extended Farrer-Goulder hypothesis
- Hi Frank
I've been following with considerable interest your development of
a solution to the synoptic problem giving Thomas a central role.
My difficulty is this: as stated the hypothesis can fit the facts
because it can fit any possible set of facts, ie it is not refutable.
One can explain agreements of Mark and Matthew against Luke
and Thomas, agreements of Mark and Luke against Matthew and
Thomas and agreements of Mark and Thomas against Matthew and
Luke. (I don't think you give any important examples of agreement
of Mark and Thomas against Matthew and Luke, and there are few to
be found but the explanation would be that Matthew rewrote an older
version found in Mark and Thomas and Luke then followed Matthew).
In order for the hypothesis to become testable some constraints need
to be added. Since one of the major problem with Luke using Matthew
is the low amount of places where Matthew and Luke agree against
Mark then a sensible constraint would be to say that where Matthew
and Thomas agree against Mark, Luke should follow Matthew/Thomas
rather than Mark. However it is clear from your examples that this is not
generally so, Luke several times agrees with Mark rather than
There is obviously no need for you to adopt the constraint suggested
above, it is just an example. My point is that as long as Luke is allowed
to choose from Mark Matthew and Thomas in an unpredictable way it
is very hard to form predictions allowing a test of the hypothesis.
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