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distinctives in early Christian books in Greek

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    Brian Wilson wrote - ... Dave Hindley commented - ... Dave, I was not trying to **deduce** a link between characteristics of early Christian books and a
    Message 1 of 20 , Feb 7, 1999
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      Brian Wilson wrote -
      >
      >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.
      >
      Dave Hindley commented -
      >I do not follow. I can not see any obvious reasons why the characteristics
      >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).
      >
      Dave,
      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
      hypothesis.

      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.
      >
      >Are you suggesting that these were in fact characteristics of such a
      >document, and that later Christians followed the tradition?
      >
      Yes. I am indeed suggesting that the Hebrew/Aramaic Logia attested by
      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.
      >
      >If so, should this not be the topic of a separate thread?
      >
      In my view, no. My method is not to try and deduce a hypothesis from
      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.

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON

      E-MAIL : brian@...
      SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
      10 York Close, Godmanchester, *** SEE HOMEPAGE FOR FIRST DRAFT OF PAPER ***
      Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK Comments please, either off-List or on-List
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