distinctives in early Christian books in Greek
- Brian Wilson wrote -
>Dave Hindley commented -
>I think the distinctives of early Christian books in Greek point back
>to a fundamental document of early Christian writing in Greek. The
>Papias tradition concerning a person named Matthew says that the
>Hebrew/Aramaic logia were translated. I think the fundamental document
>of early Christian writing in Greek was a translation into Greek of the
>Hebrew/Aramaic logia of the Papias tradition.
>I do not follow. I can not see any obvious reasons why the characteristicsDave,
>you enumerated would point to some characteristic(s) of Greek translations
>of an attested hypothetical document (the Aramaic/Hebrew logia document of
>Matthew, cited by Papias).
I was not trying to **deduce** a link between characteristics of
early Christian books and a translation into Greek of the Hebrew/Aramaic
logia of the Papias tradition. I think that it would be a mistake to
start from data and try and deduce a hypothesis from it. I do not think
we can, or should, start from "obvious reasons" in the data. Data does
not provide reasons for its interpretation. What I was doing was putting
forward a hypothesis to fit the data. In my view, this is the way to
proceed. The "distinctives" point back only from the viewpoint of the
Incidentally, the Aramaic/Hebrew logia document attested by Papias is
indeed attested, and therefore is not hypothetical. Its existence is
"cited", as you say, by Papias. It's existence is not a figment of
anyone's imagination. A hypothetical document is one which is not
attested, and may not have existed at all - for instance the unattested
"Q" in the Two Document Hypothesis.
>Yes. I am indeed suggesting that the Hebrew/Aramaic Logia attested by
>Are you suggesting that these were in fact characteristics of such a
>document, and that later Christians followed the tradition?
Papias were translated into Greek, and that this Translation was the
fundamental document of early Christian writing in Greek. I think this
Translation had the "distinctives" (described above) as characteristics,
and later Christians writing in Greek followed this tradition.
>In my view, no. My method is not to try and deduce a hypothesis from
>If so, should this not be the topic of a separate thread?
data. My method is to put forward a hypothesis and test whether it fits
well all the data. If it does, then it is to be accepted. If it does
not, it is to be rejected. Above, the hypothesis I put forward is that
the fundamental document of early Christian writing in Greek was a
translation of the Hebrew/Aramaic logia of the Papias tradition, and
later Christians followed the tradition of this document. It seems to me
that this hypothesis fits the data well.
A fuller version of this hypothesis is found on my homepage. I would
welcome comments on this, either off-List or on-List as preferred.
E-MAIL : brian@...
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