Re: [GTh] Re: Unknown Document in Q 1
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@...>
Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2002 5:37 AM
Subject: [GTh] Re: Unknown Document in Q 1
> Some of you know that I have championed the notion that Thomas contains
> material borrowed from a presently unacknowledged collection of sayings
> pre-dates Thomas, Q1 and Mark. Simply put, Thomas, Q1 and Mark borrowed
> it to form PART of their Gospels.
Dear Ron McCann:
This is news to me!
I like to conceptualize in terms of gospel traditions, with:
(1) the Markan tradition defined to be the material in GMark
(2) the Thomas tradition defined to be the material in GTh
(3) the Q tradutuib defined to be the non-Markan tradition material that is
shared by, and unique to, GMatthew and GLuke.
Now much of the Q tradition must have been in written form. Some argue that
it all was in written form, but this is getting speculative. Some argue
that it all was contained in a single written document they call Q. This is
more speculative. Some argue that this Q was divided into three strata, the
earliest of which they call Q1. This, ISTM, is getting highly speculative.
I personally think that the bulk of the Q material was in a single document.
However, I also personally think that some of the Q tradition was not in
In any event, I see that you accept the existence of Q1, even though it is a
highly speculative proposition.
> This thesis, however improbable, actually work
For example, there are many over-laps between the Thomas and Q traditions.
Again, there are a number of over-laps between the Markan and Thomas
traditions. Too, there are a number of over-laps between the Markan and Q
Please demonstrate that ithis hypothesis explains the existence of these
over-laps better than the hypothesis that the three communities were all
within a hundred miles of each other: with the Q community at Capernaum and
nearby Galilean towns and villages, the Thomas community at Tyre, and the
Markan community at Caesarea.
> When one utilizes the thesis to strike out material originating from this
> collection ( easy to do- any doubly or triply attested saying in Thomas,
> or Mark is eliminated), and one strikes out narrative and dialogue
> (almost always late), one ends up with the material that Q1, Mark and
> independantly used IN ADDITION to the Mathhean Logia Colliection Material
> formulating their own Gospels.
I presume that the Matthean Logia Collection is the hypothesised saying
document that, you believe, once existed and was used as a source by the
authors of GMark, GThomas, and (the hypothetical) Q1. No need to comment
unless I'm making an incorrect presumption.
How can you be sure that thie doubly or triply attested sayings were in a
written document? Where was this document written? Where was the Markan
community and how did they manage to get a copy of it? Where was the Thomas
community, and how did they manage to get a copy of it? Where was the Q
community and how did they manage to get a copy of it?
Isn't it simpler to hypothesise that the three communities were close to
each other and that the double and triple attested mateiral consisted of
oral traditions circulating between the three communities?
> Put simply- strike out the Matthethean Logia material, and you can see
> else each author used to form their Gospels. What was original to them-
> was their own contribution- what they found and added.
It's not quite that simple.
For example, let us take the case of an over-lap between the Thomas and
Markan traditions, e.g., the parable of the vineyard. As this parable
allegedly comes from the hypothesised saying document, you must adequately
explain why these two versions of it are so radically different.
> In the case of Thomas, deleting material taken from the Matthean Logia
> collection, allows us to look at original material (arguably) supplied by
> the apostle Thomas or the Thomas authors. Not surprisingly, one is left
> a disjointed hodge-podge of sayings that do not cohere, and in my view
> reflect nothing more than the random and ad hoc addition of unrelated
> sayings to the Matthean Logia material. Nothing of interest shows up when
> manipulate the Thomas material in this fashion. What's left is
> "concentrated" secret-teaching stuff, but it is all over the map..
Are you claiming that GTh is well-organized unitl one removes the material
from (the postulated) Matthean Logia collection, upon which it then promptly
self-destructs into a hideously disjointed hodge-podge?
> As for Mark, because Mark is a narrative Gospel, as opposed to a sayings
> Gospel like Thomas or Q1, deletion of Matthean Logia Material, is not all
> that instructive or useful and produces nothing terribly remarkable.
Oh? GMark has a number of sayings sections: the parables section, the
little apocalypse section, and the debates at the temple section. Do all
three sections of Mark become disorganized upon deleting the material from
the hypothesised sayings document? If not, why not?
> However this is not the case with Q1. Something absolutely astonishing
> occurs when one strikes the Matthean Logia material (and narrative and
> dialog stuff) out of it. A coherant DOCUMENT drops out. And I mean it
> out. It reforms itself. All by itself.
Why delete the narrative and dialogue stuff? If Q1 actually existed, then
this narrative and dialogue stuff is early and, so, you can't delete it on
the basis that it is late. You MUST adequately justify taking this step,
but you fail to do so..
> It seems that the Q1 people, when they constructed their Gospel broke up
> existing document, line by line and inserted Matthean Logia material, but
> that they did it sequentially- meaning they preserved the order of the
> original document. Remove the material they added and it restores itself.
So, you think that Q1 is really Q2: so that there were four stages in the
evolution of (the hypothesised) Q. Interesting!
Where does the dialogue and narrative material in (the hypothetical) Q1 come
> I have assumed that this is some sort of false "Artifact" of the analysis
> process, but after almost 20 years playing with it, I am not sure it is.
> fact, I think now that it is real. That is- the earliest authors of Q 1
> created their "Gospel" by blending material from this document and
> from the Matthean Logia collection. What this means is that we have an
> incredibly early document that may reflect the actual "think" of the
> historical Jesus. Given that Q1 is dated to the fifties CE, both this
> document and the Matthean Logia Collection must predate that. How close do
> we have to go?
What you are claiming is that if one takes a hypothesised document that
doesn't exist (Q1) and is a part of another document that doesn't exist (Q)
and subtract from it another hypothesised document that doesn't exist (the
Matthean Logia collection), we end up with a fourth hypothetical document
that doesn't exist. Why in this world should I believe that this fourth
hypothetical document ever existed?
> If, as I suspect, the Matthean Logia collection thesis is correct, and
> additionaly the scholarly Q hypothesis is correct (and I think it is) this
> kind of result is predictable. If the Q hypothesis is wrong, or the
> Logia collection thesis is wrong there is simply no way this document
> "drop out". The fact that it DOES validates both the scholarly Q
> and the Matthean Logia hypothesis.
If a combination of two hypotheses leads to the conclusion that Jeff will
head east the next day and Jeff then heads east the next day, this does not
prove that the two hypotheses are correct.
> What I propose to do, asssuming my next E-mail will pass muster from our
> moderators, is reproduce what "drops out" so that you yourself can
> whether the "document" I found there is either some sort of "artifact "or
> a coherant text,
I'd be interested in seeing it. It must be very small: (the hyothesised) Q1
is small and, if you delete from it all narrative and dialogue material and
many of its sayings, what is left is pretty meagre. .
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