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5242[Synoptic-L] The Critical Edition of Q

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    Nov 24, 2000
      Steven Miller wrote --
      >
      >As you well know, all the original texts of the NT have been lost. The
      >difference between the hypothetical nature of a Q text and the
      >hypothetical nature of the NT text is merely one of degree.
      >
      If all the manuscript witnesses to the text of the books of the NT had
      been lost, then I would have agreed with your conclusion, since then the
      NT books would be hypothetical in the sense in which Q is hypothetical.

      As it is we have thousands of manuscript witnesses to the text of the
      books of the NT and absolutely none to the text of hypothetical Q. As
      Mark Goodacre put this in his most recent posting --
      >
      >There are no witnesses to Q in the same sense that there are
      >witnesses to the texts of Matthew, Luke and the other gospels. In
      >other words, there [is] no ancient document that witnesses to a
      >document with the character and parameters of the hypothetical Q.
      >
      The point is that the manuscript evidence we have is perfectly
      consistent with Q never having existed.

      You seem not to realize that on the basis of text criticism alone, Q is
      a nonsense, since there are no manuscripts of a document answering to
      the description of Q as defined by the Two Document Hypothesis. A
      **text-critical** critical edition of Q would consist of blank pages
      with no text and no critical apparatus, for there is no manuscript
      evidence for a document Q, and no manuscript variations within that
      evidence.

      Mark Goodacre suggests that "the reconstruction of Q by the IQP, in
      spite of its immense skill, care, energy and sophistication, essentially
      remains a piece of source-criticism; it is not text-criticism." I
      agree that it is not text-criticism. It seems to me to be an application
      of a documentary hypothesis (the 2DH) to the gospels of Matthew and Luke
      to determine how, on the assumption that the 2DH is true, they treated
      their supposed source material.

      I would suggest therefore that the findings of the IQP are in fact
      **redaction-criticism** of Matthew and Luke on the basis of the 2DH.
      Redaction-criticism proceeds by first assuming a source hypothesis and
      applying this to the synoptic gospels in order to attempt to trace how
      writers have used sources, and from this eventually to try and discover
      the special theological emphases of those writers. The book "The
      Critical Edition of Q" is the result of redaction-critics applying the
      2DH to Matthew and Luke in order to discover how, on the assumption the
      2DH is true, Matthew and Luke used their supposed source material, Q.
      The "documented decisions" of the writers of CEQ record their redaction-
      critical decisions of how Matthew and Luke used source material, on the
      assumption that the Two Document Hypothesis is true.

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON

      E-mail; brian@... HOMEPAGE www.twonh.demon.co.uk

      Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
      > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
      > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
      _

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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