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Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: the Synoptic Problem, was: Mark as a story teller

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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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