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8625Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Lk21:20-28, on Jerusalem

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  • Emmanuel Fritsch
    Aug 12, 2002
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      A] Luke minus Mark for Lk 21:20-28

      > I already did, as you noted above.
      > 'Luke minus Mark for Lk 21:20-28' is interesting, but we can't be sure
      > that it has any significance at all.

      We may say also: "The similarity between Luke, Mark and Matthew
      is interesting, but we can't be sure that it has any significance
      at all". Sure, we may allways find good reason to refuse to take
      phenomenon into account.

      You have not answered the question : if this phenomenon is not
      a track of an earlier redaction for Lk 21:20-28 (proto-gospel
      or rough draft), then where does it come from ?

      B] proto-Luke vs early edition

      > >Just imagine that my 'First Edition of Luke' would be
      > >the same of yours, with just a little modification on
      > >Lk21:20-28, where my will follow the Luke minus Mark
      > >pattern.
      > >
      > >Then my 'First Edition of Luke' would passe (1) and (2)
      > >as easy as yours, and would passe (3) better, since some
      > >difficulties on Lk 21:20-28 have been canceled.
      > You are nowhere near knowing what your supposed document contained.
      > For my proposed First Edition of Luke I know exactly which pericopae it
      > contained, and I know fairly accurately (based mainly on the NA27 text)
      > how many words it contained, and even fairly accurately how many letters
      > it contained. There is a world of difference between your vague
      > suggestion and my precise hypothesis.

      My suggestion is really precise : I take your work, and I replace
      your proposition for Lk 21:20-28 by the result of 'Luke minus Mark'
      operation on this verses. If your reconstruction is precise, then
      mine will be too. If your reconstruction is good, mine is better
      (just accord. your criteria, cf. the demonstration in my previous mail).

      > >C] Your criteria
      > >> Any hypothetical source ...
      > >> (aa4) if it is incorporated in an extant document, then its style and
      > >> theology should be distinguishable from that of the author of the extant
      > >> document.
      > I was assuming here what is almost always true, namely that the source
      > had been written by someone other than the author of the extant
      > document.

      Hey, do you forget your method ? If the difference of author is
      "almost always true", then "earlier edition" by the same author is
      very very rare. In that case, according your own method, you should
      add a new criteria that exclude any "earlier edition".

      This was your method for size and structure of earlier editions (I quote :
      "for new editions rarely double the size of the original" and : "because
      editions subsequent to the first are usually less well structured"). Is that
      not a bias in the application of your method ?

      > > Even for the canonical [gospels], the structure[s] acknowledged by scholars
      > > are not always the same.
      > Yes, but most commentators judge them to be structured.

      ** Until they agree on the structure, their consensus is not usefull.
      We may allways assert that any "hypothetical source" has a good
      structure, how will you check it if you can not check the structure
      even for known gospels ?

      ** If a "hypothetical structure" is reconstructed only by pieces, then
      its structure may have disappeared, without the confidence for the
      existence of the source being canceled (for instance : the diary of
      Alexander's aula, which is known only through excerpts).

      > >As a fragment of papyrus allows to imagine a whole complete gospel,
      > >as Doura Europos fragment allows to imagine a whole gospel harmony,
      > >or in another domain, a little piece of bone allows to describe a
      > >whole dynosaurus, the firm reconstruction of a pericopae allows to
      > >warrant the existence of an unknown document.
      > When someone finds a scrap of papyrus containing writing which is
      > incomplete at the beginning or end or both, then it is obvious that it
      > is a fragment of something bigger.

      "it is obvious it is a fragment of something bigger". Yes, but
      how much bigger ? It may also be an amulet, whith just some
      words missing, or an abstract, or a comment on gospels, rather
      than a gospel or a gospel harmony. Just take the example of
      Doura-Europos : there is no global rule that say the fragment
      comes from a whole gospel harmony.

      In fact, what we find on Lk21:20-28 is like a scrap of papyrus :
      it looks as a fragment. We do not know exactly of what, but it
      looks as a gospel (the closest texts to that fragment are whole
      gospels). And as for a scrap, the text is corrupted, so that we may
      not warrant that the reading we find is exactly the original document:
      the 'Luke minus Mark' operation gives just a track, an image, of a
      previous document.

      Even if the methods are quite far from scraps of papyrus, the problem
      is quite the same : what was the original document ?

      > > ..... if you
      > >require "a plausible motivation for [the] composition" of a
      > >"hypothetical source", why this motivation may be absent for
      > >a "supposed earlier edition" ?
      > There is little point in specifying this as a requirement for an
      > earlier edition because the motivation is likely to be very similar to
      > that of the extant edition.

      Your argument is easily controvertible : many many christians may have
      wanted to write the story of Jesus, but only few may have wanted to write
      it twice.

      If we find four early christians that had motivation to write gospels, why
      not a fifth, a sixth, a seventh, and many others ? And on the other hand,
      where are your model which show us that a double edition was a common
      praxis in early christianity ?

      (I do not disagree with early edition at all, but I disagree with
      the idea that early edition is a more probable document that generic
      unknown sources, allowing you to choose less strict criteria)

      > > ..... the roman empire
      > >was great enough to insure many different places where different
      > >gospels may have appeared, in the same social Sitz im Leben than
      > >the other gospels, but in other locations.
      > >The Sitz im Leben of common "hypothetical source"
      > >of gospels presents no problem of plausibility, and your
      > >criteria does not filter anything.
      > I disagree. Sitz im Leben is not just geography. Kloppenborg has
      > written a 546 page book on "Excavating Q". In spite of all the
      > information on primitive Christianity available to us in Acts, he cannot
      > name a single person who may have belonged to the supposed Q community.
      > In a 30 column 'Index of Ancient texts' he has a mere 5 references to
      > Acts. I know Acts is not entirely trustworthy. But some of its key
      > affirmations can be confirmed from Paul's letters, so it is far from
      > being complete fiction.

      The Sitz im Leben of all hypothetical document would be the same as the
      Sitz im Leben of Matthew, Luke, Mark, and John : Early christianity.
      Where is the problem with that Sitz im Leben ? Had the four first
      gospel redactors a kind of exclusivity ? Is their Sitz im Leben problematic ?

      If we have no problem to find a Sitz im Leben for canonical gospels,
      why would we have any problem with the Sitz im Leben of any
      "hypothetical source" ?

      > >It is then absolutely not possible to say that if, in majority, a new
      > >edition does not double the size, then all possible multi-edition of
      > >gospels should respect that rule. This is what I call the tyranny of
      > >majority. The majority (if validated) may apply on the plausibility
      > >of the reconstructed source, which has to be compared with the
      > >plausibility of alternative theories. The majority may never be
      > >an absolute criteria.
      > Many years ago I also used to argue about what is *possible*. But what
      > really matters is what is *probable*. It is possible that life on earth
      > may be destroyed next month by an asteroid impact.
      > Fortunately it is not probable, and that's what matters.

      The probability that life on earth may be destroyed next month
      by an asteroid impact is near zero. But if astronoms find
      tomorrow an earth-cruiser that will cross the trajectory of
      earth during the next month, then the probability is modified.

      What is "probable" has to be decided in regards with facts.

      > > ..... your criteria ..... may not be considered as universal tools for
      > >rebuking or criticizing any other unknown document reconstruction.
      > Last century, NT scholars were far too eager to proclaim the existence
      > of lost sources. Amongst these were M, L, proto-Luke (as a sort of Luke
      > minus Mark for Luke1-24), a Johannine Signs Source and Q. The first
      > three have been almost universally abandoned, the fourth is in decline,
      > and the last is under heavy and persistent criticism from Goulder,
      > Goodacre et al..
      > Hence strict criteria are highly appropriate and long overdue.

      Good drugs are "highly appropriate and long overdue" against aids
      and many other diseases. But I will not mix in my backyard a pound
      of sugar and a gallon of oil, and sell it as universal remedy.

      Your criteria looks as universal remedy. They do not fit with facts.
      They look based upon a vague idea of problems of previous generation
      theories, and a deep need to kill fast and wide all "hypothetical sources",
      in order to avoid some headache.


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