Re: [Synoptic-L] creative?
- In a message dated 7/31/1999 2:37:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< Leonard Maluf wrote -
>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.
Why not state explicitly exactly what synoptic hypothesis you
advocate? Is it not the Griesbach (Two Gospel) Hypothesis? What you
envision is that (1) Luke composed his text using Matthew, and used
other sources in his Central Section as stated by W. R. Farmer in his
"The Gospel of Jesus" (Louisville, 1994) page 20, and also in (ed) A. J.
McNicol "Beyond the Q Impasse: Luke's Use of Matthew" (Valley Forge,
1996) page 152 in their expositions of the GH, and that (2) Mark
composed his text using Matthew and Luke. Fair enough. My concern would
be that the GH does not fit well all the patterns of similarities and
differences of wording and order of material observed in the synoptic
gospels. It does not solve the Synoptic Problem, even though it posits
at least two hypothetical sources to account for the Central Section of
This may eventually prove to be a productive exchange, but so far I find the
above to be a somewhat evasive response to what I wrote. Of course I advocate
the Griesbach or Two Gospel Hypothesis, but there is no reason why I have to
hold it in the same way as the renowned exponents of the view you cite, nor
is the fact that I follow this model in itself really relevant to the point I
made. My intention was precisely to point out that, e.g., the expression you
use above to describe the Griebach hypothesis ("Luke composed his text using
Matthew, etc.") is in itself ambiguous and can mean one of two quite
different things: (1) Luke knew and made use of the text of Matt when freely
composing his gospel or (2) Luke came out with an edition of Matt which
involved extensive editing of the text he was copying. To adopt the first,
rather than the second understanding of a gospel project makes a difference,
even within the overall framework of the Griesbach hypothesis, or any other
hypothesis which presupposes Luke's knowledge of Matt. Adopting the first
rather than the second option above also happens, I think, to undermine the
validity of many of your frequently expounded arguments for an alternative
solution to the Synoptic Gospel. Your initial challenge above is therefore
imprecise: for me to state that I hold the Griesbach Hypothesis is not yet to
state "exactly" what Synoptic hypothesis I advocate. It is to state vaguely
what hypothesis I advocate.
>You seem to envision the project as essentially that of a glorified[BRIAN]
>scribe who is basically involved in copying a text, and making minor
>(or occasionally even major) changes to it in the process.
<<Equally, why not state my Greek Notes Hypothesis explicitly here? This
affirms that each synoptist independently selected and edited material
from the same set of notes in Greek. From this it can be inferred that
each synoptist was to some extent creative but that Matthew and Luke
were more creative than Mark. (I imagine the same inference can be made
on the basis of the GH also?) It can be shown that the GNH does fit well
all synoptic patterns. It does solve the Synoptic Problem.>>
OK. I am willing to admit this. But you attempt to argue much more than this.
You argue that the evidence also EXCLUDES the validity of the Griesbach
model. I am simply pointing out that in order for your logic to be cogent in
this part of your argument, one must begin with what I would suggest is a
questionable understanding of how a "second" gospel writer conceived his
task. Your comments above have not disabused me of this view.
>I think these are two very different fundamental views that yield[BRIAN]
>incompatible results in terms of the kind of analysis we are engaged
>in. Do you agree?
Not really. You seem to be arguing that in some way we understand the
Synoptic Problem to be two quite different things and that therefore we
are not tackling the same issue. I think we have the same view of what
the Synoptic Problem is, and that the chief difference between us is
that we are positing different synoptic hypotheses - the Griesbach
Hypothesis and the Greek Notes Hypothesis.>>
You are still refusing to see a significant difference, even within a given
synoptic theory, in how an evangelist is conceived as having viewed his
project. And I would continue to opine that there is such a difference, and
that this weakens parts of the argument you make against the Griesbach and
other Synoptic theories.
- 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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