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RE: {Disarmed} Re: [GTh] Parallels (yet once again)

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  • Richard Hubbard
    BRUCE: I think the Funk categories noted by Rick are capable of simpler statement, but simple or diffuse, I doubt they are helpful. The names secondary and
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2010
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      BRUCE:
      I think the Funk categories noted by Rick are capable of simpler
      statement, but simple or diffuse, I doubt they are helpful. The names
      "secondary" and "tertiary" seem to imply some sort of hierarchy in terms
      of origin, but all they mean is more or less exact. I don't need to have
      grades of exactness coded into the word for "parallel," if I want to, I
      can simply say "verbally precise parallel" or "situationally comparable
      parallel" or whatever. Multiplying terms floods the dictionary, even as
      it gets us further from the facts being described. Both surely
      undesirable.

      RICK
      It seems to me that what you say about "helpful" depends somewhat on the
      purpose for which one strives to identify parallels. I should note that
      Funk's purpose in the quotes I extracted from NGP were offered in order
      to explain to readers the different styles of typeface appearing in the
      book- not to launch some kind of taxonomy of parallels. His remarks for
      that purpose were certainly helpful.

      But nevertheless, I don't think a consistent taxonomy of parallels would
      be UN-helpful. Properly constructed such a categorization need not
      **necessarily** imply any directionality (although in some cases,
      "directionality" should be almost self-evident, as for example allusions
      to early Jewish scriptures or, at the other end of the spectrum,
      correlations with texts known beyond doubt to be later than Thomas, or
      whatever text specimen is being examined). In other words, it seems to
      me that inferring precedence of one text over another is not a judicious
      of a catalogue of parallels.

      I agree that terms like Primary, Secondary and Tertiary are prejudicial
      and that they do tempt one to make judgments on the "hierarchy of
      origin" that are indeed "unhelpful". Describing them as Types I, II(a),
      II (b) and so forth are marginally less deleterious but, I agree there
      are still vestiges of presumptive precedence. Although I can't seem to
      lay my hands on it, it seems to me that you yourself once proposed a set
      of sigla that could be used to differentiate one type of textual
      correlation from another (or am I mistaken?).

      BRUCE:
      To me, a parallel is simply something in another text that is comparable
      enough to be worth considering, whether the likeness is sharp or fuzzy,
      and whatever the directionality might later prove to be. I can make
      those determinations on my own, thank you very much, along with any
      conclusions as to which, if either, is based on the other, without
      having my elbow joggled by a lot of empty and predetermined terminology.

      RICK:
      At one level, I agree- distinctions between "sharp" and "fuzzy" can and
      should be made. Now, whether those distinctions are useful on a
      micro-analytical scale is probably doubtful (as you seem to imply-
      similarities and dissimilarities are easily identifiable to any
      reasonably careful reader, so no elbow juggling necessary. But on the
      other hand, on a macro-analytical scale (the view from 10,000 feet) it
      remains to be seen whether some kind of more consistent taxonomy would
      be helpful or not. It's hard to say since such a reliable and consistent
      set of data has never been assembled, nor has there been published (as
      far as I know) that view from 10,000 feet.

      BRUCE:
      The legacy of Formgeschichte seems to me to be almost nil, if not in
      some cases actually negative, and this Funk distinction, I am sorry to
      say, strikes me as more of the same.

      RICK:
      The Ghost of Dibelius and Bultmann do seem to never go away. I confess
      that they are quite present in my digs (the History of the Synoptic
      Tradition, worn and torn, still sits in easy reach on the bookshelf
      behind my desk, although I haven't opened it in ages). I think I somehow
      take some comfort in it presence, though.

      Rick Hubbard
      Howland, ME
      USA
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