- Matti Myllykoski asks about models for dealing with the minor agreements. I
discuss this problem in chap. 1 in connections with the problems faced by
As I indicated in a previous response, I do not have a single answer, and do
not think that a single answer is adequate to the complexity of the
phenomena of the MAs. My main point in chap. 1 is that from a logical point
of view, the MAs constitute a problem for the 2DH *not* because they are
insoluble on the 2DH, but because they are solvable in too many different
ways, and we are not in a position to know which kinds of solution ought to
be invoked, and in which case.
From the point of view of what we know or can surmise about the actual
composition and early transmission of the Synoptic Gospels, several
solutions are both logically possible and historically credible:
1) "coincidental redaction", especially in the case of features of Markan
style that Matthew and Luke ordinarily alter (and hence, will sometimes
alter in the same or similar fashions);
2) recensional explanations (either Ur- or Deutero-Markus), since it is next
to impossible that Matthew and Luke used the *same* copy of Mark or that
what eventually became canonical Mark was identical with either; and highly
likely that copies of Mark differed in at least minor transcriptional ways
and perhaps in more substantial ways;
3) transmissional explanations: that the vagaries of transcription have
created some of the MAs (and no doubt effaced others); and
4) the influence of Q or other non-Markan materials on certain pericopae.
From a historical point of view, each of these is perfectly possible and
analogies can be found for each. From an epistemological perspective,
however, we are simply not in a position to *know* which model is the better
one in any particular case. I do think that Neirynck (in his minor
agreements book) has provided statistical data that goes a long way to
justifying (1). There are, however, as everyone knows, certain MAs such as
Mark 14:65 for which that sort of explanation strains credulity (or at least
my credulity). In these cases, (2) or (3) do work, but I have not grounds
for choosing one over the other. That's the rub: we are truly badly informed
about the stages of composition and transmission that we would really like
to know about and which would solve many of our problems. And it makes no
sense to me to try to force a solution when the data is simply not there.
This is the _Excavating Q_ Seminar (Oct. 23 -- Nov. 10 2000).
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