Re: Birth narratives (SCC)
I think it is hopeful to expect absolute dates for any of the dating
questions you have posed.
At 20.39 03/12/98 -0500, you wrote:
>If we are going to take this conversation seriously, I would like to haveI don't think there is enough evidence to come to any conclusions. Is it
>some idea what your views on the following questions are:
>1. When did Nazareth come to exist as a town by that name?
>2. When was the original version of Mark composed?1 - 135 CE. or perhaps ending sometime before Papias's stuff if that is at
all trustworthy. it's very hard to use that information, given the story he
gives regarding the gospel of Matthew in Hebrew. One could easily use such
possible ravings as a basis for attributing names to erstwhile anonymous
works. (Many of the Judaeo-Christian texts were in fact anonymous.) What
Papias was referring to is anyone's guess. There were numerous gospels going
around according to Paul.
>3. When was Mark published so that the authors of Matthew andSometime after #2. Can you honestly do any better?
> Luke could obtain access to it?
>4. When was Matthew composed using the original version of Mark?Sometime after #3.
>5. When was "from Nazareth" first added into Mark 1:9?Sometime after #4
>6. How many copies of Mark were in existence at the time whenI don't know. From the little internal evidence in GMark, I'd guess that it
> "from Nazareth" was added into Mark 1:9?
was written in Rome, though I don't think either GMatt or GLuke were. They
separately obtained copies of GMark and used them, but it would have been
that Roman tradition of GMark that probably survived the earliest period,
though with GMatt and GLuke there was little reason to preserve those few
>7. When was "Nazara" added into how many copies of Matthew?Before #5; if it was a progressive reworking of GMark one need only one text.
>8. When were "Nazareth" and "Nazoreans" added into how many copiesAfter #7 and perhaps before #5, though it isn't necessary if the GMark
> of Matthew?
tradition was maintained in its own community which had little contact with
that which had the Matthean text.
>9. How many copies of Matthew were in existence at the times?I don't see any reason to believe very many at all, if the document was
maintained by a community -- especially if that document was simply a
modified and updated working of the initially obtained GMark.
>(For the question "when", please supply absolute dates or ranges ofI don't know whether these answers have in fact helped you, but I'm sure
>dates, e.g. c. 80-95, rather than relative dates because that issue
>is clearer. For example, here is one possible set of answers, though
>probably not yours: 1. before 6 BCE; 2. c.65; 3. c.65; 4. c.80; 5.
>c.65; 6. 1; 7. c.80 into 1 copy of Mt; 8. c.80 into 1 copy of Mt;
>9. only the one copy of Mt for both #7 & #8).
>I'm having a little trouble visualizing a plausible mechanism for
>introduction of such specific changes into widely published texts
>that does not leave a trace in the form of variant readings among
>the extant manuscripts -- and I hope that answers to these questions
>can help me.
you'll soon let us all know.