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Re: [Synoptic-L] Alternating Primitivity (Method)

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Chuck Jones On: Implications of Alternating Primitivity From: Bruce CHUCK: So, if analysis shows that sometimes the
    Message 1 of 14 , Mar 22, 2008
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      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG, WSW
      In Response To: Chuck Jones
      On: Implications of Alternating Primitivity
      From: Bruce

      CHUCK: So, if analysis shows that sometimes the directionality of entire
      passages flows from Mt to Lk and sometimes it flows from Lk to Mt, then this
      alternating primitivity is in fact the evidence for an independent source.

      BRUCE: Strictly speaking, there are other possibilities. For instance, it
      can also happen that one or both of the texts is accretional, so that
      instead of A vs B, you have A1, A2 vs B1, B2. If then we had material
      created in the following absolute order:

      A1, B1, A2, B2

      and if the quality of "lateness" is apparent in the texts, as you move to
      the right, then to the analyst thinking of the material as solely composed
      of A and B, and unaware of the accretional dimension, it will sometimes seem
      that A is earlier (eg, A1 is earlier than both B1 and B2) but sometimes also
      that B is earlier (eg, B1 is earlier than A2). This is not necessarily
      evidence for a Text C, may be, and in this case it is, a warning that either
      A or B or both are not integral texts.

      C remains a possibility, but it seems worth bearing in mind that it is not
      the only possibility.

      [For those who would like a real world example of an accretional text, and a
      few instances of the interaction of two accretional texts in real time, I
      might venture to say that a good many theological libraries have on their
      shelves E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks, The Original Analects, Columbia 1998, or
      if not, I understand that there are a few HB copies left. For the
      back-and-forth examples, see especially Appendix 3. Those examples are
      especially clear because they are not parallel (two texts purporting to
      describe the same thing, as is the case with the NT Gospels), but
      adversative (two texts arguing back and forth, each being obviously the
      antagonist of the other, and the logic of the argument serving to
      sequentialize the various pieces of it in real time). I do not apologize for
      mentioning easy examples; they are good practice for looking at the harder
      examples].

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst

      http://www.umass.edu/wsp
    • Ron Price
      ... Bruce, It is not any particular passage that convinces me that a non-synoptic source is required. Firstly there are so many authentic-looking sayings in
      Message 2 of 14 , Mar 22, 2008
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        Bruce Brooks wrote:

        > Maybe Ron could contribute to present discussion the passage or passages
        > that convinced him of the need for a third source hypothesis in the first
        > place?

        Bruce,

        It is not any particular passage that convinces me that a non-synoptic
        source is required. Firstly there are so many authentic-looking sayings in
        the synoptics, and I am highly sceptical of the FT soft-line presumption
        that oral tradition could have preserved them over several decades until the
        publication of Matthew's gospel. Secondly the presence of many doublet
        sayings in Matthew (in contrast with hardly any in Mark) in my opinion cries
        out for a second source in addition to Mark in order to explain Matthew's
        repetition of so many sayings. Thirdly the straightforward interpretation of
        Papias' testimony about the 'logia' is that there once did exist a
        stand-alone collection of sayings attributed to Jesus.

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

        Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Ron Price On: Method From: Bruce I can only agree with Ron s opinion, expressed during his recent three notes responding
        Message 3 of 14 , Mar 22, 2008
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          To: Synoptic
          Cc: GPG
          In Response To: Ron Price
          On: Method
          From: Bruce

          I can only agree with Ron's opinion, expressed during his recent three notes
          responding to several of mine, that the discussion between us has gone about
          as far as it can, due to differences of approach. As his detailed responses
          to my comments on particular passages repeatedly show, for him a version of
          Q is an accomplished physical fact, whose wording and order are fully known,
          and which can therefore be dealt into the consideration of Synoptic Gospel
          passages on an equal basis with the extant texts. That's not true for me. I
          have still to be convinced of exactly what work needs to be done, in
          Synoptic theory, by an unknown third source. Meanwhile, I prefer to work
          only with extant texts. This difference leads to divergent readings of the
          extant texts. Those who agree with Ron (or with any other version of the
          general Q idea) may find his analyses more cogent than I am presently
          prepared to, and for them, there is no need of me contributing further from
          another angle altogether.

          All I can usefully do at this point, then, is to thank Ron for introducing
          the subject, since it is always fun to look again at these familiar yet
          sometimes strange passages, and to make a final general response from the
          methodology side. This note is that response. I can do it responsorially:

          Ron [in response to a request for a few passages that had convinced him of
          the need to posit a lost source]: It is not any particular passage that
          convinces me that a non-synoptic source is required. Firstly there are so
          many authentic-looking sayings in the synoptics, and I am highly sceptical
          of the FT soft-line presumption that oral tradition could have preserved
          them over several decades until the publication of Matthew's gospel.

          Bruce: I would agree that relying on "oral transmission" for verbally exact
          results is unrealistic. But as I noted a bit ago, I have grave doubts that
          the criterion of "authenticity" can at this stage be anything but circular.
          I think that relying on our impressions of authenticity can all too easily
          reduce itself to relying on our most vivid childhood memories. I have my own
          such memories, and I treasure them, and I recently drove 2,000 miles to
          revisit the site of some of them, but I don't consider them part of the
          toolkit.

          Ron: Secondly the presence of many doublet sayings in Matthew (in contrast
          with hardly any in Mark) in my opinion cries out for a second source in
          addition to Mark in order to explain Matthew's repetition of so many
          sayings.

          Bruce: I agree that the Matthean doublets need a look. Not having yet given
          them a very systematic look myself, I don't feel able to rely with
          confidence on what Ron says the outcome of that look would be. Doubtless
          just my own backwardness and culpable lack of energy, but there it is.

          Ron: Thirdly the straightforward interpretation of Papias' testimony about
          the 'logia' is that there once did exist a stand-alone collection of sayings
          attributed to Jesus.

          Bruce: I am with those who find Papias anything but straightforward, and I
          prefer to bracket his testimony, such as it may prove to be, until I make a
          decently careful survey of the texts he is talking about. The texts, after
          all, are earlier evidence than Papias. I am not sure, for example, whether
          Papias is reporting early hearsay about Gospel origins, or at least in part
          making his own inferences from the texts, such as we ourselves might also
          make. On consulting the extent evidence, I seem to see things *in* the texts
          which tend to challenge Papias's report *of* the texts, and accordingly I am
          unwilling to make Papias an assured starting point. Ron has gone as far as
          any one person I know of, to reify Papias's assertion of a Semitic sayings
          source. We looked at it a while ago. I am still inclined to have
          reservations about it. In any case, I don't feel comfortable accepting it as
          a given before we (or anyway, I) have finished giving Ron's twelve Mt/Lk
          passages, or any other subset of Mt/Lk passages, a decent scrutiny on their
          extant merits.

          Ron [on my suggesting that the sequence shrub, shrub/tree, tree suggests the
          order Mk > Mt > Lk for the Mustard Seed parable]: On the surface this
          sequence might seem plausible. But it's not convincing. Matthew's use of
          both "shrub" and "tree" is most neatly explained as his combination of the
          former from Mark and the latter from the early sayings source.

          Bruce: Absent an assured "early sayings source," I find it not only
          plausible BUT convincing. I don't see how, given these passages, one would
          be driven to posit an external source. If the three Mustards are
          intelligible, superficially or otherwise, as an evolutionary sequence, then
          we would seem to have at least a workable explanation. If no such
          explanation were possible, THEN a lost source might need to be posited. But
          only then. Or so it seems to someone approaching the matter de novo.

          Ron [as a final methodological comment]: I have found it surprising that
          you're never prepared to assess one phrase against another to see which is
          more *probably* original. This is the essence of source criticism and you
          always seem to bypass it. Nor does it help throwing in questions to which
          you know no answer. Nor does it help to point out that a case can be made
          for changes in either direction. The question remains in any individual
          case: which direction of change is the more probable?

          Bruce: For me, Ron's last line is the fundamental principle of philology,
          operative both in the text critical area and in what used to be called the
          "higher criticism." It turns out to go back to Tischendorf, as was
          ascertained some time back, both on and off this list. The earlier version
          is the one from which the others may most rationally be seen as derived. But
          why reduce the application of the Tischendorf principle to only the word
          level?

          To me, then, the flaw here is the term "source criticism," as a label for
          one-word considerations, plus the disposition to regard "source criticism"
          as the only tool one needs for the job. Others might concentrate on
          "redaction criticism," or limit themselves to "form criticism," or awe the
          rest of us into an abashed silence by invoking Religionsgeschichte. In all
          its varieties, I find this sort of thing self-stultifying. "Source
          criticism" is not a methodology, it is one tool in the methodological kit.
          One should be aware of sources or possible sources (as in determining
          directionality between extant sources, whether or not they turn out to imply
          a non-extant source), AND of authorial intent, AND of the literary character
          of the material being studied, AND of theological implications, AND of puns
          in Aramaic, AND or allusions or echoes from Greek literature, AND of where
          this text might be coming from in real life, AND of who the writer thought
          he was talking to, AND of what he has himself already written, AND of the
          text-critical status of the word or passage in question, AND of what else in
          that or other texts falls into the same generic category. All at once, and
          as far as possible. Few people are capable of keeping track of all that,
          hence the need for collaboration, for conferences, for journals, for this
          E-list.

          [Guy came to the house today to work on the backup editorial computer. He
          unzipped his little traveling toolkit. If it had held only a socket wrench,
          I would have begun to fear for the life of the backup editorial computer. To
          my relief, there were all sorts of other gizmos in there as well. I think
          that this is how professionals operate. Do some carpenters specialize in
          drilling, and others in planing, and others in rabbeting?]

          If for some weird science fiction reason I had to choose only one tool for
          passages like this, it would certainly not be one which limits me to
          single-word directionality determinations. Not that they are invalid, but
          that they are risky. The amount of relevant but excluded data is too great,
          and the chance of error is correspondingly too high. At least it is too high
          for me. I welcome such considerations along with others, but I am not
          prepared to join Ron in confining the discussion to that species of evidence
          alone. There is too much other evidence, with which a successful theory of
          one passage is going to have to deal eventually. That evidence should be
          left in play throughout, in the interest of a faster and more adequate final
          result.

          Or so it looks from here.

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks
          Warring States Project
          University of Massachusetts at Amherst

          http://www.umass.edu/wsp
        • Ron Price
          ... Bruce, And thank you for your responses. ... Then at the very least the variety of literary forms in Matthew is surely worth investigating to see whether
          Message 4 of 14 , Mar 24, 2008
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            Bruce Brooks wrote:


            > All I can usefully do at this point, then, is to thank Ron for introducing
            > the subject,

            Bruce,

            And thank you for your responses.

            > ....... I have grave doubts that
            > the criterion of "authenticity" can at this stage be anything but circular.

            Then at the very least the variety of literary forms in Matthew is surely
            worth investigating to see whether it supports the existence of a second
            source (in addition to Mark) behind that gospel.

            > ....... I am with those who find Papias anything but straightforward,

            On the whole you may have a point. But I am referring to one particular
            statement of his which not only looks feasible as history, but which may
            also hold the key to the biggest gap in contemporary NT models of the birth
            of Christianity, namely that between the Aramaic-speaking Jesus movement in
            Jerusalem and the Greek gospels.

            > One should be aware of sources or possible sources (as in determining
            > directionality between extant sources, whether or not they turn out to imply
            > a non-extant source), AND of authorial intent, AND of the literary character
            > of the material being studied, AND of theological implications, AND of puns
            > in Aramaic, AND or allusions or echoes from Greek literature, AND of where
            > this text might be coming from in real life, AND of who the writer thought
            > he was talking to, AND of what he has himself already written, AND of the
            > text-critical status of the word or passage in question, AND of what else in
            > that or other texts falls into the same generic category. All at once, and
            > as far as possible. Few people are capable of keeping track of all that,
            > hence the need for collaboration, for conferences, for journals, for this
            > E-list.

            In principle I agree entirely. But in practice it is just not possible in
            email discussion to mention all these aspects, even for discussion of
            phrases, let alone your preferred pericope level or higher. The best we
            achieve is to have as many as possible of these various aspects in mind when
            discussing any particular passage, so as not to find ourselves arguing for a
            point of view which would be ruled out by some aspect not expressly
            mentioned.

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          • Chuck Jones
            Bruce, Are you suggesting that there was development of these texts other than that which is documented in variant readings in the ancient MSS? Rev. Chuck
            Message 5 of 14 , Mar 24, 2008
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              Bruce,

              Are you suggesting that there was development of these texts other than that which is documented in variant readings in the ancient MSS?

              Rev. Chuck Jones
              Atlanta, Georgia

              E Bruce Brooks wrote:
              CHUCK: So, if analysis shows that sometimes the directionality of entire
              passages flows from Mt to Lk and sometimes it flows from Lk to Mt, then this
              alternating primitivity is in fact the evidence for an independent source.

              BRUCE: Strictly speaking, there are other possibilities. For instance, it
              can also happen that one or both of the texts is accretional, so that
              instead of A vs B, you have A1, A2 vs B1, B2. If then we had material
              created in the following absolute order:

              A1, B1, A2, B2

              and if the quality of "lateness" is apparent in the texts, as you move to
              the right, then to the analyst thinking of the material as solely composed
              of A and B, and unaware of the accretional dimension, it will sometimes seem
              that A is earlier (eg, A1 is earlier than both B1 and B2) but sometimes also
              that B is earlier (eg, B1 is earlier than A2). This is not necessarily
              evidence for a Text C, may be, and in this case it is, a warning that either
              A or B or both are not integral texts.

              C remains a possibility, but it seems worth bearing in mind that it is not
              the only possibility.




              .





              ---------------------------------
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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • E Bruce Brooks
              To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Chuck Jones On: Text History From: Bruce CHUCK: Are you suggesting that there was development of these texts other
              Message 6 of 14 , Mar 24, 2008
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                To: Synoptic
                Cc: GPG, WSW
                In Response To: Chuck Jones
                On: Text History
                From: Bruce

                CHUCK: Are you suggesting that there was development of these texts other
                than that which is documented in variant readings in the ancient MSS?

                BRUCE: That is exactly what I am suggesting.

                And there are two kinds. First, consider Lachmann's NT reconstruction; the
                first really modern one. He very correctly said that he was aiming, not to
                reconstruct the author's original, but only the most accurate text that was
                exemplified by his manuscripts, which themselves did not go back further
                than the 4th century. Lachmann even insisted on leaving in his text what
                looked to him like scribal errors *in the text that his earliest copyists
                were looking at,* since they went back earlier than he could generally
                follow. That left 3 centuries for scribal corruptions to have happened, to
                which the available manuscripts in the nature of things could not witness.
                That long gap has been narrowed somewhat by the subsequent discovery of
                earlier manuscripts, but nobody would say it is reduced to zero. I hold,
                with Metzger and a few others, that the so-called Western Non-Interpolations
                are passages which, for liturgical reasons, were added by some very early
                scribe to the common ancestor of both Bezae and Vaticanus (etc). These are
                scribal corruptions of the kind that text criticism can catch, if it has
                early enough manuscripts or their uncontaminated descendants. From them we
                can posit a copy which had features that are directly attested by *no*
                surviving manuscript; the early copy is entirely inferential. This is
                pushing about as hard as one can, on the manuscript evidence. What if we had
                no Bezae? Then there would be an even larger gap between the "author's final
                text" and the earliest point that can be reached by comparison of extant
                manuscripts. We must thus always reckon with the possibility that there is a
                substantial gap between the author's final text (the archetype) and the
                earliest point we can reach through manuscript comparison. That inability
                is just chance; we might possess a verifiable author's holograph, but
                usually we don't. This is a familiar situation with Latin secular texts, for
                example, and people just make the best of it. They are well experienced in
                making the best of it, thanks to the text critics of this and earlier
                centuries. The error, as it seems to me, lies in thinking that *all*
                manuscript changes are scribal corruptions, of the kind that manuscript
                comparison is well adapted to handle.

                2. Suppose we possessed the author's holograph; the archetype. But there is
                also textual evolution that may *precede* the archetype, the text as it was
                handed over to the copyists. How could this be so? Consider modern
                parallels: What author among us has never had a second thought about the
                content or arrangement of a book, an SBL paper, or a Synoptic E-mail
                message? Who has not used a plane trip to interlineate last-minute
                felicities into the draft of a lecture? Or crossed out the lead paragraph
                and substituted a whole new page? I think we need to allow the same sort of
                possibility for the Gospel texts, during the period when they were being
                composed, or perhaps more often, in these and comparable cases, while they
                were still closely held. My best guess is that Mark (for example) was not
                written simply for general publication, like some modern book, but rather
                for the guidance of a particular early congregation. Its intended hearers
                were built into the conditions of its emergence as a set of pastoral notes.
                And as it was used that way, and time passed, and conditions changed (one
                well-known change is that people were losing heart about the Second Coming),
                additions might be made to that house text in order to deal with them. There
                are a couple of places in Mark where Jesus is made to say specifically (and
                to underline his assurance with the pregnant term "verily") that not
                *everybody* will die before he comes, and that the original promise will, at
                least technically, be kept *within the generation of his original hearers.*
                It helps this supposition that most of the Markan "verily" passages in
                question meet all the texts of an interpolation. But these are probably not
                scribal corruption interpolations, such as the liturgically motivated
                addenda to Luke, of which we *barely* know through manuscript comparison;
                they are more likely to be authorial patches or improvements; shoring up a
                functional text *while it was still functioning* in its original context of
                addressing the needs of a particular group of converts. (I will be
                addressing this question in more detail in a paper at next month's SBL/NE
                meeting, and is it all that far from Atlanta GA to Newton MA? Surely not).

                Meanwhile, as matter for reflection, consider how works of music in our own
                time remain fluid under their composer's hand long after they were first
                "finished" in the sense of being consecutively performable. Mozart adapted
                or inserted arias during opera rehearsals to meet the needs of a given
                soprano, or the substitution of the lead tenor. Rachmaninoff, after
                observing audience reactions, cut his Second Piano Sonata considerably, so
                much so that later on Horowitz, thinking he had cut too much, got permission
                to restore some of the cuts. (Rachmaninoff also cut his Second Symphony
                after audiences found it too long, and having heard both versions, I find
                that the audiences were right). Here is audience interaction at a very high
                level. But there are all sorts of levels. I think that anybody who has ever
                performed in public will probably agree that one readily senses whether the
                thing is going over or not, and spontaneously adjusts to close the gap
                between the presentation and the audience's receptivity to the
                presentation - or for that matter, expands to accommodate audience
                enthusiasm. All this is common knowledge and experience. For a systematic
                look at the ways texts can grow in the course of becoming complete in the
                library cataloguer's sense of complete, I venture to suggest the Text
                Typology pages at

                http://www.umass.edu/wsp/philology/typology/index.html

                The idea of those pages is that if we get used to what we really already
                know, so as to bring it up fully into our analytical consciousness, we may
                be better set to consider alternatives for texts whose history, including
                their pre-publication compositional history, we do not directly know.

                Respectfully suggested,

                Bruce

                E Bruce Brooks
                Warring States Project
                University of Massachusetts at Amherst
              • Chuck Jones
                Bruce, Thanks for the thoughtful commentary. While you raise an interesting, legitimate point, I am not certain how we can proceed in literary analysis based
                Message 7 of 14 , Mar 24, 2008
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                  Bruce,

                  Thanks for the thoughtful commentary. While you raise an interesting, legitimate point, I am not certain how we can proceed in literary analysis based on possibilities for which there is no evidence. It seems to me we must analyze the literature we have, recognizing it limits our results.

                  (A hobby horse of mine is that I am not at all persuaded by attempts--usually in within Pauline studies--to solve literary and theological issues by hypothesizing interpolations that have no textual evidence. But that's for another list, another day.)

                  Chuck

                  E Bruce Brooks wrote:
                  To: Synoptic
                  Cc: GPG, WSW
                  In Response To: Chuck Jones
                  On: Text History
                  From: Bruce

                  CHUCK: Are you suggesting that there was development of these texts other
                  than that which is documented in variant readings in the ancient MSS?

                  BRUCE: That is exactly what I am suggesting.

                  And there are two kinds. First, consider Lachmann's NT reconstruction; the
                  first really modern one. He very correctly said that he was aiming, not to
                  reconstruct the author's original, but only the most accurate text that was
                  exemplified by his manuscripts, which themselves did not go back further
                  than the 4th century. Lachmann even insisted on leaving in his text what
                  looked to him like scribal errors *in the text that his earliest copyists
                  were looking at,* since they went back earlier than he could generally
                  follow. That left 3 centuries for scribal corruptions to have happened, to
                  which the available manuscripts in the nature of things could not witness.
                  That long gap has been narrowed somewhat by the subsequent discovery of
                  earlier manuscripts, but nobody would say it is reduced to zero. I hold,
                  with Metzger and a few others, that the so-called Western Non-Interpolations
                  are passages which, for liturgical reasons, were added by some very early
                  scribe to the common ancestor of both Bezae and Vaticanus (etc). These are
                  scribal corruptions of the kind that text criticism can catch, if it has
                  early enough manuscripts or their uncontaminated descendants. From them we
                  can posit a copy which had features that are directly attested by *no*
                  surviving manuscript; the early copy is entirely inferential. This is
                  pushing about as hard as one can, on the manuscript evidence. What if we had
                  no Bezae? Then there would be an even larger gap between the "author's final
                  text" and the earliest point that can be reached by comparison of extant
                  manuscripts. We must thus always reckon with the possibility that there is a
                  substantial gap between the author's final text (the archetype) and the
                  earliest point we can reach through manuscript comparison. That inability
                  is just chance; we might possess a verifiable author's holograph, but
                  usually we don't. This is a familiar situation with Latin secular texts, for
                  example, and people just make the best of it. They are well experienced in
                  making the best of it, thanks to the text critics of this and earlier
                  centuries. The error, as it seems to me, lies in thinking that *all*
                  manuscript changes are scribal corruptions, of the kind that manuscript
                  comparison is well adapted to handle.

                  2. Suppose we possessed the author's holograph; the archetype. But there is
                  also textual evolution that may *precede* the archetype, the text as it was
                  handed over to the copyists. How could this be so? Consider modern
                  parallels: What author among us has never had a second thought about the
                  content or arrangement of a book, an SBL paper, or a Synoptic E-mail
                  message? Who has not used a plane trip to interlineate last-minute
                  felicities into the draft of a lecture? Or crossed out the lead paragraph
                  and substituted a whole new page? I think we need to allow the same sort of
                  possibility for the Gospel texts, during the period when they were being
                  composed, or perhaps more often, in these and comparable cases, while they
                  were still closely held. My best guess is that Mark (for example) was not
                  written simply for general publication, like some modern book, but rather
                  for the guidance of a particular early congregation. Its intended hearers
                  were built into the conditions of its emergence as a set of pastoral notes.
                  And as it was used that way, and time passed, and conditions changed (one
                  well-known change is that people were losing heart about the Second Coming),
                  additions might be made to that house text in order to deal with them. There
                  are a couple of places in Mark where Jesus is made to say specifically (and
                  to underline his assurance with the pregnant term "verily") that not
                  *everybody* will die before he comes, and that the original promise will, at
                  least technically, be kept *within the generation of his original hearers.*
                  It helps this supposition that most of the Markan "verily" passages in
                  question meet all the texts of an interpolation. But these are probably not
                  scribal corruption interpolations, such as the liturgically motivated
                  addenda to Luke, of which we *barely* know through manuscript comparison;
                  they are more likely to be authorial patches or improvements; shoring up a
                  functional text *while it was still functioning* in its original context of
                  addressing the needs of a particular group of converts. (I will be
                  addressing this question in more detail in a paper at next month's SBL/NE
                  meeting, and is it all that far from Atlanta GA to Newton MA? Surely not).

                  Meanwhile, as matter for reflection, consider how works of music in our own
                  time remain fluid under their composer's hand long after they were first
                  "finished" in the sense of being consecutively performable. Mozart adapted
                  or inserted arias during opera rehearsals to meet the needs of a given
                  soprano, or the substitution of the lead tenor. Rachmaninoff, after
                  observing audience reactions, cut his Second Piano Sonata considerably, so
                  much so that later on Horowitz, thinking he had cut too much, got permission
                  to restore some of the cuts. (Rachmaninoff also cut his Second Symphony
                  after audiences found it too long, and having heard both versions, I find
                  that the audiences were right). Here is audience interaction at a very high
                  level. But there are all sorts of levels. I think that anybody who has ever
                  performed in public will probably agree that one readily senses whether the
                  thing is going over or not, and spontaneously adjusts to close the gap
                  between the presentation and the audience's receptivity to the
                  presentation - or for that matter, expands to accommodate audience
                  enthusiasm. All this is common knowledge and experience. For a systematic
                  look at the ways texts can grow in the course of becoming complete in the
                  library cataloguer's sense of complete, I venture to suggest the Text
                  Typology pages at

                  http://www.umass.edu/wsp/philology/typology/index.html

                  The idea of those pages is that if we get used to what we really already
                  know, so as to bring it up fully into our analytical consciousness, we may
                  be better set to consider alternatives for texts whose history, including
                  their pre-publication compositional history, we do not directly know.

                  Respectfully suggested,

                  Bruce

                  E Bruce Brooks
                  Warring States Project
                  University of Massachusetts at Amherst






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                • gentile_dave@emc.com
                  CHUCK: Are you suggesting that there was development of these texts other than that which is documented in variant readings in the ancient MSS? BRUCE: That is
                  Message 8 of 14 , Mar 24, 2008
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                    CHUCK: Are you suggesting that there was development of these texts
                    other
                    than that which is documented in variant readings in the ancient MSS?

                    BRUCE: That is exactly what I am suggesting.

                    Here I might add my own argument for this position -

                    I like to make an analogy to evolutionary biology. New varieties arise
                    by mutation. Assuming the mutation survives, a question can be asked. -
                    "How long before every member of the population carries this mutation?"
                    There are a number of factors at work and with certain assumptions you
                    can write exact equations, but here two factors are important.



                    1) The smaller the population, the shorter the time until full
                    replacement. It takes less generations for the trait to be passed to a
                    population of few individuals than one with many.

                    2) The strength of selective pressure will influence how fast
                    replacement takes place. Mutations that provide substantial advantage
                    will achieve full replacement faster than those that only provide
                    marginal advantage.



                    Now relating this to texts. Scribal errors and deliberate changes,
                    however motivated, might be described as mutations to the original text.
                    Early on in the history of Christianity there were far fewer adherents,
                    and one would therefore imagine far fewer copies of any given text. In
                    this environment any changes would be expected to achieve full
                    replacement in a shorter time frame than in later periods. Also, given
                    that the early history of Christianity was more diverse, and involved
                    more changes than in later periods, we would expect selective pressures
                    on documents to have been greater then than later. In later ages a text
                    variant acceptable in one century would almost certainly be acceptable
                    in the next. In the early history, decade to decade changes in attitude
                    would have put more pressure on the texts.

                    We have surviving evidence of the evolution of the texts from later
                    periods, and based on this it is reasonable to assume that the changes
                    in earlier periods were more substantial, and we do not, in fact, have
                    the original texts. In most cases of course, this means the text is
                    lost. In a few cases, however, with the synoptics, evidence of a lost
                    variant of one text may survive in another.

                    Some examples -

                    Recently we noted that the narrative portions of "Q" stand out in a
                    statistically significant way. They contain long passages of exact
                    agreement, also they occur outside of the two main blocks where Luke
                    located his non-Markian material. I think this indicates there were
                    earlier versions of Luke without the narrative bits of "Q", and this
                    represents assimilation to the text of Matthew. Additionally we can note
                    that some of these involve John the Baptist and we know Marcion had a
                    version of Luke without Some John the Baptist material.

                    A second such addition would be Mark 3:22-30. This material breaks up
                    references to the family of Jesus, and thus looks as if it could be an
                    insertion. There would be a motivation for this as well, if we read the
                    text without these lines. His family thinks he is insane, and he appears
                    to disown them. Luke follows neither the order nor the text of Mark
                    here. He groups this with his "Q" material and follows Q and/or Matthew
                    for the text. There is no reason a priori that Luke has to do both of
                    these things together. He could for example have left it in Mark's
                    position, and followed the Q text, or the other way around. But this
                    combination of actions supports the idea that Luke never even saw this
                    text in his copy of Mark, and this is a late addition.

                    One final example:

                    One surviving version of Luke 3:22 reads "You are my son, today I have
                    fathered you". Normally it is argued that "You are my son, the beloved,
                    with you I am well-pleased" is the original. This argument rests on the
                    idea that Luke would hardly have altered Mark and said "today I have
                    fathered you", while at the same time adding a birth narrative. However,
                    if we suppose a lost version of Mark also read "today I have fathered
                    you", and Luke merely preserved Mark's text, then we have a logical
                    progression of textual changes. The original text of Mark then would
                    have echoed Psalm 2 "I will proclaim the decree of Yahweh. He said to me
                    'You are my son, today I have fathered you'". This also might be echoed
                    in Mark 1:38 - "Let us go elsewhere...so I can proclaim the message
                    there too, for this is why I came". And of course being 'fathered' at
                    the baptism is at home in Mark's gospel where there is no birth
                    narrative.

                    Dave Gentile

                    Riverside, IL











                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • E Bruce Brooks
                    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Chuck Jones On: Methodology From: Bruce CHUCK: While you raise an interesting, legitimate point, I am not certain how
                    Message 9 of 14 , Mar 24, 2008
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                      To: Synoptic
                      Cc: GPG, WSW
                      In Response To: Chuck Jones
                      On: Methodology
                      From: Bruce

                      CHUCK: While you raise an interesting, legitimate point, I am not certain
                      how we can proceed in literary analysis based on possibilities for which
                      there is no evidence. It seems to me we must analyze the literature we
                      have, recognizing it limits our results.

                      BRUCE: Evidence in one text is not "no evidence." Let me illustrate.

                      (1) As we read the newspaper (to borrow an example from Metzger), we
                      spontaneously correct misprints in the newspaper. If we see "thesef" we do
                      not need a whole second edition of the paper, identical save that this word
                      appears as "these," to judge that the compositor has let her finger rest
                      improvidently on the F key (its home key) before thumbing the spacebar. The
                      whole layout of the standard keyboard could probably be recovered with a
                      fair degree of accuracy by collating fifty thousand errors of this sort.
                      It's not as good as salvaging an actual 20th century keyboard, but it's not
                      mere speculation either. It has a basis in evidence.

                      (2) Suppose we have two manuscripts B and C, containing the same passage,
                      but B is longer by a sentence. The existence of the difference focuses our
                      attention on this situation, and we therefore are compelled to decide
                      between them. C is shorter. Do we follow an "iron rule" and rule it
                      preferable? Not if we have read Griesbach, who seems to have formulated the
                      "lectio brevior" guideline in great detail. Griesbach does in fact lay it
                      down that the shorter reading is better, since (as he says) scribes do
                      abbreviate. But he they proceeds to give even more examples of cases where
                      scribes do NOT abbreviate, but expand. Whence we get the opposite rule,
                      sometimes also cited, that the longer reading is preferable. The truth of
                      the matter, fully evident in Griesbach's examples (for which see Metzger
                      Text of the New Testament 3ed p120), is that neither the longer nor the
                      shorter reading is a priori preferable. We have no recourse, in this or any
                      other case, save to examine, on their merits, the two particular passages.

                      We might, as one possibility, find that the sentence found only in B is also
                      *interruptive* in B; that it does not articulate well with what comes before
                      and after it, and that when it is experimentally removed, the material
                      before and after it joins together in a satisfactory sequence. Then the line
                      standing only in B is very likely to be an interpolation, and we rule in
                      favor of C as preserving the original reading.

                      Or, to take the opposite possibility, suppose that the line in B makes the
                      context work concinnitously, but that the sequence in C is bumpy and
                      unsatisfactory. Then text C is somehow defective, and its defect is cured by
                      the existence of the B line. In this case, a line has been lost from C and
                      can be confidently supplied from B. Here, it is B that preserve the original
                      reading.

                      ONE TEXT EQUIVALENTS

                      Now suppose we had only text C. If it reads satisfactorily, there is no need
                      to pay further attention to it. If it reads problematically, such that the
                      connection at one point is faulty, then we can conjecture that a word, or a
                      line, or a page, has dropped out, but we have no way to restore the missing
                      material, or even to estimate its extent. The cure here is either
                      conjectural emendation (and there are famous cases where conjectural
                      emendation has succeeded), or simply to indicate a lacuna and move on. We
                      recognize a problem by considering the nature of the text, and solve it, or
                      mark it, as best we can.

                      Or, suppose we had only text B. If it reads satisfactorily, there is no need
                      to pay further attention to it, and in all probability, no attention, in
                      fact, would ever have been called to it. But if there is an inconcinnity, a
                      sense of non sequitur, a feeling of resumption after disturbance, as we read
                      the text, we may find on inspection (and inspection is implicitly called
                      for) that one sentence is causing all the trouble, and that if we remove it,
                      the text is fine. In this case, we judge that we are dealing with an
                      interpolation, identify the line in question as such, remove it from our
                      idea of the original, and pass on. We do not have the support of an
                      independent manuscript containing the text as we have conjectured it, but we
                      do have a solution, and a solution based on the evidence in the text.

                      MORAL

                      Divergent manuscript readings serve to focus attention on passages that may
                      be problematic, whether from scribal dropouts or from scribal additions or
                      from a host of other things. Divergent readings help to accelerate the
                      process of discovery by focusing attention on problem places. But we *solve*
                      those passages, once we have been led to consider them, not by the fact of
                      the difference, which of itself only identifies that a problem exists. We
                      solve them by considering the local merits of each single text. Those
                      determinations are such as could also be made (though if a line has dropped
                      out, not equally well made) by sufficiently careful attention to the
                      evidence within the single text.

                      It is the evidence of the single text that decides the problem. That
                      evidence is thus not properly "no evidence." It is just this sort of
                      evidence that is ultimately relied on by text criticism. Noting the
                      attestation of the several readings in other manuscripts merely gives the
                      history of dissemination of the correct and/or the incorrect readings. It
                      does not of itself say which reading *is* the correct one; at most, it puts
                      you in good company. The attestation pattern may itself be used as a
                      substitute for local judgement, and if the preferred pattern includes
                      Vaticanus, the result may often be successful. But it is ultimately local
                      judgement that establishes Vaticanus in the first place as something worth
                      betting on, when you have no other ideas in a given case.

                      Thus, in effect, Westcott and Hort, or a rule of thumb that derives from
                      their colossal labors. But I give them full marks for recognizing that there
                      are cases, albeit seemingly few of them, where Vaticanus itself stands a
                      little off to one side of the line of descent from the archetype. They did
                      this by considering the merits of the local situation. So should we.

                      Bruce

                      E Bruce Brooks
                      Warring States Project
                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                      http://www.umass.edu/wsp/philology/typology/index.html (still recommended)
                    • Chuck Jones
                      Bruce, Excellent thoughts that challenge long-held assumptions of mine. I have always placed much weight on the text critical principle of preferring the more
                      Message 10 of 14 , Mar 24, 2008
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                        Bruce,

                        Excellent thoughts that challenge long-held assumptions of mine.

                        I have always placed much weight on the text critical principle of preferring the more difficult reading, the thinking being that a scribe is more likely to smooth a passage than make it more difficult.

                        This is the main reason I have been reluctant to buy into emending texts in the absence of textual variants: we become the very scribes that we've been cautioned about!

                        But I have another, much more significant issue with proposing variant readings in the absence of manuscript evidence. The absence of variant manuscript evidence is evidence for the absence of variation!

                        For example, a significant number of Pauline scholars believe that I Thess. 2:15-16 is a later interpolation, despite the absence of textual variants. So here is what had to have happened. One scribe inserted the passage into one copy of I Thess. And then all of the other copies of I Thess. had to perish from the earth while this one copy became the single progenitor for all manuscripts of I Thess. from that day forward. I have a pretty big problem with the plausibility of that scenario.

                        Not sure how this contributes to our discussion, which I am much enjoying.

                        Rev. Chuck Jones
                        Atlanta, GA

                        E Bruce Brooks wrote:

                        CHUCK: While you raise an interesting, legitimate point, I am not certain
                        how we can proceed in literary analysis based on possibilities for which
                        there is no evidence. It seems to me we must analyze the literature we
                        have, recognizing it limits our results.

                        BRUCE: Evidence in one text is not "no evidence." Let me illustrate.

                        (1) As we read the newspaper (to borrow an example from Metzger), we
                        spontaneously correct misprints in the newspaper. If we see "thesef" we do
                        not need a whole second edition of the paper, identical save that this word
                        appears as "these," to judge that the compositor has let her finger rest
                        improvidently on the F key (its home key) before thumbing the spacebar. The
                        whole layout of the standard keyboard could probably be recovered with a
                        fair degree of accuracy by collating fifty thousand errors of this sort.
                        It's not as good as salvaging an actual 20th century keyboard, but it's not
                        mere speculation either. It has a basis in evidence.

                        (2) Suppose we have two manuscripts B and C, containing the same passage,
                        but B is longer by a sentence. The existence of the difference focuses our
                        attention on this situation, and we therefore are compelled to decide
                        between them. C is shorter. Do we follow an "iron rule" and rule it
                        preferable? Not if we have read Griesbach, who seems to have formulated the
                        "lectio brevior" guideline in great detail. Griesbach does in fact lay it
                        down that the shorter reading is better, since (as he says) scribes do
                        abbreviate. But he they proceeds to give even more examples of cases where
                        scribes do NOT abbreviate, but expand. Whence we get the opposite rule,
                        sometimes also cited, that the longer reading is preferable. The truth of
                        the matter, fully evident in Griesbach's examples (for which see Metzger
                        Text of the New Testament 3ed p120), is that neither the longer nor the
                        shorter reading is a priori preferable. We have no recourse, in this or any
                        other case, save to examine, on their merits, the two particular passages.

                        We might, as one possibility, find that the sentence found only in B is also
                        *interruptive* in B; that it does not articulate well with what comes before
                        and after it, and that when it is experimentally removed, the material
                        before and after it joins together in a satisfactory sequence. Then the line
                        standing only in B is very likely to be an interpolation, and we rule in
                        favor of C as preserving the original reading.

                        Or, to take the opposite possibility, suppose that the line in B makes the
                        context work concinnitously, but that the sequence in C is bumpy and
                        unsatisfactory. Then text C is somehow defective, and its defect is cured by
                        the existence of the B line. In this case, a line has been lost from C and
                        can be confidently supplied from B. Here, it is B that preserve the original
                        reading.

                        ONE TEXT EQUIVALENTS

                        Now suppose we had only text C. If it reads satisfactorily, there is no need
                        to pay further attention to it. If it reads problematically, such that the
                        connection at one point is faulty, then we can conjecture that a word, or a
                        line, or a page, has dropped out, but we have no way to restore the missing
                        material, or even to estimate its extent. The cure here is either
                        conjectural emendation (and there are famous cases where conjectural
                        emendation has succeeded), or simply to indicate a lacuna and move on. We
                        recognize a problem by considering the nature of the text, and solve it, or
                        mark it, as best we can.

                        Or, suppose we had only text B. If it reads satisfactorily, there is no need
                        to pay further attention to it, and in all probability, no attention, in
                        fact, would ever have been called to it. But if there is an inconcinnity, a
                        sense of non sequitur, a feeling of resumption after disturbance, as we read
                        the text, we may find on inspection (and inspection is implicitly called
                        for) that one sentence is causing all the trouble, and that if we remove it,
                        the text is fine. In this case, we judge that we are dealing with an
                        interpolation, identify the line in question as such, remove it from our
                        idea of the original, and pass on. We do not have the support of an
                        independent manuscript containing the text as we have conjectured it, but we
                        do have a solution, and a solution based on the evidence in the text.

                        MORAL

                        Divergent manuscript readings serve to focus attention on passages that may
                        be problematic, whether from scribal dropouts or from scribal additions or
                        from a host of other things. Divergent readings help to accelerate the
                        process of discovery by focusing attention on problem places. But we *solve*
                        those passages, once we have been led to consider them, not by the fact of
                        the difference, which of itself only identifies that a problem exists. We
                        solve them by considering the local merits of each single text. Those
                        determinations are such as could also be made (though if a line has dropped
                        out, not equally well made) by sufficiently careful attention to the
                        evidence within the single text.

                        It is the evidence of the single text that decides the problem. That
                        evidence is thus not properly "no evidence." It is just this sort of
                        evidence that is ultimately relied on by text criticism. Noting the
                        attestation of the several readings in other manuscripts merely gives the
                        history of dissemination of the correct and/or the incorrect readings. It
                        does not of itself say which reading *is* the correct one; at most, it puts
                        you in good company. The attestation pattern may itself be used as a
                        substitute for local judgement, and if the preferred pattern includes
                        Vaticanus, the result may often be successful. But it is ultimately local
                        judgement that establishes Vaticanus in the first place as something worth
                        betting on, when you have no other ideas in a given case.

                        Thus, in effect, Westcott and Hort, or a rule of thumb that derives from
                        their colossal labors. But I give them full marks for recognizing that there
                        are cases, albeit seemingly few of them, where Vaticanus itself stands a
                        little off to one side of the line of descent from the archetype. They did
                        this by considering the merits of the local situation. So should we.

                        Bruce

                        E Bruce Brooks
                        Warring States Project
                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                        http://www.umass.edu/wsp/philology/typology/index.html (still recommended)






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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • E Bruce Brooks
                        To: Synoptic Cc: GPG, WSW In Response To: Chuck Jones On: Methodology From: Bruce CHUCK: I have always placed much weight on the text critical principle of
                        Message 11 of 14 , Mar 24, 2008
                        • 0 Attachment
                          To: Synoptic
                          Cc: GPG, WSW
                          In Response To: Chuck Jones
                          On: Methodology
                          From: Bruce

                          CHUCK: I have always placed much weight on the text critical principle of
                          preferring the more difficult reading, the thinking being that a scribe is
                          more likely to smooth a passage than make it more difficult.

                          BRUCE: Maybe *more* likely, but still not excluding the likelihood that the
                          *less* likely option may also occur. Housman has a wonderful refutation of
                          this mistake, and I will defer to him. A conveniently abridged version of
                          his 1921 paper is at
                          http://www.umass.edu/wsp/philology/front/housman/01.html. I think the
                          relevant part is actually on the third of those four pages, but all of it is
                          worth reading. I would add only that a typing error (I earlier invented the
                          case of "thesef") is more difficult than the reading "these" but this does
                          not make it preferable. It makes it wrong. Most accidental slips tend to
                          produce impossible readings, but their impossibility is no warrant for their
                          correctness. In short, no shortcut is safe, and no rule of thumb can
                          substitute for the use of all the fingers. And sometimes of the other hand,
                          or in really bad cases, of a knee or two. This stuff is not always easy;
                          sometimes it is recalcitrant.

                          CHUCK: This is the main reason I have been reluctant to buy into emending
                          texts in the absence of textual variants: we become the very scribes that
                          we've been cautioned about!

                          BRUCE: There are certainly dangers, and caution is certainly needed, and any
                          erudition one happens to possess (via concordances or in propria persona)
                          comes in handy too. But I can only repeat my previous point: the evidence
                          *in the text* is still evidence. If you have a splinter in your right hand,
                          you don't check your left hand to be sure that is really *is* an
                          interpolation; you reach for the tweezers.

                          The scribes were sometimes careless; that we can remedy by trying to be
                          careful. One tool of the philologist is to know when you are too tired to do
                          the work; you keep routine chores on hand for those moments. The scribes
                          were sometimes piously inventive; that we can try to avoid by keeping a
                          decent emotional distance from the thing we are working on. (Keeping one's
                          literal "philological hat" on the hatstand, and donning it while doing the
                          work, may be useful to some in establishing and maintaining this separate
                          persona). And as always in the historical enterprise, if despite our best
                          efforts we make a mistake, others are there to point it out to us. Our
                          individual shortcomings are doubtless inevitable, but collectively, we may
                          be pretty good.

                          CHUCK: But I have another, much more significant issue with proposing
                          variant readings in the absence of manuscript evidence. The absence of
                          variant manuscript evidence is evidence for the absence of variation!

                          BRUCE: A nice phrase. I have used s similar one myself, in arguing for the
                          validity of the "argumentum ex silentio." It goes like this: There are many
                          reasons why writers might not refer to something. But if that something in
                          fact did not exist in a particular period, the only evidence that fact is
                          capable of leaving in the texts is the *silence* of the texts.

                          In the end, I think it remains true that, if it is conceded (and
                          Rachmaninoff, off in his corner, is nodding assent) that a work may expand
                          or contract while still under its author's hand, then the unanimity of the
                          manuscripts may merely mean that none of them has varied from the author's
                          final version. It does not mean that the author's final version was not
                          preceded by the author's *prefinal* versions, full of erasures, insertions,
                          second thoughts, third thoughts refuting second thoughts ("stet"), and the
                          whole array. Have you even seen one of Beethoven's sketchbooks? Or Emily
                          Dickinson's? (The latter are held by the Amherst library, and I can show
                          them to you when you come up for Don Wyatt's talk on Thursday). There is a
                          whole philological education available there, just for the looking.

                          CHUCK: For example, a significant number of Pauline scholars believe that I
                          Thess. 2:15-16 is a later interpolation, despite the absence of textual
                          variants. So here is what had to have happened. One scribe inserted the
                          passage into one copy of I Thess. And then all of the other copies of I
                          Thess. had to perish from the earth while this one copy became the single
                          progenitor for all manuscripts of I Thess. from that day forward. I have a
                          pretty big problem with the plausibility of that scenario.

                          BRUCE: Again the fallacy of the scribe. The scenario would depend on how
                          many copies were in existence when the insertion was made. And maybe there
                          was only one; maybe 1Th was still in the custody of the recipient church,
                          and (as we have reason to believe) was read occasionally to that
                          congregation for edification and encouragement. If the resident reader felt
                          that some local strengthening was called for, then he (probably he) might
                          had added the lines in question, and his addition got copied into the text
                          when the Pauline Epistles were gathered - by what agency we seem not to
                          know, but we know that it happened, long before the end of the 1c - into the
                          Corpus Paulinum. That change, and that prior perhaps marginal improvement,
                          were made on the holograph, and thus on the thing from which all other
                          copies were made. Some junior philologist in the 4th century might
                          conceivably have detected a difference of tone, in the inserted lines, and
                          excised them out of a sense of tidiness and scruple; this would produce
                          manuscript variants. But the variant would still be rooted in the mind of a
                          4c philologist. It would, if you come to think of it, have no better
                          standing than the opinion of a 21c philologist, not to be sure tampering
                          with the physical manuscript, but publishing in some modern footnote.

                          Also relevant to the idea of an addition in 1Th is the idea that 2Th is a
                          much larger subsequent suppletion of 1Th. Relevant in turn to both these
                          problems is the oft mentioned possibility that 1Co has been conflated,
                          probably by the church originally holding them, out of two or more
                          originally separate Pauline letters, so as not to put that church in TOO bad
                          a light when their originally private possessions were made available to all
                          of Christendom. And this possibility in turn surely gains relevant evidence
                          when it is noticed that similar doubts have been expressed about other
                          undoubted Paulines, such as Romans. As these things are presently done,
                          those debates tend to blaze up as so many separate fires on the battlefield;
                          footnotes in so many separate commentaries. I think they also need to be
                          looked at as a single phenomenon, not disposed of one by one (as Schnelle,
                          for example, does) as "insufficiently persuasive." I always recommend the
                          question: What's the big picture? The big picture here may be that the
                          recipient churches tended to strengthen the message of what was at that time
                          their only authority text, and that at the time of collection for
                          publication, further and perhaps frantic changes were introduced out of
                          consideration for the pending loss of privacy.

                          Nothing proves itself, but at minimum, I find this possibility viscerally
                          intelligible. What do I do myself, if I see somebody coming up the walk?
                          Answer: I use my four seconds of grace to pick up at least some of my notes
                          off the floor, whether they concern 1Th or any other matter, in the interest
                          of presenting an image of decency and civility, however counterfeit and
                          mendacious it may be, to my caller.

                          If the Corinthians had the same thought, I am 100% in sympathy with the
                          Corinthians. I feel their pain.

                          Bruce

                          E Bruce Brooks
                          Warring States Project
                          University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                          http://www.umass.edu/wsp/philology/front/housman/01.html
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