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Re: SBL and the Synoptic Problem

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  • Mark Goodacre
    I am grateful for Stephen Carlson s interesting comments; what a pleasure it was to meet him and other Synoptic-L participants (and others!) at SBL -- what an
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 27, 1998
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      I am grateful for Stephen Carlson's interesting comments; what a pleasure it
      was to meet him and other Synoptic-L participants (and others!) at SBL -- what
      an extraordinary gathering it is. As a first-timer, perhaps my only major
      criticism of the organisation would be the sheer degree of specialisation that
      seems to be taken for granted and encouraged, so that, for example, one has the
      Q section running simultaneously with Literary Aspects of the Gospels and Acts
      and New Testament Textual Criticism, all of which have interlocking and
      parallel concerns.

      One or two comments on Stephen's:

      > Later on Monday afternoon was the second Q section,
      > featuring a younger set of scholars including Jeffrey
      > Gibson and Bill Arnal, except for the lead-off paper
      > by Jim Robinson. Robinson's paper is about a scribal
      > error in Q 12:27. It turns out that this topic had
      > been discussed before (look at the entry in BAGD under
      > XAINW), but Robinson's twist appears to be that the
      > cause is a scribal error in Q rather than independent
      > scribal (?) errors by Matthew and Luke as suggested
      > in the BAGD article. At any rate, the problem may be
      > more a text-critical problem for Matthew, since the
      > reading that Q is proposed to have misread is found
      > in original reading of Aleph for Mt6:28.

      Unfortunately there was no time for questions after that paper, but it was a
      brilliant and clear presentation. Robinson's case seemed to depend largely on
      XAINW in [reconstructed] P Oxy 655. Although Robinson's case made sense on the
      Q theory, it was certainly not required by it.

      > Next was Jeffrey Gibson on the meaning of Q11:4b,
      > specifically PEIRASMOS. A wonderfully exegetical
      > presentation, it is source-critically neutral because
      > the case can still be made (probably better) under
      > the Farrer Hypothesis.

      I would agree, naturally. But Jeffrey's paper was well received (and there
      was an interesting question from Robert Gundry on "lead us not into"). I
      have encouraged Jeffrey to put an audio version on the web so that everyone can
      hear PEIRASMOS properly enunciated in actor's tones : )

      > Alan Kirk's paper showed that in at least two instances
      > Q had the rhetorical structure of the passion, especially
      > in terms a status-degradation ritual. Prompted by Mark
      > G. to address the issue of whether Q had a passion, Alan
      > replied that it was a worthy topic in light of his findings.
      > I suppose Mark's question was somewhat subversive because
      > Q with a passion is less distinguishable from Matthew.

      Kirk's very interesting paper seemed to draw the thought-world of Q much closer
      to the thoughtworld of the Synoptics, dispensing with the clear blue water
      between Q and the Synoptics that many have so carefully put in place. Perhaps,
      in time, Kirk will come to dispense with Q too.
      >
      > The final presentation in the second Q session was Daniel
      > E. Goodman's discussion of the cultural category of the
      > Q group, arguing that Q promoted a communitarian system
      > of distributive justice. The primary source-critical
      > implication is that inferences of Q's social views may
      > have been confounded with Luke's social views, because,
      > after all, Q is the parts of Matthew's non-Markan source
      > that was pleasing to Luke, and communitarian social justice
      > would be a good example. Therefore, Goodman's findings
      > are also consistent with the Farrer Hypothesis.

      I think that this is right; Stephen is too modest to mention that he put to
      Goodman the similarity between Q's proposed view and that of Luke-Acts.
      >
      > One thing that I found a bit surprising was the lack of
      > interest in Q. Both the first and the second sessions
      > were sparsely attended, but the sessions on the Synoptic
      > Gospels, on Matthew, and on the Historical Jesus were
      > jammed packed.

      I too was very surprised to see that Q does not appear to be a crowd-puller.
      In some ways this was a shame, for the quality of papers was high.

      As a footnote, I am sorry to have to report that I returned from Florida today
      to find our house burgled. My home computer (where I do most of my work) has
      gone so, if you were waiting for a reply to an Email, could you kindly
      re-send it? Please be patient if I take a while to deal with any Synoptic-L
      matters over the next week or so; and thanks to Yuri for drawing attention to
      subscribe / unsubscribe information, which seems to have helped. My main
      Synoptic-L archive went with the computer but I think it will be
      straightforward to construct a new one from back-ups and FindMail.

      Good wishes

      Mark
      --------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham

      Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
      --------------------------------------

      Synoptic-L Web Page: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      Synoptic-L Archive: http://www.egroups.com/list/synoptic-l
      Synoptic-L Owner: mailto:Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... I doubt that Alan Kirk will be dispensing with Q any time soon. He has given me permission to pass on one important reason why ... I think that the
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 29, 1998
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        At 05:26 PM 11/27/98 GMT, Mark Goodacre wrote:
        >One or two comments on Stephen's:
        >> Alan Kirk's paper showed that in at least two instances
        >> Q had the rhetorical structure of the passion, especially
        >> in terms a status-degradation ritual. Prompted by Mark
        >> G. to address the issue of whether Q had a passion, Alan
        >> replied that it was a worthy topic in light of his findings.
        >> I suppose Mark's question was somewhat subversive because
        >> Q with a passion is less distinguishable from Matthew.
        >
        >Kirk's very interesting paper seemed to draw the thought-world of Q much closer
        >to the thoughtworld of the Synoptics, dispensing with the clear blue water
        >between Q and the Synoptics that many have so carefully put in place. Perhaps,
        >in time, Kirk will come to dispense with Q too.

        I doubt that Alan Kirk will be dispensing with Q any time soon.
        He has given me permission to pass on one important reason why
        he finds Q to be a useful hypothesis:

        >One reason, among others, that
        >I subscribe to the 2Document hypothesis is its enormous predictive
        >power. If Q did exist as a discrete source, and if we can take an enema
        >to purge ourselves of Kleinliteratur notions of its formation, then it
        >would possess its own genre and rhetorical profile. On the other hand,
        >if Q is a scholarly illusion, the artificially separated-out and
        >artificially re-sequenced flotsam and jetsam of Luke's editorial
        >activities with respect to Matthew, then this "double tradition"
        >material would not respond at all to genre and rhetorical analysis. My
        >paper argued that the materials lying between 11:14 to 11:49-51;
        >13:34-35 cohere rhetorically at two levels: first, they replicate the
        >conventional course of the social dramatic sequence of deviancy
        >denunciation and status degradation ritual; second, it articulates a
        >similarly conventional rhetorical strategy of counter-stigmatization
        >and status-transformation. This rhetorical coherence of sequenced double
        >tradition material is precisely what the 2 Document Hypothesis would
        >predict. To neutralize this argument, Farrarites would have to find some
        >way of denying that this sequence of material coheres rhetorically and
        >compositionally in the manner in which I argued. But then this puts you
        >on the horns of a dilemma. Your hope that I would move toward the Farrar
        >hypothesis is predicated on my argument that Q's rhetorical profile is
        >not that far removed from Mark's!

        I think that the usefulness (Brauchbarkeit) of Q is an important
        and perhaps fundamental reason why Q researchers still find it
        worthwhile to subscribe to Q. For example, John S. Kloppenborg,
        "Introduction," THE SHAPE OF Q: Signal Essays on the Sayings
        Gospel (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994) 2, writes:

        "Evidence of design and deliberate structure serves not
        only to expose the distinctive theology of Q; it turns
        out to be relevant to a yet more basic issue, that of
        the very existence of Q. . . . For it is exceedingly
        unlike that a subset of materials mechanically
        abstracted from two Gospels would display an inherent
        genre and structure unless in fact that subset
        substantially represented a discrete and independent
        document."

        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
      • Jeff Peterson
        Just a note on the SBL Textual Criticism section that frustratingly competed with the Q section discussed on the list. The general topic was what is meant by
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 30, 1998
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          Just a note on the SBL Textual Criticism section that frustratingly
          competed with the Q section discussed on the list. The general topic was
          what is meant by an "original" text of the NT, and the session included an
          interesting discussion of Helmut Koester's thesis that the first century of
          Gospel transmission saw a wholesale corruption of Mark with readings from
          Matthew/Luke. That is, the proposal presupposes 2ST as hard fact and
          accounts for the MAs by hypothesizing Gospel text-forms that lack them.
          Mark Goodacre's colleague David Parker observed this, a bit more politely
          than I have here.

          The section also afforded some good theater. Gordon Fee was in the audience
          and was the first recognized by the chair in the general discussion. Rising
          to speak from his seat, he was encouraged by someone else in the audience
          to go to the microphone but replied, "You can hear me. For goodness' sake,
          I'm a Pentecostal!"

          And in response to William Peterson's urging that the original text be
          abandoned as a regulative category in NT TC, Parker replied that even if
          textual critics have produced not Erasmus' pure springs of the Gospel but
          something more akin to bathwater, still that is no excuse for throwing out
          the baby. (Is everyone in Birmingham so clever?)

          It was very nice to put faces to e-mail signatures and kibitz; next year:
          "The Synoptic-L/CrossTalk Reception" -- bring your own Synoptic hypothesis?

          Jeff

          Jeffrey Peterson
          Institute for Christian Studies
          Austin, Texas, USA
        • Yuri Kuchinsky
          ... Jeff, I m very glad that Koester s thesis was discussed. I think this thesis is very valuable. ... Your language is loaded. It is better to say wholesale
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 30, 1998
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            On Mon, 30 Nov 1998, Jeff Peterson wrote:

            > Just a note on the SBL Textual Criticism section that frustratingly
            > competed with the Q section discussed on the list. The general topic
            > was what is meant by an "original" text of the NT, and the session
            > included an interesting discussion of Helmut Koester's thesis

            Jeff,

            I'm very glad that Koester's thesis was discussed. I think this
            thesis is very valuable.

            > that the first century of Gospel transmission saw a wholesale
            > corruption of Mark with readings from Matthew/Luke.

            Your language is loaded. It is better to say "wholesale expansion of Mark,
            including with readings from Matthew/Luke". And you also forgot that
            another significant part of pMk thesis is that Mt and Lk happen to
            preserve faithfully some important passages of pMk that were later altered
            in Mk. (These constitute what are usually referred to as Minor Agreements
            of Mt and Lk against Mk.)

            > That is, the proposal presupposes 2ST as hard fact

            That's becuse over 90% of biblical scholars subscribe to 2ST, and even
            more subscribe to Markan priority. I know this is an exaggerated
            comparison, but one should not go to the latest geophysics conference and
            expect that the Flat Earth Theory should be dealt with at great length.

            > and accounts for the MAs by hypothesizing Gospel text-forms that lack
            > them.

            Your above sentense is incoherent. Proto Mk accounts for MAs very well.
            Proto Mk cannot be expected to have MAs against itself because it was the
            source of MAs.

            > Mark Goodacre's colleague David Parker observed this, a bit more
            > politely than I have here.

            David Parker happens to be very sceptical that the Synoptic problem as it
            is generally defined can be solved. On this he agrees with Koester.

            Best regards,

            Yuri.

            Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto

            http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

            The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
            equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
          • Kumo997029@aol.com
            Steve, Maybe you don t see the difficulty. Leaving aside the question of why your alternative (c) conspirators would *want* to insert invented predictions of
            Message 5 of 15 , Dec 1, 1998
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              Steve,

              Maybe you don't see the difficulty. Leaving aside the question of why your
              alternative (c) conspirators would *want* to insert invented predictions of
              Jesus" execution into the record, how the heck *could* they? How, for
              instance, could all those hUYWQENAI bits (Jn3.14, 8.28, 12.32 and 34) get
              snuck into the Jn manuscript in Ephesus? It would have to be the original,
              prior to distribution, right?

              That makes 22.

              The Jonah stuff in Mt and Lk and the temple reconstruction stuff don't really
              constitute death-prediction. You could argue, if you were arguing, that Jn
              has the early Christians latching onto the temple soundbite (reflected in
              Mt/Mk) as a death-announcement because they had nothing better. I think it's
              rather that they came to understand what at the time had been a koan. Still,
              all this stuff reinforces one's impression that he was laying it on anybody
              who would listen.

              Tertium datur,

              Tim
            • Mark Goodacre
              ... I am grateful to Alan for his most interesting comments and to Stephen for forwarding them. My comment about dispensing with Q above was of course ironic.
              Message 6 of 15 , Dec 2, 1998
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                I wrote:

                > >Kirk's very interesting paper seemed to draw the thought-world of Q much closer
                > >to the thoughtworld of the Synoptics, dispensing with the clear blue water
                > >between Q and the Synoptics that many have so carefully put in place. Perhaps,
                > >in time, Kirk will come to dispense with Q too.

                Stephen Carlson replied:

                > I doubt that Alan Kirk will be dispensing with Q any time soon.
                > He has given me permission to pass on one important reason why
                > he finds Q to be a useful hypothesis:

                I am grateful to Alan for his most interesting comments and to Stephen for
                forwarding them. My comment about dispensing with Q above was of course
                ironic. Alan Kirk has produced one of the finest, most meticulously researched
                books on Q of this generation -- I do not expect him to bear fruits worthy of
                repentance so quickly : ) But I hope I will be permitted a couple of comments
                on the following:

                > >One reason, among others, that
                > >I subscribe to the 2Document hypothesis is its enormous predictive
                > >power. If Q did exist as a discrete source, and if we can take an enema
                > >to purge ourselves of Kleinliteratur notions of its formation, then it
                > >would possess its own genre and rhetorical profile.

                These are of course big "if"s. Is so powerful an enema available?
                Perhaps Kirk's book will do the trick -- it will be exciting to see the
                impact it makes on Q research. But even granting the proposed effectiveness of
                the enema, the Q sceptic will remain concerned about the presupposition that
                Matthew and Luke were independent of one another, on which the Q theory
                depends, as important an assumption for Kirk as for other Q theorists. Without
                this presupposition, the necessity for hypothesising the existence of Q as a
                discrete source disappears.

                > > On the other hand,
                > >if Q is a scholarly illusion, the artificially separated-out and
                > >artificially re-sequenced flotsam and jetsam of Luke's editorial
                > >activities with respect to Matthew, then this "double tradition"
                > >material would not respond at all to genre and rhetorical analysis.

                What one needs here is another even more powerful enema, this time to purge
                ourselves of the notion that Luke's editorial activity with respect to Matthew
                would of necessity have been artificial (the word usually used is "arbitrary"),
                the legacy of Holtzmann's and Streeter's overstated rhetoric. Not only can one
                exaggerate the extent of the supposed re-sequencing, for the double tradition
                is more often than not in similar sequence in Matthew and Luke, but also one
                can underestimate the extent to which Luke has given the double tradition
                material its distinctive rhetorical profile in his interaction with Matthew and
                oral tradition.

                > > My
                > >paper argued that the materials lying between 11:14 to 11:49-51;
                > >13:34-35 cohere rhetorically at two levels: first, they replicate the
                > >conventional course of the social dramatic sequence of deviancy
                > >denunciation and status degradation ritual; second, it articulates a
                > >similarly conventional rhetorical strategy of counter-stigmatization
                > >and status-transformation. This rhetorical coherence of sequenced double
                > >tradition material is precisely what the 2 Document Hypothesis would
                > >predict. To neutralize this argument, Farrarites would have to find some
                > >way of denying that this sequence of material coheres rhetorically and
                > >compositionally in the manner in which I argued. But then this puts you
                > >on the horns of a dilemma. Your hope that I would move toward the Farrar
                > >hypothesis is predicated on my argument that Q's rhetorical profile is
                > >not that far removed from Mark's!

                I would need to read the paper carefully to respond properly to this. I would
                want to point out, though, that in terms of sequence it seems to me that you
                are reconstructing a Q unit on the basis partly of Lukan order (Q 11.14-23,
                24-26, 29-35 and 39-52 in Luke 11.14-52) and partly Matthean order (Q 13.34-35
                in Matt. 23.37-39). My concerns here are twofold: (1) as often the Q theory
                is allowed a flexibility in order to make the supposed patterns work, a
                flexibility that adherents of the Farrer Theory do not work with; (2) the
                location of Q 13.34-35 in Matt. 23.37-39 admittedly coheres with the material
                preceeding it (Matt. 23.1-36, partially parallel to Luke 11.39-52) as well as
                with the material that follows it (Matt. 24-25, leading into the Passion
                Narrative). This would make good sense on the Farrer theory, and would further
                expel the clear blue water usually placed between Q and the synoptics.

                I suspect therefore that there would be no need to "find some way of denying
                that this sequence of material coheres rhetorically and compositionally in
                the manner in which (you) argued" -- much of the material coheres rhetorically
                and compositionally in its locations in both Matthew and Luke, both of which
                are interacting with and reworking Mark. There is thus a continuity between
                Mark, Matthew and Luke -- a trajectory if you like -- that helps us to make
                sense of the similarities between the Q material and the Markan material. But
                I would need to read the paper carefully before I would be able to see how far
                this kind of counter-argument would be effective.
                >
                Stephen commented:

                > I think that the usefulness (Brauchbarkeit) of Q is an important
                > and perhaps fundamental reason why Q researchers still find it
                > worthwhile to subscribe to Q.

                I agree. But I think that one needs to distinguish between two arguments that
                are emerging for the existence of Q, both of which are becoming steadily more
                prominent. One relates to the usefulness of Q as a presupposition in
                redaction-criticism, i.e. in explaining Matthew and Luke. Fitzmyer and Stanton
                both make this claim forcefully.

                The second argument relates to the distinctiveness of Q, the idea that Q makes
                its presence felt by means of its distinctive theology, profile, genre etc.
                This argument is an even more recent one, powerful for being more often
                implicit than explicit, but now emerging as a key one in the literature. It is
                behind Alan's argument above & in his recent book; it is present in the
                quotation from Kloppenborg below; it is used by Jacobson (_The First Gospel: An
                Introduction to Q_ (Sonoma: Polebridge, 1992)) and it is flagged up strongly by
                David Catchpole (_The Quest for Q_ (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1993)). The
                argument is capable of an answer, and I am currently preparing one for my _Case
                Against Q_. In the mean time, let me comment briefly on Stephen's useful
                quotation from Kloppenborg:

                > For example, John S. Kloppenborg,
                > "Introduction," THE SHAPE OF Q: Signal Essays on the Sayings
                > Gospel (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994) 2, writes:
                >
                > "Evidence of design and deliberate structure serves not
                > only to expose the distinctive theology of Q; it turns
                > out to be relevant to a yet more basic issue, that of
                > the very existence of Q. . . . For it is exceedingly
                > unlikely that a subset of materials mechanically
                > abstracted from two Gospels would display an inherent
                > genre and structure unless in fact that subset
                > substantially represented a discrete and independent
                > document."

                This statement is over-confident in the rather fragile world of source
                criticism. It is not long ago that Proto-Luke was "mechanically abstracted",
                purely on source-critical grounds, from Luke, to reveal a supposedly discrete
                genre, structure and profile. But no-one now believes in it (at least in the
                Streeter-Taylor form).

                Further, to speak of "a subset of materials mechanically abstracted from two
                Gospels" is an oversimplification of what goes on in Q research, as Kloppenborg
                knows better than anybody. Let us say, for the sake of argument, that we did
                attempt to abstract Q materials mechanically from Matthew and Luke, i.e. by
                computer, something that would of course render the painstaking labour of the
                IQP wasted effort. I suspect that we would find that a great deal of
                Q-displeasing material would get in, e.g. five word verbatim agreements from
                the Passion Narrative like TIS ESTIN hO PAISAS SE and six word verbatim
                agreements in the Birth Narrative like the one to which Jeff Peterson has been
                drawing attention. Material from stories like the Paralytic or the Five
                Thousand would probably get in too, while much supposedly Q-like sondergut
                (Rich Fool, Ten Coins, Friend at Midnight etc.) would be left outside.

                And that, friends, is why we don't mechanically abstract Q material from
                Matthew and Luke.

                With good wishes

                Mark
                --------------------------------------
                Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
                Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham

                Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                --------------------------------------

                Synoptic-L Web Page: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                Synoptic-L Archive: http://www.egroups.com/list/synoptic-l
                Synoptic-L Owner: mailto:Synoptic-L-Owner@...
              • Yuri Kuchinsky
                ... Dear Mark, You have stated this a number of times already, and I ve tried to correct you a number of times already. I m hoping it will work this time. Q
                Message 7 of 15 , Dec 6, 1998
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                  On Wed, 2 Dec 1998, Mark Goodacre wrote:

                  > ...the Q sceptic will remain concerned about the presupposition that
                  > Matthew and Luke were independent of one another, on which the Q
                  > theory depends,

                  Dear Mark,

                  You have stated this a number of times already, and I've tried to correct
                  you a number of times already. I'm hoping it will work this time.

                  Q theory does not depend on Matthew and Luke being independent of one
                  another. OTOH a _poorly formulated_ Q theory does depend on Matthew and
                  Luke being independent of one another.

                  > as important an assumption for Kirk as for other Q theorists.

                  Not at all.

                  > Without this presupposition, the necessity for hypothesising the
                  > existence of Q as a discrete source disappears.

                  This is not correct.

                  Trying to refute a poorly formulated theory as opposed to a well
                  formulated theory is usually known as a straw man argument.

                  With best wishes,

                  Yuri.

                  Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto

                  http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

                  The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
                  equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
                • Thomas R.W. Longstaff
                  ... This is confirmed by an article published some years ago which demonstrated rather clearly that Q is whatever you make it. Originally the Q hypothesis
                  Message 8 of 15 , Dec 6, 1998
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                    On Sun, 6 Dec 1998, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

                    >
                    > On Wed, 2 Dec 1998, Mark Goodacre wrote:
                    >
                    > > ...the Q sceptic will remain concerned about the presupposition that
                    > > Matthew and Luke were independent of one another, on which the Q
                    > > theory depends,
                    >
                    > Dear Mark,
                    >
                    > You have stated this a number of times already, and I've tried to correct
                    > you a number of times already. I'm hoping it will work this time.
                    >
                    > Q theory does not depend on Matthew and Luke being independent of one
                    > another. OTOH a _poorly formulated_ Q theory does depend on Matthew and
                    > Luke being independent of one another.

                    This is confirmed by an article published some years ago which
                    demonstrated rather clearly that

                    "Q is whatever you make it."

                    Originally the Q hypothesis was proposed to explain the agreements
                    of Matthew and Luke, each taken to be dependent on Mark, assuming (or
                    concluding) that neither was dependent on the other. Since then Q
                    has taken on a life of its own and been fashioned into an entirely new
                    entity made, it seems, of the same fabric as the emperor's new
                    clothes.
                  • Brian E. Wilson
                    Thomas Longstaff wrote - ... I agree that Q is whatever you make it. I would want to add, however, that every synoptic hypothesis is whatever you make it.
                    Message 9 of 15 , Dec 7, 1998
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                      Thomas Longstaff wrote -
                      >
                      >This is confirmed by an article published some years ago which
                      >demonstrated rather clearly that
                      >
                      > "Q is whatever you make it."
                      >
                      >Originally the Q hypothesis was proposed to explain the agreements
                      >of Matthew and Luke, each taken to be dependent on Mark, assuming (or
                      >concluding) that neither was dependent on the other. Since then Q
                      >has taken on a life of its own and been fashioned into an entirely new
                      >entity made, it seems, of the same fabric as the emperor's new
                      >clothes.
                      >
                      I agree that Q is whatever you make it. I would want to add, however,
                      that every synoptic hypothesis is whatever you make it. The hypotheses
                      put forward by J.J.Griesbach, B.H.Streeter, A. Farrer, R.Lindsey, or
                      whoever, are each the product of the mind which formulated them. They
                      are all made of exactly the same invisible material - human
                      inventiveness. They are not supplied tailor-made, not even to emperors.
                      You have to think it out for yourself, like a soft-ware engineer
                      creating a computer program out of his own head.

                      Then, once you have done this, the question is whether your hypothesis
                      fits the observed facts well. If it does not, dispose of it. If it
                      does, put it on record so that others can make use of it.

                      It does not matter in the slightest by which route you arrive at your
                      synoptic hypothesis. What matters is whether it works.

                      Best wishes,
                      BRIAN WILSON

                      HOMEPAGE http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk "No tailors today, thank you."
                      E-MAIL: brian@...
                      SNAILMAIL: Rev B. E. Wilson,
                      10 York Close, Godmanchester,
                      Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK
                    • Mark Goodacre
                      ... I am always happy, of course, to be corrected : ) Yet my apparent stubbornness is a function of my taking Q theorists at their word. Who am I to argue
                      Message 10 of 15 , Dec 7, 1998
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                        I wrote:

                        > > ...the Q sceptic will remain concerned about the presupposition that
                        > > Matthew and Luke were independent of one another, on which the Q
                        > > theory depends,

                        On 6 Dec 98 at 15:21, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
                        >
                        > You have stated this a number of times already, and I've tried to correct you
                        > a number of times already. I'm hoping it will work this time.
                        >
                        > Q theory does not depend on Matthew and Luke being independent of one
                        > another. OTOH a _poorly formulated_ Q theory does depend on Matthew and
                        > Luke being independent of one another.

                        I am always happy, of course, to be corrected : ) Yet my apparent stubbornness
                        is a function of my taking Q theorists at their word. Who am I to argue with
                        authorities like Tuckett who state that the Q theory depends on the
                        independence of Matthew and Luke?

                        On 6 Dec 98 at 21:49, Thomas R.W. Longstaff wrote:

                        > This is confirmed by an article published some years ago which
                        > demonstrated rather clearly that
                        >
                        > "Q is whatever you make it."
                        >
                        > Originally the Q hypothesis was proposed to explain the agreements
                        > of Matthew and Luke, each taken to be dependent on Mark, assuming (or
                        > concluding) that neither was dependent on the other. Since then Q
                        > has taken on a life of its own and been fashioned into an entirely new
                        > entity made, it seems, of the same fabric as the emperor's new
                        > clothes.
                        >
                        The article is S. Petrie, "Q is Only What you make it", NovT 3 (1959), pp.
                        28-33. I am not sure that I agree with Petrie, particularly in the light of
                        Q scholarship since he wrote the article. Although there is an inevitable
                        extent to which Q is fuzzy round the edges and flexible in its application, we
                        are all agreed about the bedrock Q data, viz. the 200 verses or so of double
                        tradition material. Further, I am not one of those who underestimates the work
                        of the International Q Project. Here reputable international scholars have
                        worked hard to produce a phenomenal database on Q alongside a reconstruction of
                        a critical text, with decisions carefully argued and clearly recorded. A
                        striking degree of consensus has emerged, and even Q theorists outside the
                        project (e.g. Dale Allison & Christopher Tuckett; cf. Neirynck) are inclined to
                        value the results highly. Would all this have been possible if "Q is only what
                        you make it"?

                        I do agree with Thomas, however, that Q has taken on a life of its own. It has
                        jumped out of the texts of Matthew and Luke, in which it used to be embedded,
                        and has taken on a full identity of its own with a distinctive theology, genre
                        and community. Yet I think that I would want to maintain that in all recent Q
                        scholarship, the independence of Matthew and Luke from each other remains a
                        basic assumption. Indeed I would argue that it is a fundamental
                        presupposition that lies at the heart of the entire International Q
                        Project's attempt to reconstruct its text.

                        Mark
                        --------------------------------------
                        Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
                        Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham

                        Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
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