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7094Re: [Synoptic-L] the nature of the data

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    Dec 2, 2001
      At 06:07 PM 12/2/2001 +0000, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
      >I would suggest that a computer could be programmed to categorize every
      >word of the synoptic gospels into 222, 221, 220, and so on, without
      >assuming the Two Document Hypothesis (as do the editors of the HHB
      >Concordance), or any other supposed documentary relationship between the
      >synoptic gospels.

      If you (or anyone else) could produce such a computer program,
      I'd be very impressed. However, one cannot even identify a parallel
      without supposing some documentary relationship between the synoptic
      gospels. For example, the decision to identify Mark's healing of
      the paralytic as a parallel to Matthew's healing of the paralytic --
      but not to Matthew's genealogy -- supposes that there is a documentary
      relationship with the former but not the latter. Of course, most
      decisions about parallelization will not be controversial, but
      they will be for not only for the so-called Mark-Q overlap texts and
      for doublets in one gospel where there is only one instance in the
      others (which of the two in the doublet is "the" parallel?). Even
      in noncontroversial parallels, there is discretion in deciding which
      of two KAIs in Mark correspond to the one KAI in Matthew. Frankly,
      I doubt it can be done objectively, because the theories and hypotheses
      we hold influence our perception of the data. This extends to the
      programmer of the computer as well.

      >>The main question, however, is whether and to what extent the editors'
      >>judgment is biased to a particular solution to the synoptic problem.
      >>
      >I agree. That is one question I have been asking. The other question I
      >have been raising is to what extent the editors' have applied their
      >criteria inconsistently.

      The editors admit their bias on the Mark-Q overlaps, but does that
      bias extend to other portions? You've pointed out some inconsistencies,
      but unless one can show they somehow favor the 2ST, it may be better
      to attribute the inconsistencies to noise rather than bias.

      >What is really needed is computer-produced data that is not dependent on
      >any synoptic documentary hypothesis and that applies criteria
      >consistently.

      I'm not holding my breath. Perhaps a better approach is to ask
      the proponents of the various solutions to produce their own
      "partisan" synopses and concordances that sets forth the data
      in such a manner that renders their solution in the most favorable
      light. Then we can compare them to see how well they handle the
      data. Maybe Dungan was right after all that there is no neutral
      synopsis.

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35


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