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Re: not necessarily hypothetical supernumerary documents

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    I m sure this discussion on terminology and methodology is fascinating to no one, but I trudge on. ... I ve looked at my letter. I see nothing in the letter
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 5, 1999
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      I'm sure this discussion on terminology and methodology is fascinating
      to no one, but I trudge on.

      At 09:56 AM 2/4/99 +0000, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
      > The phrase "supernumerary hypothetical documents" was quoted
      >from your letter headed "Complete List of 4972 Theories". This letter
      >implied that supernumerary documents in the 4792 list must be
      >hypothetical. Presumably you meant what you said in this letter?

      I've looked at my letter. I see nothing in the letter that allows
      one to make the implication that "supernumerary documents in the 4792
      list must by hypothetical." As I use the term "supernumerary" (having
      a single descendant), the very first hypothesis contains a non-
      hypothetical supernumerary document: Mark.

      >I think you have to decide, Stephen, whether you allow that documentary
      >sources which are not hypothetical documents are to be included in your
      >4972 or 1488 listings. Can "a" or "b" be a documentary source which is
      >not a hypothetical document? Or do you rule this out a priori? I think
      >this question should be answered so that those using the Carlson
      >Classification will know what it is for.

      I don't really see the conflict. Structurally, "a" and "b" are documents
      whose text is hypothesized for the purpose of explaining a hypothesis for
      the synoptic problem, that is, the existence and nature of the literary
      interrelationship between and among Matthew, Mark, and Luke. That is what
      I mean by a hypothetical document.

      There is nothing to prevent "a" or "b" from being documentary sources or
      attested. In fact, if the hypothesis is correct, they must have existed.
      However, there seems to be a tendency to use "hypothetical" as a term of
      derogation, as in "Q is merely a hypothetical document."

      Based on what you are saying, though, it appears we mean different things
      by the word "hypothetical" and it appears that we mean different things
      by the word "supernumerary." In fact, you're usage of the word "super-
      numerary" appears to be nearly identical with mine own "hypothetical."
      For me, a "hypothetical document" in the synoptic problem is a document
      whose contents is hypothesized to explain the literary interrelationship
      between any two or all three of the synoptic gospels.

      It seems to me what you are doing is: coming up with a hypothetical
      document to solve the synoptic problem and identifying an attested
      document with your hypothetical document. I don't really have much
      of a problem with that, except I don't really know enough about
      Papias' document to feel comfortable in making that identification,
      just as I am not comfortable with identifying Papias's logia of
      Matthew with Q.

      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
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