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

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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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