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[Synoptic-L] Matthew-Luke verbal agreement

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  • Jim Deardorff
    ... On this subject, I ve analyzed the frequency distribution of this verbal agreement, as to how many strings of 3 consecutive identical words (verbatim)
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 3, 1999
      At 09:10 AM 8/3/99 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote, in part:

      >Leonard,

      >It seems to me that in places Luke agrees with Matthew so closely that
      >the observable agreement could be described as virtually verbatim. For
      >example Mt 3.7-10 // Lk 3. 7-9 and Mt 8.8(b)-10 // Lk 7.6(b)-9.
      >Furthermore, in many places throughout Matthew there is material which
      >is not only to some extent similar in wording but also is in the same
      >order as material in Luke. These similarities, whether virtually
      >verbatim or less close but in the same order, are so significant that it
      >is beyond reasonable doubt that either Matthew used Luke, or Luke used
      >Matthew, or both are descendants of a common documentary ancestor. The
      >relationship is basically documentary.

      On this subject, I've analyzed the frequency distribution of this verbal
      agreement, as to how many strings of 3 consecutive identical words
      (verbatim) there are, how many of 4, of 5.... up through 27, within the Q
      verses. This was to get a better clue as to whether a conclusion like that
      of B. C. Butler was correct, that "But much of Lk's Q material, like Mk in
      general, is too similar in its Gr. to the Gr. of the corresponding passages
      in Mt to be explained as resulting from independent translations of Aram.
      originals" (in his 1969 paper, "The Synoptic Problem"). To do this, I had to
      test what the frequency distribution of the verbal agreement ought to look
      like in general, to see if the one for Mt-Lk looks anomalous. In this
      regard, I've recently finished analysis of a third real-data test case -- a
      very lengthy one in which the translators (into English) were making use of
      the original (German) text while making improvements over the previously
      available English translation. The frequency distribution of verbatim word
      strings in this case turned out to be of a distorted decaying exponential,
      rather than the pure decaying exponential I've obtained from the earlier
      tests that used smaller data sets. A simple reason can explain the
      "distortion," and so I've gone back and re-analyzed the Mt-Lk (and Mt-Mk and
      Mk-Lk) cases with this new test case in mind.

      However, I still find that the frequency distribution in the Mt-Lk case is
      anomalous in its longer strings of verbal agreement, and so also that of the
      Mt-Mk case. However, the Mk-Lk case does not look anomalous to me, despite
      two lengthy strings of verbal agreement. Thus I'm finding that Matthew is
      the middle term here.

      This is reported in Sections II and III of my website paper:

      http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/priority.htm

      The lack of anomalous distribution for the Mk-Lk case should not be
      considered surprising, because the exponential distribution (or a mildly
      distorted one) is found to be expected for ordinary editing and/or
      translating whether or not the later editor is dependent upon an earlier
      editor's text or just upon an earlier original. It seems to require that the
      later editor/translator purposely copy a significant number of lengthy
      strings of text from the existing text he is (partially, at least) dependent
      upon to produce the degree of distortion in the frequency distributions
      evident for Mt-Lk and Mt-Mk.

      So I've found that Butler's conclusion can be justified only after careful
      examination of the frequency distributions of verbal agreement.

      Jim Deardorff
      Corvallis, Oregon
      E-mail: deardorj@...
      Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
      ... Two questions: 1. Is your analysis of frequency distributions, etc., in the Synoptic Gospels based on the Greek text of the Gospels or an English
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
        Jim Deardorff wrote:

        > At 09:10 AM 8/3/99 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote, in part:
        >
        > >Leonard,
        >
        > >It seems to me that in places Luke agrees with Matthew so closely that
        > >the observable agreement could be described as virtually verbatim. For
        > >example Mt 3.7-10 // Lk 3. 7-9 and Mt 8.8(b)-10 // Lk 7.6(b)-9.
        > >Furthermore, in many places throughout Matthew there is material which
        > >is not only to some extent similar in wording but also is in the same
        > >order as material in Luke. These similarities, whether virtually
        > >verbatim or less close but in the same order, are so significant that it
        > >is beyond reasonable doubt that either Matthew used Luke, or Luke used
        > >Matthew, or both are descendants of a common documentary ancestor. The
        > >relationship is basically documentary.
        >
        > On this subject, I've analyzed the frequency distribution of this verbal
        > agreement, as to how many strings of 3 consecutive identical words
        > (verbatim) there are, how many of 4, of 5.... up through 27, within the Q
        > verses. This was to get a better clue as to whether a conclusion like that
        > of B. C. Butler was correct, that "But much of Lk's Q material, like Mk in
        > general, is too similar in its Gr. to the Gr. of the corresponding passages
        > in Mt to be explained as resulting from independent translations of Aram.
        > originals" (in his 1969 paper, "The Synoptic Problem"). To do this, I had to
        > test what the frequency distribution of the verbal agreement ought to look
        > like in general, to see if the one for Mt-Lk looks anomalous. In this
        > regard, I've recently finished analysis of a third real-data test case -- a
        > very lengthy one in which the translators (into English) were making use of
        > the original (German) text while making improvements over the previously
        > available English translation. The frequency distribution of verbatim word
        > strings in this case turned out to be of a distorted decaying exponential,
        > rather than the pure decaying exponential I've obtained from the earlier
        > tests that used smaller data sets. A simple reason can explain the
        > "distortion," and so I've gone back and re-analyzed the Mt-Lk (and Mt-Mk and
        > Mk-Lk) cases with this new test case in mind.
        >

        Two questions:

        1. Is your analysis of frequency distributions, etc., in the Synoptic Gospels
        based on the Greek text of the Gospels or an English translation of them?.

        2. How do the peculiarities of the relationship between two English translations
        of a German text illustrate the actual peculiarities of the relationship between
        three ancient Greek texts? Seems to me like it has about as much relevance for
        illustrating the particular data that "solutions" to the synoptic problem must
        take into account as does comparing two English translations of, say, a Goethe's
        Faust -- which is to say none at all.

        Yours,

        Jeffrey Gibson

        --
        Jeffrey B. Gibson
        7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
        Chicago, Illinois 60626
        e-mail jgibson000@...
      • Jim Deardorff
        ... The Greek. Although I used N-A 21, I later went back and checked the longer strings against N-A 27 and found no change. In any event, a repeat check of it
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
          At 09:08 AM 8/4/99 -0500, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
          >Two questions:
          >
          >1. Is your analysis of frequency distributions, etc., in the Synoptic Gospels
          >based on the Greek text of the Gospels or an English translation of them?.

          The Greek. Although I used N-A 21, I later went back and checked the longer
          strings against N-A 27 and found no change. In any event, a repeat check of
          it would be welcome.

          >2. How do the peculiarities of the relationship between two English
          translations
          >of a German text illustrate the actual peculiarities of the relationship
          between
          >three ancient Greek texts? Seems to me like it has about as much relevance for
          >illustrating the particular data that "solutions" to the synoptic problem must
          >take into account as does comparing two English translations of, say, a
          Goethe's
          >Faust -- which is to say none at all.

          The same principle is involved regardless of the language. If one copies
          strings of words of varying lengths from another's text, while editing and
          making alterations at varying intervals within the text for reasons of
          improved language, and/or altered theology, and/or closer translation,
          and/or use of one's own preferred words, the same sort of frequency
          distribution obtains in either language.

          Please don't get confused between "two" English translations and "three"
          Greek texts. The three are of course only taken two at a time, (a) comparing
          parallel passages of Mark and Matthew, (b) comparing parallel passages
          between Luke and Mark (in which the parallels are much closer than between
          Luke and Matthew), and (c) comparing parallel passages of the "Q" verses.

          Jim Deardorff
          Corvallis, Oregon
          E-mail: deardorj@...
          Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
          ... [snip] ... I cannot help but feel that something is wrong with this. That the particular changes you ascertain have been made due to the reasons you
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
            Jim Deardorff wrote:

            > At 09:08 AM 8/4/99 -0500, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
            > >Two questions:

            [snip]

            > >2. How do the peculiarities of the relationship between two English
            > translations
            > >of a German text illustrate the actual peculiarities of the relationship
            > between
            > >three ancient Greek texts? Seems to me like it has about as much relevance for
            > >illustrating the particular data that "solutions" to the synoptic problem must
            > >take into account as does comparing two English translations of, say, a
            > Goethe's
            > >Faust -- which is to say none at all.
            >
            > The same principle is involved regardless of the language. If one copies
            > strings of words of varying lengths from another's text, while editing and
            > making alterations at varying intervals within the text for reasons of
            > improved language, and/or altered theology, and/or closer translation,
            > and/or use of one's own preferred words, the same sort of frequency
            > distribution obtains in either language.
            >

            I cannot help but feel that something is wrong with this. That the particular
            changes you ascertain have been made due to the reasons you suggest can only be
            asserted on the basis of an apriori knowledge not only of which of the documents
            compared came first, but also of the minds and the intentions of the redactors. But
            you have no direct access to the minds and intentions of the evangelists, and so it
            would seem that you are dangerously close to begging the question here. That is to
            say, what can actually only be a **guess** about **why** particular changes have
            been made (assuming you have assessed them correctly) gets put forward as hard
            fact. And curiously -- from what I can make out from your posts to Synoptic-L --
            your "fact" always tends to justify or be consonant with the "solution" to the
            synoptic problem that you already advocate. In other words, it appears that you
            might be cooking your evidence in support of a predetermined conclusion.

            I also note that we've not seen a word from you regarding either (a) my challenge
            to the reading of Papias re GMatt/Logia that stands as one pillar of support in
            your "solution" to the Synoptic Problem or (b) my questions to you on your dating
            of the Papias testimony, your dating of the composition of the canonical Gospels,
            and whether the Papias testimony on the Gospels can actually be used as you use it
            to indicate a relatively late composition of our Greek GMatt.

            Are we not to hear from you on these matters?

            Yours,

            Jeffrey Gibson
            --
            Jeffrey B. Gibson
            7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
            Chicago, Illinois 60626
            e-mail jgibson000@...
          • Jim Deardorff
            ... relevance for ... problem must ... documents ... You missed the point. There are a great variety of reasons why an editor/translator makes changes, and I
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
              At 11:38 AM 8/4/99 -0500, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
              >Jim Deardorff wrote:
              >
              >> At 09:08 AM 8/4/99 -0500, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
              >> >Two questions:
              >
              >[snip]
              >
              >> >2. How do the peculiarities of the relationship between two English
              >> translations
              >> >of a German text illustrate the actual peculiarities of the relationship
              >> between
              >> >three ancient Greek texts? Seems to me like it has about as much
              relevance for
              >> >illustrating the particular data that "solutions" to the synoptic
              problem must
              >> >take into account as does comparing two English translations of, say, a
              >> Goethe's
              >> >Faust -- which is to say none at all.

              >> The same principle is involved regardless of the language. If one copies
              >> strings of words of varying lengths from another's text, while editing and
              >> making alterations at varying intervals within the text for reasons of
              >> improved language, and/or altered theology, and/or closer translation,
              >> and/or use of one's own preferred words, the same sort of frequency
              >> distribution obtains in either language.

              >I cannot help but feel that something is wrong with this. That the particular
              >changes you ascertain have been made due to the reasons you suggest can only be
              >asserted on the basis of an apriori knowledge not only of which of the
              documents
              >compared came first, but also of the minds and the intentions of the redactors.

              You missed the point. There are a great variety of reasons why an
              editor/translator makes changes, and I was suggesting some of them. You are
              free to think up your own, different ones. That will not alter the results of
              one's analysis of the frequency distribution of verbal agreement. The key
              thing that will alter it somewhat is disagreement on precisely which
              parallel passages to include or exclude from analysis, between pairs of Gospels.

              > And curiously -- from what I can make out from your posts to Synoptic-L --
              >your "fact" always tends to justify or be consonant with the "solution" to the
              >synoptic problem that you already advocate. In other words, it appears that you
              >might be cooking your evidence in support of a predetermined conclusion.

              If you were to examine my track record as a scientist and scholar, you'd
              find that I don't cook up evidence, whether in support of predetermined
              conclusions or not. But naturally the work I've done ought to be repeated by
              someone else who is trustworthy to confirm it. For me the work involved a
              lot of careful scanning and underlining of parallel text, counting of words,
              and totalling them up, and sorting them into appropriate categories of
              length of words in a string. So there was room for occasional error.

              I wouldn't persist in supporting a particular solution to the synoptic
              problem if I learned of significant facts in contradiction that outweigh the
              facts in favor.

              >I also note that we've not seen a word from you regarding either (a) my
              challenge
              >to the reading of Papias re GMatt/Logia that stands as one pillar of support in
              >your "solution" to the Synoptic Problem or

              After you had posted this challenge to me and by mistake failed to send it
              to the list, I let you know about it. Then I waited for you to post it to
              the list so I could then reply. I never saw it, however.

              If you are instead referring to your request to the list for discussion of
              interpretations of the meaning of what Eusebius said Papias said the Elder
              said, I believe there are some 72 different interpretations of the statement
              about Matthew alone. Need I say more?

              >(b) my questions to you on your dating
              >of the Papias testimony, your dating of the composition of the canonical
              Gospels,
              >and whether the Papias testimony on the Gospels can actually be used as you
              use it
              >to indicate a relatively late composition of our Greek GMatt.

              On these, I find a date of the Papias testimony of around 120 to 130 to be
              reasonable.

              On the dating of the canonical gospels, I've presented my views on that here
              before. I place Semitic Matthew around 115 to 120, Mark 2-4 years later,
              Luke 2-4 years after Mark, and Greek Matthew 2-4 years later still. (Note:
              these date ranges may disagree by a year or two from what I stated before.)
              I tend to place Greek Matthew's appearance a little later than the date
              Papias made his statement. However, this latter is not necessary, as Papias
              may have been aware of a more recent Greek form of Matthew but not have
              bothered to mention it, if it, not being first or second or third, may have
              been of lesser importance to him to mention. Or, since he did not mention
              Mark having been written in Greek, he may have felt it similarly unnecessary
              to mention that Hebraic Matthew had been translated into Greek.

              Thus I don't assume any great length of time elapsed between when the
              Presbyter spoke to Papias and when he wrote his statements about Mark and
              Matthew.

              Jim Deardorff
              Corvallis, Oregon
              E-mail: deardorj@...
              Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
            • Jeffrey B. Gibson
              ... Have a look at the message in the Synoptic L Archives from me noted as: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 17:09:42 -0500 where in addition to the questions that finally you
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
                Jim Deardorff wrote:
                At 11:38 AM 8/4/99 -0500, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:

                >I also note that we've not seen a word from you regarding either (a) my
                challenge
                >to the reading of Papias re GMatt/Logia that stands as one pillar of support in
                >your "solution" to the Synoptic Problem or

                After you had posted this challenge to me and by mistake failed to send it
                to the list, I let you know about it. Then I waited for you to post it to
                the list so I could then reply. I never saw it, however.
                 

                Have a look at the message in the Synoptic L Archives from me noted as:

                         Fri, 30 Jul 1999 17:09:42 -0500

                where in addition to the questions that finally you do get around to answering below, I also asked the following:

                And another question: One of your reasons for saying that the Logia was
                "heretical" -- at least from the point of view of late first cent/early second cent.
                (Pauline "authored") Christianity -- is the following chain of reasoning:
                
                1. The Logia and  Papias' commentaries on the Logia of the Lord have not
                survived
                2. Works that have not survived, let alone commentaries on them, are
                works that were suppressed because they were viewed by the "orthodox" as heretical.
                3. Therefore the Logia upon which Papias commentated, and his
                commentaries on the Logia which embodied it, were  "heretical". at least from the point of
                view of the "orthodox"
                
                I'd like to know if you can point to any actual testimony from anywhere
                in the full spectrum of early Christian writings, including those from the Gnostics
                and other heretics, that confirms what, after all,  is really only an
                **inference** (and [also] an instance of bifurcation). Given that there were other reasons than their
                being heretical that early Christian documents did not survive and/or were not
                mentioned in writings that **have** come down to us, your claim would seem to need
                additional evidence before it could be entertained as valid.
                
                So .. . Is your **only** reason for saying that the Logia or works which
                contained it but did not edit it [i.e., Papias' commentary] this chain of thought. Or do you know of
                additional positive evidence, say, any quote from any first to 4th cent source, that the
                Logia Papias mentions, or his commentaries upon them,  were ever actually regarded as
                you claim they were, that is, as heretical or as dealing with and passing on
                heretical material? Funny that Eusebius, who was certainly orthodox and  who was
                well aware of the Logia  that Papias testifies to AND the commentaries based upon
                them,  says nothing like this about them. And yet he is quite ready to pronounce as
                heretical other works of which he was aware which have not survived.


                But I've had no response to that either.

                If you are instead referring to your request to the list for discussion of
                interpretations of the meaning of what Eusebius said Papias said the Elder
                said, I believe there are some 72 different interpretations of the statement
                about Matthew alone. Need I say more?
                No I wasn't referring to this, as I noted above, since this was an altogether different post. And, yes, you need to say more. And here's the reason why:

                As long as I've seen you mooting  your "solution" to the Synoptic Problem,  you have always used as one support for you "solution" the "fact" that a Matthean Semitic Logia, that is to say, a composition or compilation by Matthew in a Semitic language of the Logia of the Lord, is what Papias is testifying to in his statements about GMatt. Or to put this another way, you have always insisted that Papias' testimony is to be taken as asserting that about the Logia as having been composed in Hebrew or Aramaic. For if it does not  say this, your frequent insistence that Papias, or the tradition he quotes, is good external evidence for the existence of and knowledge about what you take to be the source document for the canonical Gospels (i.e., your reputed "heretical" Semitic Matthew) is without foundation.

                Curiously you now admit that Papias' testimony  can -- or at least **has** -- been taken to assert something quite different from what you have claimed it does say (indeed, that it must say, if your "external evidence" is to do the job you want it to do).

                In the light of this -- and, more importantly, if you are not to have one of the pillars you have constantly used to support your case for your "solution" knocked out from under your argument --  it seems incumbent upon you to show that Papias' statement can **only** be taken in the way you have been reading it.

                So, yes, unless you wish to give a tacit admission that the external evidence you keep pointing to as support for your case for a ("heretical") Semitic Matthew is no evidence at all (or is at least not as solid or compelling as you often have made it out to be), you  definitely need to say more. It's either that or give up claiming that there is external evidence for your "solution".

                Yours,

                Jeffrey Gibson
                --
                Jeffrey B. Gibson
                7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
                Chicago, Illinois 60626
                e-mail jgibson000@...
                 

              • Jim Deardorff
                ... Sorry if my delete button became over active and I didn t read far enough into it. But since you re pressing this so intensely, I ll ask others to bear
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
                  At 07:57 PM 8/4/99 -0500, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
                  >Jim Deardorff wrote:
                  >
                  >> At 11:38 AM 8/4/99 -0500, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
                  >>
                  >> >I also note that we've not seen a word from you regarding either (a)
                  >> my
                  >> challenge
                  >> >to the reading of Papias re GMatt/Logia that stands as one pillar of
                  >> support in
                  >> >your "solution" to the Synoptic Problem or
                  >>
                  >> After you had posted this challenge to me and by mistake failed to
                  >> send it
                  >> to the list, I let you know about it. Then I waited for you to post it
                  >> to
                  >> the list so I could then reply. I never saw it, however.

                  >Have a look at the message in the Synoptic L Archives from me noted as:
                  >
                  > Fri, 30 Jul 1999 17:09:42 -0500 [....]

                  Sorry if my delete button became over active and I didn't read far enough
                  into it. But since you're pressing this so intensely, I'll ask others to
                  bear with it.

                  >...
                  >where in addition to the questions that finally you do get around to
                  >answering below, I also asked the following:

                  >> And another question: One of your reasons for saying that the Logia was
                  >> "heretical" -- at least from the point of view of late first cent/early
                  second cent.
                  >> (Pauline "authored") Christianity -- is the following chain of reasoning:
                  >> 1. The Logia and Papias' commentaries on the Logia of the Lord have not
                  >> survived
                  >> 2. Works that have not survived, let alone commentaries on them, are
                  >> works that were suppressed because they were viewed by the "orthodox"
                  >>as heretical.

                  Of course, I did not state this in a way such as to infer that all works
                  that have not survived fall into this category. However, until their
                  discovery a half century ago, some of the Gnostic gospels are examples of
                  those that did. Others that we know only by title also fall into this
                  category, such as the Gospel of Judas (Iscariot).

                  Jeffrey continued:
                  >> 3. Therefore the Logia upon which Papias commentated, and his
                  >> commentaries on the Logia which embodied it, were "heretical". at least
                  from >> the point of view of the "orthodox"

                  I've pointed out good reason why this may have been the case. A key heresy
                  is that the risen Jesus did not die on the cross, but rose from the tomb as
                  he had prophesied, and as the sign of Jonah would indicate, and as the
                  post-crucifixion stories indicate, and by Jesus still possessing a human
                  body that looked the same as before except for crucifixion wounds not yet
                  fully healed, and with a body that still needed to eat. Surely you can
                  understand that this heresy had to be covered up at any cost, and must have
                  been just as offensive to AMt as it still is to some Christans today.

                  >> I'd like to know if you can point to any actual testimony from anywhere
                  >> in the full spectrum of early Christian writings, including those from
                  the Gnostics
                  >> and other heretics, that confirms what, after all, is really only an
                  >> **inference** (and [also] an instance of bifurcation).

                  I'm afraid you're greatly underestimating the gravity of the situation. How
                  could Christian authorities in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries, or even
                  later, allow any document whatsoever to survive that would point to the key
                  underpinning of Christianity (Jesus' death followed by resurrection) to be
                  false or a mistaken premise? How could they, I ask you. The closest I know
                  that a Gnostic document comes to this is in the Acts of Thomas where Judas
                  Thomas and/or others have a couple sightings of the post-crucifixion Jesus,
                  and similarly in the Apocryphon of James. These could be permitted to
                  survive, barely, because one might infer that the sightings were tales of a
                  resurrected Jesus. But please do not infer from my mention of these that I
                  place much credence in their stories. The traditions and supporting evidence
                  outside of Christianity, namely that Jesus and a few others traveled much in
                  years after the crucifixion, ending up in the Kashmir area, are much more
                  convincing. However, the risen-Jesus accounts within the canonical Gospels
                  themselves are quite revealing, in my opinion.

                  >>Given that there were other reasons than their
                  >> being heretical that early Christian documents did not survive and/or
                  were not
                  >> mentioned in writings that **have** come down to us, your claim would
                  seem to need
                  >> additional evidence before it could be entertained as valid.

                  What early non-heretical documents do you have in mind here, which were
                  never mentioned in any writings known to us and/or did not survive?

                  To other list members, it should be evident that I recognize that ancient
                  documents can and have been lost or allowed to wither away. However, when
                  all records of a most important era within the church -- when the Gospels
                  were being written, where and by whom, etc. -- are essentially lost, a good
                  explanation is needed.

                  >> So .. . Is your **only** reason for saying that the Logia or works which
                  >> contained it but did not edit it [i.e., Papias' commentary] this chain of
                  thought. Or do you know of
                  >> additional positive evidence, say, any quote from any first to 4th cent
                  source, that the
                  >> Logia Papias mentions, or his commentaries upon them, were ever actually
                  regarded as
                  >> you claim they were, that is, as heretical or as dealing with and passing on
                  >> heretical material?

                  See above. The reasoning is: The more heretical the facts are, the more
                  important it is to keep them unknown to others.

                  >>Funny that Eusebius, who was certainly orthodox and who was
                  >> well aware of the Logia that Papias testifies to AND the commentaries
                  based upon
                  >> them, says nothing like this about them. And yet he is quite ready to
                  pronounce as
                  >> heretical other works of which he was aware which have not survived.

                  Hmmm; Eusebius did go out of his way to minimize Papias, as has been pointed
                  out by others. It does seem that Eusebius felt that something had to be said
                  about the origins of the Gospels, and so he extracted very minimal, terse
                  statements or paraphrases from Papias. And lest these, or Papias' view that
                  the information written in books (gospels, perhaps?) wasn't useful, seem too
                  unsupportive of the church, Eusebius downplayed Papias's intelligence.

                  >> If you are instead referring to your request to the list for discussion of
                  >> interpretations of the meaning of what Eusebius said Papias said the
                  >> Elder said, I believe there are some 72 different interpretations of the
                  >> statement about Matthew alone. Need I say more?

                  >No I wasn't referring to this, as I noted above, since this was an
                  >altogether different post. And, yes, you need to say more. And here's
                  >the reason why:

                  >As long as I've seen you mooting your "solution" to the Synoptic
                  >Problem, you have always used as one support for you "solution" the
                  >"fact" that a Matthean Semitic Logia, that is to say, a composition or
                  >compilation by Matthew in a Semitic language of the Logia of the Lord,
                  >is what Papias is testifying to in his statements about GMatt. Or to put
                  >this another way, you have always insisted that Papias' testimony is to
                  >be taken as asserting that about the Logia as having been composed in
                  >Hebrew or Aramaic. For if it does not say this, your frequent
                  >insistence that Papias, or the tradition he quotes, is good external
                  >evidence for the existence of and knowledge about what you take to be
                  >the source document for the canonical Gospels (i.e., your reputed
                  >"heretical" Semitic Matthew) is without foundation.

                  How confused have you become? I never said or inferred that Semitic Matthew
                  was the heretical document involved here, but rather it was the Logia known
                  to Papias that can be inferred to have been heretical, and hard to
                  "interpret" (not translate). Semitic Matthew could be spoken of and become
                  part of the tradition without any fear of violating Christian orthodoxy. So
                  it could not have been heretical relative to early Christianity.

                  There may seem to be a possibility that Papias or Eusebius was referring to
                  the Gospel of Matthew, not a separate source document, i.e., the Logia, as
                  having been written in a Hebraic tongue. But that would not explain why it
                  was worth mentioning that there was difficulty translating Semitic Matthew
                  (each "translated" it as best he could). And it would not explain why it was
                  called the Logia instead of a gospel written by Matthew, and would not
                  explain why Papias wrote 5 treatises on the Logia. And would not explain why
                  these treatises did not survive. And it would not explain why those pieces
                  from Papias's treatises that Eusebius did report on contained stories not in
                  Matthew. Hence the possibility that Papias or Eusebius was referring to the
                  Gospel of Matthew itself is very slim. When the internal evidence pointing
                  to Jesus' survival can explain all this as well as the Jesus-in-India
                  traditions, it demands attention. If a word picture would be less confusing,
                  the modified AH gives, in essence:

                  True source (Semitic Logia?) --> Semitic Matthew (heresies removed) -->
                  --> Mark, Luke --> Greek Matthew

                  Since the reasons above indicate Papias was referring to the Logia and not
                  to Matthew's own gospel, I take it as meaning the Logia was written in a
                  Hebraic tongue, and rely on the other external evidence to say that Matthew
                  was also. However, the independent document-tradition given in my website
                  also indicates that Matthew's source had been written in a Semitic tongue,
                  namely Aramaic. I can't ignore it because I've studied it.

                  >Curiously you now admit that Papias' testimony can -- or at least
                  >**has** -- been taken to assert something quite different from what you
                  >have claimed it does say (indeed, that it must say, if your "external
                  >evidence" is to do the job you want it to do).

                  It is more curious if you thought that, having given my preferred
                  interpretation of what Papias said, I did not recognize that other
                  interpretations can be made. However, I give very little credence to
                  interpretations that don't make sense.

                  >In the light of this -- and, more importantly, if you are not to have
                  >one of the pillars you have constantly used to support your case for
                  >your "solution" knocked out from under your argument -- it seems
                  >incumbent upon you to show that Papias' statement can **only** be taken
                  >in the way you have been reading it.

                  If I were to reason that way, I would be demanding that you, if you support
                  Marcan priority, show why the statement from Irenaeus and others that a
                  Hebraic Matthew came first, etc., can *only* mean that Mark came first.

                  >So, yes, unless you wish to give a tacit admission that the external
                  >evidence you keep pointing to as support for your case for a
                  >("heretical") Semitic Matthew is no evidence at all (or is at least not
                  >as solid or compelling as you often have made it out to be), you
                  >definitely need to say more. It's either that or give up claiming that
                  >there is external evidence for your "solution".

                  I'm afraid you're too confused to reason with. It was the precursor -- the
                  source -- to Semitic Matthew that I contend was heretical. AMt removed the
                  heresies when he edited it into the Semitic Gospel of Matthew.

                  Jim Deardorff
                  Corvallis, Oregon
                  E-mail: deardorj@...
                  Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
                • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                  In response to my instance that some evidence be produced that that confirms Jim Deardorff s claim that the Logia referred to by Papias as complied by
                  Message 8 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
                    In response to my instance that some evidence be produced that that confirms Jim
                    Deardorff's claim that the Logia referred to by Papias as complied by Matthew, as
                    well as the commentaries produced by Papias on the Logia, were ever regarded
                    anywhere as heretical or as containing heretical material, and were therefore felt
                    to be in need of suppression, Jim wrote:

                    > I'm afraid you're greatly underestimating the gravity of the situation. How
                    > could Christian authorities in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries, or even
                    > later, allow any document whatsoever to survive that would point to the key
                    > underpinning of Christianity (Jesus' death followed by resurrection) to be
                    > false or a mistaken premise? How could they, I ask you.

                    And I'm afraid that you've over-estimated the power and unity of the orthodox in
                    the centuries you mentioned as well as the variegated nature of Christianity in the
                    empire during these times. If documents and writings from those who were in synods
                    and councils declared anathema could survive, as they have, -- and this from when
                    the church had official imperial sponsorship -- we can easily expect, as the
                    writings of the anti heresiarchs testify -- that "heretical" writings could and did
                    survive and, much as certain orthodox would have wished otherwise -- were not
                    suppressed.

                    [snip]

                    >
                    > What early non-heretical documents do you have in mind here, which were
                    > never mentioned in any writings known to us and/or did not survive?

                    Several of Paul's letters come to mind. And if we take Luke's prologue literally,
                    several Gospels.

                    > To other list members, it should be evident that I recognize that ancient
                    > documents can and have been lost or allowed to wither away. However, when
                    > all records of a most important era within the church -- when the Gospels
                    > were being written, where and by whom, etc. -- are essentially lost, a good
                    > explanation is needed.

                    You assume, of course, that such records were -- indeed, must have been --
                    produced. And even if it were true, which I doubt, as your vaunted Papias testifies
                    that what tradition there was on this was oral, not written, you bifurcate here by
                    assuming that your explanation is the only one that qualifies as good.

                    >
                    > >>Funny that Eusebius, who was certainly orthodox and who was
                    > >> well aware of the Logia that Papias testifies to AND the commentaries
                    > based upon
                    > >> them, says nothing like this about them. And yet he is quite ready to
                    > pronounce as
                    > >> heretical other works of which he was aware which have not survived.
                    >
                    > Hmmm; Eusebius did go out of his way to minimize Papias, as has been pointed
                    > out by others. It does seem that Eusebius felt that something had to be said
                    > about the origins of the Gospels, and so he extracted very minimal, terse
                    > statements or paraphrases from Papias. And lest these, or Papias' view that
                    > the information written in books (gospels, perhaps?) wasn't useful, seem too
                    > unsupportive of the church, Eusebius downplayed Papias's intelligence.

                    Care to look at the other quotations from Papias or the tradiitions about him and
                    his works that are to be found in writings from church fathers other than Eusebius
                    (for these, go to Stephen Carlson's collection of them at
                    http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/ext/papias.htm)? There's still noting
                    in them, whatever they say or don't say about the red herring on Papias'
                    intelligence, that his commentary or the work on which it was based contained
                    anything heretical.

                    [snip]

                    >
                    > Since the reasons above indicate Papias was referring to the Logia and not
                    > to Matthew's own gospel, I take it as meaning the Logia was written in a
                    > Hebraic tongue, and rely on the other external evidence to say that Matthew
                    > was also. However, the independent document-tradition given in my website
                    > also indicates that Matthew's source had been written in a Semitic tongue,
                    > namely Aramaic. I can't ignore it because I've studied it.
                    >

                    This statement is extremely revealing. And it goes to the heart of the matter about
                    whether, despite your claims to the contrary, you have not cooked your evidence.

                    I know you take it that Papias statement about the Logia means that this document
                    was written in the Hebrew tongue. But the point still is whether this MUST be taken
                    this way. And if not, as you yourself have admitted there is doubt, then the case,
                    based on Papias, for an original semitic Logia (let alone a Semitic Matthew) from
                    which all other Evangelists worked has one less leg to stand on. So why do you keep
                    insisting that it must so be taken?

                    Here -- and to speak frankly but without any intended rancour -- is where your
                    statement about your having seen and read an independent document is important.
                    What the above statement statement about the "independent document" spoken of in
                    your web site actually reveals is that your case for your "solution" to the
                    Synoptic Problem is grounded in the very sort of "theological commitment" you claim
                    prevents others from listening to, let alone accepting, your "solution".

                    As your web site testifies, you came across a "document" which, independently of
                    Papias or any other external evidence, you believe to be genuine and then you have
                    read Papias in the light of it. So it is the commitment to the truth of this
                    document that makes you read the external evidence in the way you do. Indeed, it
                    commits you to saying that the external evidence cannot be read in any other way
                    than the way you read it. For Papias can only be a witness to the existence of your
                    document IF he says what you say he says. If he does not, then there is no early
                    testimony, from Papias at least, about knowledge about or the the existence of this
                    document. And the document you keep claiming IS the foundation document of the
                    Synoptic tradition begins to look suspiciously like a fraud.

                    So the question returns to MUST Papias be read in the way you read him.
                    --
                    Jeffrey B. Gibson
                    7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
                    Chicago, Illinois 60626
                    e-mail jgibson000@...
                  • Jim Deardorff
                    ... orthodox in ... Christianity in the ... in synods ... from when ... and did ... Yes, a certain small fraction that were not too heretical must have
                    Message 9 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
                      At 09:17 AM 8/5/99 -0500, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
                      >...
                      >And I'm afraid that you've over-estimated the power and unity of the
                      orthodox in
                      >the centuries you mentioned as well as the variegated nature of
                      Christianity in the
                      >empire during these times. If documents and writings from those who were
                      in synods
                      >and councils declared anathema could survive, as they have, -- and this
                      from when
                      >the church had official imperial sponsorship -- we can easily expect, as the
                      >writings of the anti heresiarchs testify -- that "heretical" writings could
                      and did
                      >survive and, much as certain orthodox would have wished otherwise -- were not
                      >suppressed.

                      Yes, a certain small fraction that were not too heretical must have
                      survived, to let us know that heresies existed.

                      Deardorff had written:
                      >> To other list members, it should be evident that I recognize that ancient
                      >> documents can and have been lost or allowed to wither away. However, when
                      >> all records of a most important era within the church -- when the Gospels
                      >> were being written, where and by whom, etc. -- are essentially lost, a good
                      >> explanation is needed.

                      >You assume, of course, that such records were -- indeed, must have been --
                      >produced. And even if it were true, which I doubt, as your vaunted Papias
                      testifies
                      >that what tradition there was on this was oral, not written, you bifurcate
                      here by
                      >assuming that your explanation is the only one that qualifies as good.

                      A good explanation is needed for all the related events that should have
                      deserved great writeups. Items within this paragraph of my last post do need
                      attention paid to them:

                      >> There may seem to be a possibility that Papias or Eusebius was referring to
                      >> the Gospel of Matthew, not a separate source document, i.e., the Logia, as
                      >> having been written in a Hebraic tongue. But that would not explain [a]
                      why it
                      >> was worth mentioning that there was difficulty translating Semitic Matthew
                      >> (each "translated" it as best he could). And it would not explain [b] why
                      it was
                      >> called the Logia instead of a gospel written by Matthew, and would not
                      >> explain [c] why Papias wrote 5 treatises on the Logia. And would not
                      explain [d] >> why these treatises did not survive. And [e] it would not
                      explain why those pieces
                      >> from Papias's treatises that Eusebius did report on contained stories not in
                      >> Matthew. Hence the possibility that Papias or Eusebius was referring to the
                      >> Gospel of Matthew itself is very slim. When the internal evidence pointing
                      >> to Jesus' survival can explain all this as well as the Jesus-in-India
                      >> traditions, it demands attention.

                      If it is conceded that the Logia were indeed something different than the
                      Gospel of Matthew, then a list of related questions that the modified AH
                      answers but which otherwise still need explanation are:

                      (a) (related to [a] above:) Why was there difficulty interpreting the Logia
                      (each HRMHNUESEN it as best he could), if not due to its heresies, which
                      either had to be avoided or altered into sanctionable stories? (Note: We
                      should not expect that there had been any difficulty in translating the
                      Logia. Surely there was an ample number of clergy/scribes who had
                      backgrounds like Paul's in which they were proficient in both Hebrew/Aramaic
                      and Greek.

                      (b) Why were Papias's remarks about the origins of Matthew kept so short and
                      terse by Eusebius as to be almost undecipherable, unless due to
                      embarrassments for the church? If it was instead due to Papias, not
                      Eusebius, why did Papias write something so short and terse as to be
                      scarcely understandable, unless due to its embarrassments for the church?

                      (c) Why did AMt (and similarly AMk, ALk) resort to naming his gospel after a
                      disciple who could not still have been alive and active at the time Matthew
                      was written?

                      (d) [as in [d] above:) Why didn't the treatises of Papias survive?

                      (e) Why wasn't much, much more that what survived from Papias written by
                      others about the source for Matthew's gospel? Until then, the details of
                      Jesus' ministry were scarcely known. Paul had written extremely little in
                      that regard, and oral tradition probably knew only of the generalities of
                      his healings, star of Bethlehem, baptism, a last meal with his disciples
                      before the crucifixion, crucifixion and rising from the tomb. Thus the
                      source for the first Gospel, which filled in all the details on Jesus'
                      ministry, should have been trumpeted throughout the early churches.

                      When I posed a related question to Brian, relative to his GNH, he replied
                      in terms of "As far as early Christians were concerned, the only momentous
                      source for
                      Christianity's knowledge of Jesus's ministry was Jesus himself during his
                      ministry."
                      That was true until the Gospels suddenly appeared on the scene, many decades
                      later. Some source prompted these gospels, however, and that source should
                      have received much acclaim, if it did not contain much heretical material.
                      Brian went on to say:

                      "Furthermore, if, as the GNH affirms, the three synoptists each used
                      (separate) copies of the GN, then this shows that the Greek Notes were
                      received widely and considered very important by Greek-speaking
                      Christians. Indeed, on this view, the synoptic gospels were considered
                      important precisely because they were recognizably successors to the
                      Greek Notes."

                      So he is placed in a position of maintaining that his Greek Notes were
                      indeed considered very important, were transcribed into multiple copies,
                      were distributed to the three evangelists at least and presumably then to
                      many more, but then somehow never received mention by any writers,
                      evangelists or others, despite the presumption that they were not heretical.
                      This is contradictory, since the more important a non-hereitcal source was,
                      the more it would have received acclaim and mention. Common sense indicates
                      that if such GN had existed, *they* would have received the acclaim of the
                      churches.

                      But of course, similar questions can be posed to Markan priorists as to why
                      nothing was written abut the source for Mark, though much has been written
                      about Mark's redactions.

                      (f) Why didn't the church out of which AMt wrote his gospel extol his
                      gospel, and in the process divulge which church it was? (And similarly for
                      the other churches with which AMk, ALk and AJn were associated?)

                      (g) (related to (c) above:) Why did two or three decades (or more by some
                      hypotheses) elapse between the time the Gospels were written and their
                      quoted verses were cited by name of reference to the attributed name of the
                      Gospel? During that period, the quoters, most specifically Justin, only
                      referred to the apostles in general as having been the writers, even when
                      Mark and Luke were not apostles.

                      (h) Why did the Gnostic gospels come out within the same time frame as when
                      we first hear mention of the canonical gospels? The modified AH answers this
                      by allowing that the Logia, or Matthean source document, had been circulated
                      around to a limited extent before AMt got hold of it. This source document
                      then gave a great boost to the Gnostic movement.

                      The modified AH answers these questions as all being related to the heresies
                      within the source document for Matthew. These questions need consideration,
                      Jeffrey, as well as my earlier [a], [b], [c], [d] and [e].

                      >> >>Funny that Eusebius, who was certainly orthodox and who was
                      >> >> well aware of the Logia that Papias testifies to AND the commentaries
                      >> based upon
                      >> >> them, says nothing like this about them. And yet he is quite ready to
                      >> pronounce as
                      >> >> heretical other works of which he was aware which have not survived.
                      >>
                      >> Hmmm; Eusebius did go out of his way to minimize Papias, as has been pointed
                      >> out by others. It does seem that Eusebius felt that something had to be said
                      >> about the origins of the Gospels, and so he extracted very minimal, terse
                      >> statements or paraphrases from Papias. And lest these, or Papias' view that
                      >> the information written in books (gospels, perhaps?) wasn't useful, seem too
                      >> unsupportive of the church, Eusebius downplayed Papias's intelligence.
                      >
                      >Care to look at the other quotations from Papias or the tradiitions about
                      him and
                      >his works that are to be found in writings from church fathers other than
                      Eusebius
                      >(for these, go to Stephen Carlson's collection of them at
                      >http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/ext/papias.htm)? There's still
                      noting
                      >in them, whatever they say or don't say about the red herring on Papias'
                      >intelligence, that his commentary or the work on which it was based contained
                      >anything heretical.

                      I realize that Eusebius did mention that Papias was one of the three great
                      church leaders of his day (or something similar to this). That makes it all
                      the more puzzling why he would wish to downgrade Papias with the statement
                      about his weak intelligence *unless* Eusebius had disagreed with some or
                      much of what Papias had written and which, therefore, was not passed on down
                      to us.

                      >> Since the reasons above indicate Papias was referring to the Logia and not
                      >> to Matthew's own gospel, I take it as meaning the Logia was written in a
                      >> Hebraic tongue, and rely on the other external evidence to say that Matthew
                      >> was also. However, the independent document-tradition given in my website
                      >> also indicates that Matthew's source had been written in a Semitic tongue,
                      >> namely Aramaic. I can't ignore it because I've studied it.

                      >This statement is extremely revealing. And it goes to the heart of the
                      matter about
                      >whether, despite your claims to the contrary, you have not cooked your
                      evidence.

                      Jeffrey, this is a serious allegation. If you're going to allege that I've
                      cooked up evidence, you need to specify just what it was you think I "cooked
                      up." But please place it in a separate posting so it can be discussed
                      separate of matters that relate more closely to the synoptic problem as
                      defined for this list.

                      >I know you take it that Papias statement about the Logia means that this
                      document
                      >was written in the Hebrew tongue. But the point still is whether this MUST
                      be taken
                      >this way.

                      As you must know, there are those who think that compiled or composed "in a
                      Hebrew dialect" means "written in a Hebrew style," which in turn means
                      "written in Greek using a Hebrew style." So all you need to say is that you
                      support this position, and then that would demonstrate that Papais's
                      statement doesn't HAVE to be taken to mean "written in the Hebrew dialect."

                      >Here -- and to speak frankly but without any intended rancour -- is where your
                      >statement about your having seen and read an independent document is important.
                      >What the above statement statement about the "independent document" spoken
                      of in
                      >your web site actually reveals is that your case for your "solution" to the
                      >Synoptic Problem is grounded in the very sort of "theological commitment"
                      you claim
                      >prevents others from listening to, let alone accepting, your "solution".

                      No, Jeffrey, my commitment has been grounded, from the start, in seeking the
                      truth -- -- historical truth. When that caused me to reject the usual
                      theological commitment years ago, that indicates I place seeking and finding
                      the truth above keeping the faith.

                      >As your web site testifies, you came across a "document" which,
                      independently of
                      >Papias or any other external evidence, you believe to be genuine and then
                      you have
                      >read Papias in the light of it. So it is the commitment to the truth of this
                      >document that makes you read the external evidence in the way you do.
                      Indeed, it
                      >commits you to saying that the external evidence cannot be read in any
                      other way
                      >than the way you read it.

                      Not quite; I've looked at this document as enabling the investigative
                      scholar to see how to make consistent sense out of the external evidence,
                      and why much of it bears some truth, but neither whole truth nor whole
                      fabrication. It should be obvious that various persons can read the external
                      evidence in one way or another way, and nothing you or I can do will or
                      should stop that. Hence I do not, and have not, said what you say I said:
                      "that the external evidence cannot be read in any other way than the way you
                      [meaning JWD] read it." What I have been pointing out is the logical
                      consistency, if theological commitment is put aside, of the interpretations
                      of the external evidence that the modified AH supplies.

                      >For Papias can only be a witness to the existence of your
                      >document IF he says what you say he says. If he does not, then there is no
                      early
                      >testimony, from Papias at least, about knowledge about or the the existence
                      of this
                      >document. And the document you keep claiming IS the foundation document of the
                      >Synoptic tradition begins to look suspiciously like a fraud.

                      That document can be judged on its own merits and by estimating the
                      likelihood that the many solutions it supplies to Gospel problems, both
                      large and small, could have been hoaxed by any scholar, group of scholars or
                      non-scholar.

                      Now, please recall that this thread opened with a discussion of the verbal
                      agreement between Luke and Matthew. And how an analysis of the frequency
                      distribution of the verbal agreement between pairs of Gospels strongly
                      suggests that ordinary editing occurred when Mark was utilized by ALk, but
                      abnormal editing, which produced excessive numbers of lengthy strings of
                      verbal agreement, occurred within both the Mt-Mk and the Mt-Lk parallels.


                      Jim Deardorff
                      Corvallis, Oregon
                      E-mail: deardorj@...
                      Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
                    • L. J. Swain
                      ... But you really haven t addressed Jeffrey s charge. Your view seems to be that some sort of church authority decided that these things would not survive
                      Message 10 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
                        Jim Deardorff wrote:

                        > At 09:17 AM 8/5/99 -0500, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
                        > >...
                        > >>And I'm afraid that you've over-estimated the power and unity of the
                        > >>orthodox in the centuries you mentioned as well as the variegated nature of
                        > >>Christianity in the empire during these times.

                        > >Yes, a certain small fraction that were not too heretical must have survived, to
                        > let us know that >heresies existed.

                        But you really haven't addressed Jeffrey's charge. Your view seems to be that some
                        sort of church authority decided that these things would not survive and took active
                        steps to make sure they didn't survive. As Jeffrey points out even the "Great
                        Church" at this time was not so unified, organized, and monolithic as to carry such
                        a program out, even were they inclined to. Second, what evidence have you that
                        such a thing happened? The argument from silence? They no longer exist therefore
                        they were suppressed? Not much to go on, particularly since we have plenty of
                        "orthodox" writers from the first and second centuries whose works did not survive
                        either. Third, what do you do with those QUITE heretical items which do survive?
                        T'would seem to disprove your suppression theory. Finally, the "orthodox" wing
                        generally seems to have attempted to win the war by debate and preaching (often
                        spreading disinformation), not by suppression-they didn't have the political power
                        to suppress anyway-so what evidence do you offer that second century Christians of
                        the "orthodox" wing did this suppression of "heretics" and then bothered to cite
                        these "heretics" in their writings and argue against them. Preservation and
                        Suppression in the same breath? I find that unlikely.

                        >

                        >
                        > Deardorff had written:
                        > >> To other list members, it should be evident that I recognize that ancient
                        > >> documents can and have been lost or allowed to wither away. However, when
                        > >> all records of a most important era within the church -- when the Gospels
                        > >> were being written, where and by whom, etc. -- are essentially lost, a good
                        > >> explanation is needed.

                        First, "all records" have not been lost, although they are far fewer and less
                        informative than we would have them be for our purposes. But we do have
                        information. Second, "important era" to whom? To the Christians of the second and
                        subsequent centuries....absolutely. Important to the Christians of the first?
                        Doubtful since they saw themselves as the last generation of world history. Why
                        should they preserve these things? Not surprising at all that the seem to have
                        preserved so little. Third, I think your view requires a "text" oriented culture,
                        not an oral one. Even Irenaeus, and certainly later writers, are still talking
                        about the "living" voice tradition of Papias-the claim isn't that the bishop of Rome
                        in 400 has preserved the "TEXTS" of the early church, he has preserved the
                        TRADITIONS of the early church, and the suggestion is, and still is, that there is
                        an important oral element to it. What I'm suggesting is that we see in Papias and
                        Irenaeus and Tertullian the written "hints" of what some of that oral tradition
                        about the early church and its founders was. Regrettably, we in the 20th century
                        are left only with the hints. Fourth, your reconstruction of early church history
                        in which all of this supposedly happened requires us to account for a HUGE change in
                        Christian thought in the late first or early second century wherein those who saw
                        and knew Jesus and preserved the earliest Christian tradents actually became the
                        "heretics" while the upstarts preaching what we now know of as Christianity became
                        the "orthodox". Further, this change happened pretty close to simultaneously all
                        over the ancient Mediterranean and not just in isolated pockets. Evidence of such a
                        change?

                        > Deardorf continues::

                        >If it is conceded that the Logia were indeed something different than the Gospel of
                        Matthew, then a >list of related questions that the modified AH answers but which
                        otherwise still need explanation >are:(a) (related to [a] above:) Why was there
                        difficulty interpreting the Logia

                        > (each HRMHNUESEN it as best he could), if not due to its heresies, which
                        > either had to be avoided or altered into sanctionable stories? (Note: We
                        > should not expect that there had been any difficulty in translating the
                        > Logia. Surely there was an ample number of clergy/scribes who had
                        > backgrounds like Paul's in which they were proficient in both Hebrew/Aramaic
                        > and Greek.

                        Who said that they HRMHNEUSEN because of difficulty? a) If Papias is talking about
                        a Hebrew Matthew, then the word means they translated it the best they could. b) if
                        it refers to a Greek Matthew written in a Hebrew style, then it merely means that
                        folks interpreted it-i. e. they practiced hermeneutics, the very thing Papias was
                        about with his book. There need be, and in fact there is no evidence for, the
                        "difficulty" being anything to do with "heretical" content. c) If as you point out
                        that there were likely plenty of people who were multilingual, we get back to point
                        b, not each one translated, but each one practiced hermeneutics. d) I think you've
                        misunderstood Logia.

                        >
                        > (b) Why were Papias's remarks about the origins of Matthew kept so short and
                        > terse by Eusebius as to be almost undecipherable, unless due to
                        > embarrassments for the church?

                        Or maybe they aren't as "indecipherable" as we think, since a fourth century
                        Christian reader is likely to have been more familiar with early church tradition
                        both by oral and written documents than we are. And if there were "embarrassments",
                        the writers generally rejected the work out of hand and formulated arguments against
                        it, they didn't generally give it grudging credence and use it to tell the stories
                        of their origins. It just seems unlikely to me.

                        > (c) Why did AMt (and similarly AMk, ALk) resort to naming his gospel after a
                        > disciple who could not still have been alive and active at the time Matthew
                        > was written?

                        Well, that touches on my pet peeve, apologies to Leonard. But you assume that the
                        gospel is rather late, if it were even as late as 70 or 80 as most of the Guild have
                        it, Matthew could very possibly have been still alive. Same with the others. And
                        even if they were not alive then, the "orthodox" needed apostolic authority for
                        their documents and views as much as the "unorthodox" did.

                        > (d) [as in [d] above:) Why didn't the treatises of Papias survive?

                        Historical accident? Superseded by other more important writers? Perhaps they have
                        in an uncataloged manuscript somewhere? (cf. for instance, oh, Irenaeus, Catullus,
                        DSS to name just a couple of examples) Apparently there may have even been Latin
                        translations running around in the fourth century (Jerome says that some have said
                        that he translated Papias into Latin which he then denies having done) and Bede puts
                        ol' Papias into his martyrology, so at least that late they were familiar enough
                        with him and there is a good possibility that there is a manuscript out there with
                        his work in it. Further though, there is that nice little bit of the gospel of John
                        which is purportedly from Papias as well....rather than being an embarrassment to
                        the church, it would appear that he was quite orthodox.

                        > (e) Why wasn't much, much more that what survived from Papias written by
                        > others about the source for Matthew's gospel?

                        Perhaps he said no more? After all, if I, and others, have reconstructed the scene
                        accurately, there isn't anymore to be said really. Mark reports what he gleaned
                        from Peter's sermons and is therefore not expected to be a literary work, but a
                        simple document, Matthew on the other hand is a document that is written in a Hebrew
                        dialectical style, and so shouldn't be criticized either. Simple, fits the facts,
                        doesn't import odd theories, and doesn't twist the Greek language.

                        > Until then, the details ofJesus' ministry were scarcely known. Paul had written
                        > extremely little in
                        > that regard, and oral tradition probably knew only of the generalities of
                        > his healings, star of Bethlehem, baptism, a last meal with his disciples
                        > before the crucifixion, crucifixion and rising from the tomb. Thus the
                        > source for the first Gospel, which filled in all the details on Jesus'
                        > ministry, should have been trumpeted throughout the early churches.
                        >

                        This is a grand, grand assumption. I would argue that the details of the last
                        supper, crucifixion, and resurrection, as well as details from his ministry, were
                        VERY well known, part and parcel of the proclamation of the church, ESPECIALLY if
                        Papias is right and Mark put together his gospel from preaching, i. e. oral sources,
                        it demonstrates that a lot was known and was part of church tradition rather than
                        the opposite.

                        >
                        >
                        > So he is placed in a position of maintaining that his Greek Notes were
                        > indeed considered very important, were transcribed into multiple copies,
                        > were distributed to the three evangelists at least and presumably then to
                        > many more, but then somehow never received mention by any writers,
                        > evangelists or others, despite the presumption that they were not heretical.
                        > This is contradictory, since the more important a non-hereitcal source was,
                        > the more it would have received acclaim and mention. Common sense indicates
                        > that if such GN had existed, *they* would have received the acclaim of the
                        > churches.

                        Would they have? I don't think so. You seem to view the early church as sitting in
                        the doldrums, when lo, and behold, suddenly documents appeared!! YEAH! I think
                        oral traditions played a much more important role than is commonly held, and further
                        than anonymous "greek notes" or Q, or Sayings Source, or what have you circulated
                        widely, but left no trace because they were intended as helps to memory, to be
                        supplanted by the documents we now know. There is a definite change in attitude
                        between documents and preaching and the actual documents claimed to be from an
                        apostles' pen. The former, Brian's notes, etc.made no such claim, so we shouldn't
                        be surprised that they, like many, many other preacher's in the first century, have
                        not been explicitly referred to, although I would argue they have certainly left
                        very important traces.

                        > (f) Why didn't the church out of which AMt wrote his gospel extol his
                        > gospel, and in the process divulge which church it was? (And similarly for
                        > the other churches with which AMk, ALk and AJn were associated?)

                        1) Again, who says it didn't? Our sources are so few. Further, there is the
                        tradition that Irenaeus reports, presumably either from Polycarp or from Papias,
                        that Matthew wrote his gospel in the Palestine area when Paul and Peter were
                        preaching in Rome, something that would fit your bill here I think.
                        But why would we expect them to proclaim it? The emphasis in the church is on
                        unity, at least in theory if not in practice, unity within a certain guideline, and
                        that the gospels speak for and to the whole church. Given that environment, why
                        should we expect one church to be claiming supremacy because of its gospel writer
                        rather than its founder?

                        > (g) (related to (c) above:) Why did two or three decades (or more by some
                        > hypotheses) elapse between the time the Gospels were written and their
                        > quoted verses were cited by name of reference to the attributed name of the
                        > Gospel? During that period, the quoters, most specifically Justin, only
                        > referred to the apostles in general as having been the writers, even when
                        > Mark and Luke were not apostles.
                        >

                        Paucity of evidence? Importance of oral tradition and preaching in contrast to
                        written sources? Traductors such as Papias, Polycarp, Ariston, and the like who
                        knew the Apostles going about and preaching and sharing the message they learned
                        from their teachers?

                        >
                        > (h) Why did the Gnostic gospels come out within the same time frame as when
                        > we first hear mention of the canonical gospels? The modified AH answers this
                        > by allowing that the Logia, or Matthean source document, had been circulated
                        > around to a limited extent before AMt got hold of it. This source document
                        > then gave a great boost to the Gnostic movement.
                        >

                        Not a great leap of faith here either. They needed to claim apostolic authority as
                        much as the next group. So they did. No further searching the stars for a theory
                        necessary.

                        >
                        > >> Hmmm; Eusebius did go out of his way to minimize Papias, as has been pointed
                        > >> out by others. It does seem that Eusebius felt that something had to be said
                        > >> about the origins of the Gospels, and so he extracted very minimal, terse
                        > >> statements or paraphrases from Papias. And lest these, or Papias' view that
                        > >> the information written in books (gospels, perhaps?) wasn't useful, seem too
                        > >> unsupportive of the church, Eusebius downplayed Papias's intelligence.
                        >

                        But why extract it from Papias, when other sources were available to him? And
                        perhaps Eusebius downplayed Papias' intelligence because he wrote bad Greek, or
                        because Papias did what many a Christian writer has done: "forgive my stupidity and
                        bad grammar", a form of false humility but certainly very stock by the time Eusebius
                        comes around. Or perhaps Eusebius didn't like his theology. Or as has been pointed
                        out before, Papias is a passer on of tradition, and in Jewish tradition, if one is a
                        reliable traductor one is not "intelligent", the intelligent have a tendency to make
                        changes in things. So rather than a 20th century style insult, it is just as easily
                        read as fourth century compliment.

                        > >> Since the reasons above indicate Papias was referring to the Logia and not
                        > >> to Matthew's own gospel,

                        Perhaps I missed these, but I don't recall in these exchanges anything that
                        indicates that Papias is referring to something other than Matthew's gospel. Please
                        explain how you take Logia and why.

                        Larry Swain
                      • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                        ... To which I replied ... If you had read a little more carefully, Jim, you would have noted that what I said you have done with respect to Papias was NOT
                        Message 11 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
                          Jim Deardorff wrote:

                          > >> Since the reasons above indicate Papias was referring to the Logia and not
                          > >> to Matthew's own gospel, I take it as meaning the Logia was written in a
                          > >> Hebraic tongue, and rely on the other external evidence to say that Matthew
                          > >> was also. However, the independent document-tradition given in my website
                          > >> also indicates that Matthew's source had been written in a Semitic tongue,
                          > >> namely Aramaic. I can't ignore it because I've studied it.

                          To which I replied

                          > >This statement is extremely revealing. And it goes to the heart of the
                          > matter about
                          > >whether, despite your claims to the contrary, you have not cooked your
                          > evidence.
                          >

                          And to which Jim, in response, wrote:

                          > Jeffrey, this is a serious allegation. If you're going to allege that I've
                          > cooked up evidence, you need to specify just what it was you think I "cooked
                          > up." But please place it in a separate posting so it can be discussed
                          > separate of matters that relate more closely to the synoptic problem as
                          > defined for this list.
                          >

                          If you had read a little more carefully, Jim, you would have noted that what I said
                          you have done with respect to Papias was NOT that you "cooked up" (i.e., fabricated)
                          evidence, but that you "cooked" it -- bent or skewed it in such a way that it
                          supports your claim about the authenticity of, and knowledge about, your "heretical"
                          Semitic source for your Semitic GMatthew.

                          Here's what I see you have done. You came across a translation of a document, the
                          source of which was claimed by its translator to be an authentic first century
                          document, written in Hebrew or Aramaic. which detailed the actual ministry of the HJ
                          and preserved his teaching. You came to believe the truth of this claim, that is to
                          say, you came to believe that the source of this translation, though itself no
                          longer extant, what indeed all that was claimed for it.. But knowing that unless you
                          could provide some proof that this document was not a fraud, it would be regarded by
                          others as such, you began seeking in the earliest witnesses to the origin of the
                          Synoptic Gospels something that would prove its authenticity The testimony of Papias
                          regarding what the elder had told him about the origin of GMatthew seemed to fit
                          this bill, as it could be taken as speaking, just as this allegedly authentic
                          document allegedly did, of a Matthew "composing" a Semitic (though notably **not**
                          an heretical) source upon which all other Gospel writers were dependent when
                          creating their own works. So what have you cooked? Just about all the statements of
                          Papias, I'd say, by insisting that they can or should only be read in such a way
                          that they they say the very thing you need them to say if the testimony of Papias is
                          to stand up as the kind of evidence you need if your alleged source document is to
                          be shown as authentic.

                          But I return to my question that I have asked in one way or another all along: Is it
                          not the case, if Papias does NOT say what you have interpreted him as having said
                          (namely, that Matthew composed the Logia in the Hebrew/Aramaic language), that a
                          vital prop that you have frequently used as evidence that your source document is
                          authentic, has to be abandoned? I'm not speaking now of whether you "solution" to
                          the synoptic problem helps to explain any of the features of the synoptic problem or
                          whether there are other reasons to consider it authentic. I am much more narrowly
                          focused on the question of whether the testimony of Papias can be used as you have
                          used it -- as something which authenticates your source document. Papias can only
                          stand as the sort of evidence you take it as being IF and ONLY IF it says what you
                          think it says. If it does NOT say what you think it says, then the Papias statement
                          cannot be used, as you have frequently used it, as evidence for your claims about
                          the authenticity of your source document. So I pose the question once again:

                          Since (a) the value of Papias' testimony on the Logia in authenticating your source
                          document is directly dependent upon Papias' testimony saying what you have
                          previously claimed it says re the language in which the Logia was composed (let
                          alone your recent claim that it says that those who "translated it" found it
                          "difficult" and that this "difficult" is to be equated with "heretical"), then (b)
                          is it not the case that if Papias' testimony does NOT say what you claim it says,
                          its value as something that authenticates as first century your allegedly first
                          century source document is actually nil?

                          Yours,

                          Jeffrey Gibson
                          --
                          Jeffrey B. Gibson
                          7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
                          Chicago, Illinois 60626
                          e-mail jgibson000@...
                        • RAJ88Keys@aol.com
                          The information concerning the gospels has been interesting, I desire information only on Pauline Theology. Please do not send information on the gospel, I
                          Message 12 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
                            The information concerning the gospels has been interesting, I desire
                            information only on Pauline Theology.


                            Please do not send information on the gospel, I have had enough.
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