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9806Re: [Synoptic-L] Less hypothetical?

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    Sep 1, 2004
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      At 07:49 AM 9/1/2004 +0100, Ron Price wrote:
      >Kloppenborg had written in NTS:
      >>"Luke's supposed dependence on Mark is not any less hypothetical than Luke's
      >>dependence on Q, merely because we have third-century manuscripts of Mark."
      >
      >Stephen Carlson wrote:
      >> Rather than condemn Klopp.et al. for a strawman .....
      >
      > I think this is being too soft on him. An eminent scholar should not
      >descend to making an exaggerated claim just because some of his opponents
      >make exaggerated claims. In making the comparison between Q and the
      >archetype of Mark, Kloppenborg evidently intended to try to demolish the
      >argument that the hypothetical nature of Q should be counted as a factor
      >against the 2ST. Kloppenborg's statement is misleading and we should see
      >through it.

      OK, I've re-read Kloppenborg's statement in context. He is criticizing
      a statement by Austin Farrer for not realizing that Luke's dependence
      on Mark is a hypothesis too, as is the existence of Q. Kloppenborg's
      criticism of A. Farrer still stands but it would have been analytically
      neater and, in fact, less confusing if he had written instead "first-
      century manuscripts of Mark" or even "have manuscripts of Mark." Thus,
      I don't see Kloppenborg as logically fallacious or even intentionally
      misleading, but it would be a fair criticism that his use of "third-
      century" was less relevant than its pragmatic weight that detail would
      normally imply to his readers.

      I agree with Kloppenborg's point that a supposition of dependence should
      also count as a hypothesis. I also feel that one shouldn't compare
      hypothetical apples with hypothetical oranges. In other words, I don't
      know how to balance off a hypothesis of dependence with a hypothetical
      text. In mathematical terms, the comparison may only involve a partial
      ordering.

      Fortunately, in the case of the FT vs. the 2ST, we don't have solve this
      philosophical conundrum: the Farrer Theory has both fewer hypotheses of
      dependence and fewer hypotheses of lost sources. For example, the FT
      posits three hypotheses of dependence (Mk->Mt, Mk->Lk, Mt->Lk) versus
      four (Mk->Mt, Mk->Lk, Q->Mt, and Q->Lk) for the 2ST. Also, the 2ST has
      one additional hypothetical source (Q) that the FT lacks. Whether or
      not one should also count the autographs of Matt., Mark, and Luke as
      hypothetical entities, the effect applies equally to the FT and the
      2ST and effectively cancels out.

      > Perhaps the inclusion of such a dubious statement shows that he has been
      >rattled by Goodacre's case against Q.

      I don't know Kloppenborg well enough to conclude that (I've talked with
      him only about a half-dozen times). In fact, he strikes me as one of
      the most fair-minded supporters of the 2ST active today. I do, however,
      acknowledge noticing that Kloppenborg more than once criticized various
      logical errors people have made before conceding that Goodacre did not
      in fact make those errors. It is not fully clear whether this helps
      or hurts Goodacre overall, but I suspect the latter. The criticisms
      are first and the disavowals come later, so the negative guilt-by-
      association effect should be making a stronger impression on the reader.

      I don't think that this subtle rhetorical effect is intentional, though.
      In fact, I can see clear didactical reasons for quashing common mistakes
      that non-specialists would make at the offset before getting into the
      nuances. Because Kloppenborg is one of the best teachers in the field
      (just look at the quality of his students), pedagogy, not some devious
      sophistry, is what is most probably driving Kloppenborg.

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


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