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[Synoptic-L] Fallicies

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  • Douglas Fitzpatrick
    Stephen Craig Miller wrote :
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2000
      Stephen Craig Miller wrote :   <<There is no real "fallacy" here, only your accusation of a "fallacy." In all seriousness, can you imagine Tuckett blushing over the quotations of his you presented and saying: "Opps, I wrote that?">
      Perhaps not a blush but at least a retreat:
       "Contemporary debate has highlighted the weak and inconclusive nature of some of the arguments in the past that have been used to promote the two-source theory.  This applies to some of the more "formal" arguments referring to global patterns in the overall set of arguments.  For example, in arguing for Markan priority, some have appealed to the fact that nearly all of Mk is paralled in Mt or Lk or both.  But all this shows is that some literary relationship exists.  It does not prove that the only possibility is that Mk's Gospel was the source of Mt and Lk.  Similarly, the much discussed appeal to the failure of Mt and Lk ever, or hardly ever, to agree against Mk in order and wording does not prove that Mt and Lk independently used Mk as a source; it only shows that Mk is some kind of middle term (Butler's term) between the other two in any pattern of relationships".  (Tuckett, "The Synoptic Problem", New Interpreters Bible) 
      This was AFTER both he and Neirynck had abandoned Streeter's argument from order of pericopes and adopted Lachmann's method of comparing only two Gospels at a time, claiming that that the results thus obtained now "constitutes the main reason for positing Marcan priority" (Neirynck, "The Synoptic Problem" in NJBC 589).  The logical fallacies upon which Lachmann's method depends have subsequently been unmasked by, among others, David Neville and David Dungan.  By this point Tuckett seems to contained his arguments in favor of the two source theory to what Neville called "compositional" arguments:  "... comparing different texts, asking which way the tradition is likely to have developed." (Tuckett as quoted by Dungan, History of the Synoptic Problem, 389) 
      Tuckett seems to me to have lost any claim to rigor by claiming that the "most important kind of argument" supporting the two source hypothesis is the subjective divination of literary trajectory.
      Douglas Fitzpatrick
      Houston Graduate School of Theology
      “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?”
      A. Einstein

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