Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Thoughts on GosThom

Expand Messages
  • Mark Goodacre
    On 30 Sep 98 at 13:35, Andrew Bernhard wrote (responding to me) ... I compiled quick lists for Crosstalk on the Greek and on the Coptic. I could repost or you
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 1, 1998
    • 0 Attachment
      On 30 Sep 98 at 13:35, Andrew Bernhard wrote (responding to me)

      > > (1) We do need to ask the necessary prior question about verbatim agreement.
      > > Is there enough of it to make some dependence likely? I think yes.
      >
      > We are agreed here. Have you by any chance compiled a list which allows you
      > to say yes?

      I compiled quick lists for Crosstalk on the Greek and on the Coptic. I could
      repost or you could look at:

      http://www.egroups.com/list/crosstalk/962.html

      and

      http://www.egroups.com/list/crosstalk/1211.html

      The latter (on the Coptic) is particularly sketchy, I am afraid.

      > > (2) We need to think carefully about our use of form-critical laws or
      > > tendencies in the light of Sanders's seminal 1969 work.
      >
      > Here you have a slightly different focus then me. I'm still looking for a
      > pattern of "primitive" sayings, but you are probably right to take a step back
      > and ask if the whole endeavor for searching for "primitive" sayings is
      > worthwhile. John Meier in his _A Marginal Jew_ denies that such an endeavor is
      > worthwhile: "It is by no means invariably true in the Gospel tradition that
      > the shorter text is eaerlier than and indepent of the longer text containing
      > the same material. Matthew usually shortens and streamlines Mark's miracle
      > stories, but he is no less dependent on Mark for all the brevity. In face, it
      > is quite possible that a tradition may not develop along a straight line of
      > short to longer or longer to shorter, but may meander back and forth (further
      > examples)" (132). We do need to evaluate whether this critique is
      > reasonable.

      I do think that looking for "primitive" sayings is worthwhile but I was
      offering a word of caution about doing so by relying too heavily on the idea of
      form-critical laws and tendencies. Meier's example here is a good one and may
      be based on Sanders who does a detailed study of longer / shorter forms.
      >
      > Also, I hate to confess such ignorance, but what is Sanders's seminal 1969
      > work? I've been reading Bultmann to reexamine Form Criticism ("The Study of
      > the Synoptic Gospels"); perhaps I am out of date.

      It is _The Tendencies of the Synoptic Tradition_ (SNTSMS 9; London: C.U.P.,
      1969). For a good recent discussion of form-criticism, see Sanders's _Studying
      the Synoptic Gospels_. I have lifted the odd quotation from it before now on
      Crosstalk.

      Mark
      -------------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept. of Theology Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham Fax: +44 (0)121 414 6866
      Birmingham B15 2TT
      United Kingdom

      Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
      World Without Q: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q
    • Andrew Bernhard
      MARK WROTE: That completes a quick survey of the issue of literary identity in the Oxyrhynchus fragments. There is one very good case of literary identity (the
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 1, 1998
      • 0 Attachment
        MARK WROTE:
        That completes a quick survey of the issue of literary identity in the Oxyrhynchus
        fragments. There is one very good case of literary identity (the first one listed,
        from P Oxy 1) and there are lots of interesting smaller cases where the texts are
        identical
        over a smaller amount of space.

        An investigation of the Coptic material is necessary too, of course, but there seem
        to be some grounds here for a limited degree of literary dependence one way or the
        other. What do others think? Is there enough here at least to establish a limited
        amount of literary dependence one way or the other?

        - - - -

        Mark,
        Thanks for the list. I've looked over the parallels in the Greek fragments and I
        must confess I don't think there is much of a case for literary dependence on that
        basis. You yourself admit that there is only "one very good case of literary
        identity." As for the rest, I don't think the nearly verbatim agreement is enough
        to prove dependence.

        Luke 17:21/POxy 654.15-16: First, Fitzmeyer's reconstruction is based on the Lucan
        parallel. And second, even if the reconstruction is accurate, this saying is so
        short that it could easily have been carried verbatim in the oral tradition. If you
        and I heard the saying, "the kingdom of God is within you" (7 words) in church, and
        decided to write it down again later, I bet we would come up with identical sayings.

        The same comment about how easily the sayings could have been transmitted verbatim
        in oral tradition also applies to the remainder of the parallels you list. I notice
        as I look through the parallels that they all are short and have a form of the
        equitive verb eimi (except for the parallels you list to POxy 1.30-35 which don't
        exactly qualify as verbatim agreement anyway). This suggests to me that all of the
        "verbatim" agreements are of an extremely simple ("primitive") consturction and
        could easily have been carried _verbatim_ in an oral form. I don't care about how
        people change sayings in their mind when they memorize them, you and I could easily
        memorize 7 or words and recite them verbatim. That does not prove that one of us
        borrowed from the other.

        That, in the end, leaves us with the only extensive parallel (Lk.6:42/POxy 1.1-4).
        Here we have 13 words verbatim, probably more. But we also have a coptic
        counterpart that differs slightly.. So, it would seem to me that we do indeed (as
        you note is possible) have an instance of harmonization. I think the best
        explanation is that POxy 1 has been harmonized with a canonical saying. It seems
        less probable that the Coptic has been unharmonized with the synoptics.

        In the end, I don't think these parallel amount to much of anything. No wonder they
        are never cited in arguments for dependence. They are so slight that they don't
        indicate anything and the one parallel that might is extremely questionable.

        Andrew
      • Andrew Bernhard
        ... but I find virually NO parallels that indicate verbatim agreement... ... Sigh...I m teaching myself Coptic now...for now, I must take your word for it.
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 1, 1998
        • 0 Attachment
          > I would want to add one or two words to qualify what you say, though:
          >
          > (1) The sample of Thomas that Oxyrhynchus gives us is not that large. That we
          > find some verbatim agreement in such a small sample may be striking.

          but I find virually NO parallels that indicate verbatim agreement...

          >
          > (2) There are good cases of very close agreement in Coptic Thomas, one of the
          > best being Thom. 79a // Luke 11.27-28 on which I have recently written an
          > article (not published yet). It is something we thrashed out on Crosstalk a
          > while ago. I listed some of the other close agreements in the post to which I
          > referred, but the list is not exhaustive of course.

          Sigh...I'm teaching myself Coptic now...for now, I must take your word for it.
          Still, my inclination is that parallels in translation indicate nothing except that
          the scribe was familiar with the canonical gospels when he made the translation. I
          remember in my Greek last year, I was translating part of the birth story out of
          Luke. It also happened to be a text I have heard read in church every year at
          Christmas and as I sight translated, my translation sounded suspiciously like the
          RSV, without even the slightly effort or thought on my part.

          > (3) To talk about the log and speck example as "extremely questionable" is
          > too strong. Sribal harmonisation is a possibility, but we do not have enough
          > textual evidence to go on when studying Thomas. Should Thomasine independence
          > benefit from the lack of evidence or should limited Thomasine knowledge of the
          > Synoptics?

          Perhaps it is too strong. Regardless, we can't turn this into a question of: what
          would we think if we had more evidence? We don't know what we would think if we
          had more evidence, if we did, well, we'd have that evidence and would have to
          speculate about other evidence that we didn't have. In short, we can only work
          with what we have.

          > (4) Among the agreements that you do not find so convincing is P Oxy 654, 27-31
          > (Thom. 5) // Luke 8.17 etc. If I may quote from another earlier message
          > (http://www.egroups.com/list/crosstalk/1036.html):
          >
          > Let me put it another way. Luke is re-writing Mark here and simply
          > changing the wording and structure a little. This is at least prima facie
          > Lukan redaction of Mark. Thomas contains the same wording -- eight words
          > verbatim, three of which agree with Luke against Mark. The natural
          > presumption in such cases is Thomasine dependence on Luke.
          >

          The natural presumption ONLY IF we presume that there has to be some kind of
          dependence and to make such an assumption I have to see some kind of indication
          that it is justified and so far, I don't. Luke's redaction may have been only
          natural if Mark's phrase was awkward. If somebody came up to me and said "He ain't
          got a dog," I would naturally repeat the language that I understand, but am not
          accustomed to and say, "He does not have a dog." This is a three word difference,
          but it doesn't mean I had to borrow directly literarily from somebody who said what
          I said. I guess I don't agree with you that this minute change couldn't have
          resulted from oral transmission.

          In summary, I still maintain that the only parallel that is significant enough to
          possibly suggest dependence is POxy 1.1-4...and that doesn't meet my standards of
          establishing a pattern.

          Andrew
        • Mark Goodacre
          ... You may be right. You are certainly right, I think, about the notion that 7 words here and 7 there is not going to be overwhelming, the kind of thing that
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 1, 1998
          • 0 Attachment
            On 1 Oct 98 at 8:18, Andrew Bernhard wrote:

            > Thanks for the list. I've looked over the parallels in the Greek fragments
            > and I must confess I don't think there is much of a case for literary
            > dependence on that basis. You yourself admit that there is only "one very
            > good case of literary identity." As for the rest, I don't think the nearly
            > verbatim agreement is enough to prove dependence.

            You may be right. You are certainly right, I think, about the notion that 7
            words here and 7 there is not going to be overwhelming, the kind of thing that
            could be held in oral tradition, etc.

            I would want to add one or two words to qualify what you say, though:

            (1) The sample of Thomas that Oxyrhynchus gives us is not that large. That we
            find some verbatim agreement in such a small sample may be striking.

            (2) There are good cases of very close agreement in Coptic Thomas, one of the
            best being Thom. 79a // Luke 11.27-28 on which I have recently written an
            article (not published yet). It is something we thrashed out on Crosstalk a
            while ago. I listed some of the other close agreements in the post to which I
            referred, but the list is not exhaustive of course.

            (3) To talk about the log and speck example as "extremely questionable" is
            too strong. Sribal harmonisation is a possibility, but we do not have enough
            textual evidence to go on when studying Thomas. Should Thomasine independence
            benefit from the lack of evidence or should limited Thomasine knowledge of the
            Synoptics?

            (4) Among the agreements that you do not find so convincing is P Oxy 654, 27-31
            (Thom. 5) // Luke 8.17 etc. If I may quote from another earlier message
            (http://www.egroups.com/list/crosstalk/1036.html):

            Now there are eight words verbatim agreement here between Luke and Thom
            (though noting, of course, that there is some need for reconstruction in P
            Oxy 654), and in three of them there is agreement against Mark, OU FANERON
            GENHSETAI against EAN MH FANERWQHi, as well as the absence of TI from Thom
            and Luke against Mark. This is minor variation, of course, and in some ways
            that is why it is striking: it is hardly the kind of variation that will be
            due to influence of oral tradition.

            Let me put it another way. Luke is re-writing Mark here and simply
            changing the wording and structure a little. This is at least prima facie
            Lukan redaction of Mark. Thomas contains the same wording -- eight words
            verbatim, three of which agree with Luke against Mark. The natural
            presumption in such cases is Thomasine dependence on Luke.

            That is not to say that we might also need to see some clear evidence of
            distinctively Lukan traits, language, themes and so on. The difficulty for
            the Oxy P material is that there are not very many triple tradition pieces
            to go on in the search for Lukan redaction of Mark, and here we come back
            to Stephen's question: "who is allowed to benefit from the lack of
            evidence"?

            I know that Steve has an answer to this, though.

            Mark
            -------------------------------------------
            Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
            Dept. of Theology Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7512
            University of Birmingham Fax: +44 (0)121 414 6866
            Birmingham B15 2TT
            United Kingdom

            Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
            World Without Q: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.