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10181Re: [Synoptic-L] Herod's Worries

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Jul 4 8:27 AM
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      To: Synoptic-L
      In Response To: Leonard
      On: Mark's Authorial Motives
      From: Bruce

      In a scenario previously provided by Leonard, I had noted three points at
      which the posited skipping of AMk from one of his sources to the other
      seemed to me awkward and/or unmotivated, and to that extent unconvincing,
      and had asked for clarification. Leonard in his answer doesn't provide those
      clarifications. His response at one point (and seemingly meant for all) was:

      LEONARD: You are right, although it is clear that -- while following Lk here
      as his primary source -- Mark at least found the parallel passage in Matt 14
      before beginning to write, and allowed it to influence his formulations,
      especially in 6:14. This was simply SOP for Mark, so no special motive is
      needed here.

      BRUCE: No, seriously, I think the choices must be explained, as Goulder has
      tried to do for ALk, which he conceives as occupying the same third position
      you assign to AMk.

      Take any doctoral student, give him (let's suppose) any two Synoptics, and
      ask him to explain the third Synoptic in terms of the author of the third
      making a joint summary of the other two, that author being allowed to omit
      as well as to include, and being allowed a certain amount of leeway for the
      introduction of words, story elements, and even whole segments not in either
      of the two, and I bet he could do it. But surely the plausibility of that
      demonstration (or of a demonstration of either of the other alternate
      possibilities of this type) would rest on how reasonable, now imaginably
      motivated, how authorially or editorially intelligible, those various moves
      were. No?

      To say, as Leonard here seems to, that unexplained alternation between, and
      alteration of, two sources is SOP for the third author, seems somehow too
      easy. For this reader, it makes of that Gospel what Chomsky makes of the
      grammar of a language: a closed box whose workings are not available to
      analysis, and which does what it does because it does it.

      I can't imagine that this is what Leonard intends, and at the risk of
      calling for repetition of matters earlier explained, could I ask for a short
      summary of his idea of AMk as an author (theologian, anthologist, whatever
      is most appropriate)? Without something of the sort, I don't find myself
      presently able to evaluate Leonard's suggestions about Mark's treatment of
      his two sources.

      With thanks in advance,

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst


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