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Re: [GTh] The Logia of Matthew

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  • fmmccoy
    ... From: Ron McCann To: Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 5:31 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Part I ofThe Synoptic
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 18, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 5:31 AM
      Subject: Re: [GTh] Part I ofThe Synoptic Gospel Problem and Thomas


      > At 10:17 AM 10/14/05, Frank, in response to my last post, wrote:-
      >
      > >Hi Tom! (Make that "Ron")

      Hi Ron!

      I'm sorry! Somehow I got a crossed wire in the brain between you and Tom
      Saunders.

      > >There's a hypothesis that has some similarities to the one you are
      > >proposing. This is Brian E. Wilson's Logia Translation Hypothesis (LTH).

      > This has me very excited. Thank you for the cite.

      Thank you. Wilson's hypothesis is very well thought out and I think you
      will find his exposition on it quite informative..

      > He is sure on the right track here. When I first posited the
      > existence of a common earlier source drawn upon by Mark, Q and
      > Thomas, I was hard pressed to find ANY evidence of any such earlier
      > document. I then found the Papias reference to a Hebrew collection of
      > the "oracles" of Jesus collected and written down by the Apostle
      > Matthew. That was almost ten years ago. Just this week, Roger Mott (I
      > think) of the GospelofThomas group reproduced material from Jerome
      > confiming the existence of just such a collection, which he himself
      > (Jerome) had been asked to translate. So what started off as an
      > unsupported theory ( The sayings from it, as reproduced in Thomas, Q,
      > and Mark, when compared and closely examined very strongly pointed to
      > the existence of an earlier common source- but that was the only
      > support there was for it.) has gained ground, and The Matthean Logia
      > Collection may yet be accepted by scholars as real.

      Ron, all that Jerome can confirm is that, in his lifetime, there was an
      Aramaic (or Hebrew?) sayings gospel which was alleged to have been written
      by the apostle Matthew. Since we do not possess a copy of this Aramaic (or
      Hebrew?) sayings gospel, we are in no position to determine whether this
      allegation is true or false. In short, it is pure speculation to conclude
      that it had been a genuine work of the apostle Matthew.

      > >One big difference is that the McCann Hypothesis (MH) has Matthew's work
      > >being a source for GTh, GMk, and Q, while the LTH has Matthew's work
      being
      > >a source for GMt, GMk, and GLk.

      > Well, ultimately it is a source for GMt,GLk andGMk, but not directly
      > ,except for Mark. Q basically IS GMt,GLK without the Markan material.
      > I take it his work doesn't cover Thomas. So it seems a good
      > hypothesis, as far as it goes, but it doen't really cover all the
      > bases- does it?

      The classic definition of Q is that it consists of the non-Markan material
      found in *both* GMt and GLk. I am aware that Q advocates, in order to
      maintain the viability of the Q hypothesis, have been forced to loosen this
      classic definition. However, I am not aware of any Q scholar who has
      loosened it to the point of defining Q to be GMt and GLk without the Markan
      material. So, Ron, I think you need to tighten your definition of Q above.

      In any event, your point is well taken. Brian E. Wilson's hypothesis fails
      to take into account GTh, and the same goes for the Two Document Hypothesis
      and the Farrer Hypothesis. Just why the vastly overwhelming majority of
      scholars agree that GTh can safely be ignored in trying to solve the
      Synoptic problem is something I just can't fathom and I think they are
      making a SERIOUS judgment error here.

      > I know some people think that the Book of Q is a chimera. But to
      > invoke some Churchillian words "some chicken, some neck!" If it was a
      > Chimera, Frank, it could not in a million years have been used to
      > generate The McCann Document (if you recall it). The fact that that
      > Document "fell out" when material from the Matthean Logia collection
      > was struck out of Q 1 really proves that Q is not a Chimera, and
      > Neither is the Matthean Logia Collection. The Q-Matthean Logia thesi
      > mutually reinforce each other.

      Ron, I've forgotten how this works. Which version of the postulated first
      stratum of Q do you accept? Can you cite the author and book in which its
      text is found? How can you tell what parts of this postulated Q 1 come from
      the Matthean Logia collection and what parts come from the McCann Document?
      Thanks.

      > >The difference, here, lies in how to translate the word "logia". Can it
      > >mean "sayings"? Or, is it only Greek word "logoi" that can mean
      "sayings"?
      > >Ron, P Oxy. 654, which includes the Greek version of the incipit for GTh,
      > >has "logoi" rather than "logia" for "sayings". Perhaps, then, it is a
      > >mistake to think that Matthew's collection of logia was a collection of
      > >sayings?

      > The term Logia was my own, borrowed from Ray Summers who issued one
      > of the first ever public books containing Thomas. He uses it as a
      > plural for logion. It seems from what you say, that's wrong. In the
      > original Papais mention, some have transnlated the mention as Papais
      > saying "oracles", some "sayings" and some "Logia". As I recall, the
      > Jerome reference is vager.

      You're referring to Ray Summers, The Secret Sayings of the Living
      Jesus--which was published in 1968.

      On pp. 16-17, he states, "This collection of sayings (logia) is similar
      to the collection of sayings (logia) set up by source criticism two
      generations ago as a working hypothesis to explain the 272 verses presented
      *in common* in Matthew and Luke but absent from Mark. The collection, known
      as 'Logia,' or 'Quelle' (the German word for 'source') or simply 'Q,' was
      posited as the second major written document used by Matthew and Luke,...".

      As far as I am aware, both the idea that "logia" means "sayings" and the
      usage of "Logia" as an alternate title of the postulated Q have long been
      abandoned in scholarly circles.

      So, Ron, as far as I can tell, the position of Summers is out of date and
      untenable.
      .
      In any event, you are working with two separate hypotheses:
      (1) a document existed which was used as a source by Thomas and Mark and the
      author of Q
      and:
      (2) this document was originally written in Aramaic or Hebrew by the apostle
      named Matthew.

      The second hypothesis has some serious weaknesses--none is fatal, but they
      are serious enough to raise major doubts about its credibility. Perhaps,
      then, Ron, you are better off sticking only with the first hypothesis. Just
      a thought..

      Regards,

      Frank McCoy
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • Ron McCann
      Hi Frank, Thanks for the response. It s very helpful. I have not yet had a chance to get into Brian Wilson s. LTH, nor have I had a chance to get to Parts 2-4
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 18, 2005
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        Hi Frank,

        Thanks for the response. It's very helpful. I have not yet had a
        chance to get into Brian Wilson's. LTH, nor have I had a chance to
        get to Parts 2-4 of your material. Forgive me, but I'm stuggling just
        to keep up with the daily volumes on the GospelofThomas general list,
        and am busy there presenting what is turning into a magnus opus
        exegesis of the Creation Story in the first chapter of Genesis. Now,
        on to your comments, criticisms and cautions.

        At 05:28 PM 10/18/05, You wrote :



        > > At 10:17 AM 10/14/05, Frank, in response to my (Ron's) last post, wrote:-
        > >
        > > >Hi Tom! (Make that "Ron")
        >
        >Hi Ron!
        >
        >I'm sorry! Somehow I got a crossed wire in the brain between you and Tom
        >Saunders.

        Not to worry, you addressed me as Ron in the rest of your E-mail. (grin).

        You further responded with:-

        > > >There's a hypothesis that has some similarities to the one you are
        > > >proposing. This is Brian E. Wilson's Logia Translation Hypothesis (LTH).

        I had responded:-

        > > This has me very excited. Thank you for the cite.

        You replied:-

        >Thank you. Wilson's hypothesis is very well thought out and I think you
        >will find his exposition on it quite informative..

        I responded:-

        > > He is sure on the right track here. When I first posited the
        > > existence of a common earlier source drawn upon by Mark, Q and
        > > Thomas, I was hard pressed to find ANY evidence of any such earlier
        > > document. I then found the Papias reference to a Hebrew collection of
        > > the "oracles" of Jesus collected and written down by the Apostle
        > > Matthew. That was almost ten years ago. Just this week, Roger Mott (I
        > > think) of the GospelofThomas group reproduced material from Jerome
        > > confiming the existence of just such a collection, which he himself
        > > (Jerome) had been asked to translate. So what started off as an
        > > unsupported theory ( The sayings from it, as reproduced in Thomas, Q,
        > > and Mark, when compared and closely examined very strongly pointed to
        > > the existence of an earlier common source- but that was the only
        > > support there was for it.) has gained ground, and The Matthean Logia
        > > Collection may yet be accepted by scholars as real.

        Today you replied:-


        >Ron, all that Jerome can confirm is that, in his lifetime, there was an
        >Aramaic (or Hebrew?) sayings gospel which was alleged to have been written
        >by the apostle Matthew. Since we do not possess a copy of this Aramaic (or
        >Hebrew?) sayings gospel, we are in no position to determine whether this
        >allegation is true or false. In short, it is pure speculation to conclude
        >that it had been a genuine work of the apostle Matthew.

        True. Thank you. The Papais description of the Collection he had
        heard about, and the description of the one that Jerome had in hand,
        were both referred to as "collections" of Jesus's sayings, both were
        written in a tongue other than Greeks- namely Hebrew or Aramaic, were
        both allegedly penned by the Apostle Matthew, (who Jerome mistakenly
        thought was the same guy who had written the Gospel of Matthew) and
        both express the difficulty other translators had or would have in
        translating and reading the collection. In Jerome's case, it is
        written in Hebrew supposedly to protect it from uninitiated or
        profane Greek eyes. (So we have yet another "Secret" "gospel", which
        when added to the Secret "Gospel" of Thomas and the alledged "Secret
        Gospel of Mark, makes three now., none of them still extant.). I
        don't think I am going too far out on a limb in suggesting that
        Papias's Hebrew Matthew Sayings Collection, and Jerome's Hebrew
        Matthew Sayings Collection are one and the same. True, I can't prove
        that collection is the same as the early collection I say existed
        (The Matthean Logia Collection) and from which Mark, Thomas and
        Q each drew in writing their "gospels". But just how many earlier
        non-extant sayings collections could there have been circulating at
        this early date? I submit, it's a reasonable assumption, by occam's
        razor, that these are three are one and the same.

        You had previously written:-


        >One big difference is that the McCann Hypothesis (MH) has Matthew's
        >work (the collection- not the gospel) being a source for GTh, GMk,
        >and Q, while the LTH has Matthew's work (the collection- not the
        >Gospel) being a source for GMt, GMk, and GLk. (bracketed material mine-R)

        I had replied:-


        > Well, ultimately it (the Matthean Logia Collection) is a source
        > for GMt,GLk andGMk, but not directly ,except for Mark. Q basically
        > IS GMt,GLK without the Markan material.
        > I take it his (Wilson's) work doesn't cover Thomas. So it seems a good
        >hypothesis, as far as it goes, but it doen't really cover all the
        > bases- does it?

        You replied:-


        >The classic definition of Q is that it consists of the non-Markan material
        >found in *both* GMt and GLk.

        Right

        > I am aware that Q advocates, in order to
        >maintain the viability of the Q hypothesis, have been forced to loosen this
        >classic definition.

        More or less true, and sometimes they made a mistake in doing so. But
        forced? They have included in some unique-to-Luke alone sayings, in
        creating their expanded "Complete" book of Q, and also allowed in
        some Matthew-Luke parallel sayings which HAVE Markan parallels, but
        they feel there are reasons why these should appear in the greater or
        expanded Complete Book of Q. Where I did once object strongly to
        this, and felt it was a cheat, I have grudgingly come round to their
        view that at least SOME of these anomalies might properly belong in
        Q. I cannot say that I think, in doing this, they were trying to
        "maintain the viability" the Q- Hypothesis. For me, it initially
        undermined my belief in their scholarly integrity, at first, and made
        me wonder if the Q-Hypothesis might not be a crock. I am still not
        happy with some of those Luke-alone inclusions, which I think might
        just as easily come from "Special" Luke, but I can live with it as a
        working document.

        > However, I am not aware of any Q scholar who has
        >loosened it to the point of defining Q to be GMt and GLk without the Markan
        >material. So, Ron, I think you need to tighten your definition of Q above.

        Correct again, I misspoke. I was imprecise. What I intended to say
        was that those "sayings" of Jesus that Luke and Matthew each have a
        version of, and which clearly did not come from Mark ARE for all
        intents and purposes. Q. (Only one of the two versions of the saying
        can be chosen of course.) These type of sayings form very nearlly all
        of the Book of Q, and certainly "core" Q.- also known as "minimalist"
        Q. Sorry about that.


        >In any event, your point is well taken. Brian E. Wilson's hypothesis fails
        >to take into account GTh, and the same goes for the Two Document Hypothesis
        >and the Farrer Hypothesis.

        Thank you for telling me that. I believed I had asked you expressly
        if any or them did. This answers my question. It's too bad really. I
        wonder if Wilson wouldn't be keen on giving it a run. It'll support
        his contention, (if that is what it is) that there was indeed a
        "Matthean Logia Collection "that functioned directly or indirectly as
        a "supersource" or "primary source" for all the "collections"
        and Synoptic Gospels.

        > Just why the vastly overwhelming majority of
        >scholars agree that GTh can safely be ignored in trying to solve the
        >Synoptic problem is something I just can't fathom and I think they are
        >making a SERIOUS judgment error here.

        Agreed, and afortiori, their conclusions about the nature of the
        Historical Jesus, and what Jesus "really" said. I think that both the
        Matthean Logia Collection and the McCann document should be factored
        into this assessment along with Thomas. My view is that both the MLC
        and the MD predate ALL existings Gospels or Sayings Collections
        including Thomas. This both of the two (MLC and MD are pre 60 CE stuff, imho.

        I had further written


        > > I know some people think that the Book of Q is a chimera. But to
        > > invoke some Churchillian words "some chicken, some neck!" If it was a
        > > Chimera, Frank, it could not in a million years have been used to
        > > generate The McCann Document (if you recall it). The fact that that
        > > Document "fell out" when material from the Matthean Logia collection
        > > was struck out of Q 1 really proves that Q is not a Chimera, and
        > > neither is the Matthean Logia Collection. The Q-Matthean Logia thesi
        > > mutually reinforce each other.


        You replied:-


        >Ron, I've forgotten how this works. Which version of the postulated first
        >stratum of Q do you accept? Can you cite the author and book in which its
        >text is found?

        I used the Q-1 strata of sayings from Burton Mack's "The Lost Gospel-
        The Book of Q & Christian Origins., HarperSanFrancisco (1993). I
        undertand this is now on the net and I can dig out the cite for you.

        > How can you tell what parts of this postulated Q 1 come from
        >the Matthean Logia collection and what parts come from the McCann Document?
        >Thanks.

        Your, Welcome. Matthean Logia Collection sayings are identified by
        whether or not they have a double or triple attestation in Mark, Q
        and Thomas. These are struck out of Q, What's left is ' What ELSE"
        the Q-1 author/compiler used in creating Q-1. Namely, the McCann
        document, which falls out in a proper continuous readable sequence
        when those remaining sayings are just joined one after the other..
        There are some errors in the Q-1 document which should be corrected
        first. The quickest and simplest way to see The McCann Document
        emerge is to just strike out any saying in it with a parallel to a
        Thomas saying. It then needs to be cleaned up a bit (by eliminating
        sayings wrongly included by the Q scholars in the Q-1 stratum) , then
        checking to see which of the Matthew or Luke versions fits best. So
        Q-1, as is the whole Book of Q, is not free of errors.

        I recently posted a more polished version of the McCann Document to
        the general Gospel of Thomas group, which I can forward to the list
        or directly to you if you want another peek. Remarkably, with all
        the errors the scholars extracting Q-1 made in constituting Q 1,
        according to you who personally checked this (I had never done so),
        every saying in the Document had earned a pink or red rating from the
        Jesus Seminar. Do you remember our discussion now?

        You next wrote:-


        > > >The difference, here, lies in how to translate the word "logia". Can it
        > > >mean "sayings"? Or, is it only Greek word "logoi" that can mean
        > >>"sayings"? Ron, P Oxy. 654, which includes the Greek version of
        > the incipit for GTh,
        > > >has "logoi" rather than "logia" for "sayings". Perhaps, then, it is a
        > > >mistake to think that Matthew's collection of logia was a collection of
        > > >sayings?

        I had replied:-


        > > The term Logia was my own, borrowed from Ray Summers who issued one
        > > of the first ever public books containing Thomas. He uses it as a
        > > plural for logion. It seems from what you say, that's wrong. In the
        > > original Papais mention, some have translated the mention as Papais
        > > saying "oracles", some "sayings" and some "Logia". As I recall, the
        > > Jerome reference is vager.

        You wrote:-


        >You're referring to Ray Summers, The Secret Sayings of the Living
        >Jesus--which was published in 1968.
        >
        >On pp. 16-17, he states, "This collection of sayings (logia) is similar
        >to the collection of sayings (logia) set up by source criticism two
        >generations ago as a working hypothesis to explain the 272 verses presented
        >*in common* in Matthew and Luke but absent from Mark. The collection, known
        >as 'Logia,' or 'Quelle' (the German word for 'source') or simply 'Q,' was
        >posited as the second major written document used by Matthew and Luke,...".

        Thanks for the quotation. I never noticed that business about
        "Logia" referring to the Book of Q. What would you propose I call it
        then? I wanted to distinguish it in the reader's mind from Matthew's
        GOSPEL. and identify it as a sayings collection, like Thomas or Q.

        >As far as I am aware, both the idea that "logia" means "sayings" and the
        >usage of "Logia" as an alternate title of the postulated Q have long been
        >abandoned in scholarly circles.

        Well perhaps I shouldn't use it then. I was unaware it was a term
        that used to be an alternative title for the Book of Q. My book by
        Ray Summer was destroyed in a housefire along with most of my other
        books and early work several years back. Did you notice he
        accidentally omitted some of the sayings?


        >So, Ron, as far as I can tell, the position of Summers is out of date and
        >untenable.

        What?-The idea that Thomas as a document resembles the Q-collection
        because they are both collections, not Gospels? How is that out of
        date or untenable? I'm confused. What he says about those 277 verses
        of Q is "minimalist" Q, and remains correct today. Are you saying
        it's untenable or out of date because the Whole Book of Q is now much
        longer than "minimalist Q, to-day?The only thing I see "dated" is the
        use of the word "Logia" as another title for the Book of Q.

        >.
        >In any event, you are working with two separate hypotheses:
        >(1) a document existed which was used as a source by Thomas and Mark and the
        >author of Q
        >and:
        >(2) this document was originally written in Aramaic or Hebrew by the apostle
        >named Matthew.

        Correct, again.

        You then wrote:-


        >The second hypothesis has some serious weaknesses--none is fatal, but they
        >are serious enough to raise major doubts about its credibility. Perhaps,
        >then, Ron, you are better off sticking only with the first hypothesis. Just
        >a thought..

        Perhaps. Future experience may bear that out.
        There clearly is no question the identification of the Matthean Logia
        Collection with the Hebrew Matthew Collection of Papais and the
        Hebrew Matthew of Collection of Jerone is weak for now ,and needs
        more support, but I think I'll keep advancing the second hypothesis
        just the same, in order to obtain further "hits". I fully expect that
        somewhere in some museum, the vatican or some university library is a
        mouldering document or pieces of a document wrongly labled " A
        Collection of Jesus Sayings extracted from Matthew's Gospel,
        Converted into Hebrew (or Aramaic.") just waiting to be discovered
        again, that will prove to be a copy of the Mattthew Logia Collection.
        I think it's just a matter of time before further "proof" turns up.

        Thanks Frank, I'll look forward to some suggestions from you as to
        what I should call this thing in the interim.

        Ron McCann
        Saskatoon, Canada
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