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

Re: [XTalk] John the Baptist & Jesus

Expand Messages
  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... Thanks, Bill, for your detailed remarks. Naturally, I have a different perspective. For example, most of the so-called anomalies that you ve brought are
    Message 1 of 46 , Sep 1, 2001
      At 02:20 PM 8/29/01 -0500, William Arnal wrote:
      >Okay, as Stephen Carlson has already indicated, this forum is not the best
      >place for a detailed consideration of such as issues as a Q baptism.
      >Moreover, the issue is tangential to (though unquestionably important to) a
      >discussion of the historicity of the baptism, and has departed somewhat from
      >that topic. Nonetheless, Stephen has raised some points that deserve to be
      >addressed, and I don't want to leave the issue where it curremntly stands.
      >So . . .

      Thanks, Bill, for your detailed remarks. Naturally, I have
      a different perspective. For example, most of the so-called
      anomalies that you've brought are with the older parts of Q.
      However, Q is a stratified document, and the Q baptism should
      be judged in accordance with the layer of redaction it belongs
      to. As you know, each layer of Q3 has a different implied
      audience and a different set of preferred forms.

      The links within Q that the Q baptism has are with the temptation,
      suggesting that the Q baptism belongs to the Q3 stratum, and
      so some differences with the earlier layers are to be expected,
      just as Q3 already has some differences and tensions with its
      earlier layers. Therefore, although you have pointed out some
      possible tensions with other parts of Q, their significance is
      not sufficient enough, on balance, to discount the strength of
      the Q baptism's coherence with the temptation, a necessary part
      of Q.

      But... rather than get into a point-by-point rebuttal of every
      point that you've raised, I would like to shift the topic back
      to the issue whether the baptism of Jesus by John is a Markan
      creation.

      It is clear that the nub of our disagreement over the Q baptism
      is in the level of the burden of proof in assigning material to
      Q. My position is that the level ought to be "more probable than
      not," and it appears that your position is that it should be "pretty
      near overwhelming." Furthermore, it seems that a Q baptism is
      one of those cases in which the level of the burden makes a
      difference. I agree that the evidence is not "pretty near
      overwhelming," but I also agree with the IQP that, on balance,
      the evidence is such that its inclusion in Q is "more probable
      than not."

      How does this affect the analysis over whether the baptism is
      a Markan creation?

      Given the usual dates for Q and Mark, a Q baptism shows that
      the baptism pre-existed the composition of Mark, contradicting
      the view that Mark created it. This is where the level of the
      burden of proof for the Q baptism is crucial.

      I argue the proper level for all historical judgments is "more
      probable than not." The view that the baptism is a Markan
      creation ought to be judged on that basis -- the same basis
      I use to analyze the Q baptism.

      If, on the other hand, the level of the burden were "pretty
      near overwhelming," then the Markan creation thesis cannot
      be sustained. The strongest evidence that has been adduced
      is that the Markan baptism is conducive to Mark's aims. It
      is possible that Mark could have created it, but it is just
      as possible that Mark could have selected it from his
      tradition. Conduciveness to Mark's aims is simply not enough
      of a reason to be "pretty near overwhelming" evidence of it.

      How does the Markan creation thesis fare under the more
      appropriate "more probable than not" standard? If it is
      more probable than not that the baptism predated Mark,
      due to its probable inclusion in Q, then it is less probable
      than not that the baptism is a Markan creation. Therefore,
      it would not fare well under this standard as well.

      What if the Q baptism is judged on the "pretty near
      overwhelming" standard, but the Markan creation thesis
      is not judged so stringently? Then, the latter thesis may
      well pass muster, if there are no other credible
      objections.

      Thus, it appears that the Markan creation thesis can
      only be sustained by insisting on a higher level of proof
      for its counterevidence (the Q baptism) than for itself,
      but I see no reason why such an evidentiary double
      standard is warranted in this case.

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... It seemed to me that your burden of proof argument was that you are under no obligation to prove that Q lacked the baptism. Fine, but I wasn t asking you
      Message 46 of 46 , Sep 2, 2001
        At 04:26 PM 9/2/01 -0500, William Arnal wrote:
        >Nah, for the reasons I've suggested above. I also think I've failed to make
        >myself clear as to what I was getting at on the "burden of proof" argument,
        >so maybe we should drop this. I agree that historical standards should be
        >"more probable than not," but I was trying to get at how certain KINDS of
        >arguments aren't on par with their counter-arguments.

        It seemed to me that your burden of proof argument was that you
        are under no obligation to prove that Q lacked the baptism. Fine,
        but I wasn't asking you to prove that. Rather, when a credible
        case has been made for its inclusion, as it has because it did
        convince the IQP, I was asking for you to point out how the case
        is too weak to sustain the conclusion instead of just telling me
        that you personally weren't persuaded. Since you did attempt to
        point out the case's weaknesses, I would like to thank you for
        that.

        >But on this issue, I'd like to hear what Ted Weeden has to say, when he
        >writes up HIS arguments on this matter.

        Me too, and I hope that he has a good way to deal with the IQP's
        inclusion of the baptism as "probably in Q."

        Stephen Carlson
        --
        Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
        Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.