Re: Hawkins's observation and the Farrer Hypothesis
- On 7 May 99 at 15:08, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
> It follows that Hawkins's observation is a difficulty for the FarrerThanks for the attempt to crack Farrer, but I am afraid that the argument, like
> Hypothesis. On the Farrer Hypothesis we should expect that the words and
> phrases characteristic of Mark would occur no more thickly (on average)
> in the peculiar parts than in the common parts of Mark.
any based on Hawkins's observation, is fallacious. I attempted to spell
out elements of this in _Goulder and the Gospels_, Chapter 2 and also in one or
two recent Synoptic-L messages, but I will attempt now to focus specifically on
the argument that Brian poses.
The basic difficulty arises from an important fact that Hawkins overlooked:
that the key way in which we identify a "common" passage is "common"
vocabulary. This means that by definition, there will be more words
characteristic of Mark in the peculiar parts than there will be in the common
Consider Hawkins's criteria for a word characteristic of Mark (quoted from
Brian's message): "it must occur at least three times in Mark and that either
(a) it is not found at all in Matthew or Luke, or (b) it occurs in Mark more
often than in Matthew and Luke together".
Now given that common passages are, largely by definition, those containing
some common vocabulary, one will also by definition have more words
characteristic of Mark in the peculiar parts than one has in the common parts.
This is especially clear in relation to (a) above. There will be far more
examples of words "not found at all in Matthew or Luke" in peculiar parts than
there will in common parts because common parts feature common vocabulary *by
Lest the point is not clear, let me illustrate. Mark 2.14 is parallel to Matt.
9.9 and Luke 5.27b-28. It is a "common part" and we call it a common part
because there is common vocabulary: PARAGWN common to Matt. and Mark, EIDEN
common to Matthew and Mark, LEUIN common to Mark and Luke, KAQHMENON EPI TO
TELWNION common to all three and so on. Notice what is happening: this common
part features lots of vocabulary common to Mark and Matthew and/or Luke.
So in this "common part" we are unlikely to get many words "not found at all
in Matthew and Luke" (Hawkins's (a) criterion). Conversely, we will have many
more words "not found at all in Matthew and Luke" in peculiar parts.
For this reason we need to be careful not to depend on Hawkins's observation in
an attempt to solve the Synoptic Problem, whether in favour of 2ST, Farrer,
Griesbach or any other.
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
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Mark Without Q
- At 03:08 PM 5/7/99 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
>Hawkins's observation is that the words and phrases characteristic of[...]
>each synoptic gospel (when compared with the other synoptic gospels) are
>scattered more thickly over the parts peculiar to the gospel than over
>the parts in common with one or both of the other gospels. (J. C.
>Hawkins, "Horae Synopticae", Oxford, 2nd edn 1909, page 26 ). Is this
>observation consistent with the Farrer Hypothesis?
>It follows that Hawkins's observation is a difficulty for the FarrerThe problem with using Hawkins's observation is that the pattern of
>Hypothesis. On the Farrer Hypothesis we should expect that the words and
>phrases characteristic of Mark would occur no more thickly (on average)
>in the peculiar parts than in the common parts of Mark.
occurrences of characteristic phrases in peculiar part as applied
to Mark is not statistically significant (although both Matthew and
On pages 14-15, Hawkins noted that about 1/13th of Mark is peculiar
but nearly 1/10th of the 357 characteristic phrases are found in those
sections. However, this difference is insignificant at the 95% level.
Therefore, Hawkins's observation presents no difficulty for the Farrer
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