Re: [Synoptic-L] hypothesizing and difficulties
- In a message dated 5/2/2000 9:10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
For the sake of the argument, I will hypothesize that, historically,
migrations of Englishmen from my neck of the woods ended up in a little
corner of Great Britain which they named Boston, after the great city of
Boston Massachusetts, the hub of the universe. (The "z" of hypothesize got
lost, though, somewhere in the Atlantic, I think).
<< My point is that hypothesising that such and such was an event in the past
does not in itself provide any reasons for believing that such and such
truly _was_ an event in the past. There will be many hypotheses of possible
pasts (i.e events that possibly occured in 'the real world'). Historians
make reasoned arguments about which 'possible pasts' are more likely.>>
- 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