Re: [Synoptic-L] vaguer parallels, et al.
- In a message dated 7/30/1999 2:46:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< Brian Wilson wrote -
>Leonard Maluf replied -
>Indeed, I would suggest that if we want to solve the Synoptic Problem,
>positing a synoptic hypothesis which accounts for the vaguer parallels
>in the synoptic gospels is a very good place to start.
>I would love clarification on this point. Why do you think, Brian, that
>this is a good place to start? What kinds of conclusions do you think
>could be drawn from such a study?
I think the vaguer parallels are a good place to start to solve
the Synoptic Problem because if we start with them and put forward a
hypothesis which accounts for them it would seem very likely that such a
hypothesis would also account for the closer parallels (since the closer
parallels are relatively easy to explain).>>
This doesn't appear self-evident to me, at least not without seeing the
process worked out in detail.
<< On the other hand, if we
start with the closer parallels and ignore the vaguer ones it would seem
likely that such a hypothesis will account for the closer parallels but
not the vaguer ones. But the Synoptic Problem is to put forward a
hypothesis of the documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels
which fits well ALL the observed patterns of similarities and
differences of wording and order of material in the synoptic gospels. So
we are more likely to arrive at a solution to the Synoptic Problem if we
start with a hypothesis to account for the vaguer parallels than if we
start with a hypothesis to account for the stronger parallels.>>
Again, I would love to see how this works out in the concrete. How in the
concrete does one set out to solve the Synoptic Problem by dealing with what
you refer to as the vaguer parallels first?
Brian, may I also take this occasion to raise here again a (possibly)
unrelated point, since I think it is fairly fundamental, and do not recall
your responding to it when I first posted it a few days ago. I wrote then:
"An important factor here too is the manner in which the entire project is
conceived. I envision the writing of a (second) Gospel as an author composing
a text, and using vocabulary from a known source or sources when it suits his
purpose. You seem to envision the project as essentially that of a glorified
scribe who is basically involved in copying a text, and making minor (or
occasionally even major) changes to it in the process. I think these are two
very different fundamental views that yield incompatible results in terms of
the kind of analysis we are engaged in."
Do you agree?
- Brian Wilson wrote to Mark Goodacre -
>Jim Deardorff commented -
>I am afraid you have not explained why, on the Farrer Hypothesis,
>no synoptic gospel is usually the middle term on the level of wording.
>Do I take it that the Farrer Hypothesis cannot explain this, in fact?
>If so, is that not pretty damaging to the Farrer Hypothesis? Are you
>really stuck on this one?
>It seems you are now moving to the idea that "there is simply no doubt
>that Mark is usually the middle term" in the order of triple tradition
>material (previously you were talking in terms of "SUBSTANTIAL
>agreements of wording", or "MINOR agreements of wording", of two
>synoptic gospels against the third.) I am not at all clear what you now
>mean, I must confess.
>Are you saying that the Gospel of Mark is the middle term as regards
>order of pericopes in a way in which neither Matthew nor Luke are the
>middle term? If this is the case, could you please say in just what
>way Mark is the middle term as regards order in which Matthew and Luke
>There is the well known agreement in order between Matthew & Mark from
>Mt 12 or 13 on and Mk 6 or so on. Then there is the general agreement
>in order between Luke and Mark from Lk 4:31 and Mk 1:21 on to Lk 9:17
>and Mk 6:43. Aside from the triple tradition commencing around Lk 18,
>there is then very little agreement in order between Matthew and Luke.
>Hence Mark is the middle term here.
Your posting was in two parts. I here answer the first part (shown
above), since this keeps to the point I was making. I am answering the
second part in a different posting (and under a different subject
heading), since it goes on to a quite separate matter concerning the
Greek Notes Hypothesis and the distribution of the "double tradition" in
the synoptic gospels.
I agree with your above description of the general agreement in order
of pericopes of Mark and Matthew in the "second half" of Mark, and of
Mark and Luke in the "first half" of Mark. My question is, given these
observations, what makes Mark the "middle term" with regard to order of
pericopes in a way in which Matthew is NOT the middle term, and in which
Luke is NOT the middle term?
In other words, even if Mark is the middle term with regard to the order
of pericopes, how do you know that neither Matthew nor Luke is the
middle term also in this respect?
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