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

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  • Steven Craig Miller
    To: Leonard Maluf,
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 2, 2000
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      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 2 of 10 , Dec 2, 2000
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        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 3 of 10 , Dec 2, 2000
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          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 4 of 10 , Dec 3, 2000
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            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 5 of 10 , Dec 3, 2000
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              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 6 of 10 , Dec 4, 2000
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                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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