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[XTalk] Re: The singly / multiply attested thing

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  • Mark Goodacre
    ... The logic and brilliance of course goes without saying. And the humility is legendary. As for being right, of course not: that is why I like arguing
    Message 1 of 36 , Jul 23, 1999
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      On 22 Jul 99, at 15:14, William Arnal wrote:

      > Well, this is so eirenic I'm hardly capable of replying. Of course,
      > REALLY, the enjoyable thing about corresponding with Bill is that the
      > logic and brilliance of his comments -- as well as his Davies-noted
      > humility, of course -- makes it clear that he was right from the start.
      > Right? Right? Hello?

      The logic and brilliance of course goes without saying. And the
      humility is legendary. As for being right, of course not: that is why I
      like arguing with you.

      > I'm clearly not one of those many, and I still don't see the connection
      > between a refusal to adopt (or build on) a particular source-critical
      > hypothesis and the use of sophistication in approaching the consequences
      > of that hypothesis. Nor is it clear to me how the LATTER issue is
      > consensus-building.

      The consensus building comes in the fact that no-one much accepts
      (say) Crossan's source hypothesis and thus it is difficult for many to
      accept his reconstruction. Since Sanders employs a different method,
      there is far greater scope for building of a consensus. Witness, for
      example, the general agreement over the Historical Jesus between
      Fredriksen, who believes in Q and writes about it in _From Jesus to
      Christ_, and Sanders, who does not believe in Q. I pick up that you
      don't like Fredriksen much from the recent exchange, so my example
      is perhaps not ideal. But I might choose another scholar for whom
      you have greater disdain, so I will stick with this analogy.

      Don't get me wrong, though. I do not think that we should abandon
      tradition-history factors in attempts to write about the Historical Jesus.
      This seems to me to be the single greatest weakness in Tom Wright's
      work which simply runs roughshod over the very kind of thing that
      makes the blood run through my veins and earns me my meagre
      leaving. The point is rather that if we place such great weight solely
      on a particular conception of a particular set of hypotheses
      understood in a singular manner, as does Crossan, I do not see how
      the discussion can advance. We will simply have to keep stopping
      and saying, "But I am afraid that I don't accept the premise there".

      > Although it strikes me -- at least if undertaken in a certain way -- as
      > open to its own set of problems. The perspective from which one
      > "cross-examines" will be as determinative of one's results as the source
      > critical theories adhered to by those working with the "strata" model.

      I think less so because there is more general agreement on basics in
      the study of Christian origins than there is on specifics of source-
      criticism. And on the whole Sanders proceeds by examining the
      sources with generally agreed-upon basics.

      > But this is kinda what I mean by the above: Sanders' prior perspective on
      > things (apparently) leads him to see the obvious mythic functions of stuff
      > like the transfiguration. But the temple incident strikes me as being just
      > as mythic, albeit perhaps less obviously so.

      I deliberately avoided mentioning the baptism because I knew that
      was myth in print for Arnal. Could you give us the ref. for it? I did a
      Theoldi search on Arnal and the most likely looks like this one:

      Arnal, William E. "Major episodes in the biography of Jesus. An
      assessment of the historicity of the narrative tradition.",
      _Toronto journal of theology_ 13/2 (1997) 201-226

      Is that the right one, or should we look for another?

      > Point taken. I suspect Crossan regards the Q hypothesis to be a "standard"
      > view, and so doesn't give much attention to its grounds. I can see why
      > this might be annoying.

      It is actually quite useful in some ways because it illustrates why some
      (not all, of course) assimilate Q into their armoury without thinking:
      they pick up books like Crossan's -- one of the bestselling works of
      NT scholarship this century -- and see it taken for granted, indexed,
      placed in italics along with documents for which we have manuscripts
      etc. Under such circumstances, of course Q remains consensus. But
      it's best to avoid getting me onto this topic; it is one of my favourites.

      Mark
      --------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
      Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
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      Mark Without Q
      Aseneth Home Page
    • William E. Arnal
      ... I m actually not in a great position to reply to all this, Mark. I decided rather precipitously to take off to Canada for the month, an so I m stuck
      Message 36 of 36 , Aug 8, 1999
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        On Fri, 6 Aug 1999, Mark Goodacre wrote:

        > Apologies for coming back on this thread a bit late:
        >
        > On 24 Jul 99, at 13:33, William Arnal wrote:

        I'm actually not in a great position to reply to all this,
        Mark. I decided rather precipitously to take off to Canada
        for the month, an so I'm stuck telnetting into my e-mail
        account on a slow modem (and doging polar bears an such).
        I'm still reading Xtalk, but it's hard to reply to lengthy
        posts like this, an give them the consieration they deserve.
        Just wanted you -- and thee rest of the list -- to know that
        I'm not just ignoring this. Maybe I cn pick it up again in
        September.

        later, eh?
        Bill
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