Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

RE: [GTh] Re: Thomas vs Synoptics

Expand Messages
  • Judy Redman
    Richard, ... JR: Indeed. But if you come from within a theological framework that has been built on a particular set of texts and that is likely to be called
    Message 1 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
      Richard,

      > RG: Absolutely! I think we can all agree on this. We should
      > simply be looking for the model that best accounts for the
      > data (with the strongest constraints - something typically
      > neglected in New Testament Studies). Why should we 'want' any
      > kind of answer? That is of course completely unscientific.

      JR: Indeed. But if you come from within a theological framework that has
      been built on a particular set of texts and that is likely to be called into
      question if a particular non-canonical text is found to be "more authentic"
      (whatever that means), then you have quite a lot invested in finding that
      the problematic text is "less authentic", whereas if you are researching to
      discredit the prevailing theological framework, you are invested in finding
      the problematic text "more authentic".

      > > > Finding Thomas to be influenced by one or more of the
      > Synoptics also
      > > > does not mean that one considers every parallel between them as a
      > > > sign that Thomas is secondary. It can very well be the case that
      > > > some of the sayings in Thomas are prior to their synoptic
      > parallel.
      > > > Given the popularity of the Synoptic Gospels in the
      > second century
      > > > it would not be at all surprising that some of their sayings were
      > > > then added to the Thomas collection.
      > >
      > > I think it is possible to go back further than this, though, and
      > say that
      > > the fact that there are parallels between Thomas and the synoptics
      > does not
      > > mean that Thomas is necessarily influenced by one or more of the
      > synoptics.
      > > It may be that the influence went in the other direction, or that
      > they
      > > shared a common source for that particular passage. Of the
      > material that I
      > > am studying (ie the parables of the kingdom/reign in Thomas that
      > have
      > > parallels in the synoptics) only one is close to verbatim - the
      > parable of
      > > the mustard seed - and it is an anomally. It is the only one in
      > Thomas that
      > > compares the kingdom/reign to an object rather than to a person.
      >
      > RG: It is not just verbatim agreement that suggests
      > influence, it is finding an evangelists redaction in Thomas.
      > Thus, if there is evidence that in a certain pericope one of
      > the evangelists has redacted one of his sources and that
      > piece of redaction is also found in Thomas then the data can
      > best be accounted by the hypothesis that Thomas has somehow
      > been influenced by that evangelists Gospel. This cannot be
      > explained by a common source.

      JR: Having spent quite a lot of time recently reading psychological
      eyewitness literature, I am no longer convinced that all the differences
      that have been attributed to redaction actually are due to redaction ie a
      deliberate decision by an editor to make additions, subtractions etc..
      Quite a number could as easily be attributed to the sorts of changes that
      can be expected when eyewitnesses retell their stories over time. Then, I
      think, a common source is still a tenable explanation.

      > One further point: you can have influence without having any
      > verbatim agreement. It just becomes harder (if not sometimes virtually
      > impossible) to detect. That is why we start with the
      > strongest cases and look at those instances where there is
      > verbatim agreement and (this is very important) when one
      > author's redaction can be found in the other Gospel.
      >
      > Examples would obviously help here (although the literature
      > is filled with good examples), but I will save these for a
      > later time when my work load is reduced (I am teaching two
      > new courses for a cognitive neuropsychology masters) and I
      > have more time to go into specifics.

      JR: I am in a similar situation - too busy to produce specific examples.

      > > >
      > > > Having said all this I must agree that some (evangelical or
      > > > conservative) scholars are biased against Thomas and will favor
      > > > Thomas'
      > > > dependence on the Synoptics. The positive and uncritical
      > manner in
      > > > which they responded to Nicholas Perrin's work nicely illustrates
      > > > this.
      > > > However, this is to be expected, and should not lead to the
      > > > counter- reaction of assuming independence without good evidence.
      > >
      > > No, indeed. Good evidence is essential, but I think you get good
      > evidence
      > > by asking the right questions in the first place.
      >
      > RG: Agreed, but I'm curious as to what you mean by 'asking
      > the right questions'? What kind of questions do you have in mind?

      JR: Simply the kinds of things you've mentioned - instead of asking "What
      evidence do we have for dependence/independence?" we should ask "What
      differences and similarities do we see in these texts and what is the best
      explanation for the available data?"

      Judy

      --
      Rev Judy Redman
      Uniting Church Chaplain
      University of New England
      Armidale 2351 Australia
      ph: +61 2 6773 3739
      fax: +61 2 6773 3749
      web: http://www.une.edu.au/chaplaincy/uniting/ and
      http://blog.une.edu.au/unitingchaplaincy/
      email: jredman@...
    • jmgcormier
      Hello Richard .... In your post # 8255 on Thomas vs the Synoptics, you point out Even Stephen Patterson (who favors an independence view) agrees that Markan,
      Message 2 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
        Hello Richard ....

        In your post # 8255 on Thomas vs the Synoptics, you point out "Even
        Stephen Patterson (who favors an independence view) agrees that
        Markan, Matthean or Lukan redaction can be found in Thomas in about 10
        places (a proponent of the Farrer hypothesis would add many more to
        this list)"

        Might it be possible for you (in just a few words) to capsulize for
        those of us who are unfamiliar with Farrer the essential jist of his
        hypothesis ????

        Maurice Cormier
      • Judy Redman
        Hi Maurice, Wikipedia (which in this case is quite reliable) says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrer_hypothesis): The Farrer theory (also called the
        Message 3 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
          Hi Maurice,

          Wikipedia (which in this case is quite reliable) says
          (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrer_hypothesis):

          "The Farrer theory (also called the Farrer-Goulder hypothesis) is a possible
          solution to the synoptic problem. The theory is that the Gospel of Mark was
          written first, followed by the Gospel of Matthew and then by the Gospel of
          Luke.

          "It has mainly been advocated by English biblical scholars. It is named for
          Austin Farrer, who wrote _On Dispensing With Q_ in 1955, but it has been
          picked up by other scholars including Michael Goulder and Mark Goodacre.

          "The Farrer theory has the advantage of simplicity, as there is no need for
          hypothetical sources to be created by academics. Instead, advocates of the
          Farrer theory argue, the Gospel of Mark was used as source material by the
          author of Matthew. Lastly, Luke used both of the previous gospels as sources
          for his Gospel."

          And if you are interested in a summary of the multiplicity of theories about
          the sources of the gospels, you can visit Stephen Carlson's blog which has
          colour-coded summaries, complete with diagrams.

          http://www.hypotyposeis.org/synoptic-problem/2004/09/overview-of-proposed-so
          lutions.html

          Incidentally, whilst searching for something succinct on google, I came
          across a site that offers the following:

          "For over seven years, our Farrer Hypothesis term paper experts have helped
          university students worldwide by providing the most extensive, lowest-priced
          service for Farrer Hypothesis thesis papers and research paper writing.
          Regardless of your deadline, budget, specifications, or academic level, we
          can provide immediate help for your Farrer Hypothesis essay, term paper,
          book report, research paper, dissertation, thesis, or university
          coursework."
          (http://www.essaytown.com/topics/farrer_hypothesis_essays_papers.html)

          Judy

          --
          Rev Judy Redman
          Uniting Church Chaplain
          University of New England
          Armidale 2351 Australia
          ph: +61 2 6773 3739
          fax: +61 2 6773 3749
          web: http://www.une.edu.au/chaplaincy/uniting/ and
          http://blog.une.edu.au/unitingchaplaincy/
          email: jredman@...


          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
          > [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jmgcormier
          > Sent: Monday, 6 October 2008 8:29 AM
          > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [GTh] Re: Thomas vs Synoptics
          >
          >
          > Hello Richard ....
          >
          > In your post # 8255 on Thomas vs the Synoptics, you point out
          > "Even Stephen Patterson (who favors an independence view)
          > agrees that Markan, Matthean or Lukan redaction can be found
          > in Thomas in about 10 places (a proponent of the Farrer
          > hypothesis would add many more to this list)"
          >
          > Might it be possible for you (in just a few words) to
          > capsulize for those of us who are unfamiliar with Farrer the
          > essential jist of his hypothesis ????
          >
          > Maurice Cormier
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
          > Interlinear translation:
          > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/x_transl.htm
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • rj.godijn
          ... Hi Maurice, I agree with Judy that wikipedia gives a good description here. Mark Goodacre s website http://www.ntgateway.com/Q/ is an excellent place to
          Message 4 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
            --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "jmgcormier" <cobby@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Might it be possible for you (in just a few words) to capsulize for
            > those of us who are unfamiliar with Farrer the essential jist of his
            > hypothesis ????
            >
            > Maurice Cormier
            >

            Hi Maurice,

            I agree with Judy that wikipedia gives a good description here. Mark
            Goodacre's website http://www.ntgateway.com/Q/ is an excellent place to
            learn more about this source hypothesis.

            Richard
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.