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[Excavating-Q] David Hindley (2)

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  • John Kloppenborg
    Dave Hindley writes: Your approach would have strongest support if Q, Mark, Thomas, bits of Paul, bits of James, and some Sondergut are all independent of one
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 4, 2000
      Dave Hindley writes:

      Your approach would have strongest support if Q, Mark, Thomas, bits of Paul,
      bits of James, and some Sondergut are all independent of one another, and
      represent parallel traditions deriving back to a single early Jesus

      JSKV: Yes, I agree with this, and in this sense I am in agreement with
      Crossan's emphasis on multiple attestation in *indepdendent* sources.

      DH: I would just note that traditions do not always radiate from a center,
      but often new twists branch off along the way, etc. Our surviving records
      are anything but a random selection of all existing traditions, and may even
      represent only traditions that derived from one of those branches.

      JSKV: I'm not sure how to respond. Yes, our records *might not* be a random
      selection; they also *might be*. But how would be know this? All we have are
      what are extant.

      DH: For example, 1) an early Jesus-Movement has a gentile oriented subgroup
      branch off at some key point. 2) This subgroup, in a process of
      re-identification, imports and integrates instructional or wisdom traditions
      into its tradition base. 3) A subgroup of students of wisdom traditions
      branches off from (2) and takes this incorporated
      wisdom literature a different direction. Our surviving literature only
      preserves branch 2 (NT gospels and materials) & 3 (Gospel of Thomas), but
      nothing produced directly by 1 or any of the other traditions radiating from
      it. In other words, we may not have enough detail to accurately deduce the
      authentic sayings using the method you propose.

      JSKV: This is an interesting way of scoping out the relationship among
      various sectors of the Jesus tradition, but surely not the only way of
      making sense of diverse strands. I'm a bit skeptical of so orderly a
      model--a single group sequentially subdividing, and doubt that this really
      does justice to the geographical and social diversity of the Jesus movement.
      I don't think that James, the Didache, Mark, Q, Thomas, GEgyptians, etc. can
      be easily arranged into a simple stemma along the lines that David suggests.


      This is the _Excavating Q_ Seminar (Oct. 23 -- Nov. 10 2000).
      Please send your messages to Synoptic-S@...
      Please send all other correspondence to Synoptic-S-Owner@...
    • David C. Hindley
      Dave Hindley s response to Q Seminar reply is posted to Synoptic-L: Professor Kloppenborg, Again thank you for the kind response, although none was really
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 5, 2000
        Dave Hindley's response to Q Seminar reply is posted to Synoptic-L:

        Professor Kloppenborg,

        Again thank you for the kind response, although none was really
        required or expected (as I realize that you are very busy)!

        You are quite right, IMHO, to emphasize the arbitrary nature of
        hypothetical entities when analyzing evidence. A short while ago I was
        re-reading _Induction and Hypothesis: A Study of the Logic of
        Confirmation_ (S. F. Barker, Cornell U. Press, 1957), which I had
        looked at back in college (in the late 70's). The first pass through
        it had left me with the feeling that there was no *one* way to analyze
        evidence, and I was left a bit disenchanted. In the 20+ years that
        have passed since then, and in the aftermath of the recent J. D.
        Crossan seminar on XTalk, I thought that, maybe, it would come
        together for me this time around.

        Unfortunately, I was wrong. The only conclusion I could come to was
        that I would have to invest much more resources towards increasing my
        familiarity with the various means by which hypotheses can be formed
        (through eliminative and enumerative induction) and evaluated on their
        own merit - especially in cases where unobserved entities are required
        (through criterion of simplicity, the principals of reductionism and
        formalism) along with the problems and limitations they present in
        their methodological application. These things, I am sure, you are
        also grappling with, and I have great confidence in your ability to
        sort these issues out.

        That being said, the social models you have employed in your analysis
        of the Q evidence are problematic in my opinion. _Excavating Q_ goes
        "on the offensive" in defense of the Galilean social models created by
        several researchers to explain the Q evidence. In spite of all the
        individual parallels that can be made with known 1st century
        historical relics, all sorts of modern presuppositions can be
        transferred to the hypothetical models that must be created to explain
        the parallels. So again, the arbitrary nature of hypotheses becomes an
        issue. In the process of bettering my understanding of the
        methodological problems inherent in historical investigations, such as
        above, I've found Alun Munslow's _Deconstructing History_ (Routledge,
        1997) to be quite helpful.

        Finally, in regard to your approach to literary analysis, I again
        appreciated the fact that you have a clear-cut method in mind (perhaps
        along the lines of Hans Conzelmann & Andreas Lindermann, _Interpreting
        the New Testament_, ET 1988?). Of course, I presume that you are
        familiar with the Structural approaches and the new dispensation of
        Narrative Criticism that developed in reaction to it, and in may ways
        incorporating many of its methods? Scouring your author index, though,
        I did not see names associated with structural approaches such as
        Roland Barthes, Paul De Man, Jacques Derrida, Michael Foucault, Julia
        Kristeva, Jacques Lacan and Daniel Patte, or with historical
        methodology in general, such as E. H. Carr, R. G. Collingwood,
        Geoffrey Elton, Carl Hemple, Jean Francois Lyotard, Ferdinand Saussure
        or Hayden White.

        After the Crossan seminar, I became anxious about the methodological
        state of affairs in biblical criticism. It was clear that biblical
        critics who employ variations of the historical method had largely
        forged their own path, creating a number of unique structures and
        methods along the way, but at the same time have not been keeping
        close tabs on the secular side of the discipline. I am almost afraid
        that "we" are deluding ourselves into thinking we are more or less
        objectively going along when we are in fact constructing something
        that reflects ever more our modern hopes and desires than a historical
        reconstruction of the past.

        My hope is that you, and others, will (continue to?) make a concerted
        effort to keep in touch with the methods and epistemological issues
        that are raging in the secular branches of historical investigation,
        as well as try to present up front (and to an extent justify)
        approaches that are adopted in the analytical process. From reading
        reviews in the RBL newsletters, it is clear that in the ranks of
        academia these issues are being considered, but they are not being
        reflected in many major works. This has to be of concern, if only to
        preserve our own integrity. If we limit ourselves to authors specific
        to our disciplines only, we are running a risk of proceeding with
        tunnel vision.

        Good luck! I look forward to your future contributions!


        Dave Hindley
        Cleveland, Ohio, USA

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
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