Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Proof by rhetorical questions
- At 02:29 AM 10/4/99 -0500, Steven Craig Miller wrote:
>To: Stephen C. Carlson,And sometimes a rhetorical question is a rhetorical question.
>SCC: << I've noticed a rather distressing tendency in arguing for Markan
>priority on the basis of rhetorical questions. >>
>LOL! I've noticed a rather distressing tendency in arguing for Markan
>posteriority on the basis of ignoring serious questions asked and by
>pretending that they were rhetorical questions. <g> Seriously folks,
>sometimes a question IS a question!
I've reread your post, and those are indeed rhetorical questions.
Like most rhetorical question, they involved presuppositions
that were at issue and not agreed upon. As I saw it, Len Maluf
tried to address the presuppositions, because that is were the
You are not the only one; most supporters of Markan priority rely
on rhetorical questions to advance the argument. For example, I've
found Robert H. Stein, Graham N. Stanton, C. M. Tuckett all employ
this technique. But the rhetorical question is not an argument;
it is a device for shift the hard work to the other side.
Therefore, I challenge you: re-examine your rhetorical questions
and unpack your presuppositions. For example, you asked,
>If one is to assume that Luke used Matthew as his source for the pericopePlease explain why it is important in the first place whether
>of the man with the withered hand (Lk 6:6-11 & Mt 12:9-14), why did Luke
>here change the direct discourse found in Matthew to indirect discourse?
Luke uses direct discourse and Matthew indirect discourse.
(Generally, if change from indirect to direct discourse is
a reliable indicator of priority, then Luke's priority over
the others is assured.)
Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
- Brian Wilson wrote --
>Leonard Maluf replied --
>I would suggest that it does not take much imagination or ingenuity to
>work out very convincing reasons for what Mark did if he used Matthew,
>or for what Matthew did if he used Mark.
>Often true, in individual cases. But overall, the view of Matt re-
>Judaizing an originally Jewish-Christian tradition that has previously
>been substantially un-Judaized by Mark is difficult. One should only
>assume such a tortuous line of development for very good reasons.
>Those usually supplied in support of the relative priority of Mark do
>not fit the bill.
Your argument seems to me to be that, if we assume the Farrer
Hypothesis (or similar), (1) Mark must have un-Judaized his source
material and (2) Matthew must then have re-Judaized this source
material, and that this is "tortuous" and therefore unlikely. What are
the grounds for either (1) or (2), however?
With respect to (1), it is conceivable that Mark un-Judaized none of his
source material, but faithfully used the source material available to
him, however un-Judaic it might be. If Mark wrote first, we cannot
distinguish between tradition and redaction in the Gospel of Mark. If we
had a method for making such a distinction, we would immediately be able
to use it to tell whether Matthew used Mark, or Mark used Matthew, and
the synoptic problem would be solved in a flash. On the Farrer
Hypothesis (or similar), not only do we not know which material Mark un-
Judaized, but we do not even know that he un-Judaized any source
material at all.
With respect to (2), on the Farrer Hypothesis (or similar) since half
the Gospel of Matthew is non-Markan material, it would seem that Matthew
has combined un-Judaic Mark with Judaic source material of some kind(s).
This is neither overall un-Judaizing nor overall Judaizing. It is
So, on the Farrer Hypothesis (or similar), there is no tortuous
development of un-Judaizing followed by re-Judaizing. There is only
conflating of Judaic and un-Judaic material. This would have been very
understandable bearing in mind that Christian communities such as those
at Rome, Antioch in Syria, Corinth and so on, were an intermingling of
Gentile and Jewish Christians, and that the writer of the Gospel of
Matthew would have realized that his book could be copied and circulated
widely to such "mixed" assemblies within weeks of it being written.
The question remains whether it is possible for the advocate of the
Griesbach Hypothesis to give an irreversible directional indicator
showing that Matthew did not use Mark. The alternative question is
whether the advocate of the Farrer Hypothesis (or similar) can give an
irreversible indicator to show that Mark did not use Matthew. I doubt
that either can do this.
EM brian@... HP www.twonh.demon.co.uk TEL+44(0)1480385043
Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE18 8EB,UK
> "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot_
> speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".