171Re: Q yes or no?
- Mar 8, 1998Dear Brian,
Yes, the question of the "Minor Agreements" is a one that needs to be looked at more carefully than is usually done. These MAs of Lk and Mt against Mk may indicate the following:
1. As Griesbachians would have it, Mk was written after Mt and Lk.
2. As the mainstream 2DH supporters would have it, scribal harmonizations is one possible explanation. But the sheer quantity of MAs would seem difficult to account for on the 2DH as it is usually formulated.
3. FGM (Farrer-Goulder Model) people would take the MAs to indicate that Lk used Mt.
So these are the positions normally taken to explain these MAs. My own view is that all three positions are rather inadequate in and of themselves. So what is the answer? I say it is the proto-Mark (pMk) hypothesis. (Generally, I accept the priority of Mk.)
The pMk hypothesis would have it that the version of Mk that the writers of Mt and of Lk used was different from our canonical Mk. Therefore, the MAs would indicate the places where the wording of Mk was changed by subsequent editors of Mk.
The pMk hypothesis is being advocated currently by Helmut Koester. (Cf. his ANCIENT CHRISTIAN GOSPELS: their history and development, London: SCM Press; Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990.)
Also, I would recommend the long article on the subject by Koester in COLLOQUY ON NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES, Bruce Corley, ed, Mercer UP, Macon, 1983.
This pMk hypothesis has also been advocated some time ago by Alfred Loisy (e.g. his Origines du Nouveau Testament. /English: The origins of the New Testament / translated by L.P. Jacks, New York : Collier Books, 1962.)
Loisy's theories in this area have been all but forgotten by now. I'm not sure if Koester is using Loisy's work in his research, as I've not seen any references to Loisy in his work so far.
Nevertheless, Loisy's contribution in this area is very considerable. I'm not sure about the finer details of Koester's and Loisy's respective proposals, but overall the two theories are quite compatible. It is even my impression that Loisy may have offered certain insights in this area than Koester can use profitably (if he hasn't already.)
So, to summarize, I think the three well known ways of dealing with the MAs as outlined above, while inadequate in themselves, may be _all_ correct to some extent. They all point to some real problems in NT interpretation. The pMk hypothesis, it seems, is one way to "harmonize" all three.
Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku
It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than
to put out on the troubled seas of thought -=O=- John K. Galbraith
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