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Developmental Time and Written Dependence.

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  • vincentsapone
    The writings of Justin Martyr (mid 2d century) show knowledge of the texts of Matthew and Luke. Many have also argued that Justin shows knowledge of
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 13, 2004
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      The writings of Justin Martyr (mid 2d century) show knowledge of the
      texts of Matthew and Luke. Many have also argued that Justin shows
      knowledge of preexistent Gospel harmonies (Studying the Synoptic
      Gospels, Sander & Davies, pp. 7-8). See also Helmut Koester (Ancient
      Christian Gospels, pp.365-402) who rgues this point at some length.
      At p.370 Koester notes three stages in his reconstruction. I will
      list them and also the initial one that Koester assumes:

      1. Matthew and Luke are written.
      2. They (become at least somewhat popular or influential in some
      areas and) are systematically harmonized.
      3. The harmony becomes known and clusters of sayings are drawn from
      this harmony.
      4. The clusters are known by Justin who edited them in his own
      writings.

      My question is how much developmental time is generally granted for a
      process like this? Would we need 30 years? 40? 50? One generation?
      Two? Koester seems to think that neither text can be dated much after
      the beginning of the 2d century on this basis (probably about 40-50
      years) but this a little vague. So for any on the list that subscribe
      to this scenario, what amount of time would you give for development
      here? Also, if we do not accurately know the provenance of a work
      then is this even remotely assessable?

      Also, Raymond Brown, in his Intro to the NT noted that Mark was most
      likely written between 68 and 73. On this basis he said it is
      improbable Luke dates any earlier than 80 C.E.

      Why do we give 7 to 12 years developmental time? And if Brown gives a
      range of 68 - 73 for Mark why is it improbable Luke dates to earlier
      than 80 at any point throughout the range of 68-73? Why isn't a range
      given for Luke's earliest possible date as well? Was Brown just
      assuming a "ten years rule" based upon Mark being authored ca. 70
      c.e.?

      Is this round number more than an educated guess?

      I also note that Patterson seems to have made use of some sort
      of "generation rule" in 'the Gospel of Thomas and Jesus'. Patterson,
      noting the earliest manuscript attestation for Thomas (ca. 200 C.E.
      in Egypt) and his view that it was composed in Syria writes, "We may
      allow a generation for for the growth and popularity of the book,
      such as would result in wider dissemination, and yet another for the
      popularity to reach Egypt."

      What are the logistics behind this? The most important factor I am
      thinking of is provenance here (takes time for a work to spread
      further). But outside of this are these ranges anything more than
      educated guesswork? Do we also need to grant two generations to
      Justin Martyr here?

      Vincent Sapone
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