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[Synoptic-L] X-isms

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    Brian Wilson wrote - ... Jim Deardorff replied - ... Jim, The Synoptic Problem is to put forward a hypothesis of the documentary relationship between the
    Message 1 of 16 , Jul 29, 1999
      Brian Wilson wrote -
      >
      >On the other hand, there is no difficulty at all in accounting for ALL
      >absolute and relative X-isms on the assumption that all three
      >synoptists independently copied from the same documentary source. On
      >this view, every Mattheanism is the result of AMt using a word he
      >wished to supply as he edited his source material, and so on for every
      >Markanism and every Lukanism.
      >
      Jim Deardorff replied -
      >
      >But before we can appreciate this argument, Brian, we need to have
      >available to us what you suppose were the contents of the original
      >Greek notes from which AMt, AMk and ALk each copied. From previous
      >discussions I presume its order would resemble that of Mark the most,
      >and its contents mainly that of Mark and Luke. Can it be reconstructed
      >such that there would be no exclusive X-isms for any of the evangelists
      >relative to this original Greek set of notes?
      >
      Jim,
      The Synoptic Problem is to put forward a hypothesis of the
      documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels and to show that
      this hypothesis fits well all patterns of similarities and differences
      of wording and order of material observed in the synoptic gospels. We do
      not solve the synoptic problem by first reconstructing hypothetical
      documents. We do not test a hypothesis put forward as a solution to the
      Synoptic Problem by first reconstructing hypothetical documents. There
      is no need to reconstruct hypothetical "Q" to test the Two Document
      Hypothesis, for example. It is obvious that the 2DH does not fit well
      the Minor Agreements in the triple tradition, for instance, without
      reconstructing "Q" which, in any case, could not be wholly reconstructed
      since, on the 2DH, Matthew and Luke probably coincidentally omitted some
      "Q" material, and since some "Q" material was probably copied by Matthew
      but not Luke, and other "Q" material copied by Luke but not Matthew,
      thus being in Matthew or Luke (but not both) and
      not being apparent as "Q" since it is not in the double tradition. So
      the 2DH can be tested without waiting for the last volume of "Documenta
      Q" to be published, and even then the whole of "Documenta Q" would not
      contain the whole of "Q" posited by the 2DH. In fact, the 2DH has
      already been tested and shown to be unsatisfactory even before
      "Documenta Q" is finished.

      To appreciate the above argument concerning X-isms, all we need do is
      show that X-isms are a pattern which fit well the Greek Notes
      Hypothesis. We do not need to reconstruct the whole of the Greek Notes.
      In fact, on the Greek Notes Hypothesis it is probably impossible to
      construct the WHOLE of the Greek Notes since it is probable that some
      material from the Greek Notes was coincidentally omitted by all three
      synoptists. The pattern of X-isms does fit the Greek Notes Hypothesis
      well since the GNH states that each synoptist used the same documentary
      source, the Greek Notes, and that each synoptist EDITED the wording of
      the material he selected from this source. On the GNH, X-isms are words
      which a synoptist supplied as he EDITED the wording of his source
      material. Matthew supplied narrative TOTE in his gospel, Mark supplied
      adverbial POLLA in his, and Luke loved PROS-used-of-speaking-to (0,5,99)
      and supplied dozens of instances of this in his gospel, and so on, and
      so on. A reconstruction of the wording of the Greek Notes would
      therefore omit many, if not all, of the observed occurrences of absolute
      X-isms. So, for instance, where Mark and Luke read "BASILEIA TOU QEOU"
      and Matthew has "BASILEIA TWN OURANWN", a provisional reconstruction of
      the Greek notes would use the Markan//Lukan wording and not the
      Matthean.

      To produce a provisional partial reconstruction of the Greek Notes is
      easy. (Try doing it!) To reconstruct the Greek Notes as fully as
      possible to the last available word would require a book, and would not
      be appropriate on this List, I would suggest. We do not need to
      reconstruct the Greek Notes themselves to appreciate the arguments for
      the GNH, however, since the GNH is put forward as a hypothesis of the
      documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels. We can test this
      hypothesis and show that this hypothesis fits well the observed patterns
      in the synoptic gospels including X-isms, without having a
      reconstruction of the Greek Notes themselves. In other words, a
      reconstruction of the Greek Notes is not part of the GNH, and the GNH
      can be tested without such a reconstruction having been produced, though
      a provisional reconstruction of the Greek Notes is very feasible.

      On my homepage I do give some indication of how the Greek Notes could be
      reconstructed, as least partially. I would imagine a more thorough-going
      reconstruction of the Greek Notes might be the last chapter but one of a
      book on the GNH one day.

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON

      E-MAIL: brian@... **HOMEPAGE HAS BEEN UPDATED AGAIN**
      SNAILMAIL: Rev B. E. Wilson,
      10 York Close, Godmanchester, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
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