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Re: [GTh] The Logia of Matthew

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  • 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 1 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

      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.


      > 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?

      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

      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
      >(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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