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[Excavating-Q] Response to Matti Myllykoski

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  • John Kloppenborg
    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 the 2DH.
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2000
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      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 the 2DH.

      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.

      best
      jskv

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