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[Synoptic-L] More on V. Taylor on Mark's Priority.

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  • Steven Craig Miller
    To: Stephen C. Carlson, Taylor writes:
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 2, 2000
      To: Stephen C. Carlson,

      Taylor writes: << ... [they] all combine to make it certain that Mark is
      our earliest Gospel used as a source by Matthew and Luke. >>

      That is how I understand the arguments for the Two-Source hypothesis. The
      arguments work only in combination.

      -Steven Craig Miller
      Alton, Illinois (USA)
      scmiller@...



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    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 12/2/2000 2:26:37 PM Eastern Standard Time, scmiller@plantnet.com writes:
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 2, 2000
        In a message dated 12/2/2000 2:26:37 PM Eastern Standard Time,
        scmiller@... writes:

        << To: Stephen C. Carlson,

        Taylor writes: << ... [they] all combine to make it certain that Mark is
        our earliest Gospel used as a source by Matthew and Luke. >>

        That is how I understand the arguments for the Two-Source hypothesis. The
        arguments work only in combination.>>

        What makes them work in combination if, as you seem to imply, the arguments
        are not probative taken individually? So you think five arguments, which do
        not make the case on their own, can establish as "certain" (Taylor's term)
        that Mark is our earliest gospel and was used as a source by Matthew and Luke?

        Leonard Maluf

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      • Tim Reynolds
        ... High average relative to what? Even allowing for gentrification of language, we would expect, say, 90% agreement in transcribed texts. And even allowing
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 2, 2000
          "Stephen C. Carlson" wrote:

          > Buried in the bowels of my web site, I have excerpts of V. Taylor's
          > argument for Mark's Priority. Here is the excerpt:
          >
          > Taylor, Vincent, The Gospel According to St. Mark: The Greek Text with
          > Introduction, Notes, and Indexes (London: Macmillan & Co., 1952).
          >
          > the high average of verbal agreement
          > >(about 51 per cent in Matt. and 53 per cent in Luke)

          High average relative to what? Even allowing for gentrification of language, we
          would expect, say, 90% agreement in transcribed texts. And even allowing for
          necessary language identities (loaves, fishes) we would expect only 20% maybe
          from independent accounts of the same event. The central synoptic problem (and
          the essential clue to its solution) is this 50% agreement. By what transmission
          mechanism was it produced, independently, in both Mt and Lk?

          Tim Reynolds
          Long Beach CA


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        • Steven Craig Miller
          To: Leonard Maluf,
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 2, 2000
            To: Leonard Maluf,

            << What makes them work in combination if, as you seem to imply, the
            arguments are not probative taken individually? So you think five
            arguments, which do not make the case on their own, can establish as
            "certain" (Taylor's term) that Mark is our earliest gospel and was used as
            a source by Matthew and Luke? >>

            I would concede that nothing is established as "certain." Fitzmyer wrote:

            << ... the history of Synoptic research reveals that the problem is
            'practically insoluble.' As I see the matter, we cannot hope for a
            definitive and certain solution to it ... >> ("Jesus and Man's Hope," 132).

            I also don't believe that most of the advocates of other hypotheses are
            "stupid" or "uninformed." Rather I assume that most of them are very
            intelligent people who have put forth a thought out hypothesis. That is the
            reason why I have introduced the term "partisan" into the discussion,
            because I believe that the differences of opinion on this issue is not
            normally a matter of someone believing "fallacies," but rather merely a
            matter of intelligent people reaching different conclusions.

            (As mentioned in an earlier message) I would modify the arguments for the
            Two-Source hypothesis to read something like this:

            (1) There is a direct literary relationship between the Synoptic Gospels
            within the (so called) Triple tradition (cp. Streeter's 1st & 2nd points).

            (2) Mark is the "middle-term" for the Triple tradition (cp. Streeter's 2nd
            & 3rd points & Bultler p. 65).

            (3) Mark is more "primitive" (same as Streeter's 4th point). This is shown
            (a) by the use of phrases likely to cause offence, which are omitted or
            toned down in the other Gospels, and (b) by Mark's roughness of style and
            grammar which the other Gospels alter resulting in stylistic or grammatical
            improvements. (Here I would be tempted to add [with all due respect to
            Peter M. Head] a point "c": and by Matthew's and Luke's higher [or more
            developed] Christology.)

            One can disagree with any one or all of these statements. But at least
            there is a logical progression here. The first argument attempts to rule
            out any possibility of an ur-gospel hypothesis for the Triple tradition
            material. Obviously anyone who accepts some sort of ur-gospel hypothesis
            would object to this first argument. If one does not accept this first
            argument, one cannot move on to the next. The second argument is dependent
            upon the first and attempts to side-step the so-called "Lachmann Fallacy,"
            while attempting to rule out all hypotheses which does not have Mark as the
            "middle-term." The third argument is dependent on the first two, it rules
            out any hypothesis which does not accept Markan priority.

            An example as to how these arguments must work together in combination is
            that I don't believe that one can talk of Makan "primitivity," as is
            normally done, unless one can (at least) establish that there is some
            direct literary relationship between the gospels, since what is meant by
            Markan "primitivity" is "primitivity" in comparison to Matthew and Luke. If
            there is no direct literary relationship, the notion of "primitivity" is
            simply not the same.

            -Steven Craig Miller
            Alton, Illinois (USA)
            scmiller@...



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          • Richard Anderson
            Steven Craig Miller, greetings: (Here I would be tempted to add [with all due respect to Peter M. Head] a point c : and by Matthew s and Luke s higher [or
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 2, 2000
              Steven Craig Miller, greetings:

              (Here I would be tempted to add [with all due respect to
              Peter M. Head] a point "c": and by Matthew's and Luke's higher [or more
              developed] Christology.)


              Isn't the converse of this, a statement that Mark has a less or more
              primitive christology and if so how do justify c) in light of what you wrote
              below?

              An example as to how these arguments must work together in combination is
              that I don't believe that one can talk of Makan "primitivity," as is
              normally done, unless one can (at least) establish that there is some
              direct literary relationship between the gospels, since what is meant by
              Markan "primitivity" is "primitivity" in comparison to Matthew and Luke. If
              there is no direct literary relationship, the notion of "primitivity" is
              simply not the same.

              Richard H. Anderson
              Wallingford, PA
              http://www.geocities.com/gospelofluke


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            • Tim Reynolds
              ... I saw this auditory piracy business over 20 years ago, starting from Clement. I had read it four times in Smith’s popular version: once years before,
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 2, 2000
                Steven Craig Miller wrote:

                > To: Leonard Maluf,

                >
                >
                > I would concede that nothing is established as "certain." Fitzmyer wrote:
                >
                > << ... the history of Synoptic research reveals that the problem is
                > 'practically insoluble.' As I see the matter, we cannot hope for a
                > definitive and certain solution to it ... >> ("Jesus and Man's Hope," 132).
                >

                I saw this auditory piracy business over 20 years ago, starting from Clement.
                I had read it four times in Smith’s popular version: once years before, again
                for a book I was writing, again as I transcribed it, and once more as I
                proofread it, and the last time through I caught on:

                “Yow. Clement’s ‘even yet’. Mk wasn’t being transmitted. I read right over
                that, it was cubbyholed in Alexandria. Does that mean L and Mt also enslaved
                a guard? They didn’t have xerox machines. This is hot. Think.”
                Singularity?, p. 109.

                This is why I have great confidence in this model. It was only later that I
                realized what memory transcripts of written material would, common sense, have
                to be like. And only later still that I made the Bad Quarto [et al.]
                connection.

                Clement was really just a catalyst, his testimony is unnecessary. Greg and
                Streeter are chatting over port at the Bibliographical Society, turn of the
                century, Greg quotes “To be or not to be, aye that’s the point” to illustrate
                these Bad Quartos he’s involved in, and Streeter sees the resemblance to the
                synoptics. That’s all it would take to put forward, formally, a synoptic
                hypothesis. What Clement does is concretize the physical circumstances the
                aural piracy hypothesis predicts must have existed: Mk available exclusively
                in aural presentation.

                The Blessed but Goofy Mullah Nasr Edin goes into a grocery store and asks Do
                you have eggs? The clerk says We have free range eggs, we have ostrich eggs
                ... Nasr Edin says Do you have flour? The clerk says Do we have flour? Stone
                ground from ... Nasr Edin says Do you have sugar? The clerk says Sugar fit
                for a Padishah! Sugar ... Nasr Edin says Why don’t you bake a cake?

                Tim Reynolds
                Long Beach CA


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              • John C. Poirier
                ... If ... All this begs the question of whether scholars were justified in applying Lachmann s principles to stemmas that were not Lachmannian. Lachmann
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 3, 2000
                  Steven Craig Miller:

                  >
                  > An example as to how these arguments must work together in combination is
                  > that I don't believe that one can talk of Makan "primitivity," as is
                  > normally done, unless one can (at least) establish that there is some
                  > direct literary relationship between the gospels, since what is meant by
                  > Markan "primitivity" is "primitivity" in comparison to Matthew and Luke.
                  If
                  > there is no direct literary relationship, the notion of "primitivity" is
                  > simply not the same.
                  >

                  All this begs the question of whether scholars were justified in applying
                  Lachmann's principles to stemmas that were not Lachmannian. Lachmann spoke
                  of Markan "primitivity" (not his word, if I remember) "in comparison to
                  Matthew and Luke," but without envisioning that any gospel was a descendent
                  of another. His point was that Mark enjoyed "priority," not in the genetic
                  sense in which "Markan priority" is meant today, but rather in the sense
                  that Mark was more faithful to the wording of a common source. So, when you
                  say that "the notion of 'primitivity' is simply not the same," it appears
                  that you are simply begging the question that Brian Wilson is putting
                  forward.


                  John C. Poirier
                  Middletown, Ohio




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                • Steven Craig Miller
                  To: John C. Poirier,
                  Message 8 of 10 , Dec 3, 2000
                    To: John C. Poirier,

                    << So, when you say that "the notion of 'primitivity' is simply not the
                    same," it appears that you are simply begging the question that Brian
                    Wilson is putting forward. >>

                    I'm unsure what you mean by "begging the question" here.

                    I'm trying to distinguish between two notions of "primitivity," one where
                    the source is known, and one where the source is unknown. In point five of
                    Goodacre's paper, he claims the following to be a "fallacy":

                    << (5) "Luke's occasional greater primitivity over against Matthew
                    necessitates the existence of Q." >>

                    I too have difficulties accepting this argument since the text of 'Q' is
                    unknown. There will always be some doubt whether a so-called "primitivity"
                    was really a part of Q or the result of redaction.

                    The situation is different with the arguments for Markan priority. Once it
                    has been established that (1) there is a direct literary relationship
                    between the Synoptic Gospels within the (so called) Triple tradition; and
                    (2) Mark is the "middle-term" for the Triple tradition; then (3) the
                    "primitivity" proves Markan priority. What is meant by "primitivity"?
                    Markan "primitivity" is shown (a) by the use of phrases likely to cause
                    offence, which are omitted or toned down in the other Gospels, and (b) by
                    Mark's roughness of style and grammar which the other Gospels alter
                    resulting in stylistic or grammatical improvements. Unlike with Q, the text
                    of Mark's Gospel is known to us.

                    -Steven Craig Miller
                    Alton, Illinois (USA)
                    scmiller@...



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                  • John C. Poirier
                    ... text ... I did not say that I have difficulty with Goodacre s point about primitivity --I was questioning your response to Brian Wilson. Let me explain
                    Message 9 of 10 , Dec 4, 2000
                      Steven Craig Miller wrote:

                      > I'm unsure what you mean by "begging the question" here.
                      >
                      > I'm trying to distinguish between two notions of "primitivity," one where
                      > the source is known, and one where the source is unknown. In point five of
                      > Goodacre's paper, he claims the following to be a "fallacy":
                      >
                      > << (5) "Luke's occasional greater primitivity over against Matthew
                      > necessitates the existence of Q." >>
                      >
                      > I too have difficulties accepting this argument since the text of 'Q' is
                      > unknown. There will always be some doubt whether a so-called "primitivity"
                      > was really a part of Q or the result of redaction.
                      >
                      > The situation is different with the arguments for Markan priority. Once it
                      > has been established that (1) there is a direct literary relationship
                      > between the Synoptic Gospels within the (so called) Triple tradition; and
                      > (2) Mark is the "middle-term" for the Triple tradition; then (3) the
                      > "primitivity" proves Markan priority. What is meant by "primitivity"?
                      > Markan "primitivity" is shown (a) by the use of phrases likely to cause
                      > offence, which are omitted or toned down in the other Gospels, and (b) by
                      > Mark's roughness of style and grammar which the other Gospels alter
                      > resulting in stylistic or grammatical improvements. Unlike with Q, the
                      text
                      > of Mark's Gospel is known to us.

                      I did not say that I have difficulty with Goodacre's point about
                      "primitivity"--I was questioning your response to Brian Wilson.

                      Let me explain what I mean by "begging the question": you have a three-part
                      sequence of deductions which begins by establishing that a "direct literary
                      relationship" exists between the synoptic gospels, yet your definition of
                      "direct literary relationship" seems to rule out the type of literary
                      relationship that Brian Wilson has in mind: independent use of a common
                      source. My point is that Wilson's paradigm is also what Lachmann had in
                      mind when he established that Mark is the "middle term," and he put *those*
                      two deductions together in order to establish Mark's "priority" in the sense
                      of Mark's greater fidelity to the common source, rather than in the sense of
                      Mark's genetic or temporal priority to Matthew and Luke. In other words,
                      your sequence of deductions reproduces the "great fallacy" created by
                      Streeter's misreading of Lachmann, for, as Farmer has carefully explained,
                      when scholars began dispensing with the idea of an Ur-gospel, they committed
                      a fallacy in thinking that Lachmann's argument continues to be logically
                      probative when applied to stemmas which placed the gospels in direct descent
                      to one another.


                      John C. Poirier
                      Middletown, Ohio



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