them.
                        Then one of Luke's self-advertised traits as an author will be, at least
                        sometimes, to reject one of his sources and cleave instead to another, even
                        if posterity happens to be enthusiastic about the source that Luke chose to
                        abandon or improve on. This fully meets Streeter's objection (which has been
                        echoed by very many since his time): Luke is not a copyist, and he does not
                        choose among his sources at random. He is concerned to outdo his sources,
                        not merely to replicate or summarize them. Luke is not a failed copy of
                        Matthew, or of Matthew and Mark together. It is a personal attempt at
                        improvement on them both.

                        8. If Lk knew Mk, as specified in the solution toward which we seem to be
                        tending, is his treatment of the Mk version intelligible, and if so, on what
                        grounds? I think so, but with the proviso that these attempts to read the
                        fine-grain authorial decisions of Lk are inevitably subjective. But we might
                        say that Lk begins by omitting the part about "he had been bound with
                        fetters," only to reintroduce it on second thought, as a later retrospective
                        parenthesis (Lk 8:29b). A perhaps failed attempt at economy of narration. Lk
                        drops "from afar" (Mk 5:6) since it might seem to imply a confused narrative
                        sequence: how close did the demoniac get to Jesus before falling down and
                        worshipping him, and who cares anyway? The point is that he fell down and,
                        well, at least "besought him." The explanation of "Legion," which in Mk is
                        part of the demons' own answer, is rephrased in Lk as a narrator's
                        explanation, which is surely better procedure. Mk has "send them out of the
                        country," which Lk sharpens as "command them to depart into the abyss," away
                        from the delights of sun and air in the upper world, again a narrative
                        improvement. Mark specifies two thousand swine, but who had counted them?
                        Luke suppresses the number, which is perhaps excessive anyway (1,000 swine
                        would do for a Legion of 1,000 demons), and avoids the question. Mk has
                        "into the sea, and were drowned into the sea." Luke, like any modern copy
                        editor, blue-pencils the second "sea," and makes the first one merely a
                        "lake," which is oceanographically more accurate. Mark has a following
                        explanatory phrase, "the man who had had the legion;" Luke incorporates it
                        more smoothly into the preceding text: "the man from whom the demons had
                        gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus." Then comes the hard ending of the
                        Markan story, when the seemingly ungrateful Gerasenes ask Jesus to leave.
                        Small thanks, for his removing of a dangerous presence from their midst,
                        leaving the impression that they wished no further attrition in their flocks
                        and herds. Luke avoids this crass implication and raises the theological
                        temperature; he adds "for they were seized with great fear," as is everybody
                        else in the Gospel story who finds himself, or herself, suddenly in the
                        presence of something possessed of more than human power. So the ingratitude
                        of the Gerasenes in Mark becomes in Luke yet one more witness to the
                        personal mana of Jesus.

                        9. I think these are perfectly intelligible changes. They fall into the
                        following categories: (a) narrative economy, sacrificing what might well
                        have seemed to Luke to be inessential details (though restoring some of them
                        as an afterthought, when they prove not to be so inessential after all); (b)
                        narrative concinnity, tucking in some of the loose ends in Mark, or
                        preventing the asking of awkward questions that might have been suggested by
                        his way of telling the story, this being a very numerous category in the
                        present example; and (c) increasing the dignity of Jesus.

                        Not, surely, the actions of a man himself possessed of a demon. On the
                        contrary, a man with a reverent approach to his subject, as we should have
                        expected, and beyond that, a man with a sharp eye for good prose against
                        wayward prose, a man Oxford University Press could use at this point in
                        time, and a man with sensibilities compatible with the sense of good Greek
                        style and a certain Greek literary awareness, which are generally
                        characteristic of the Gospel of Luke.

                        In other words, none of the significant departures of Lk from Mk cause
                        trouble with the idea of stylistic betterment. They imply a rational author
                        aLk, and they imply a directionality Mk > Lk. The opposite directionality,
                        it seems to me, could only be asserted, in considering these data, by a
                        theory of intentional stylistic worsenment, and nobody has ever been able to
                        propose that as a serious suggestion. I can't either, and I take the
                        narrative improvement (and greater reverence) signs in Lk as unambiguous
                        indications of a Mk > Lk directionality.

                        CONCLUSION

                        10. Summary. Looking back over this attempt to rehabilitate the Dramaticness
                        Criterion, I find that I have used it in its primary sense only to account
                        for the doubling of demoniacs in Matthew. Everything else seemed to be
                        capable of being understood in terms of narrative or theological improvement
                        in the previous text. Can that one case of Dramaticness be itself
                        reconstrued? Yes, whether it was a reasonable try or not, I think we may see
                        the healing of more than one person at a time, both here and elsewhere in
                        Mt, as being meant by its perpetrator as evidence for the power of Jesus,
                        and not as an attempt to create a more exciting Gadarene video game. Then
                        the Dramaticness Criterion as such after all vanishes, and we have in its
                        place two very intelligible motives for the later Synoptists: to increase
                        the narrative cogency of the earlier Synoptists, and also to enhance the
                        power of Jesus and the public reverence for Jesus which is shown in those
                        versions.

                        Let me end by putting it this way: Are the Evangelists writing a saga, in
                        which case narrative excitement would be a primary goal? Or are they writing
                        a religious apologia, in which case narrative cogency and increasing
                        reverence would be more plausible authorial motives?

                        For my part, I feel no hesitation in suspecting that the latter is more
                        likely to be true.

                        Bruce

                        E Bruce Brooks
                        Warring States Project
                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                      • Chuck Jones
                        Bob, Thanks for articulating something that bothers me much better than I ever have been able to. Lost sources are not a hypothesis (this also bothers me),
                        Message 11 of 21 , Jun 28, 2006
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                          Bob,

                          Thanks for articulating something that bothers me much better than I ever have been able to. Lost sources are not a hypothesis (this also bothers me), as, too repeat myself, Luke refers to "many accounts." They add nothing onerous to Occam's Razor, and in fact ignoring Lk's reference as an ingredietn while working toward solutions is bad methodology.

                          Your diplomatic phrase "authorial creativity" is often, it seems to me, a euphamism for chinese-acrobat-contortion explanations of unaddressed data. They describe not what Lk did in other places, not what his usual tendencies were, not what he said about how he wrote his book, not what one would expect an author to do, but rather what he *had to have done* in order for theory X to work out.

                          I like Einstein's quote that an explanation should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. To me, a hypothesis that credibly addresses 95% of the synoptic passages is more effective than one that addresses 70%. I'll take "effective" over "simpler" any day.

                          Chuck

                          BOB
                          The usual presumption is based on Occam's Razor, "entia non sunt
                          multiplicanda praeter necessitatem,"
                          which translates to: entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.
                          (Wikipedia). Its the basic principle of parsimony. The Principia
                          Cybernetica offers this paraphrase of Occam:
                          "one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities
                          required to explain anything"

                          Literary analysts, IMHO, often take this to an extreme, and will more
                          gladly appeal to "authorial creativity" than lost sources. The supposition,
                          I suppose, is that authorial creativity exists in greater supply than lost
                          sources. In other words, "lost sources" are considered "entities," from
                          Occam's putative perspective, but authorial creativity is not.

                          Therefore the scholar's game is rigged in favor of authorial creativity in
                          a way that amounts to methodological bias. It is quite easy to understand,
                          but that doesn't make it right. By this reasoning, an arduous, tortured,
                          counter-intuitive "authorial creation" is given more credibility than a
                          hypothetical lost manuscript that an editor considers relevant, even if he
                          doesn't understand it.

                          But if you want to argue for a lost source, you have to make a case for
                          it-- you can't just assert that the word "boat" in verse 32 is from a lost
                          source. Your lost source has to have some coherence and identifiable
                          characteristics, so that it doesn't just become a convenient Deus ex
                          machina to appeal to on any occasion. Thus, Q has some credibility because
                          it has a kind of definition. It would be methodologically inconsistent to
                          deny Q, but posit other lost sources that are less easily defined.









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                        • Chuck Jones
                          BRUCE: Over this earlier period, given these background thoughts, it seems to have been found on the whole preferable to regard the Evangelists as personally
                          Message 12 of 21 , Jun 28, 2006
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                            BRUCE:

                            Over this earlier period, given these background thoughts, it seems to have
                            been found on the whole preferable to regard the Evangelists as personally
                            accurate, and to refer any variations to prior sources which the Evangelists
                            are representing in good faith. Hence, I should think, the Streeter
                            many-source hypothesis, hence the great profusion of posited sources in
                            theories such as that of Boismard. With this much apparatus in place, with
                            every passage plugged in somewhere, usually to a conjectural and thus
                            uncheckable document, it was possible to regard the Evangelists as, at
                            worst, faithful transcribers of what was available to them, and thus as
                            innocent of any problems that lay at an earlier, and non-canonical, level.

                            CHUCK
                            Bruce, I've never met or read anyone who articulated this point of view as an ingredient in their approach to the synoptic problem.
                            BRUCE
                            The first task in solving the Synoptic Problem, from Occam's point of view, would I suppose be to determine just how complex the situation is in fact. I am not sure
                            that work has actually proceeded along those lines, but a new start is
                            always possible, and this might be one place to consider starting.
                            CHUCK
                            As excellent point, well said. One can only hope!
                            BRUCE
                            I should think that a first rule for explanations by "literary
                            creativity" is that the tenor of a particular style of creativity should be
                            more or less consistent: even creativity is not wholly capricious. Then the
                            question is: Do someone's set of creativity suppositions for one Gospel make
                            sense together, as the work of a reasonably consistent personality? If not,
                            then I would think that the supposer of those suppositions has somewhere
                            crossed beyond the plausibility boundary.
                            CHUCK
                            So I offer exhibit A. Assuming Markan priority, Mt and Lk barely altered the order of Mk's material, but rather spliced their teachings passages into it. One of them, however, radically rearranged the order of the material in the double tradition. Of the two orders, one is logical and well-thought out--Mt's Five Sermons. The other, Lk's material, shows no particular concern with thematic organization. Other than the self-evident observation that an author is more likely to organize rather than dis-organize material, there is a coherent reason why Mt would have been the one to rearrange the double tradition material--his desire to present Jesus as the New Moses. That Mt rearranged the double tradition material is consistent with the criteria you described above.

                            BRUCE
                            For myself, I would still think that the phrase "literary creativity" is
                            partly misleading, and that the more fruitful category is rather
                            "theological creativity." I get the sense that the Evangelists were trying
                            to make sense of Jesus, and that their books are a series of such attempts,
                            formed in part by rapidly changing outside conditions, and in part by the
                            inner nature of the believer group, which itself was undergoing changes, of
                            membership as well as of receptivity.
                            CHUCK
                            Another great point. I think theological aims drove literary actions. The examples from all three synoptics (and Jn for that matter) are pervasive.
                            Thanks for a great contribution.
                            Chuck
                            Rev. Chuck Jones
                            Atlanta, Georgia


                            .





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                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Chuck Jones
                            Bruce, Thanks for an excellent, well thought through post. I comment only on your last two paragraphs. BRUCE Let me end by putting it this way: Are the
                            Message 13 of 21 , Jun 28, 2006
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                              Bruce,

                              Thanks for an excellent, well thought through post. I comment only on your last two paragraphs.

                              BRUCE
                              Let me end by putting it this way: Are the Evangelists writing a saga, in
                              which case narrative excitement would be a primary goal? Or are they writing
                              a religious apologia, in which case narrative cogency and increasing
                              reverence would be more plausible authorial motives?

                              For my part, I feel no hesitation in suspecting that the latter is more
                              likely to be true.

                              CHUCK
                              I think Mark was indeed trying to write a saga, or short story. I like very much the analogy of the screenplay of an action movie. Jesus is a hero. Actions matter more than words. Little dialog. Lot's of power encounters, inevitably won by Jesus. I think narrative excitement is a primary goal of Mk's, and much of the wording differences between him and Mt/Lk are due to these differing goals.

                              Chuck

                              Rev. Chuck Jones
                              Atlanta, Georgia



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                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                              Bruce wrote: Let me end by putting it this way: Are the Evangelists writing a saga, in which case narrative excitement would be a primary goal? Or are they
                              Message 14 of 21 , Jun 28, 2006
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                                Bruce wrote:

                                Let me end by putting it this way: Are the Evangelists
                                writing a saga, in which case narrative excitement
                                would be a primary goal? Or are they writing a
                                religious apologia, in which case narrative cogency
                                and increasing reverence would be more plausible
                                authorial motives?

                                For my part, I feel no hesitation in suspecting that
                                the latter is more likely to be true.

                                Chuck responded:

                                I think Mark was indeed trying to write a saga, or
                                short story. I like very much the analogy of the
                                screenplay of an action movie. Jesus is a hero.
                                Actions matter more than words. Little dialog. Lot's
                                of power encounters, inevitably won by Jesus. I think
                                narrative excitement is a primary goal of Mk's, and
                                much of the wording differences between him and Mt/Lk
                                are due to these differing goals.

                                Jeffery Hodges writes:

                                Just to be clear, Chuck, but you are disagreeing with
                                Bruce, right? He says "apologia." You say "saga." Or
                                did you read Bruce to mean "saga"?

                                Just checking.

                                Jeffery Hodges

                                University Degrees:

                                Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                                (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                                M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                                B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                                Email Address:

                                jefferyhodges@...

                                Blog:

                                http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

                                Office Address:

                                Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                Department of English Language and Literature
                                Korea University
                                136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
                                Seoul
                                South Korea

                                Home Address:

                                Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                Sehan Apt. 102-2302
                                Sinnae-dong 795
                                Jungrang-gu
                                Seoul 131-770
                                South Korea
                              • Chuck Jones
                                Jeffrey, I guess I didn t think about it as a dichotymy. I believe Mk, Mt and Lk (and Jn) are apologists, or evangelists, or theologians. They want to create
                                Message 15 of 21 , Jun 28, 2006
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                                  Jeffrey,

                                  I guess I didn't think about it as a dichotymy. I believe Mk, Mt and Lk (and Jn) are apologists, or evangelists, or theologians. They want to create winsome pictures of Jesus. So on that I agree with Bruce.

                                  Mk's approach differs from the others, though, in that his rhetorical power is unleashed not in the words Jesus speaks but in the compelling tale Mk tells. For Mk saga is apologia. The Jesus in this story is worth following.

                                  Chuck

                                  Rev. Chuck Jones
                                  Atlanta, Georgia


                                  Bruce wrote:

                                  Let me end by putting it this way: Are the Evangelists
                                  writing a saga, in which case narrative excitement
                                  would be a primary goal? Or are they writing a
                                  religious apologia, in which case narrative cogency
                                  and increasing reverence would be more plausible
                                  authorial motives?

                                  For my part, I feel no hesitation in suspecting that
                                  the latter is more likely to be true.

                                  Chuck responded:

                                  I think Mark was indeed trying to write a saga, or
                                  short story. I like very much the analogy of the
                                  screenplay of an action movie. Jesus is a hero.
                                  Actions matter more than words. Little dialog. Lot's
                                  of power encounters, inevitably won by Jesus. I think
                                  narrative excitement is a primary goal of Mk's, and
                                  much of the wording differences between him and Mt/Lk
                                  are due to these differing goals.

                                  Jeffery then asked:

                                  Just to be clear, Chuck, but you are disagreeing with
                                  Bruce, right? He says "apologia." You say "saga." Or
                                  did you read Bruce to mean "saga"?

                                  Just checking.




                                  .





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                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                  Chuck, if you re-read Bruce s comment, I think that you ll see that he meant it as a dichotomy. Incidentally, my name is spelled Jeffery -- just to keep me
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Jun 28, 2006
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                                    Chuck, if you re-read Bruce's comment, I think that
                                    you'll see that he meant it as a dichotomy.

                                    Incidentally, my name is spelled "Jeffery" -- just to
                                    keep me and Mr. Gibson distinguished (he more
                                    distinguished than I).

                                    Jeffery Hodges

                                    ------------------------------------------------------

                                    Chuck Jones wrote:

                                    Jeffrey,

                                    I guess I didn't think about it as a dichotymy. I
                                    believe Mk, Mt and Lk (and Jn) are apologists, or
                                    evangelists, or theologians. They want to create
                                    winsome pictures of Jesus. So on that I agree with
                                    Bruce.

                                    Mk's approach differs from the others, though, in that
                                    his rhetorical power is unleashed not in the words
                                    Jesus speaks but in the compelling tale Mk tells. For
                                    Mk saga is apologia. The Jesus in this story is worth
                                    following.

                                    Chuck

                                    Rev. Chuck Jones
                                    Atlanta, Georgia


                                    Bruce wrote:

                                    Let me end by putting it this way: Are the Evangelists
                                    writing a saga, in which case narrative excitement
                                    would be a primary goal? Or are they writing a
                                    religious apologia, in which case narrative cogency
                                    and increasing reverence would be more plausible
                                    authorial motives?

                                    For my part, I feel no hesitation in suspecting that
                                    the latter is more likely to be true.

                                    Chuck responded:

                                    I think Mark was indeed trying to write a saga, or
                                    short story. I like very much the analogy of the
                                    screenplay of an action movie. Jesus is a hero.
                                    Actions matter more than words. Little dialog. Lot's
                                    of power encounters, inevitably won by Jesus. I think
                                    narrative excitement is a primary goal of Mk's, and
                                    much of the wording differences between him and Mt/Lk
                                    are due to these differing goals.

                                    Jeffery then asked:

                                    Just to be clear, Chuck, but you are disagreeing with
                                    Bruce, right? He says "apologia." You say "saga." Or
                                    did you read Bruce to mean "saga"?

                                    Just checking.


                                    University Degrees:

                                    Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                                    (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                                    M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                                    B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                                    Email Address:

                                    jefferyhodges@...

                                    Blog:

                                    http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

                                    Office Address:

                                    Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                    Department of English Language and Literature
                                    Korea University
                                    136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
                                    Seoul
                                    South Korea

                                    Home Address:

                                    Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                    Sehan Apt. 102-2302
                                    Sinnae-dong 795
                                    Jungrang-gu
                                    Seoul 131-770
                                    South Korea
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