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[Synoptic-L] Consensus second time around

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    Dear Leonard, You wrote -- ... I was assuming that you had found such relatively objective directional indications. I agree with you here, therefore. But what
    Message 1 of 54 , Jan 16, 2001
      Dear Leonard,
      You wrote --
      >
      >I am looking for more objective directional indications.
      >
      I was assuming that you had found such relatively objective directional
      indications. I agree with you here, therefore.

      But what then follows? Let us assume that we now have more objective
      directional indications of the secondariness of Mark with respect to
      Matthew than previously. These would be perfectly consistent with
      Matthew not being prior to Mark. For Matthew could have more faithfully
      followed a source which Mark followed less faithfully so that Mark would
      have come to display the same indications of secondariness as if Mark
      had used Matthew directly. The relatively objective directional
      indication would be **negative**, therefore. It would point to Mark
      **not** being prior to Matthew. It does not indicate positively that
      Matthew was prior.

      I would suggest that what you are really looking for are not indications
      of the secondariness of Mark with respect to Matthew, but of indications
      of the priority of Matthew with respect to Mark. These are just not the
      same thing.

      I think the reason why you have not found positive indications of the
      priority of Matthew is that Matthew was not prior. More generally, the
      reason why over the past two hundred years or more scholars have not
      found positive irreversible indicators of the priority of any synoptic
      gospel with respect to the others is that no synoptic gospel is prior to
      the other two. If any synoptic gospel had been prior to the other two,
      surely after so many millions of man-hours (and woman-hours) of study of
      the synoptic problem over the past centuries, a positive irreversible
      indicator would have been found.

      On the other hand scholars have found many and various negative
      directional indications, of greater or lesser objectivity, of each
      synoptic gospel being secondary to the other two (including yours, which
      I think is indeed a more objective indicator). These negative
      directional indicators do not prove the Theory of Non-priority. (I do
      not set out to prove it, and would agree that my argument does not
      amount to deductive proof.) But I would suggest that the Theory of Non-
      priority fits the observed negative directional indicators better than
      any theory of priority.

      For the absence of positive directional indicators and the presence of
      negative directional indicators are what we would expect if the Theory
      of Non-priority is true.

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON

      E-mail; brian@... HOMEPAGE www.twonh.demon.co.uk

      Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
      > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
      > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
      _

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Brian E. Wilson
      Dear Leonard, You wrote -- ... I was assuming that you had found such relatively objective directional indications. I agree with you here, therefore. But what
      Message 54 of 54 , Jan 16, 2001
        Dear Leonard,
        You wrote --
        >
        >I am looking for more objective directional indications.
        >
        I was assuming that you had found such relatively objective directional
        indications. I agree with you here, therefore.

        But what then follows? Let us assume that we now have more objective
        directional indications of the secondariness of Mark with respect to
        Matthew than previously. These would be perfectly consistent with
        Matthew not being prior to Mark. For Matthew could have more faithfully
        followed a source which Mark followed less faithfully so that Mark would
        have come to display the same indications of secondariness as if Mark
        had used Matthew directly. The relatively objective directional
        indication would be **negative**, therefore. It would point to Mark
        **not** being prior to Matthew. It does not indicate positively that
        Matthew was prior.

        I would suggest that what you are really looking for are not indications
        of the secondariness of Mark with respect to Matthew, but of indications
        of the priority of Matthew with respect to Mark. These are just not the
        same thing.

        I think the reason why you have not found positive indications of the
        priority of Matthew is that Matthew was not prior. More generally, the
        reason why over the past two hundred years or more scholars have not
        found positive irreversible indicators of the priority of any synoptic
        gospel with respect to the others is that no synoptic gospel is prior to
        the other two. If any synoptic gospel had been prior to the other two,
        surely after so many millions of man-hours (and woman-hours) of study of
        the synoptic problem over the past centuries, a positive irreversible
        indicator would have been found.

        On the other hand scholars have found many and various negative
        directional indications, of greater or lesser objectivity, of each
        synoptic gospel being secondary to the other two (including yours, which
        I think is indeed a more objective indicator). These negative
        directional indicators do not prove the Theory of Non-priority. (I do
        not set out to prove it, and would agree that my argument does not
        amount to deductive proof.) But I would suggest that the Theory of Non-
        priority fits the observed negative directional indicators better than
        any theory of priority.

        For the absence of positive directional indicators and the presence of
        negative directional indicators are what we would expect if the Theory
        of Non-priority is true.

        Best wishes,
        BRIAN WILSON

        E-mail; brian@... HOMEPAGE www.twonh.demon.co.uk

        Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
        > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
        > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
        _

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