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376Re: Syn - Thomasine priority

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    May 3, 1998
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      At 09:00 5/1/98 -0400, Stevan Davies wrote:
      >The one instance doesn't prove any particular source theory, but
      >unless we are to think Mark invented the whole story, Mark is
      >using some source or other. Furthermore he is redacting it in
      >certain characteristic Marcan ways... particularly the
      >repetition/rhetorical question of 3:33-34. This should lead then
      >to the question to you, is chiasmus a redactional tendency of
      >Mark's?

      I'm not sure where you're going, but the chiasmus could come
      from Mark's source (i.e. Jesus or oral tradition), yet not from
      Thomas (no chiasmus).

      >If it isn't then the fatigue idea is relatively strong.

      I don't the fatigue idea is strong here in Mk3:31-35 vs. Tm99.
      Let's revisit the definition:

      Fatigue in B's redaction of A's text occurs when:
      (1) B differs from A in B's characteristic expression
      about an issue at one point in the text, AND
      (2) B agrees with A in A's characteristic expression
      about the same issue at a later point in the text.

      (I've added the qualification relating to the same "issue" in
      response to some of Jim Deardorff's examples, in a response I
      lost to a computer freeze-up, but it does not affect the analysis
      here.)

      Mark G.'s article uses the concept of writing characteristically
      in order to prevent the argument from fatigue being reversible.
      I suggest we take this concept seriously. First, there is a
      problem in identifying characteristic language. Footnote 26,
      p. 52 (NTS 44), states: "I am of course aware that one often
      defines what is characteristic of Matthew and Luke by how they
      differ from Mark and thus one is partly bound into a circle. It is
      not, however, the only means of establishing what is characteristic
      of each evangelist and in each case one has to ask whether the
      'fatigue' explanation is more or less plausible than the alternatives."

      Here is the issue is X="mother and brothers" and Y="brother and mothers".
      In the parallels, Mk3:31 32 33 34 have X and Mk3:35 Th99:1 2 have Y.
      But is X ("mother and brothers") characteristic of Mark? Although X
      occurs 4 times here, it does not occur outside of Mk3:31-34 in Mark,
      and the opposite Y occurs at Mk10:29 30. On the other hand, is Y
      characteristic of Thomas? It is very hard to tell, because this phrase
      occurs only in Th99. Therefore, there is insufficient evidence that
      either Mark or Thomas are writing characteristically here, and, hence,
      this example does not constitute a good example of fatigue. Furthermore,
      Mark G.'s comments invite us to consider whether other explanations
      are more plausible. I have suggest chiasmus on the part of Mark or,
      more likely, in his source, which is not Thomas, by the way. Most of
      Mark G.'s examples of fatigue occur in the redaction of narrative,
      where an evangelist has the best opportunity to write characteristically,
      but Thomas has so little narrative that it may impossible to detect any
      fatigue in Thomas, in either direction.

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson : Poetry speaks of aspirations,
      scarlson@... : and songs chant the words.
      http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/ : -- Shujing 2.35
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