Re: [Synoptic-L] hypothesizing and difficulties
- In a message dated 5/2/2000 7:14:24 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< Thus the
number two in some places in Greek manuscripts of the synoptic gospels
is written in full as the complete word DUO, and in other places is
represented by only one cipher letter, the single letter B, with
superscript line. (A number in cipher form in Greek was frequently given
a superscript line.) >>
Brian, a couple of questions occur to me as I read these lines, to which
perhaps you, better than anyone, might have an answer:
1. Are there cases in which, in parallel passages, one evangelist has, say,
DUO, with fair consistency in the manuscript tradition, and another B, also
with some consistency?
2. Would it ever be possible to argue that the original text of a given
evangelist plausibly had either the fully written number or the cipher?
3. On the assumption (which you will pardon, I trust, for the sake of the
discussion) that one evangelist knew and used the work of another, could a
case be made for a text, of two parallel texts, that carries the cipher
(where its parallel carries the fully written number) being less (or more)
original than the parallel?
4. In general, do you believe that the use of ciphers was original in the NT
documents, or that it took place only at the stage of manuscript copying?
- This discussion of whether New Testament documents were written on scrolls
or codices has gone on for a long time (among a small number of
participants). Most of us have lost track of the significance of the
discussion for understanding the synoptic gospels. It seems to me that
exchanges such as the one below are becoming more frequent in this thread
and add little of substance to our work together.
I'd like to remind you of our purpose. "Synoptic-L is an academic list
devoted to scholarly discussion of the Synoptic Gospels. Its purpose is to
provide a forum for questions relating to the exegesis of Matthew, Mark and
/ or Luke, using and analysing the standard critical tools and methods,
with a special emphasis on the interrelationships among the Synoptics."
While I agree with Mark Goodacre that we often need to "lighten up a bit"
and not take ourselves too seriously, and while I certainly think that a
little banter now and then is a good thing, there comes a point when we
need to recognize, especially in a thread that has gone on this long, that
one should ask, "do my comments here make a serious contribution to the
ongoing discussion for which this list has been created?" Remember that you
are asking hundreds of colleagues to devote some their time to reading what
you have written.
I'd like to ask that colleagues pause a moment before "firing off"
responses such as these, perhaps to raise the kind of questions that I do
Thomas R. W. Longstaff
Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901 USA
Member of the Advisory Committee of Synoptic-L
At 06:21 PM 5/19/00 +0100, Jacob Knee wrote:
>I hypothesize that Philemon was written on a roll. Which fact disconfirms
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-synoptic-l@... [mailto:owner-synoptic-l@...]On
> > Behalf Of Brian E. Wilson
> > Sent: 19 May 2000 11:29
> > To: Synoptic-L@...
> > Subject: [Synoptic-L] Philemon
> > You also state that "the burden of proof is on the one with the
> > extraordinary hypothesis to come up with the clear and convincing
> > evidence". I think this is the most revealing statement you make. There
> > is no burden of proof on anyone. Proof enters nowhere whatsoever into
> > this matter. The idea that Paul wrote Philemon on a codex is a
> > **hypothesis**. If you want to shoot down a hypothesis there is one, and
> > only one way of doing so. That is to point to an observed phenomenon
> > which is a difficulty for the hypothesis. I am still waiting for you to
> > point to such an observed phenomenon.
> > Best wishes,
> > BRIAN WILSON