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Re: [Synoptic-L] Clement & Origen on the order of the Synoptics

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... This is a fine article; I read this very carefully over the weekend. ... I too am wavering, but I don t think it really affects my thesis. Even if
    Message 1 of 30 , Jul 31 8:56 PM
      At 10:07 AM 7/28/00 EDT, Maluflen@... wrote:
      >Having looked at the article of Farkasfalvy ("The Presbyters' Witness on the
      >Order of the Gospels as Reported by Clement of Alexandria", CBQ 54 [1992]
      >260-270)

      This is a fine article; I read this very carefully over the weekend.

      >I am again wavering on this point. On p. 260, n. 2, Farkasfalvy seems to
      >support my original reading (that ELEGEN is not part of the "reported speech"
      >of Clement, and is therefore not to be taken as a citation within a citation
      >expressing the opinion of a particular "elder"), when he writes: "This phrase
      >seems to imply a faithful but not verbatim quotation of Clement's text. The
      >sentences that follow are governed by ELEGEN and present, therefore Clement's
      >material in indirect discourse" (which was my original point, I think, if I
      >understand this footnote correctly).

      I too am wavering, but I don't think it really affects my thesis. Even if
      PROGRAFW is Eusebius's term, it still can be understood that way, but the
      value of Clement's testimony, held by Farmer to be the "earliest and best,"
      is vitiated.

      >Against Stephen's view of the matter is the fact that there is no singular
      >antecedent for the subject of ELEGEN in the cited text of Eusebius prior to
      >the appearance of this verb, and so it is quite natural to take Clement as
      >the subject of the verb, with the consequence that ELEGEN is not part of
      >Clement's "reported speech".

      By the way, Zahn reportes a variant reading, ELEGON. If accepted, this
      difficulty vanishes.

      >Clement's "reported speech". On the other hand, I have a problem with the way
      >Farkasfalvy translates the first sentence of the quote from Eusebius:
      >
      >"Again in these same books Clement has presented the tradition of the ancient
      >presbyters on the order of the Gospels (PERI TEJ TAXEWJ TWN EUAGGELIWN) in
      >the following manner (TOUTON ECOUSAN TON TROPON)".
      >
      >It may be a fine point, but the phrase "in the following manner" in the above
      >translation seems to modify the verb "presented", whereas in the Greek
      >original the phase clearly modifies "tradition" (PARADOSIN). This could make
      >a difference, I think, possibly in the direction of supporting Stephen's
      >overall reading.

      Perhaps we should take F.'s comprise: a faithful but a non-literal
      rendering by Eusebius, for example, taking Clement's verbs and putting
      them into the infinitives of indirect discourse.

      ...
      >My only problem with this solution is that, if understanding this tradition
      >of the presbyters in this way (namely as indicating an order among the four
      >gospels that places Luke before Mark) reflects the concerns of Eusebius, why
      >does he not elsewhere sustain or propagate this order? Or does he? I don't
      >think he does so anywhere else, even in his famous "canons", does he?

      Gamba pointed out that the canons (which may not have been original
      to Eusebius) reflect the order Matt-Luke-Mark-John. For example, Canon
      III Matt-Luke-John is followed by Canon IV Matt-Mark-John, and Canon V
      Matt-Luke is followed by Canon VI Matt-Mark, by Canon VII Matt-John,
      and then by Canon VIII Luke-Mark and Canon IX Luke-John. This does not
      imply, however, a chronological order. Eusebius' own exposition on the
      order of composition in Book II, however, is the traditional order
      Matt-Mark-Luke-John.

      >Also, does anyone know why David Dungan does not discuss this opinion of
      >Clement (as usually understood) in "A History of the Synoptic Problem"? (Or
      >is his index incomplete?) Was he convinced by Farkasfalvy's arguments in the
      >article under discussion? Perhaps David can answer this himself.

      Despite the title, Dungan's book gives very little attention to
      merits of the Synoptic Problem proper. In contrast with Farmer,
      who leads with Clement's tradition, Dungan's own case for the 2GH
      in his other writings relegates Clement to the fourth argument as
      a minor point of corroboration.

      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
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 7/31/2000 11:57:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes:
      Message 2 of 30 , Aug 1, 2000
        In a message dated 7/31/2000 11:57:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
        scarlson@... writes:

        <<
        [Leonard]
        >I am again wavering on this point. On p. 260, n. 2, Farkasfalvy seems to
        >support my original reading (that ELEGEN is not part of the "reported
        speech"
        >of Clement, and is therefore not to be taken as a citation within a
        citation
        >expressing the opinion of a particular "elder"), when he writes: "This
        phrase
        >seems to imply a faithful but not verbatim quotation of Clement's text. The
        >sentences that follow are governed by ELEGEN and present, therefore
        Clement's
        >material in indirect discourse" (which was my original point, I think, if I
        >understand this footnote correctly).

        I too am wavering, but I don't think it really affects my thesis. Even if
        PROGRAFW is Eusebius's term, it still can be understood that way, but the
        value of Clement's testimony, held by Farmer to be the "earliest and best,"
        is vitiated.>>

        I never intended to suggest that PROGRAFW is Eusebius's term. I suggested, as
        you do below, that the infinitive form comes from Eusebius and is influenced
        by his citation in indirect discourse. I think it's very likely, though, that
        the term is Clement's. Yes, if the term does not have the meaning "written
        before", then its value as a witness to a 2 GH order is vitiated, whether the
        term is Eusebius's or Clement's.

        [Leonard]
        >Against Stephen's view of the matter is the fact that there is no singular
        >antecedent for the subject of ELEGEN in the cited text of Eusebius prior to
        >the appearance of this verb, and so it is quite natural to take Clement as
        >the subject of the verb, with the consequence that ELEGEN is not part of
        >Clement's "reported speech".

        By the way, Zahn reportes a variant reading, ELEGON. If accepted, this
        difficulty vanishes.>>

        Interesting. Few of us are deep into textual criticism of the Ecclesiastical
        History of Eusebius.

        >On the other hand, I have a problem with the way
        >Farkasfalvy translates the first sentence of the quote from Eusebius:
        >
        >"Again in these same books Clement has presented the tradition of the
        ancient
        >presbyters on the order of the Gospels (PERI TEJ TAXEWJ TWN
        >EUAGGELIWN) in the following manner (TOUTON ECOUSAN TON TROPON)".
        >It may be a fine point, but the phrase "in the following manner" in the
        above
        >translation seems to modify the verb "presented", whereas in the Greek
        >original the phase clearly modifies "tradition" (PARADOSIN). This could
        make
        >a difference, I think, possibly in the direction of supporting Stephen's
        >overall reading.

        <<Perhaps we should take F.'s comprise: a faithful but a non-literal
        rendering by Eusebius, for example, taking Clement's verbs and putting
        them into the infinitives of indirect discourse.>>

        Yes, but remember, the real issue here is: who is the subject of the verb
        ELEGEN (ELEGON), and is the verb part of the quoted speech of Clement or not.
        (If not, the text-critical question is also thereby resolved in favor of
        ELEGEN).

        [Leonard]
        >My only problem with this solution is that, if understanding this tradition
        >of the presbyters in this way (namely as indicating an order among the four
        >gospels that places Luke before Mark) reflects the concerns of Eusebius,
        why
        >does he not elsewhere sustain or propagate this order? Or does he? I don't
        >think he does so anywhere else, even in his famous "canons", does he?

        <<Gamba pointed out that the canons (which may not have been original
        to Eusebius) reflect the order Matt-Luke-Mark-John. For example, Canon
        III Matt-Luke-John is followed by Canon IV Matt-Mark-John, and Canon V
        Matt-Luke is followed by Canon VI Matt-Mark, by Canon VII Matt-John,
        and then by Canon VIII Luke-Mark and Canon IX Luke-John.>>

        I didn't know this. The order Matt-Luke-Mark is of course also found in some
        Greek manuscripts. I wonder where this order comes from in these sources? I'm
        a little less sure than you that...

        << This does not imply, however, a chronological order. Eusebius' own
        exposition on the order of composition in Book II, however, is the
        traditional order
        Matt-Mark-Luke-John.>>

        OK. But this latter order is self-explanatory. It was by that time already
        the usual order of the Gospels in the canon, and, if it goes back to
        Irenaeus, I have argued that it's ratio is not chronological, but rather
        dependent on a pre-existing firm order among the "apostles" (Peter - Paul,
        for Mark and Luke, in particular) thought to be the authority behind the
        different gospels. For want of a similar ratio for the order Matt-Luke-Mark,
        should we not leave open the possibility that where this order is found in
        patristic sources or NT manuscripts it reflects an early assessment of
        chronology?

        [Leonard]
        >Also, does anyone know why David Dungan does not discuss this opinion of
        >Clement (as usually understood) in "A History of the Synoptic Problem"? (Or
        >is his index incomplete?) Was he convinced by Farkasfalvy's arguments in
        the
        >article under discussion? Perhaps David can answer this himself.

        << Despite the title, Dungan's book gives very little attention to
        merits of the Synoptic Problem proper. In contrast with Farmer,
        who leads with Clement's tradition, Dungan's own case for the 2GH
        in his other writings relegates Clement to the fourth argument as
        a minor point of corroboration.>>

        I would still love to know why Dungan is so reticent to use this text as
        patristic evidence in support of the 2GH. Perhaps we will hear from him yet.

        Leonard Maluf
      • Stephen C. Carlson
        ... What do you make of the imperfect here? If the ELEGEN was part of Eusebius s own speech in reference to Clement, wouldn t an aorist or perfect be more
        Message 3 of 30 , Aug 2, 2000
          At 07:33 AM 8/1/00 EDT, Maluflen@... wrote:
          >Yes, but remember, the real issue here is: who is the subject of the verb
          >ELEGEN (ELEGON), and is the verb part of the quoted speech of Clement or not.
          >(If not, the text-critical question is also thereby resolved in favor of
          >ELEGEN).

          What do you make of the imperfect here? If the ELEGEN was part of
          Eusebius's own speech in reference to Clement, wouldn't an aorist
          or perfect be more appropriate here, as Clement has presumably
          written this once? If the implication is that the declarant
          repeatedly or customarily said, then would not the imperfect be
          a fitting tense for Clement's tradition?

          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
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          In a message dated 8/2/2000 8:50:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes: ... not. ... What do you make of the imperfect here? If the
          Message 4 of 30 , Aug 3, 2000
            In a message dated 8/2/2000 8:50:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
            scarlson@... writes:

            << At 07:33 AM 8/1/00 EDT, Maluflen@... wrote:
            >Yes, but remember, the real issue here is: who is the subject of the verb
            >ELEGEN (ELEGON), and is the verb part of the quoted speech of Clement or
            not.
            >(If not, the text-critical question is also thereby resolved in favor of
            >ELEGEN).

            What do you make of the imperfect here? If the ELEGEN was part of
            Eusebius's own speech in reference to Clement, wouldn't an aorist
            or perfect be more appropriate here, as Clement has presumably
            written this once? If the implication is that the declarant
            repeatedly or customarily said, then would not the imperfect be
            a fitting tense for Clement's tradition? >>

            I'm not sure how far it can be pressed, but this does sound like a reasonable
            argument to me. Can an opposite argument be made, though, on the basis of the
            plural TOIJ AUTOIJ...BIBLIOIJ ? Is this a real plural here, referring to more
            than one work, or not? If it refers to a single work, then it does seem that
            an aorist or perfect verb would have been more appropriate if Eusebius
            intended Clement as the subject of the verb ELEGEN. As I read the text today,
            and in the light of this observation, I am again inclined to agree with your
            reading of the text. By the way, I will be away in Los Angeles, probably
            without access to a computer, for the next 5 or 6 days.

            Leonard Maluf
          • Tim Reynolds
            Dr. Carlson, The biggest snag in this auditory piracy model I’m flogging was Clement’s statement (and who should know better?) that the genealogy gospels
            Message 5 of 30 , Aug 5, 2000
              Dr. Carlson,

              The biggest snag in this auditory piracy model I’m flogging was Clement’s
              statement (and who should know better?) that the genealogy gospels were
              written before Mk. If, however, your reading of PROGEGRAFQAI is correct,
              the problem dissolves.

              This reading also brings you into line, independently of anything else, with
              the AP model overall:

              > It is interesting to me, at least, that Clement's passage exhibits
              > the same kind of concerns as Irenaeus and a desire to explain away
              > the limited publication of the gospel of Mark (e.g. Mark is just
              > Peter's public teaching, etc.). If Mark indeed was only published
              > to a limited extent, this could explain why we see so little of
              > Mark in the extant manuscripts.
              >
              > This would also require some nuancing of Bauckham's "Gospel for all
              > Christians" proposal. Matthew and Luke and perhaps John are still
              > gospels for all Christians, but Mark may have had a limited audience.

              In early days that audience was limited, according to Smith’s Clement
              letter, to the “advanced Catechumens” to whom it was read annually, these
              readings providing the only access to the text.

              tim
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