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23240Re: [XTalk] Re: Discontinuity and Multiple Attestation

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  • Loren Rosson
    Jun 17, 2009
      Chris wrote:
      "Meier is implying that Paul, Gos. John, Epist. Hebrews do not have access to such a tradition about oaths, but Matthew and James do. Since Matthew and James have this statement that conflicts so much both with other writers of the early church (Paul, John, Hebrews) and Judaism which proceeded it (Philo, Ben Sirah). How else, he is implicitly asking, would this prohibition against oaths arise in two independent documents of Matthew and James? It's certainly a fair question to ask. For me, it's merely a variation of multiple attestation, since one author alone could invent something that is discontinuous both from earlier Judaism and the early church. But when two authors do it, the likelihood of it becoming historical (under this paradigm we have assumed) increases."
      Thanks for this. I see what you're getting at, but it still comes off greasy. I can appreciate when the criterion of embarrassment is used to supplement multiple attestation, because then we're dealing with reworkings of an uncomfortable saying in different ways. But discontinuity and multiple attestation reinforce each other, as you note, by inaccessibility (Paul, John, and Hebrews) and accessibility (Matthew, James) in equal measure. I suppose in this light it is a variant of multiple attestation, but inversely. 
      Loren Rosson IIINashua NH http://lorenrosson.blogspot.com

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