6309Re: [Synoptic-L] Gerasene Demoniac
- Jun 1, 2001In a message dated 6/1/2001 3:56:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< Brian Wilson wrote --
>Leonard Maluf replied --
>There is a great deal of data observable in the synoptic gospels
>without assuming any documentary hypothesis of the relation between the
>synoptic gospels. The minor agreements, for instance, are observed fact
>since they would be there irrespective of whether anyone holds any
>synoptic documentary hypothesis or not. What we should be doing is
>looking hard for synoptic phenomena that are not dependent on assuming
>any documentary hypothesis. We should then be using this objective data
>to test documentary hypotheses of the relationship between the synoptic
> gospels. This would be attempting to solve the synoptic problem.
>You say this, Brian, as though following this methodology would somehow
>miraculously avoid all possibility of subjective evaluation of data,
I say this as though following this methodology we would at
least be clear what constitutes data. I am concerned that we should not
be pretending to evaluate data when we are not even considering it. What
hypothetically Matthew would have had to have done to produce his
version of the Gadarene Demoniac(s) if he had used the Markan version as
his source, is simply not data.>>
I'm glad to be making you spell out your methodologically quite clearly,
because it reveals, I think, your prejudice in favor of observable data.
Whether or not what Matthew would have had to have done to produce his
version of the Gadarene Demoniac(s) if he had used the Markan version as his
source is or is not originally data, in the pure sense of the term, it
becomes data of sorts once a legitimate reasoning process has preceded it.
<< I am concerned that we should not be
using redaction-critical inferences as though they were observed fact,
when they are not.>>
Your British empiricism shows through here, doesn't it? In seminary I teach
this as a false philosophy, and am quite convinced that it is so. Can you
persuade me otherwise? If valid redaction-critical inferences can be used in
arguing a Synoptic theory, why should one press the point that these are not
observed fact. So what if they are not? Is "observed fact" the only valid
form (or basis) of knowledge? I believe in the validity of certain mediated
forms of knowledge, including those that involve syllogism.
<< I am not aware of any "more usual methodologies". The usual approach is
for scholars to state that they favour a synoptic hypothesis and to give
one or two arguments in support of this. I am not sure, for instance,
whether Streeter could be said to have had a methodology for solving the
synoptic problem. I would think he did not.>>
This is a good point, with which I concur. One does have the impression of
utter chaos in terms of methodology, when one reads Streeter on the Synoptic
>We do not know this yet, do we? It has not been tried.
>And when this happens (e.g., in the process you describe in the second
>to last sentence above) -- there will continue to be widely divergent
>views regarding the origin and interrelationship of the gospels.
It may be that the present disagreements are the result of not having
used a proper methodology, and that if a proper methodology is used
there will be much agreement as a consequence.>>
You have point here, but I just have a lurking suspicion that you are unduly
sanguine in this judgment.
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