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SECSOR and the Synoptic Problem

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    Being a member of SBL, I received an invitation to attend SECSOR (Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion). Although I doubt that I would able to
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 16, 1999
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      Being a member of SBL, I received an invitation to attend SECSOR
      (Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion). Although I
      doubt that I would able to attend due to my work schedule, I did
      notice that Delbert Burkett of Lousiana State University is
      giving a paper entitled "Conclusive Evidence Against Markan
      Priority."

      Is anybody familiar with Burkett's work? For example, is anybody
      able to tell me whether Burkett is working from a Griesbach (2GH)
      perspective or not?

      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
    • Brian E. Wilson
      Stephen Carlson wrote - ... Stephen, Sorry I cannot help in that I am not familiar with Burkett s views. It does occur to me, however, that there is no need to
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 17, 1999
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        Stephen Carlson wrote -
        >
        >Being a member of SBL, I received an invitation to attend SECSOR
        >(Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion). Although I
        >doubt that I would able to attend due to my work schedule, I did
        >notice that Delbert Burkett of Lousiana State University is
        >giving a paper entitled "Conclusive Evidence Against Markan
        >Priority."
        >
        >Is anybody familiar with Burkett's work? For example, is anybody
        >able to tell me whether Burkett is working from a Griesbach (2GH)
        >perspective or not?
        >
        Stephen,
        Sorry I cannot help in that I am not familiar with Burkett's
        views.

        It does occur to me, however, that there is no need to work from the
        perspective of any synoptic hypothesis in order to find evidence against
        Markan priority. Burkett may well hold no solution to the synoptic
        problem, and yet still have very compelling evidence against the idea
        that Matthew and Luke copied independently from Mark. All he has to do
        is find patterns in a synopsis which are extremely difficult to square
        with the hypothesis of Markan Priority. He has no need to consider any
        other synoptic hypothesis at all.

        I suppose he could start with the Minor Agreements, and the agreements
        of Matthew and Luke against Mark, and also with Mark, in the so-called
        "Mark-Q Overlap" passages.

        Best wishes,
        BRIAN WILSON

        E-MAIL : brian@... homepage -
        SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson,
        10 York Close, Godmanchester, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
        Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK
      • Mark Goodacre
        ... I am afraid that I have never heard of Burkett either. A small clarification is, however, in order here. In this paragraph, Brian apparently equates
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 18, 1999
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          On 18 Feb 99 at 7:51, Brian E. Wilson wrote (some omitted):

          > It does occur to me, however, that there is no need to work from the
          > perspective of any synoptic hypothesis in order to find evidence against
          > Markan priority. Burkett may well hold no solution to the synoptic
          > Burkett may well hold no solution to the synoptic
          > problem, and yet still have very compelling evidence against the idea
          > that Matthew and Luke copied independently from Mark. All he has to do
          > is find patterns in a synopsis which are extremely difficult to square
          > with the hypothesis of Markan Priority. He has no need to consider any
          > other synoptic hypothesis at all.

          I am afraid that I have never heard of Burkett either. A small clarification
          is, however, in order here. In this paragraph, Brian apparently equates
          "Markan Priority" with "the idea that Matthew and Luke copied independently
          from Mark". Of course one can believe in Markan Priority without holding also
          to Matthew's and Luke's independence of one another -- the Farrer theory.
          >
          > I suppose he could start with the Minor Agreements, and the agreements
          > of Matthew and Luke against Mark, and also with Mark, in the so-called
          > "Mark-Q Overlap" passages.

          Some would argue that features like this make good sense on the theory of
          Markan Priority alongside Luke's use of Matthew.

          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
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        • Peter Head
          D. Burkett wrote a book on the Son of Man in John (I m not sure of the exact title or publisher, possibly JSNT or SBL monographs) and an article on The
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 18, 1999
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            D. Burkett wrote a book on the Son of Man in John (I'm not sure of the
            exact title or publisher, possibly JSNT or SBL monographs) and an
            article on "The Nontitular Son of Man" in New Testament Studies
            40(1994), pp. 504-521.



            ............................................
            Peter M. Head
            Oak Hill College
            LONDON N14 4PS
            peterh@...
            ............................................
          • Wieland Willker
            Articles: ====== Titel: The Son of the Man in the Gospel of John Verfasser: D. Burkett ; U. Schnelle Erschienen in: Theologische Literaturzeitung. - ISSN
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 18, 1999
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              Articles:
              ======
              Titel: The Son of the Man in the Gospel of John
              Verfasser: D. Burkett ; U. Schnelle
              Erschienen in: Theologische Literaturzeitung. - ISSN 00405671, Bd. 121
              (1996), H. 5, S. 453

              Titel: The Son of Man in the Gospel of John
              Verfasser: D. Burkett ; L. Miller
              Erschienen in: Theologische Zeitschrift <Basel>. - ISSN 00405701, Bd. 50
              (1994), H. 3, S. 268

              Titel: The Son of the Man in the Gospel of John
              Verfasser: D. Burkett ; Francis Moloney
              Erschienen in: The Journal of theological studies. - ISSN 00225185, Bd. 44
              (1993), H. 1

              Titel: two accounts of lazarus' resurrection in john 11
              Verfasser: delbert burkett
              Erschienen in: Novum Testamentum. - ISSN 00481009, Bd. 36 (1994), H. 3, S.
              209-232

              Titel: the nontitular son of man: a history and critique
              Verfasser: delbert burkett
              Erschienen in: New Testament studies. - ISSN 00286885, Bd. 40 (1994), H. 4,
              S. 504-521

              Books:
              =====
              Autor/Herausgeber: Burkett, Delbert
              Vervffentlicht: Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1991
              Seiten: 199 S.
              Serien: Journal for the study of the New Testament : Supplement series ; 56
              ISBN: 1-85075-292-3


              Best wishes
              Wieland
            • Jonathan Ryder
              ... Title: The Son of Man in the Gospel of John ... Hope you don t mind me repairing your omission. Jonathan Ryder
              Message 6 of 15 , Feb 18, 1999
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                Wieland Willker wrote:

                > Books:
                > =====

                Title: The Son of Man in the Gospel of John

                >
                > Autor/Herausgeber: Burkett, Delbert
                > Vervffentlicht: Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1991
                > Seiten: 199 S.
                > Serien: Journal for the study of the New Testament : Supplement series ; 56
                > ISBN: 1-85075-292-3
                >
                > Best wishes
                > Wieland

                Hope you don't mind me repairing your omission.

                Jonathan Ryder
              • Dr. and Mrs. David B. Peabody
                Colleagues: For those of you who have expressed an interest, Delbert Burkett s Home Page at Louisiana State University is located at the following URL:
                Message 7 of 15 , Feb 18, 1999
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                  Colleagues:

                  For those of you who have expressed an interest, Delbert Burkett's Home
                  Page at Louisiana State University is located at the following URL:

                  http://www2.artsci.lsu.edu/phil/faculty/burkett/index.html

                  Unfortunately, the information found there provides no clue to the answer
                  to Stephen's question. I have e-mailed Delbert directly encouraging him
                  to consider posting his SECSOR paper to the WEB, but have not yet received
                  a response.

                  David B. Peabody Professor and Chair
                  Department of Religion and Philosophy
                  Lincoln, NE
                  peabody@...
                  or
                  dbp@...
                • Phill Gross
                  ... 56 ... This book is referenced briefly in A Survey of Recent Literature of the Fourth Gospel by James F. McGrath (reachable from the Theological
                  Message 8 of 15 , Feb 18, 1999
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                    >Title: The Son of Man in the Gospel of John
                    >> Autor/Herausgeber: Burkett, Delbert
                    >> Vervffentlicht: Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1991
                    >> Seiten: 199 S.
                    >> Serien: Journal for the study of the New Testament : Supplement series ;
                    56
                    >> ISBN: 1-85075-292-3

                    This book is referenced briefly in "A Survey of Recent Literature of the
                    Fourth Gospel" by James F. McGrath (reachable from the Theological Gathering
                    web site, http://private.fuller.edu/~talarm/ ).
                  • Brian E. Wilson
                    Mark Goodacre wrote - ... Mark, Yes. Sorry! I was indeed wrongly assuming that Markan Priority referred to the Two Document Hypothesis only. (My method is to
                    Message 9 of 15 , Feb 18, 1999
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                      Mark Goodacre wrote -
                      >
                      >I am afraid that I have never heard of Burkett either. A small clarification
                      >is, however, in order here. In this paragraph, Brian apparently equates
                      >"Markan Priority" with "the idea that Matthew and Luke copied independently
                      >from Mark". Of course one can believe in Markan Priority without holding also
                      >to Matthew's and Luke's independence of one another -- the Farrer theory.
                      >
                      Mark,
                      Yes. Sorry! I was indeed wrongly assuming that "Markan Priority"
                      referred to the Two Document Hypothesis only. (My method is to consider
                      one synoptic hypothesis at a time.) I suppose Markan Priority is that
                      both Matthew and Luke are documentary descendants of Mark. You are right
                      that this goes beyond just the Two Document Hypothesis. Markan Priority
                      includes hypotheses in which Matthew and Luke are not independent
                      because Luke used Matthew, or because Matthew used Luke. Markan
                      Priority would also take in R. T. Fleddermann's Hypothesis that all
                      three synoptist used "Q" and Matthew and Luke independently used Mark.
                      Likewise the Deutero-Mark Hypothesis in which Matthew and Luke
                      independently used Mark. And so on. There is an indefinite number of
                      synoptic hypotheses in which both Matthew and Luke are documentary
                      descendants of Mark, whether or not independently so. Markan Priority
                      covers a multitude of synoptic hypotheses on this understanding.

                      If we had been asked to consider one synoptic hypothesis, then it might
                      have been possible to point to patterns of similarities and differences
                      in the synoptic gospels which the synoptic hypothesis can fit only with
                      the greatest difficulty. In this sense, it might have been possible to
                      find "conclusive evidence against" (or as near conclusive as we can get)
                      the one synoptic hypothesis being considered.

                      But if we are considering an indefinite number of synoptic hypotheses
                      under the umbrella of "Markan Priority", then I do not see that such
                      conclusive evidence is possible from the data supplied by the synoptic
                      gospels themselves.

                      Could it be, therefore, that Burkett considers that he has evidence from
                      **outside** the synoptic gospels which is conclusively against Markan
                      Priority? From the Gospel of John, for instance?

                      Best wishes,
                      BRIAN WILSON

                      E-MAIL : brian@... homepage -
                      SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson,
                      10 York Close, Godmanchester, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
                      Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK
                    • Stephen C. Carlson
                      ... Thanks to Peter and the others who have responded. I may be going out on a limb here, but I m wondering if Burkett has developed an argument against
                      Message 10 of 15 , Feb 18, 1999
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                        At 10:51 AM 2/18/99 -0000, Peter Head wrote:
                        >D. Burkett wrote a book on the Son of Man in John (I'm not sure of the
                        >exact title or publisher, possibly JSNT or SBL monographs) and an
                        >article on "The Nontitular Son of Man" in New Testament Studies
                        >40(1994), pp. 504-521.

                        Thanks to Peter and the others who have responded. I may be going out
                        on a limb here, but I'm wondering if Burkett has developed an argument
                        against Markan priority based on the use of the Son of Man.

                        If so, I'm sure he and others would be interested in a recent book from
                        SNTS Monograph Series 102: Maurice Casey, ARAMAIC SOURCES OF MARK'S GOSPEL
                        (Cambridge: University Press, 1998). Casey proposes a rigorous methodology
                        to reconstruct the putative Aramaic original to Jesus' sayings. Casey
                        devotes a chapter to Mk 9:11-13 and eventually points out that, based
                        on his analysis, it provides "an additional argument for the priority of
                        Mark" (p.136). If people are interested, I can summarize the argument.

                        Interestingly, Casey interacts with this article of Burkett's cited
                        by Peter over the span of four pages (pp.118-121).

                        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
                      • Mark Goodacre
                        ... Of course one of the difficulties is that in the literature Markan Priority has largely come to mean the indepedent use of Mark by Matthew and Luke .
                        Message 11 of 15 , Feb 19, 1999
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                          On 18 Feb 99 at 21:42, Brian E. Wilson wrote:

                          > Yes. Sorry! I was indeed wrongly assuming that "Markan Priority"
                          > referred to the Two Document Hypothesis only. (My method is to consider
                          > one synoptic hypothesis at a time.) I suppose Markan Priority is that
                          > both Matthew and Luke are documentary descendants of Mark. You are right
                          > that this goes beyond just the Two Document Hypothesis.

                          Of course one of the difficulties is that in the literature "Markan Priority"
                          has largely come to mean "the indepedent use of Mark by Matthew and Luke". It
                          does cause a problem for advocates of the Farrer theory because they can be
                          talked out of the equation before any analysis of the texts is under way. I do
                          not have it in front of me but I seem to remember that in his recent book (_The
                          God of Jesus: The Historical Jesus and the Search for Meaning_, Morehouse,
                          1998) Stephen Patterson practically defines Markan Priority as independent use
                          of Mark by Matthew and Luke, then proceeding to ask the question, "Then how do
                          we account for this double tradition material". Under such circumstances, the
                          postulation of Q becomes inevitable.

                          Mark
                          --------------------------------------
                          Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                          Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                          University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
                          Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

                          http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                          Aseneth Home Page
                          Recommended New Testament Web Resources
                          World Without Q
                        • Brian E. Wilson
                          Mark Goodacre wrote - ... Mark, Not really. The Boismard Hypothesis and the Proto-Mark Hypothesis are just two examples of the thesis of Luke s independence
                          Message 12 of 15 , Mar 3, 1999
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                            Mark Goodacre wrote -
                            >
                            >it is clear that the move (conjectural emendation of the text) is
                            >simply prompted by the need to remove the MA - (TIS ESTIN hO PAISAJ SE)
                            >that is so difficult for the thesis of Luke's independence from
                            >Matthew.
                            >
                            Mark,
                            Not really. The Boismard Hypothesis and the Proto-Mark
                            Hypothesis are just two examples of the thesis of Luke's independence
                            from Matthew, and yet the MA is no difficulty at all for these
                            hypotheses. The MA is therefore no difficulty for the thesis of Luke's
                            independence from Matthew, but is perfectly consistent with it.

                            Of course, neither is the MA a difficulty for the Farrer Hypothesis
                            which holds that Luke was not independent from Matthew. But we are no
                            more justified in equating the Farrer Hypothesis with the thesis that
                            Luke is not independent from Matthew, than in equating the Two Document
                            Hypothesis with the thesis of Markan Priority, are we? The Two Document
                            Hypothesis is not the sum-total of Markan Priority (as pointed out by
                            yourself in a recent message), but neither is the Farrer Hypothesis the
                            sum-total of Luke's non-independence from Matthew.

                            Dozens of synoptic hypotheses assume the thesis of Luke's non-
                            independence from Matthew, just as dozens assume the thesis of Markan
                            Priority. Utter confusion reigns, however, if we try arguing that the MA
                            is a difficulty for either type of hypothesis, instead of focussing our
                            attention on one specified hypothesis whatever the general type(s) to
                            which it may happen to belong.

                            We should therefore resist the temptation to use data to try and test
                            any class of synoptic hypotheses as a whole. We should take one synoptic
                            hypothesis at a time, and test just that one against the data.

                            Using this method, it is clear that the MA is a difficulty for the Two
                            Document Hypothesis (which is one synoptic hypothesis), not for the
                            thesis of Luke's independence from Matthew (which is a class of synoptic
                            hypotheses).

                            Best wishes,
                            BRIAN WILSON

                            E-MAIL : brian@... homepage -
                            SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson,
                            10 York Close, Godmanchester, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
                          • Mark Goodacre
                            ... Agreed, though of course the context within which Neirynck, Tuckett and Goulder are working in the discussion of this MA is one that accepts Markan
                            Message 13 of 15 , Mar 4, 1999
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                              I had written:

                              > >it is clear that the move (conjectural emendation of the text) is
                              > >simply prompted by the need to remove the MA - (TIS ESTIN hO PAISAJ SE)
                              > >that is so difficult for the thesis of Luke's independence from
                              > >Matthew.

                              On 3 Mar 99 at 16:26, Brian E. Wilson wrote (some omitted):

                              > Not really. The Boismard Hypothesis and the Proto-Mark
                              > Hypothesis are just two examples of the thesis of Luke's independence
                              > from Matthew, and yet the MA is no difficulty at all for these
                              > hypotheses. The MA is therefore no difficulty for the thesis of Luke's
                              > independence from Matthew, but is perfectly consistent with it.

                              Agreed, though of course the context within which Neirynck, Tuckett and Goulder
                              are working in the discussion of this MA is one that accepts Markan Priority
                              but disagrees over whether or not Matthew and Luke are independent, hence my
                              framing it in these terms. If one wants a clearer expression of the point,
                              the MA at Mark 14.65 is problematic for the Two-Source Theory as classically
                              defined, viz. Markan Priority + the independence of Matthew and Luke.

                              Mark
                              --------------------------------------
                              Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                              Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                              University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
                              Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

                              http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                              Aseneth Home Page
                              Recommended New Testament Web Resources
                              World Without Q
                            • Brian E. Wilson
                              Mark Goodacre wrote - ... Mark, Unfortunately your formula does not define the Two Document Hypothesis, does it? Nor do I find that this is how Streeter and
                              Message 14 of 15 , Mar 5, 1999
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                                Mark Goodacre wrote -
                                >
                                >the context within which Neirynck, Tuckett and Goulder are working in
                                >the discussion of this MA is one that accepts Markan Priority but
                                >disagrees over whether or not Matthew and Luke are independent, hence
                                >my framing it in these terms. If one wants a clearer expression of
                                >the point, the MA at Mark 14.65 is problematic for the Two-Source
                                >Theory as classically defined, viz. Markan Priority + the independence
                                >of Matthew and Luke.
                                >
                                Mark,
                                Unfortunately your formula does not define the Two Document
                                Hypothesis, does it? Nor do I find that this is how Streeter and others
                                "classically" attempted to define the 2DH.

                                There are plenty of other synoptic hypotheses which affirm both Markan
                                Priority and the independence of Matthew and Luke. For instance Zeller's
                                Hypothesis (see diagram on page xxxv of J. S. Kloppenborg, "Q
                                Parallels", Sonoma, 1951), and Fleddermann's Hypothesis (see diagram on
                                page 300 of H. T. Fleddermann, "Mark and Q", Leuven, 1995). And so on.

                                The formula "Markan Priority + the independence of Matthew and Luke"
                                represents a whole class of synoptic hypotheses. We cannot define a
                                particular hypothesis merely by assigning it to this class. The same
                                would apply to the formula - "Markan Priority + the non-independence of
                                Matthew and Luke". This does not define the Farrer Hypothesis, or any
                                other synoptic hypothesis.

                                More generally, it is mis-leading to suggest that any synoptic
                                hypothesis is defined by assigning it to any class of synoptic
                                hypotheses.

                                Defining a synoptic hypothesis requires that the hypothesis itself is
                                uniquely identified by explicitly stating every documentary source, and
                                every documentary linkage, it contains. Otherwise confusion reigns.

                                It seems to me that the ideas of "Markan Priority" and "the independence
                                of Matthew and Luke" have nothing to do with the point you are making
                                above. The argument can simply be put as follows - The MA at Mk 14.65
                                is a difficulty for the Two Document Hypothesis in the sense that the
                                2DH cannot easily account for the occurrence of this agreement of
                                Matthew and Luke against Mark within a passage in which there are many
                                agreements of Matthew and/or Luke with Mark. It is not a difficulty for
                                the Farrer Hypothesis, however, since the MA is easily accounted for by
                                the FH as the result of Matthew choosing to make an addition to the
                                wording of Mark as he used Mark, and Luke choosing to copy this
                                additional wording from Matthew as he used both Matthew and Mark.

                                Best wishes,
                                BRIAN WILSON

                                E-MAIL : brian@... homepage -
                                SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson,
                                10 York Close, Godmanchester, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
                              • Mark Goodacre
                                Thankyou, Brian, for holding me to account and encouraging me to express myself more clearly. Of course you are right that there is a class of (related)
                                Message 15 of 15 , Mar 5, 1999
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                                  Thankyou, Brian, for holding me to account and encouraging me to express myself
                                  more clearly. Of course you are right that there is a class of (related)
                                  hypotheses that believe in Markan Priority + the independence of Matthew and
                                  Luke. However, I would reiterate that the context within which I was
                                  discussing the point was that defined by the views of Tuckett, Neirynck and
                                  Goulder, those who accept Markan Priority (in the sense of Matthean and Lukan
                                  dependence on something closely akin to our canonical Mark) but disagree over
                                  whether Luke knew Matthew.

                                  Mark
                                  --------------------------------------
                                  Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                                  Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                                  University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
                                  Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

                                  http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                                  Aseneth Home Page
                                  Recommended New Testament Web Resources
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