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Re: [Synoptic-L] Matthew-Luke verbal agreement

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  • 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 1 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
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      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 2 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
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        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 3 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
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          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 4 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
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            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 5 of 12 , Aug 4, 1999
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              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 6 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
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                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 7 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
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                    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 9 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
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                      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 10 of 12 , Aug 5, 1999
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                        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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