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Re: Oral Tradition and Markan Posteriority

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    ... According to W. R. Farmer in The Gospel of Jesus (Louisville,1994), page 18, writing about the Two-Gospel Hypothesis (alias, the Griesbach Hypothesis)
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 1998
      Mark Goodacre wrote:
      >A question that occurred to me today follows on from our recent
      >discussion of (alleged) Markan omissions and additions. My question is
      >this: What is the place of oral tradition on the assumption that Mark
      >wrote third, using Matthew and Luke? I would be particularly grateful
      >for any bibliography on this.
      >
      According to W. R. Farmer in "The Gospel of Jesus" (Louisville,1994),
      page 18, writing about the "Two-Gospel Hypothesis" (alias, the Griesbach
      Hypothesis) -

      "Thus, according to the Two-Gospel Hypothesis, Matthew wrote first,
      making extensive use of existing sources (ORAL and written); Luke wrote
      second, making extensive use of Matthew and other source material (ORAL
      and written); Mark composed his Gospel making extensive use of both
      Matthew and Luke as well as a limited amount of other source material
      (ORAL and written)."

      You might also want to ponder on a statement in Kim Paffenroth, "The
      Story of Jesus according to L" (Sheffield, 1997) page 148 -

      >"There is no known characteristic that is found only in written
      >sources, nor any such characteristic found only in oral traditions."

      It would seem that if Paffenroth is right, then the above statement by
      Farmer may be just a little bit speculative.

      I notice, also, that Farmer does not say whether the oral tradition is
      supposed to have been primary (that is, not based on an earlier written
      source), or secondary (based on an earlier written source). Our "living
      voice" of Jesus tradition in English today is based on printed English
      translations of the gospels, and is secondary oral tradition which can
      be checked and corrected against the earlier printed version. If spoken,
      the written word becomes the living voice of oral tradition, as can be
      seen in the way in which Paul spoke the words of the Old Testament when
      he dictated his letters to his amanuenses.

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON

      E-MAIL: brian@... TELEPHONE: +44-1480-385043
      SNAILMAIL: Rev B. E. Wilson, HOMEPAGE:
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      Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK
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