Re: [XTalk] Re: Tomb Essay - Comments?
- On Monday 20 January 2003 05:11 am, "mwgrondin wrote:
> --- Peter Kirby wrote:Like I said, I attach low value to the argument from the silence of Paul and
> > I do not assume that the author of First Clement had ever
> > encountered a synoptic gospel. Helmut Koester argues that the
> > author is dependent on oral tradition, and the author himself
> > lays an emphasis on the remembrance of sayings that have been
> > stored up in the heart. Of course, this does not prove ignorance
> > of the gospels (as Papias indicates preference for oral
> > tradition also), but it does make such ignorance plausible.
> > Perhaps, though, I should not have left the impression that I
> > give strong weight to this argument. The main value of the
> > observation of silence, I think, is in preparing the way for the
> > viability of the thesis that the story is Mark's invention. As
> > positive evidence, it is at best a 1 on a 0 to 5 scale.
> If I might press you a bit on this point, Peter: it's not just
> Clement, of course, but _every_ writer up to Justin - a period of,
> say, 50-80 years _after_ the writing of the gospels in which
> _nobody_ mentions the tomb story. In fact, they fail to mention a
> host of _other_ important details of not only the passion story, but
> the pre-passion biography as well - details which _must_ have been
> familiar to them, ex hypothesi. Unless the number and character of
> extant writings in the lengthy post-gospel, pre-Justin period is
> such that we can account for this oversight on the part of _those_
> writers in a way that's not _also_ applicable to the pre-gospel
> writers, I don't see why the silence of the later writers shouldn't
> make us suspicious of assigning any positive value whatsoever to the
> argument from pre-gospel silence.
Clement on the empty tomb, unlike some people (e.g. Uta Ranke-Heinemann) who
make such silence their whole argument. One important thing to keep in mind
when making an argument from silence is the presumption that a factoid would
be mentioned if believed. In this respect, certain documents give a much
greater presumption that they would mention the empty tomb than that they
would mention a story out of the ministry. However, since I already discount
the argument myself, I would be willing to yield the point to you.
Peter Kirby (Student at Fullerton College, CA)
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