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Re: [Synoptic-L] Mark as a story teller

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 10/28/1999 7:18:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ron.price@virgin.net writes:
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 28, 1999
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      In a message dated 10/28/1999 7:18:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      ron.price@... writes:

      << Leonard,
      I fully agree that he was a superb story teller.
      But it is surely rare for outstanding imaginative skill to be shown
      where one author is plagiarizing the work of another. Genius thrives on
      freedom. The delicate touch: ETI hENA EICEN in Mark 12:6 tends to
      confirm my view that the Vinyard parable was composed by Au_Mark and
      merely copied/edited by Au_Matt and Au_Luke.
      >>

      I don't see why your view should be confirmed by this datum at all. You would
      have to spell this one out for me. My impression is that your conviction of
      Markan priority is so strong that it doesn't need much confirmation. I would
      love to know (but should probably be resigned to never learning) on what it
      is really based. To be honest, I don't believe that the above evidence can
      have much to do with it. On the broader question of genius and freedom, are
      there not numerous films out there today that reflect great story-telling and
      drama-producing genius, but that are known to be based on pre-existing,
      literary models? Of course there are; so the objection fails -- but nice try
      anyway!

      Leonard Maluf
    • Steven Craig Miller
      To: Leonard Maluf, Ron Price, et al., LM: RP:
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 29, 1999
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        To: Leonard Maluf, Ron Price, et al.,

        LM: << Mark was an extremely good story teller. >>

        RP: << I fully agree that he was a superb story teller. But it is surely
        rare for outstanding imaginative skill to be shown where one author is
        plagiarizing the work of another. Genius thrives on freedom. >>

        LM: << On the broader question of genius and freedom, are there not
        numerous films out there today that reflect great story-telling and
        drama-producing genius, but that are known to be based on pre-existing,
        literary models? Of course there are ... >>

        Would either of you want to deny that Matthew and Luke were superb story
        tellers as well?

        I would note that the Griesbach hypothesis seems to suggest that Mark
        wasn't much of a story teller, being largely a plagiarizer of Matthew and
        Luke, offering little new of his own. On the other hand, advocates of the
        Two-Source hypothesis can insist that all three synoptic authors were
        superb story tellers in their own right. For unlike Mark according to the
        Griesbach hypothesis, Matthew and Luke according to the Two-Source
        hypothesis shape a number of different sources, each in their own way, and
        both adding a lot to their stories. Thinking that Mark was merely a
        condenser of Matthew's gospel, Mark was largely ignored by Christian
        tradition. It wasn't until the Two-Source hypothesis that Mark truly became
        popular and was seen as a story teller in his own right.

        -Steven Craig Miller
        Alton, Illinois (USA)
        scmiller@...

        "God does not exist. He [sic] is being-itself beyond essence and existence.
        Therefore, to argue that God exists is to deny him" (Paul Tillich,
        "Systematic Theology," 1:105).
      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 10/29/1999 5:29:25 AM Eastern Daylight Time, scmiller@www.plantnet.com writes:
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 29, 1999
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          In a message dated 10/29/1999 5:29:25 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
          scmiller@... writes:

          <<
          To: Leonard Maluf, Ron Price, et al.,

          LM: << Mark was an extremely good story teller. >>

          RP: << I fully agree that he was a superb story teller. But it is surely
          rare for outstanding imaginative skill to be shown where one author is
          plagiarizing the work of another. Genius thrives on freedom. >>

          LM: << On the broader question of genius and freedom, are there not
          numerous films out there today that reflect great story-telling and
          drama-producing genius, but that are known to be based on pre-existing,
          literary models? Of course there are ... >>

          [Steven]
          << Would either of you want to deny that Matthew and Luke were superb story
          tellers as well?>>

          Steven, you really haven't understood my point, I think. Matthew and Luke can
          count good story-telling talent among their numerous literary capacities,
          yes, but their story-telling abilities are exhibited primarily in their
          respective "special" material [which Mark chose not to include, partly
          because not much could be done here by way of improving what was already
          masterfully done]. The COMMON synoptic material is what I am focusing on when
          I make the observation that in virtually every case Mark's text is
          distinguished from the others in terms of having further developed the common
          material in the direction of good, popularly directed, dramatized
          story-telling. So far as I can see, this is Mark's only endowment, but it
          certainly has sufficient value, given his audience. The more highly literary
          types who were the church's early commentators understandably found little in
          Mark that would specially appeal to them, so they virtually ignored it. I
          sympathize with this lack of appeal. If we had heard at all from people of
          the social and literary level of Mark's intended audience in antiquity, we
          likely would have rave reviews from the early period on that Gospel as well .
          In general, these people didn't write. So we don't.

          << I would note that the Griesbach hypothesis seems to suggest that Mark
          wasn't much of a story teller, being largely a plagiarizer of Matthew and
          Luke, offering little new of his own.>>

          What little he offers, though, is precisely in the direction of
          story-telling, as I said above. Is this becoming a bit more clear?


          <<On the other hand, advocates of the
          Two-Source hypothesis can insist that all three synoptic authors were
          superb story tellers in their own right.>>

          I would argue that to say Matt and Luke are good story-tellers, even superb
          story tellers (which is probably an exaggeration) says too little about their
          real talent, which is more in the direction of sophisticated haggadah, based
          on incredible knowledge of and research in the Old Testament writings.

          << Thinking that Mark was merely a
          condenser of Matthew's gospel, Mark was largely ignored by Christian
          tradition. It wasn't until the Two-Source hypothesis that Mark truly became
          popular and was seen as a story teller in his own right.
          >>

          I am quite aware of this, and have commented on it indirectly above. What I
          would like to know is why the Two-Source hypothesis in general, and Markan
          priority in particular, ever became the dominant view in scholarship at all.
          I haven't seen good arguments in its favor as yet (only the bad ones,
          repeated by Streeter). And I don't find it appealing at face value in the
          least. So I need good arguments in support of its validity before I move from
          what to me is a reasonable overall hypothesis: that Matt wrote first for a
          Jewish Christian audience, was followed some years later by Luke with a
          Pauline perspective and agenda, and finally by Mark, writing for an audience
          which may have been divided between advocates of each of the earlier Gospels
          - Mark, who drew from, and thus indirectly approved both, and at the same
          time dramatized a basic Gospel narrative common to the two earlier gospels in
          a way that would appeal to a popular Roman audience and instill in them the
          urgency of accepting a Christianity that meant a willingness to follow Jesus
          to death in a situation of persecution.

          Leonard Maluf
        • Steven Craig Miller
          To: Leonard Maluf,
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 29, 1999
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            To: Leonard Maluf,

            << What I would like to know is why the Two-Source hypothesis in general,
            and Markan priority in particular, ever became the dominant view in
            scholarship at all. I haven't seen good arguments in its favor as yet (only
            the bad ones, repeated by Streeter). And I don't find it appealing at face
            value in the least. So I need good arguments in support of its validity
            before I move from what to me is a reasonable overall hypothesis: that Matt
            wrote first for a Jewish Christian audience, was followed some years later
            by Luke with a Pauline perspective and agenda, and finally by Mark, writing
            for an audience which may have been divided between advocates of each of
            the earlier Gospels - Mark, who drew from, and thus indirectly approved
            both, and at the same time dramatized a basic Gospel narrative common to
            the two earlier gospels in a way that would appeal to a popular Roman
            audience and instill in them the urgency of accepting a Christianity that
            meant a willingness to follow Jesus to death in a situation of persecution. >>

            What I've noticed is how often advocates of a hypothesis are partisan on
            this issue. Arguments which resonate with one group, often fall flat and
            are deemed meaningless by advocates of other 'solutions' to the Synoptic
            problem. It often seems similar to watching (in the USA) a right-wing
            Republican debate policy with a left-wing Democrat. What resonates with one
            group, simply doesn't resonate with others. You claim that you haven't seen
            any "good arguments" and only "bad ones" for Markan priority and the
            Two-Source hypothesis. But such a statement is simply partisan rhetoric,
            for a number (indeed a majority) of competent scholars have deemed the
            arguments for the Two-Source hypothesis to be "good." (Actually, I think
            they would claim merely that the Two-Source hypothesis is merely "more
            probable" than rival hypotheses.)

            No doubt for every reason I could offer in support of the Two-Source
            hypothesis, you could offer a counter argument against the Two-Source
            hypothesis. Nonetheless there are a few issues about which I'm curious. So
            I will raise them, not out of some foolish belief that my arguments are
            going to convince anyone (as if I would succeed where greater minds than
            mine have failed), but because I'm curious to understand other points of view.

            (a) One reason why I hold to Markan priority is on account that Mark
            contains neither (so called) Infancy Narratives, nor Post-Empty-Tomb
            Stories. And it seems to me more reasonable to assume that if Mark had
            known some Infancy Narratives or Post-Empty-Tomb Stories, he would have
            included them.

            (b) One reason why I hold that Luke could not have used Matthew's gospel as
            a source is on account of their Infancy Narratives, which simply contradict
            one another. And it seems to me more reasonable to assume that Matthew and
            Luke simply had different traditions and was unaware of the other, than to
            assume that Luke had two traditions and deemed the non-Matthean tradition
            historical and Matthean one as lacking historicity.

            (c) Another reason why I hold that Luke could not have used Matthew's
            gospel as a source is on account of their (so called) "Lord's Prayer." It
            is simply a fact that every Christian church, at every time throughout the
            history of Christendom, and at every place, has generally preferred
            liturgically the Matthean version of the "Lord's Prayer" (with a few minor
            modifications and an added doxology) over the Lukan version. Thus it seems
            to me more reasonable to assume that if Luke knew two editions of the
            "Lord's Prayer," he too (like the rest of Christendom) would have preferred
            the Matthean version over the non-Matthean version.

            -Steven Craig Miller
            Alton, Illinois (USA)
            scmiller@...

            "And behold, a certain one of his disciples standing by said unto him,
            'Rabbi' (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), 'how can these things
            be, if they are toothless?' And Jesus answered and said, 'O thou of little
            faith, trouble not thyself; if haply they will be lacking any, teeth will
            be provided'" (from the Coleman-Norton agrahon).
          • Zeba Crook
            I would like to add my voice, silent heretofore, to Mr. Miller expression of frustration. I have found the partisan rhetoric very tiresome, and I tend now to
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 29, 1999
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              I would like to add my voice, silent heretofore, to Mr. Miller expression
              of frustration. I have found the partisan rhetoric very tiresome, and I
              tend now to simply delete messages without reading them. I find refreshing
              Mr. Miller's willingness to admit that, by their very nature of being
              hypotheses, they are none of them perfect. The 2DH has not solved the
              synoptic problem (though I don't think serious scholars pretent it does),
              but nor is it the work of bukolic yokels, which sounds like Mr. Maluf's
              suggestion (esp. in the section quote by Mr. Miller).

              I am not sure about his "sense" of probability for the Lord's Prayer, but
              I would like to add my reason for finding the 2DH the more probable
              hypothesis, namely the Markan cross factor, which as I understand it, and
              hope I reproduce fairly, is this: that if Luke used Matt, then in material
              where Matt agrees with Mark, Luke tends to accept the placement/order of
              that material but is inconsistent in his respect for the wording
              (TripTrad), but where Matt has added material to Mark, Luke overwhelmingly
              changes its placement/order but respects its wording to a greater degree
              than in the triple tradition material.

              While I find this improbable because of how it requires Luke to behave so
              erratically, as Mr. Miller put so well I recognise that this probability
              will not "speak" to everyone. I also recognise that the 2DH has problem
              areas that are better accounted for by other hypotheses. That is the
              beauty of the hypotheses of the synoptic problem -- they shall forever
              remain hypotheses (otherwise we're out of work!).

              Zeb

              ********----------********

              Zeba Antonin Crook ~
              University of St. Michael's College ` If voting could really
              81 St. Mary Street ~ change things,
              Toronto, ON, Canada ` it would be illegal.
              M5S 1J4 ~

              On Fri, 29 Oct 1999, Steven Craig Miller wrote:

              > To: Leonard Maluf,
              >
              > << What I would like to know is why the Two-Source hypothesis in general,
              > and Markan priority in particular, ever became the dominant view in
              > scholarship at all. I haven't seen good arguments in its favor as yet (only
              > the bad ones, repeated by Streeter). And I don't find it appealing at face
              > value in the least. So I need good arguments in support of its validity
              > before I move from what to me is a reasonable overall hypothesis: that Matt
              > wrote first for a Jewish Christian audience, was followed some years later
              > by Luke with a Pauline perspective and agenda, and finally by Mark, writing
              > for an audience which may have been divided between advocates of each of
              > the earlier Gospels - Mark, who drew from, and thus indirectly approved
              > both, and at the same time dramatized a basic Gospel narrative common to
              > the two earlier gospels in a way that would appeal to a popular Roman
              > audience and instill in them the urgency of accepting a Christianity that
              > meant a willingness to follow Jesus to death in a situation of persecution. >>
              >
              > What I've noticed is how often advocates of a hypothesis are partisan on
              > this issue. Arguments which resonate with one group, often fall flat and
              > are deemed meaningless by advocates of other 'solutions' to the Synoptic
              > problem. It often seems similar to watching (in the USA) a right-wing
              > Republican debate policy with a left-wing Democrat. What resonates with one
              > group, simply doesn't resonate with others. You claim that you haven't seen
              > any "good arguments" and only "bad ones" for Markan priority and the
              > Two-Source hypothesis. But such a statement is simply partisan rhetoric,
              > for a number (indeed a majority) of competent scholars have deemed the
              > arguments for the Two-Source hypothesis to be "good." (Actually, I think
              > they would claim merely that the Two-Source hypothesis is merely "more
              > probable" than rival hypotheses.)
              >
              > No doubt for every reason I could offer in support of the Two-Source
              > hypothesis, you could offer a counter argument against the Two-Source
              > hypothesis. Nonetheless there are a few issues about which I'm curious. So
              > I will raise them, not out of some foolish belief that my arguments are
              > going to convince anyone (as if I would succeed where greater minds than
              > mine have failed), but because I'm curious to understand other points of view.
              >
              > (a) One reason why I hold to Markan priority is on account that Mark
              > contains neither (so called) Infancy Narratives, nor Post-Empty-Tomb
              > Stories. And it seems to me more reasonable to assume that if Mark had
              > known some Infancy Narratives or Post-Empty-Tomb Stories, he would have
              > included them.
              >
              > (b) One reason why I hold that Luke could not have used Matthew's gospel as
              > a source is on account of their Infancy Narratives, which simply contradict
              > one another. And it seems to me more reasonable to assume that Matthew and
              > Luke simply had different traditions and was unaware of the other, than to
              > assume that Luke had two traditions and deemed the non-Matthean tradition
              > historical and Matthean one as lacking historicity.
              >
              > (c) Another reason why I hold that Luke could not have used Matthew's
              > gospel as a source is on account of their (so called) "Lord's Prayer." It
              > is simply a fact that every Christian church, at every time throughout the
              > history of Christendom, and at every place, has generally preferred
              > liturgically the Matthean version of the "Lord's Prayer" (with a few minor
              > modifications and an added doxology) over the Lukan version. Thus it seems
              > to me more reasonable to assume that if Luke knew two editions of the
              > "Lord's Prayer," he too (like the rest of Christendom) would have preferred
              > the Matthean version over the non-Matthean version.
              >
              > -Steven Craig Miller
              > Alton, Illinois (USA)
              > scmiller@...
              >
              > "And behold, a certain one of his disciples standing by said unto him,
              > 'Rabbi' (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), 'how can these things
              > be, if they are toothless?' And Jesus answered and said, 'O thou of little
              > faith, trouble not thyself; if haply they will be lacking any, teeth will
              > be provided'" (from the Coleman-Norton agrahon).
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Steven Craig Miller
              To: Zeba Crook, ZC:
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 29, 1999
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                To: Zeba Crook,

                ZC: << ... nor is it [the 2DH] the work of bukolic yokels, which sounds
                like Mr. Maluf's suggestion (esp. in the section quote by Mr. Miller). >>

                Karl R. Popper, in "Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific
                Knowledge" (1962:7) wrote concerning the problem of believing that truth is
                manifest:

                << ... the doctrine that truth is manifest creates the need to explain
                falsehood. Knowledge, the possession of truth, need not be explained. But
                how can we ever fall into error if truth is manifest? The answer is:
                through our own sinful refusal to see the manifest truth; or because our
                minds harbour prejudices inculcated by education and tradition, or other
                evil influences which have perverted our originally pure and innocent
                minds. Ignorance may be the work of powers conspiring to keep us in
                ignorance, to poison our minds by filling them with falsehood, and to blind
                our eyes so that they cannot see the manifest truth. Such prejudices and
                such powers, then, are sources of ignorance. >>

                IMO William R. Farmer's "The Synoptic Problem" (1976) is a classic example
                of someone falling into the trap of believing that "truth" of the Synoptic
                Problem is "manifest." For example, referring to the Two-Source hypothesis,
                Farmer (1976:190) writes:

                << The only sound historical judgment that can be rendered in a critical
                review of the history of the Synoptic Problem is that "extra-scientific" or
                "nonscientific" factors exercised a deep influence in the development of a
                fundamentally misleading and false consensus. >>

                And in his preface, Farmer (1976:vii) writes:

                << This book seeks to demonstrate that the idea of Marcan priority is
                highly questionable. The fact that an idea which is highly questionable is
                nevertheless widely believed or assented to is not new. What may be new to
                some is the demonstrable fact that the ideas which could be grossly false
                can gain acceptance and credence in the highest intellectual circles and
                councils of the modern West, under the guise of being the assured result of
                criticism. >>

                Notice the phrases "demonstrable fact" and "grossly false," Farmer is not
                simply arguing that the Griesbach hypothesis is merely a better hypothesis
                than a Marcan priority hypothesis, rather he is claiming that it is a
                "demonstrable fact" that Marcan priority is "grossly false."

                On the other hand, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, in an article entitled "The Priority
                of Mark and the "Q" Source in Luke" (1970), writes:

                << ... the history of the Synoptic research reveals that the problem is
                'practically insoluble.' As I see the matter, we cannot hope for a
                definitive and certain solution to it, since the data for its solution are
                scarcely adequate or available to us. ... I stress this point at the
                outset, because one finds often enough in recent discussions a straining
                after what is called "the truth" of the matter. I submit, however, that
                "the truth" of the matter is largely inaccessible to us, and that we are
                forced to live with a hypothesis or a theory. >>

                Or to borrow Popper's terminology, the "truth" of the Synoptic Problem is
                NOT "manifest." The best we can do is to argue that one hypothesis seems to
                us to be "more probable" than other hypotheses. The key here IMO is "seems
                to us." Such an attitude, IMO, is also healthy, it allows us to respect the
                intellectual integrity of those who hold different opinions.

                -Steven Craig Miller
                Alton, Illinois (USA)
                scmiller@...

                "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil
                deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and
                destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of
                every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
                (Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956," 1:168)
              • Mike MacDonell
                ... Like many good ideas , the Markan Cross Factor was a strong case constructed on a weak foundation. It is fair to say that, had the premises that
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 29, 1999
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                  At 01:35 PM 10/29/99 -0400, Zeba Crook wrote:
                  >
                  >I would like to add my reason for finding the 2DH the more probable
                  >hypothesis, namely the Markan cross factor, which as I understand it, and
                  >hope I reproduce fairly, is this: that if Luke used Matt, then in material
                  >where Matt agrees with Mark, Luke tends to accept the placement/order of
                  >that material but is inconsistent in his respect for the wording
                  >(TripTrad), but where Matt has added material to Mark, Luke overwhelmingly
                  >changes its placement/order but respects its wording to a greater degree
                  >than in the triple tradition material.

                  Like many "good ideas", the Markan Cross Factor was a strong case
                  constructed on a weak foundation. It is fair to say that, had the premises
                  that underlied The Markan Cross Factor actually been sound, we would
                  probably be quite a bit closer to a solution of the Synoptic Problem than
                  we are today.

                  Here is Lindsey's basic idea: (1) in the double tradition, there is a high
                  verbal identity between the wording of Mt and Lk, but a low pericope order
                  agreement, and (2) in the triple tradition, there is a low verbal identity
                  between Mt and Lk, but a high pericope order agreement.

                  As a number of folks pointed out during a Synoptic-L discussion on the MCF
                  about a year and a half ago, the MCF seems to overlook the fact (and
                  thereby, the key to a more plausible explanation,) that the double
                  tradition is largely sayings of Jesus, while the triple tradition is
                  largely narrative material. Stephen Carlson, Brian Wilson, and others,
                  pointed out that this fact alone, tends to undermine the MCF: a scribe
                  would be less inclined to edit the words of Jesus than to edit the narrative.

                  Mahlon Smith provided an example of the weakness of Lindsey's original
                  premise by comparing Mk 3:31-35, Mt 12:46-50 and Lk 8:19-21 (Jesus' true
                  kin): All three evangelists appear to have adhered more closely to the
                  narrative than to the words of Jesus.

                  For another example, compare Mk 4:1, Mt 13:1 and Lk 8:1 (Parable of the
                  Sower). As Mahlon pointed out, Mt and Mk present the same narrative
                  generalization verbatim in Greek, then proceeded to paraphrase and edit the
                  subsequent sayings.

                  So, although the Markan Cross Factor sounded good, it really failed in both
                  ascribing a reason to the apparent pattern, and actually demonstrating that
                  a pattern exists at all.

                  Best Regards,
                  Mike


                  ____________________________________
                  Michael T. MacDonell, Ph.D.
                  Doctoral Student in Biblical Studies
                  Trinity College and Seminary
                  ____________________________________
                • Maluflen@aol.com
                  In a message dated 10/29/1999 6:27:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time, scmiller@www.plantnet.com writes: Who is Zeba Crook? L.M.
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 29, 1999
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                    In a message dated 10/29/1999 6:27:34 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                    scmiller@... writes:

                    << To: Zeba Crook, >>

                    Who is Zeba Crook?

                    L.M.
                  • Stephen C. Carlson
                    ... Although I agree with the sentiment expressed in this paragraph, I m not sure that selective quotations from Farmer and Fitzmyer are representative of the
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 29, 1999
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                      At 05:02 PM 10/29/99 -0500, Steven Craig Miller wrote:
                      >Or to borrow Popper's terminology, the "truth" of the Synoptic Problem is
                      >NOT "manifest." The best we can do is to argue that one hypothesis seems to
                      >us to be "more probable" than other hypotheses. The key here IMO is "seems
                      >to us." Such an attitude, IMO, is also healthy, it allows us to respect the
                      >intellectual integrity of those who hold different opinions.

                      Although I agree with the sentiment expressed in this paragraph, I'm not
                      sure that selective quotations from Farmer and Fitzmyer are representative
                      of the field at large. For example, I could quote Vincent Taylor (MARK
                      1952: 11), "Significant of the stability of critical opinion is the fact
                      that, in a modern commentary, is is no longer necessary to prove the
                      priority of Mark."

                      Little did Taylor realize at the time of writing this in 1950, B. C.
                      Butler would the very next year publish his Lachmann Fallacy bombshell,
                      exploding the main pillar upon the critical opinion at the time rested.
                      Naturally, advocates for Markan priority have regrouped and presented
                      new and less fallacious arguments, but Farmer was correct to find that
                      the idea that Mark's priority rested on the argument from order turned
                      out to be "grossly false" -- it was the Lachmann *Fallacy*, after all.

                      (P.S. I prefer to call it the Middle Term Fallacy, not the Lachmann
                      Fallacy, because Karl Lachmann was not responsible for it.)

                      Stephen Carlson
                      --
                      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
                    • Steven Craig Miller
                      To: Stephen C. Carlson, SCC:
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 30, 1999
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                        To: Stephen C. Carlson,

                        SCC: << Farmer was correct to find that the idea that Mark's priority
                        rested on the argument from order turned out to be "grossly false" -- it
                        was the Lachmann *Fallacy*, after all. (P.S. I prefer to call it the Middle
                        Term Fallacy, not the Lachmann Fallacy, because Karl Lachmann was not
                        responsible for it.) >>

                        On the page, from which I quoted Farmer saying "grossly false" (p. vii),
                        there is no direct mention of the "Middle Term Fallacy" (i.e, the "Lachmann
                        Fallacy") as being "grossly false." But even assuming for the moment, that
                        Farmer had in mind the "Middle Term Fallacy" when he wrote those words, is
                        the adjective "grossly" necessary? William R. Farmer, in his "The Synoptic
                        Problem: A Critical Analysis" (1976), often appears bitter and very
                        ungracious when he refers to those who hold a different opinion from his
                        own. For example, referring to William Sanday, Farmer (p. 181) writes:

                        << ... he [Sanday] drank deeply from the cup of salvation offered by the
                        cult of "scientism," ... >>

                        Is such inflammatory rhetoric really necessary?

                        IMO a careful and critical reading of Farmer's work indicates that Farmer
                        feel into the trap of believing that "truth" of the Synoptic Problem is
                        "manifest," and because of this he became very bitter and ungracious
                        towards his opponents.

                        -Steven Craig Miller
                        Alton, Illinois (USA)
                        scmiller@...

                        "A thought is a tremendous mode of excitement" (Alfred North Whitehead,
                        "Modes of Thought," 36).
                      • Stephen C. Carlson
                        ... I don t really read the passages as strongly as you do, but even if you re right, what does that have to do with the truth or falsity of the Griesbach
                        Message 11 of 21 , Oct 31, 1999
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                          At 05:00 PM 10/30/99 -0500, Steven Craig Miller wrote:
                          >IMO a careful and critical reading of Farmer's work indicates that Farmer
                          >feel into the trap of believing that "truth" of the Synoptic Problem is
                          >"manifest," and because of this he became very bitter and ungracious
                          >towards his opponents.

                          I don't really read the passages as strongly as you do, but even if you're
                          right, what does that have to do with the truth or falsity of the Griesbach
                          hypothesis?

                          Stephen Carlson
                          --
                          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
                        • Steven Craig Miller
                          To: Stephen C. Carlson, SCM:
                          Message 12 of 21 , Nov 1, 1999
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                            To: Stephen C. Carlson,

                            SCM: << IMO a careful and critical reading of Farmer's work indicates that
                            Farmer feel into the trap of believing that "truth" of the Synoptic Problem
                            is "manifest," and because of this he became very bitter and ungracious
                            towards his opponents. >>

                            SCC: << I don't really read the passages as strongly as you do, but even if
                            you're right, what does that have to do with the truth or falsity of the
                            Griesbach hypothesis? >>

                            It might not seem to have much to do with "the truth of falsity" of the
                            Griesbach hypothesis, and it might seem to be merely an issue of civility
                            in scholarly discourse, but in fact it has everything to do with
                            argumentation and Farmer's attempt to persuade his reader by means of
                            inflammatory rhetoric.

                            IMO Popper's analysis of the problem of believing that "truth is manifest"
                            helps explain why Farmer wrote as he did. For if "truth is manifest," why
                            don't all intelligent people simply come to hold the same solution to the
                            Synoptic Problem? What Popper tells us is that "the doctrine that truth is
                            manifest" often results in someone holding to "the conspiracy theory of
                            ignorance," which is an attempt to explain why people fail to see that
                            "truth is manifest," namely:

                            << ... because our minds harbour prejudices inculcated by education and
                            tradition, or other evil influences which have perverted our originally
                            pure and innocent minds >> (Popper, 7).

                            Farmer makes this very same type of point concerning the Two-Source
                            hypothesis, namely:

                            << ... "extra-scientific" or "nonscientific" factors exercised a deep
                            influence in the development of a fundamentally misleading and false
                            consensus >> (Farmer, 190).

                            When Farmer writes concerning William Sanday:

                            << he [Sanday] drank deeply from the cup of salvation offered by the cult
                            of "scientism" >> (Farmer, 181)

                            Farmer is trying to convince his readers that "quasi-scientific ideas"
                            distorted Sanday's mind, causing him to accept the Two-Source hypothesis.
                            In fact, Farmer takes a couple pages to document and emphasize this point.
                            At one point Farmer writes:

                            << To criticize a man like Sanday for not really giving serious
                            considerations to the Augustinian or Griesbach hypotheses is to miss the
                            mark. The temper of the times was not conducive to reconsideration of
                            hypotheses which were believed to have been tested and found inadequate >>
                            (182).

                            In other words, Farmer asserts that Sanday was unable to see the "manifest
                            truth" of the Synoptic Problem because his cognitive faculties were
                            impaired by "the temper of the times."

                            In comparing Farmer's "The Synoptic Problem: A Critical Analysis" (1976)
                            with his new book "The Gospel of Jesus: The Pastoral Relevance of the
                            Synoptic Problem" (1994), it seems that Farmer has learned to tone down
                            such inflammatory rhetoric. In the preface he writes:

                            << Because of the controversial nature of this question, I have tried to be
                            particularly careful not to speculate as to the motives that may account
                            for what scholars are writing about this. However, I make no claim to have
                            eliminated bias altogether from my treatment of the work of those with whom
                            I am in disagreement >> (ix).

                            Even in Farmer's new book, he is still raising the same issues. At the very
                            end of this book Farmer writes:

                            << How was it possible for the theory of Markan priority to triumph so
                            unambiguously in the absence of any compelling proof and in the face of all
                            the serious objections made throughout the nineteenth century? >> (208)

                            After all, if the "truth" of the Synoptic Problem is "manifest," there has
                            to be some explanation why seemingly intelligent people hold to Markan
                            priority "in the absence of any compelling proof." What would, no doubt,
                            seem impossible for Farmer to admit is that his own arguments for Markan
                            posteriority are (at least) equally uncompelling, (if not more so) for the
                            majority of scholars.

                            Merely because Farmer seems to fall into the trap of thinking that the
                            "truth" of the Synoptic Problem is "manifest," that does not, in any way,
                            falsify the Griesbach hypothesis. I also do not mean to suggest that
                            motivation or bias in an inappropriate area of research. In fact, one might
                            ask, what is Farmer's motivation for rejecting the Two-Source hypothesis?
                            Farmer writes:

                            << ... the Two-Source Hypothesis, especially in the hands of the 'Thomas-Q'
                            school of exegesis, give us a different Jesus than the Jesus that has been
                            transmitted by the church since the time of the apostles. On the other
                            hand, the Two-Gospel Hypothesis, with all hypotheses that recognize the
                            primary character of the Matthean text, presents a Jesus who stands in a
                            more meaningful relationship to the Jesus of apostolic teaching >> (1994:5).

                            It makes one wonder if perhaps Farmer's vigorous opposition to the
                            Two-Source Hypothesis has something to do with his dislike of the direction
                            of Q research and his desire for a more traditional interpretation of the
                            historical Jesus?

                            -Steven Craig Miller
                            Alton, Illinois (USA)
                            scmiller@...

                            "Refutations have often been regarded as establishing the failure of a
                            scientist, or at least his theory. It should be stressed that this is an
                            inductivist error. Every refutation should be regarded as a great success;
                            not merely a success of the scientist who refuted the theory, but also of
                            the scientist who created the refuted theory and who thus in the first
                            instance suggested, if only indirectly, the refuting experiment" (Karl R.
                            Popper, "Conjectures and Refutations," 243).
                          • Maluflen@aol.com
                            In a message dated 11/1/1999 12:28:49 PM Eastern Standard Time, scmiller@www.plantnet.com writes: [Citing Professor Farmer]
                            Message 13 of 21 , Nov 1, 1999
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                              In a message dated 11/1/1999 12:28:49 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                              scmiller@... writes:

                              [Citing Professor Farmer]
                              <To criticize a man like Sanday for not really giving serious
                              considerations to the Augustinian or Griesbach hypotheses is to miss the
                              mark. The temper of the times was not conducive to reconsideration of
                              hypotheses which were believed to have been tested and found inadequate >
                              (182).

                              <<In other words, Farmer asserts that Sanday was unable to see the "manifest
                              truth" of the Synoptic Problem because his cognitive faculties were
                              impaired by "the temper of the times.">>

                              I hesitate to comment on your continued character assassination of Professor
                              Farmer, because I am not nearly as familiar with his writings as you appear
                              to be, but the above comment on the cited passage strikes me as, at face
                              value, grossly unfair. I find it difficult to believe that anyone would in
                              principle be unaware that "the temper of the times" often influences the
                              direction and shape of the scholarly enterprise, and quite often at the
                              expense of truth.

                              Leonard Maluf
                            • Stephen C. Carlson
                              ... Without knowing Farmer (I ve never met him, but I once sat within six feet of him as SBL), I really do not feel confident to psychanalyze the man. (Why
                              Message 14 of 21 , Nov 1, 1999
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                                At 11:21 AM 11/1/99 -0600, Steven Craig Miller wrote:
                                >It might not seem to have much to do with "the truth of falsity" of the
                                >Griesbach hypothesis, and it might seem to be merely an issue of civility
                                >in scholarly discourse, but in fact it has everything to do with
                                >argumentation and Farmer's attempt to persuade his reader by means of
                                >inflammatory rhetoric.
                                ...
                                >It makes one wonder if perhaps Farmer's vigorous opposition to the
                                >Two-Source Hypothesis has something to do with his dislike of the direction
                                >of Q research and his desire for a more traditional interpretation of the
                                >historical Jesus?

                                Without knowing Farmer (I've never met him, but I once sat within six
                                feet of him as SBL), I really do not feel confident to psychanalyze
                                the man. (Why can't Farmer's vigorous opposition be due to a sincere
                                belief?) At any rate, I am much more concerned about the ideas he
                                discusses rather than his motivations for doing so. Typically, when
                                the latter is done, it is but a crude attempt to avoid the real issue.

                                I know it sounds like I'm giving you a "tu quoque" defense, but there
                                really are enough substantive ideas that can and should be cricitized
                                without getting into what Farmer's hidden agenda may have been, as
                                apparently adduced from a book published 30 years later.

                                Stephen Carlson
                                --
                                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
                              • Steven Craig Miller
                                To: Leonard Maluf, SCM:
                                Message 15 of 21 , Nov 1, 1999
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                                  To: Leonard Maluf,

                                  SCM: << Farmer asserts that Sanday was unable to see the "manifest truth"
                                  of the Synoptic Problem because his cognitive faculties were impaired by
                                  "the temper of the times." >>

                                  LM: << I hesitate to comment on your continued character assassination of
                                  Professor Farmer, because I am not nearly as familiar with his writings as
                                  you appear to be, but the above comment on the cited passage strikes me as,
                                  at face value, grossly unfair. I find it difficult to believe that anyone
                                  would in principle be unaware that "the temper of the times" often
                                  influences the direction and shape of the scholarly enterprise, and quite
                                  often at the expense of truth. >>

                                  First of all, I have no desire to assassinate anyone character, let alone
                                  someone like Professor Farmer. If I have said anything "grossly unfair" I
                                  am more than willing to apologize for any such misstatements. I assume that
                                  Professor Farmer is a very honorable and intelligent man, who is a credit
                                  to his profession. But I don't presume that Farmer's published works are
                                  above serious criticism.

                                  Second, I would suggest that you should first read Farmer and become
                                  familiar with what he has written before passing judgment on what others
                                  write about him. Was my statement really "grossly unfair"? Farmer wrote:

                                  << he [Sanday] drank deeply from the cup of salvation offered by the cult
                                  of "scientism" ... Sanday's intellectual apparatus was impregnated with
                                  non-Biblical, non-traditional, nontheological and nonliterary thought
                                  categories taken over from the quasi-scientific jargon of the late
                                  nineteenth century. ... these quasi-scientific ideas of the late nineteenth
                                  century were not only on the lips of Sanday but determinative of his
                                  critical judgment >> (181).

                                  Farmer clearly writes that "these quasi-scientific ideas" were
                                  "determinative of his critical judgment," I don't see how that is all that
                                  much different from my statement << Farmer asserts that Sanday was unable
                                  to see the "manifest truth" of the Synoptic Problem because his cognitive
                                  faculties were impaired by "the temper of the times." >>

                                  If you can show me the significant difference between my statement and what
                                  Farmer himself has written, I will publicly apologize, such was not my
                                  intent. I would like to think that I'm the type of person willing to take
                                  correction if I've made some mistake. But frankly, I don't see much
                                  difference between the two statements. Perhaps I am guilty for not picking
                                  out the right quotation to cite, but I don't believe that I'm guilty of
                                  exaggerating or sensationalizing what Professor Farmer has written.

                                  Your assertion that I'm attempting to assassinate Professor Farmer's
                                  character seems to me to be grossly unfair and blatantly untrue. I
                                  personally feel that you owe me an apology, but I have had enough
                                  experience in such debates to know that they are rarely forth coming. But I
                                  promise you this, if I have said anything "grossly unfair," I am more than
                                  willing to apologize for any such misstatements and thank you too for
                                  pointing it out to me! Seriously! (It wouldn't be the first time I've made
                                  a mistake, just ask my wife! <g>)

                                  But I wonder if there is some other problem at work here, for your
                                  paraphrase of Farmer's statement wasn't much different from my own. You
                                  write: << I find it difficult to believe that anyone would in principle be
                                  unaware that "the temper of the times" often influences the direction and
                                  shape of the scholarly enterprise, and quite often at the expense of
                                  truth. >> How is that so very different from what I wrote? I stated: <<
                                  Farmer asserts that ... his [Sanday's] cognitive faculties were impaired by
                                  "the temper of the times." >> What is the difference? What is the big deal
                                  here?

                                  -Steven Craig Miller
                                  Alton, Illinois (USA)
                                  scmiller@...

                                  "Refutations have often been regarded as establishing the failure of a
                                  scientist, or at least his theory. It should be stressed that this is an
                                  inductivist error. Every refutation should be regarded as a great success;
                                  not merely a success of the scientist who refuted the theory, but also of
                                  the scientist who created the refuted theory and who thus in the first
                                  instance suggested, if only indirectly, the refuting experiment" (Karl R.
                                  Popper, "Conjectures and Refutations," 243).
                                • Steven Craig Miller
                                  To: Stephen C. Carlson, I would presume that it is due to sincere belief. What have I
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Nov 1, 1999
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                                    To: Stephen C. Carlson,

                                    << Why can't Farmer's vigorous opposition be due to a sincere belief? >>

                                    I would presume that it is due to sincere belief. What have I written which
                                    would suggest otherwise?

                                    << At any rate, I am much more concerned about the ideas he discusses
                                    rather than his motivations for doing so. >>

                                    I must confess some interest in both. After all, if the Synoptic Problem is
                                    (as Fitzmyer claims) "practically insoluble," and so it is impossible to
                                    prove any one solution to the Synoptic Problem is correct, why do some
                                    scholars hold one position, while other hold another? I would assume that
                                    William Farmer, Michael Goulder, and Joseph Fitzmyer (just to pick three
                                    names out of the air) are all very intelligent men familiar with the
                                    complex issues surrounding the Synoptic Problem, and yet each of them has
                                    come to a different conclusion. Why?

                                    << ... there really are enough substantive ideas that can and should be
                                    criticized without getting into what Farmer's hidden agenda may have been,
                                    as apparently adduced from a book published 30 years later. >>

                                    Just for the record, the one time which I speculated about Farmer's
                                    possible "hidden agenda" was when I quoted a statement he made from his
                                    latest book published in 1994. In addition, many of the criticisms I made
                                    of his 1976 book can be corroborated by his 1994 book. Furthermore, as
                                    someone who has spent his whole life studying texts written thousands of
                                    years ago, a text written 30 years ago simply is not ancient history. In
                                    fact, I would suggest that Farmer's 1976 work, "The Synoptic Problem: A
                                    Critical Analysis," is a major work in the history of Synoptic Problem
                                    research, and thus deserves serious attention by anyone interested in
                                    knowing its history.

                                    -Steven Craig Miller
                                    Alton, Illinois (USA)
                                    scmiller@...

                                    "Refutations have often been regarded as establishing the failure of a
                                    scientist, or at least his theory. It should be stressed that this is an
                                    inductivist error. Every refutation should be regarded as a great success;
                                    not merely a success of the scientist who refuted the theory, but also of
                                    the scientist who created the refuted theory and who thus in the first
                                    instance suggested, if only indirectly, the refuting experiment" (Karl R.
                                    Popper, "Conjectures and Refutations," 243).
                                  • Mahlon H. Smith
                                    ... Good hunch. At least that s how H.C. Kee, Farmer s onetime colleague & my teacher at Drew, explained it to us. Recently I heard R.W. Funk say much the same
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Nov 1, 1999
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                                      Steven Craig Miller wrote:

                                      >
                                      > It makes one wonder if perhaps Farmer's vigorous opposition to the
                                      > Two-Source Hypothesis has something to do with his dislike of the direction
                                      > of Q research and his desire for a more traditional interpretation of the
                                      > historical Jesus?
                                      >

                                      Good hunch. At least that's how H.C. Kee, Farmer's onetime colleague &
                                      my teacher at Drew, explained it to us. Recently I heard R.W. Funk say
                                      much the same thing.

                                      Shalom!

                                      Mahlon
                                      --

                                      *********************

                                      Mahlon H. Smith, http://religion.rutgers.edu/mhsmith.html
                                      Associate Professor
                                      Department of Religion
                                      Rutgers University
                                      New Brunswick NJ

                                      Into His Own: Perspective on the World of Jesus
                                      http://religion.rutgers.edu/iho/
                                    • Maluflen@aol.com
                                      In a message dated 11/1/1999 11:56:53 PM Eastern Standard Time, scmiller@www.plantnet.com writes:
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Nov 2, 1999
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                                        In a message dated 11/1/1999 11:56:53 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                        scmiller@... writes:

                                        << Your assertion that I'm attempting to assassinate Professor Farmer's
                                        character seems to me to be grossly unfair and blatantly untrue. I
                                        personally feel that you owe me an apology, but I have had enough
                                        experience in such debates to know that they are rarely forth coming. But I
                                        promise you this, if I have said anything "grossly unfair," I am more than
                                        willing to apologize for any such misstatements and thank you too for
                                        pointing it out to me! Seriously! (It wouldn't be the first time I've made
                                        a mistake, just ask my wife! <g>)>>

                                        Your ongoing psychological analysis of Farmer strikes me as a kind of
                                        character assassination. I apologize if it is not intended as such. I think,
                                        however, that it would be far more productive, and more appropriate for this
                                        format, if you would instead attempt to deal with some of the evidence Farmer
                                        adduces in support of his positions. I realize that this would be a
                                        considerably more challenging undertaking.

                                        << But I wonder if there is some other problem at work here, for your
                                        paraphrase of Farmer's statement wasn't much different from my own. You
                                        write: << I find it difficult to believe that anyone would in principle be
                                        unaware that "the temper of the times" often influences the direction and
                                        shape of the scholarly enterprise, and quite often at the expense of
                                        truth. >> How is that so very different from what I wrote? I stated: <<
                                        Farmer asserts that ... his [Sanday's] cognitive faculties were impaired by
                                        "the temper of the times." >> What is the difference? What is the big deal
                                        here? >>

                                        The difference lies in the fact that I am wholeheartedly agreeing with the
                                        substance of Farmer's remark, and wondering, to boot, whether anyone is
                                        really so naive as to question its validity. My interpretation of your
                                        comment was that it represented something less than enthusiastic endorsement
                                        of Farmer's statement. I marvelled at this.

                                        Leonard Maluf
                                      • Steven Craig Miller
                                        To: Mahlon H. Smith, SCM:
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Nov 2, 1999
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                                          To: Mahlon H. Smith,

                                          SCM: << It makes one wonder if perhaps Farmer's vigorous opposition to the
                                          Two-Source Hypothesis has something to do with his dislike of the direction
                                          of Q research and his desire for a more traditional interpretation of the
                                          historical Jesus? >>

                                          MHS: << Good hunch. At least that's how H.C. Kee, Farmer's onetime
                                          colleague & my teacher at Drew, explained it to us. Recently I heard R.W.
                                          Funk say much the same thing. >>

                                          I would draw two conclusions from this. First, issues surrounding the
                                          Synoptic Problem are often interrelated with other issues of New Testament
                                          research. Second, the interrelationship is this: one is more willing to
                                          accept arguments for a hypothesis which is compatible with other hypotheses
                                          one holds than one is for a hypothesis incompatible with other hypotheses
                                          one holds. In other words, it seems only natural that scholars would hold
                                          seemingly incompatible hypotheses to a higher standard of evidence than
                                          seemingly compatible hypotheses.

                                          I would like to highlight two major disagreements I have with Farmer. (a)
                                          Farmer spent a lot of space in his 1976 & 1994 books suggesting that
                                          non-scholarly reasons were in part responsible for certain people holding
                                          certain hypotheses to be true. Whereas I feel that it would be more
                                          appropriate to focus on related scholarly issues as to why people hold
                                          certain (scholarly) hypotheses to be true. (b) Farmer seems to insist (at
                                          least as I read him) that the Griesbach hypothesis is manifestly true and
                                          that the Two-Source hypothesis is no more than an "academic delusion."
                                          Whereas I would agree with Fitzmyer that the Synoptic Problem is
                                          "practically insoluble," and that the best one can do is argue that one
                                          hypothesis seems to be "more probable" than the others.

                                          -Steven Craig Miller
                                          Alton, Illinois (USA)
                                          scmiller@...

                                          "Refutations have often been regarded as establishing the failure of a
                                          scientist, or at least his theory. It should be stressed that this is an
                                          inductivist error. Every refutation should be regarded as a great success;
                                          not merely a success of the scientist who refuted the theory, but also of
                                          the scientist who created the refuted theory and who thus in the first
                                          instance suggested, if only indirectly, the refuting experiment" (Karl R.
                                          Popper, "Conjectures and Refutations," 243).
                                        • Stephen C. Carlson
                                          ... Agreed; however, please note that the 1976 edition is a revised printing of the 1964 original. You can best see this on page 228 where Farmer explained
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Nov 2, 1999
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                                            At 11:44 PM 11/1/99 -0600, Steven Craig Miller wrote:
                                            >I would suggest that Farmer's 1976 work, "The Synoptic Problem: A
                                            >Critical Analysis," is a major work in the history of Synoptic Problem
                                            >research, and thus deserves serious attention by anyone interested in
                                            >knowing its history.

                                            Agreed; however, please note that the 1976 edition is a revised
                                            printing of the 1964 original. You can best see this on page
                                            228 where Farmer explained that he has withdrawn the canon of
                                            specificity referred to in his first book in reaction to the
                                            publication of E. P. Sanders, THE TENDENCIES OF THE SYNOPTIC
                                            TRADITION (Cambridge: 1969).

                                            By the way, if you are interested in an autobiographical account
                                            of at least part of Farmer's personal journey through the
                                            synoptic problem, one place to look is:

                                            W. R. Farmer, "Certain Results Reached by Sir John C. Hawkins
                                            and C. F. Burney Which Make More Sense If Luke Knew Matthew,
                                            and Mark Knew Matthew and Luke," in C. M. Tuckett, ed.,
                                            SYNOPTIC STUDIES: The Ampleforth Conferences of 1982 and 1983
                                            (Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series
                                            7; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1984) 85-91.

                                            Stephen Carlson
                                            --
                                            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
                                          • Steven Craig Miller
                                            To: Leonard Maluf,
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Nov 2, 1999
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                                              To: Leonard Maluf,

                                              << The difference lies in the fact that I am wholeheartedly agreeing with
                                              the substance of Farmer's remark, and wondering, to boot, whether anyone is
                                              really so naive as to question its validity. My interpretation of your
                                              comment was that it represented something less than enthusiastic
                                              endorsement of Farmer's statement. I marvelled at this. >>

                                              FWIW my first message, where I put forth the notion that Professor Farmer
                                              had fallen into the "trap" of believing that truth is manifest, was written
                                              in part because I sensed from what you had written that you too have fallen
                                              into the same "trap." And just as I believe that Farmer's belief that the
                                              "truth" of the Synoptic Problem is manifest has led him into inflammatory
                                              rhetoric and ad hominem attacks, so your messages have seemed to me to have
                                              led you down the same road. I don't know if it is possible for me to say
                                              what I've just said without appearing to be making my own ad hominem
                                              attacks against you, perhaps not, but it is certainly not my intent. What
                                              little I know of you is what I've learned participating on this list. You
                                              are obviously a very intelligent and knowledgeable person. But
                                              unfortunately on more than one occasion you have directed ad hominem
                                              remarks in my direction. Perhaps I notice them only because they have been
                                              directed at me. I have tried my best to simply ignore most of them. FWIW I
                                              also "picked" on Farmer, and not you directly, out of respect for you,
                                              since you are present (so to speak). But I mean no disrespect to either of
                                              you. I assume that you are both honorable and intelligent persons, people
                                              (like most of us) who hold their beliefs deeply and sincerely. (I assume
                                              you won't be offended by being compared with Professor Farmer.)

                                              I would like to add that I greatly appreciate being able to participate on
                                              this list. I am cognizant that I'm merely a househusband (with no post-grad
                                              degrees) and not a scholar. And thus, I consider my participation here an
                                              honor. It is certainly not my desire to offend you, or anyone else on this
                                              list by my participation. I hope I haven't done so, if I have, I deeply
                                              regret it and am truly sorry.

                                              -Steven Craig Miller
                                              Alton, Illinois (USA)
                                              scmiller@...

                                              "Refutations have often been regarded as establishing the failure of a
                                              scientist, or at least his theory. It should be stressed that this is an
                                              inductivist error. Every refutation should be regarded as a great success;
                                              not merely a success of the scientist who refuted the theory, but also of
                                              the scientist who created the refuted theory and who thus in the first
                                              instance suggested, if only indirectly, the refuting experiment" (Karl R.
                                              Popper, "Conjectures and Refutations," 243).
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