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Re: [Synoptic-L] the Gospel of Matthew has no clear structure

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  • Peter M. Head
    ... This is interesting. Do you have any bibliog.? (I couldn t find any commentary on Matthew by Delitzsch; it certainly isn t in the bibliography of Davies &
    Message 1 of 12 , May 1, 2001
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      Leonard mentioned:
      >a kind of Pentateuchal structure for Matthew
      >identified by Franz Delitzsch over 150 years ago?
      >
      >Genesis: Matt 1:1 -- 2:15
      >Exodus: Matt 2:16 -- 7:29
      >Leviticus: Matt 8:1 -- 9:38
      >Numbers: Matt 10:1 -- 18:35
      >Deut: Matt 19:1 -- 28:20

      This is interesting. Do you have any bibliog.? (I couldn't find any
      commentary on Matthew by Delitzsch; it certainly isn't in the bibliography
      of Davies & Allison; nor in Luz).
      Is it just the opening portion which is thought (on this view) to connect
      with the related book of the pentateuch (which does sort of work); or the
      whole section (which doesn't look obvious)?

      Pete


      Dr. Peter M. Head
      Tyndale House
      36 Selwyn Gardens
      Cambridge CB3 9BA
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      Fax: 01223 566608
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    • Brian E. Wilson
      Brian Wilson asked -- ... Leonard Maluf replied -- ... Leonard, You seem to be saying that the gospel of Matthew has more than one clear structure! I do not
      Message 2 of 12 , May 1, 2001
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        Brian Wilson asked --
        >
        >Is it true that the gospel of Matthew has no clear structure?
        >
        Leonard Maluf replied --
        >
        >I don't think a multiplicity of structural principles in a document
        >necessarily implies that its author didn't have control over his
        >material.
        >
        Leonard,
        You seem to be saying that the gospel of Matthew has more than
        one clear structure!

        I do not see any clear structure myself. Nor do Davis and Alison in
        their commentary on Matthew.

        I would suggest the reason is that Matthew is based on a structure-less
        document.

        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".
        _

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      • Ron Price
        ... Brian, Strictly, the answer must be that it has no clear structure. For if it had a clear structure, everyone would agree on it. About 45% of the 30
        Message 3 of 12 , May 1, 2001
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          Brian Wilson wrote:

          >Is it true that the gospel of Matthew has no clear structure?

          Brian,

          Strictly, the answer must be that it has no clear structure. For if it
          had a clear structure, everyone would agree on it.
          About 45% of the 30 commentators whose structures I have noted agree
          with Bacon that there are five sets of narrative & discourse plus a
          prologue and an epilogue. But there are many minor variations from
          Bacon's boundaries.

          However this ought to be put into context. The roughly 45% support for
          Bacon or something similar represents a much higher score for what is
          essentially a two-level structure than for any other NT book. In other
          words the two-level structure of Matthew, if Bacon was roughly right (as
          I'm convinced he was), is far clearer than that of any other NT book.

          Ron Price

          Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

          e-mail: ron.price@...

          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm


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        • Brian E. Wilson
          Brian Wilson asked -- ... Ron Price replied -- ... Ron, I agree that there are five major discourses, and that the discourses and narrative material are
          Message 4 of 12 , May 1, 2001
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            Brian Wilson asked --
            >
            >Is it true that the gospel of Matthew has no clear structure?
            >
            Ron Price replied --
            >
            >About 45% of the 30 commentators whose structures I have noted agree
            >with Bacon that there are five sets of narrative & discourse plus a
            >prologue and an epilogue. But there are many minor variations from
            >Bacon's boundaries.
            >
            Ron,
            I agree that there are five major discourses, and that the
            discourses and narrative material are regularly alternated. I would also
            agree with Davies and Alison ("Matthew" Vol.I, pages 68-69) that the
            first twelve chapters of Matthew are a triad of triads of triads, and
            also that from Mt 14.1 on, Matthew's narrative faithfully follows Mark.
            As Davies and Alison note, however, --
            >
            >"Unfortunately, these conclusions do not add up to any grand scheme.
            >Leaving aside chronology, Matthew's arrangement has for its explanation
            >no one structural principle. Sometimes our author has built on triads,
            >other times he has just been Mark's disciple. So despite its 'massive
            >unity' (Moffatt, p. 244) Gundry is right: our gospel is 'structurally
            >mixed' (Gundry, Commentary, p.11)." (Davies & Alison, Vol I, page 72.)
            >
            I see Matthew as setting out to impose some structure(s) on his source
            material, but, apart from this, having no grand plan for his book as a
            whole.

            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".
            _

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          • Maluflen@aol.com
            In a message dated 5/1/2001 2:34:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time, brian@TwoNH.demon.co.uk writes:
            Message 5 of 12 , May 1, 2001
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              In a message dated 5/1/2001 2:34:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
              brian@... writes:

              << Leonard,
              You seem to be saying that the gospel of Matthew has more than
              one clear structure!

              I do not see any clear structure myself. Nor do Davis and Alison in
              their commentary on Matthew. >>

              No, I think the problem for most scholars really is that there are more than
              one likely structural principles involved in structuring the Gospel of Matt
              and that therefore there is some difficulty in deciding between them as to
              which should be assigned priority. Whether this makes these structures less
              "clear" or not is another question, but I could admit that it does in a
              sense, without backing down from the general observation of a number of valid
              structural principles that have been detected, including the threefold
              structure, popularized by Kingsbury inter alios, and based on the formula:
              "from then on Jesus began..." in 4:17 and 16:21.

              << I would suggest the reason is that Matthew is based on a structure-less
              document.>>


              I don't see how it would follow logically from this hypothesis, even if it
              were true, that Matthew would have no clear structure.

              Leonard Maluf

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            • Stephen C. Carlson
              ... I ve got a different logical problem. If Matthew s having no clear structure implies that it is based on a structure-less document, then what about that
              Message 6 of 12 , May 1, 2001
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                At 09:32 PM 5/1/01 EDT, Maluflen@... wrote:
                ><< I would suggest the reason is that Matthew is based on a structure-less
                > document.>>
                >
                >I don't see how it would follow logically from this hypothesis, even if it
                >were true, that Matthew would have no clear structure.

                I've got a different logical problem. If Matthew's having no
                clear structure implies that it is based on a structure-less
                document, then what about that structure-less document? By
                the same reasoning, it too must be based on a structure-less
                document. This is an infinite regress.

                Stephen Carlson


                --
                Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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              • Brian E. Wilson
                Brian Wilson wrote -- ... Leonard Maluf replied -- ... Leonard, I entirely agree. I was not making a logical deduction from the hypothesis that Matthew used a
                Message 7 of 12 , May 2, 2001
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                  Brian Wilson wrote --
                  >
                  >I would suggest the reason [for Matthew being structure-less] is that
                  >Matthew is based on a structure-less document.
                  >
                  Leonard Maluf replied --
                  >
                  >I don't see how it would follow logically from this hypothesis, even if
                  >it were true, that Matthew would have no clear structure.
                  >
                  Leonard,
                  I entirely agree. I was not making a logical deduction from the
                  hypothesis that Matthew used a structureless documentary source. I was
                  putting forward my hypothesis (that Matthew used a structureless
                  documentary source) as the reason I would suggest why the gospel of
                  Matthew is observed to be structureless. If Matthew largely followed the
                  wording and order of material of a structureless documentary source,
                  then this would account for the gospel of Matthew being structureless.

                  Stephen Carlson commented --
                  >
                  >I've got a different logical problem. If Matthew's having no clear
                  >structure implies that it is based on a structure-less document, then
                  >what about that structure-less document? By the same reasoning, it too
                  >must be based on a structure-less document. This is an infinite
                  >regress.
                  >
                  Stephen,
                  Matthew's having no clear structure does not imply that it is
                  based on a structure-less document. Matthew having no clear structure is
                  an observed synoptic phenomenon. You cannot deduce a documentary
                  hypothesis from an observed synoptic phenomenon. As I hope I have made
                  clear above, I have not tried to do the impossible.

                  I think it may be worth pursuing this a little further. Much writing on
                  the synoptic problem refers to "arguments" concerning documentary
                  hypotheses of the relationship between the synoptic gospels. The
                  suggestion seems to be that there are logical arguments for showing, for
                  instance, that Matthew is a documentary descendant of Mark, or that
                  Matthew and Luke independently used hypothetical Q.

                  I would suggest, however, that no synoptic documentary hypothesis can be
                  logically deduced from observed synoptic phenomena. A hypothesis is not
                  the conclusion at the end of a chain of deductive reasoning (like the
                  conclusion of a proof of a theorem in Euclidian geometry). It is the
                  beginning of an investigation without which the hypothesis is an
                  unsubstantiated guess.

                  The question is not whether Matthew's having no clear structure implies
                  that it based on a structureless document, but whether the hypothesis
                  that Matthew used a structureless documentary source is supported by the
                  observed synoptic phenomena.

                  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".
                  _

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                  List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                • Stephen C. Carlson
                  ... I m having a hard time understanding what you mean by is supported by. You deny now that it means is implied by. I didn t think it meant merely is
                  Message 8 of 12 , May 2, 2001
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                    At 11:00 AM 5/2/01 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
                    >The question is not whether Matthew's having no clear structure implies
                    >that it based on a structureless document, but whether the hypothesis
                    >that Matthew used a structureless documentary source is supported by the
                    >observed synoptic phenomena.

                    I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean by "is
                    supported by." You deny now that it means "is implied by."
                    I didn't think it meant merely "is consistent with", because
                    an earlier message of yours, on 6 March 2001, criticized Leonard
                    Maluf as follows:

                    >It is no good merely showing how brilliantly the Griesbach Hypothesis
                    >can be applied to the synoptic gospels to produce a breath-takingly
                    >consistent explanation of how Luke wrote his gospel, when the Two
                    >Document Hypothesis, and other synoptic hypotheses also, can be just as
                    >brilliantly applied to the synoptic gospels and shown to produce equally
                    >breath-taking results.

                    It seems to me that much the same thing is now happening with
                    the arguable observation of Matthew's having no clear structure
                    as "support[ing]" the hypothesis that Matthew used a structureless
                    document.

                    Have I misunderstood what you are doing now and your earlier
                    criticism of Leonard?

                    Stephen Carlson
                    --
                    Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                    Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                    "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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                  • Brian E. Wilson
                    Brian Wilson wrote -- ... Stephen Carlson replied -- ... Stephen, Thanks for asking these questions. I think they are very important. I would suggest that you
                    Message 9 of 12 , May 2, 2001
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                      Brian Wilson wrote --
                      >
                      >The question is not whether Matthew's having no clear structure
                      >implies that it based on a structureless document, but whether the
                      >hypothesis that Matthew used a structureless documentary source is
                      >supported by the observed synoptic phenomena.
                      >
                      Stephen Carlson replied --
                      >
                      >I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean by "is supported
                      >by." You deny now that it means "is implied by." I didn't think it
                      >meant merely "is consistent with", because an earlier message of yours,
                      >on 6 March 2001, criticized Leonard Maluf as follows:
                      >
                      >>It is no good merely showing how brilliantly the Griesbach Hypothesis
                      >>can be applied to the synoptic gospels to produce a breath-takingly
                      >>consistent explanation of how Luke wrote his gospel, when the Two
                      >>Document Hypothesis, and other synoptic hypotheses also, can be just
                      >>as brilliantly applied to the synoptic gospels and shown to produce
                      >>equally breath-taking results.
                      >
                      >It seems to me that much the same thing is now happening with
                      >the arguable observation of Matthew's having no clear structure
                      >as "support[ing]" the hypothesis that Matthew used a structureless
                      >document.
                      >
                      >Have I misunderstood what you are doing now and your earlier
                      >criticism of Leonard?
                      >
                      Stephen,
                      Thanks for asking these questions. I think they are very
                      important. I would suggest that you are misunderstanding what I am doing
                      now, and my criticism of Leonard earlier.

                      I think the most useful way I can reply to you is first to set out a
                      statement of my view on this generally, and then come back to the
                      particular questions you raise.

                      In my view, it is impossible to deduce from the phenomena observed in a
                      synopsis that any synoptic gospel is the documentary descendant of any
                      other synoptic gospel. If we assume, for the sake of argument, that we
                      observe in the synoptic gospels fatigue on the part of Matthew in
                      relation to Mark, or that the language of Mark is more vivid and more
                      primitive than the corresponding language of Matthew in parallel
                      passages, then it simply does not follow that therefore Matthew is a
                      documentary descendant of Mark. The observed phenomena are just as
                      consistent with Matthew not being a documentary descendant of Mark and
                      with both Matthew and Mark being descendants of a common documentary
                      source. This line of reasoning could be generalized to show that it is
                      not possible to deduce from observed synoptic phenomena that any
                      synoptic gospel is the documentary descendant of any other synoptic
                      gospel, or the descendant of a hypothetical documentary source posited
                      by a particular synoptic documentary hypothesis. In other words, this
                      line of reasoning can be generalized to show that no synoptic
                      documentary hypothesis can be deduced from observed synoptic phenomena.
                      In short --

                      >Result (1): No synoptic documentary hypothesis can be deduced from any
                      >observed synoptic phenomena. (In other words, no observed synoptic
                      >phenomena logically imply any synoptic documentary hypothesis.)

                      So, how can a synoptic documentary hypothesis be arrived at? If not by
                      deduction from observed phenomena, then from what? The answer is that
                      any synoptic documentary hypothesis is an invention of the mind. It is a
                      guess:

                      >Result (2): A synoptic documentary hypothesis is a guess at what
                      >happened when the synoptic gospels were written.

                      Now it is not true that one guess is as good as any another. The guess
                      that the earth is flat and is fixed in space has been accepted by
                      millions of people, as Galileo knew only too well. If you are in a
                      space station looking down on the earth, a better guess is that earth is
                      approximately spherical and that it is moving through space. The second
                      guess is better because the first has difficulty in fitting the observed
                      data (an observably "round earth" which rotates relative to the sun
                      producing the alternation of day and night every twenty-four hours in
                      New York, but not at the poles), whereas the second guess does not have
                      such difficulties in explaining what is observed from the space station.
                      Similarly, one synoptic documentary guess, or hypothesis, can be
                      preferable to a second synoptic documentary hypothesis if the second has
                      difficulties explaining the observed synoptic phenomena whereas the
                      first has no difficulties in doing so. On this basis, a Deutero-Mark
                      Hypothesis that accounts for the minor agreements of Matthew and Luke
                      against Mark is preferable to a (well-defined) Two Document Hypothesis
                      that has difficulty in accounting for these minor agreements. So:

                      >Result (3): One synoptic documentary hypothesis can be shown to be
                      >preferable to a second synoptic documentary hypothesis, if the second
                      >has difficulties in accounting for the observed synoptic phenomena
                      >whereas the first does not.

                      Now suppose we have actually found a synoptic documentary hypothesis
                      that has no difficulties with the observed synoptic phenomena, whereas
                      the other hypotheses considered do have such difficulties, then the
                      hypothesis we have found can be accepted as the best one available to
                      us:

                      >Result (4): We should accept as the best available, the synoptic
                      >documentary hypothesis that has no difficulties in accounting for the
                      >observed synoptic phenomena whereas others do have difficulties.

                      Once we have accepted that a particular synoptic documentary hypothesis
                      is the best available to us, we can apply this hypothesis to the
                      synoptic gospels. Believe it or not, there is a point in trying to
                      solve the synoptic problem! We can apply this hypothesis only by
                      assuming that it is true. Everything obtained by applying the hypothesis
                      will therefore be absolutely consistent with the documentary hypothesis
                      with which we start. For example, if we take the Griesbach Hypothesis
                      to be the best available hypothesis for us, then the more vivid language
                      in Mark (when compared with parallel passages in Matthew) is clearly the
                      result of the editorial activity of Mark in his use of material from
                      Matthew. So, by applying the GH, we arrive at the conclusion that Mark
                      has deliberately "vivified" the wording of his source material in
                      Matthew. Clearly, very different results are going to be obtained if we
                      take the Farrer Hypothesis to be the best available hypothesis for us.
                      On that view, Matthew has toned down the vivid language in the wording
                      in his source material in Mark. The point is, however, that it is
                      utterly impossible to arrive at a conclusion that contradicts our
                      preferred hypothesis if we are applying that preferred hypothesis to the
                      synoptic gospels. We cannot obtain a denial of the hypothesis we prefer
                      by assuming it to be true and applying it to the synoptic gospels. The
                      consequence of this is that we cannot use any result of having applied
                      the hypothesis to test the hypothesis. If applying the hypothesis
                      entails that we assume it to be true, then any result of applying the
                      hypothesis will be fully consistent with the hypothesis. So:

                      >Result (5): If we have accepted a synoptic documentary hypothesis as
                      >the best available to us, and if we apply this to the synoptic gospels,
                      >it is impossible to obtain a conclusion that contradicts the
                      >documentary hypothesis we are assuming to be true, and therefore no
                      >result of applying the hypothesis can be validly used to test the truth
                      >or falsity of the hypothesis we have assumed true.


                      To turn now to the particular questions you asked above, Stephen. I
                      stated that --
                      >
                      >the hypothesis that Matthew used a structureless documentary source is
                      >supported by the observed synoptic phenomena.
                      >
                      Which you queried --
                      >
                      >I'm having a hard time understanding what you mean by "is supported
                      >by."
                      >
                      By "supported" I meant what I refer to in Result (3). The observed
                      phenomenon is that Matthew is structureless. This is a difficulty for
                      synoptic hypotheses that suppose that Matthew was a free author
                      creatively crafting his own book, since one would expect that a literary
                      author would provide a clear structure for his work. On the other hand,
                      this is not a difficulty, but something that can be accounted for, by a
                      documentary hypothesis that supposes that Matthew used a structureless
                      documentary source. For Matthew could have largely retained the wording
                      and order of material of his structureless source and so produced a
                      structureless gospel.

                      You also said --
                      >
                      >You deny now that it means "is implied by."
                      >
                      It is not just "now" (in my posting to which you are replying) that I
                      have denied that synoptic phenomena do not imply a synoptic documentary
                      hypothesis. I have frequently represented Result (1) on Synoptic-L over
                      the months and years. No synoptic documentary hypothesis can be deduced
                      from any observed synoptic phenomena. Or, putting the same thing another
                      way, no observed synoptic phenomena logically imply any synoptic
                      documentary hypothesis. So, the observed phenomenon that Matthew is
                      structureless does not imply the synoptic documentary hypothesis that
                      Matthew formed his gospel from a structureless documentary source. No
                      synoptic phenomena imply any synoptic hypothesis.

                      You continued --
                      >
                      >I didn't think it meant merely "is consistent with", because an earlier
                      >message of yours, on 6 March 2001, criticized Leonard Maluf as follows:
                      >
                      >>It is no good merely showing how brilliantly the Griesbach Hypothesis
                      >>can be applied to the synoptic gospels to produce a breath-takingly
                      >>consistent explanation of how Luke wrote his gospel, when the Two
                      >>Document Hypothesis, and other synoptic hypotheses also, can be just
                      >>as brilliantly applied to the synoptic gospels and shown to produce
                      >>equally breath-taking results.
                      >
                      Yes. This is about Result (5) above. I think you are confusing Result
                      (3) with result (5). Leonard assumes the Griesbach Hypothesis as his
                      "working hypothesis". From my Result (5) it follows that nothing
                      whatever that he obtains by applying the Griesbach Hypothesis to the
                      synoptic gospels can produce a contradiction of the Griesbach Hypothesis
                      itself, because to use the GH as his working hypothesis he is obliged to
                      assume that the GH is true. Leonard apparently wishes to argue that
                      because his exposition of the GH is so consistent and works so well this
                      indicates in some way that the GH is therefore true. This is simply not
                      the case. He seems not to realize that anything that is obtained by
                      applying his working hypothesis to the synoptic gospels, that is by
                      assuming the GH to be true, will result in a set of statements that are
                      fully consistent with the GH which he assumed to be true in the first
                      place. Such a set of statements must be consistent with the GH.
                      Similarly, a set of statements obtained by applying the Two Document
                      Hypothesis to the synoptic gospels must be consistent with the 2DH and
                      can in no way be used to test the truth of the 2DH. And so on.

                      I think I have covered the questions you have asked above.

                      I think Davies and Alison are on the dot concerning Matthew not having a
                      clear structure. It is interesting to me that they do not look for a
                      hypothesis to account for this. Perhaps they realize that if they found
                      such a hypothesis, it would not be the Two Document Hypothesis that they
                      advocate.

                      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".
                      _

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                    • Maluflen@aol.com
                      Although Shawn Kelley has already responded effectively to Brian s post, I yield here to my unholy instinct to pile on . Brian wrote:
                      Message 10 of 12 , May 3, 2001
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                        Although Shawn Kelley has already responded effectively to Brian's post, I
                        yield here to my unholy instinct to "pile on".

                        Brian wrote:

                        << So, how can a synoptic documentary hypothesis be arrived at? If not by
                        deduction from observed phenomena, then from what? The answer is that
                        any synoptic documentary hypothesis is an invention of the mind. It is a
                        guess:>>

                        I think this poses an exaggerated disjunction: is there nothing between
                        strict deduction from observed phenomena, and a [pure?] "invention of the
                        mind"? Of course there is, and it is this "in-between" area that generates
                        Synoptic hypotheses: in other words, hypotheses are excogitated on the basis
                        of observed phenomena. It is true that they cannot be "deduced" therefrom in
                        the strict sense of the word, but the phenomena are nonetheless very much the
                        basis for any workable hypothesis.

                        [Brian writes]
                        << Now it is not true that one guess is as good as any another.>>

                        This statement is true, because what I said above is true. Illustration of
                        Brian's point here: the hypothesis that Matthew intends to describe Jesus as
                        the fulfillment of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings is probably a
                        better guess to account for the structural "phenomena" of Matthew than is the
                        guess that Matt copied from a structureless body of Greek notes: it at least
                        accounts for a variety of structures that are in fact found in the document,
                        whereas the second named hypothesis does not. In fact, understanding
                        Matthew's project as precisely that of presenting Jesus to a Jewish audience
                        in terms of the Law, the Prophets and the Writings is a perfect recipe for
                        arriving at a conglomerate of structures such as are commonly recognized as
                        informing the Gospel of Matthew. The hypothesis would of course have to be
                        demonstrated, but at face value it would be regarded neither as outlandish
                        nor as groundless by most scholars.

                        [Brian again]
                        << The point is, however, that it is
                        utterly impossible to arrive at a conclusion that contradicts our
                        preferred hypothesis if we are applying that preferred hypothesis to the
                        synoptic gospels.>>

                        This is simply not quite true. What about all the numerous cases, e.g., in
                        which 2 DH supporters admit, with commendable honesty, that data they are
                        dealing with in a given pericope are extremely difficult to account for on
                        the basis of their preferred source hypothesis?

                        For those who have had the patience to read this far, I offer, in conclusion,
                        the following (unrelated) Gospel-trivia conundrum:

                        In what three consecutive Gospel verses do we find the names Jesus, Mary, and
                        Joseph, in that order?

                        Further conditions and hints:

                        1. "Jesus" does not refer to Joshua in the text in question;
                        2. "Mary" refers to the mother of Jesus;
                        3. "Joseph" occurs in the precise phrase: "and Joseph".

                        Leonard Maluf

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                      • Mark Goodacre
                        ... Difficult to resist some trivia, not least if it gives me the chance to test resources on my All-in-One Biblical site! I can do it in two verses -- Matt.
                        Message 11 of 12 , May 3, 2001
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                          On 3 May 2001, at 9:48, Maluflen@... wrote:

                          > In what three consecutive Gospel verses do we find the names Jesus,
                          > Mary, and Joseph, in that order?
                          >
                          > Further conditions and hints:
                          >
                          > 1. "Jesus" does not refer to Joshua in the text in question;
                          > 2. "Mary" refers to the mother of Jesus;
                          > 3. "Joseph" occurs in the precise phrase: "and Joseph".

                          Difficult to resist some trivia, not least if it gives me the chance to
                          test resources on my All-in-One Biblical site! I can do it in two
                          verses -- Matt. 1.18-19. Will that do?

                          Mark
                          -----------------------------
                          Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                          Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                          University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
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                          United Kingdom

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                        • Brian E. Wilson
                          Brian Wilson wrote -- ... Leonard Maluf replied -- ... Leonard, There is nothing between strict deduction from observed phenomena and a hypothesis that is an
                          Message 12 of 12 , May 4, 2001
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                            Brian Wilson wrote --
                            >
                            >So, how can a synoptic documentary hypothesis be arrived at? If not by
                            >deduction from observed phenomena, then from what? The answer is that
                            >any synoptic documentary hypothesis is an invention of the mind. It is
                            >a guess
                            >
                            Leonard Maluf replied --
                            >
                            >I think this poses an exaggerated disjunction: is there nothing between
                            >strict deduction from observed phenomena, and a [pure?] "invention of
                            >the mind"? Of course there is, and it is this "in-between" area that
                            >generates Synoptic hypotheses: in other words, hypotheses are
                            >excogitated on the basis of observed phenomena. It is true that they
                            >cannot be "deduced" therefrom in the strict sense of the word, but the
                            >phenomena are nonetheless very much the basis for any workable
                            >hypothesis.
                            >
                            Leonard,
                            There is nothing between strict deduction from observed
                            phenomena and a hypothesis that is an invention of the mind, because, as
                            you rightly admit above, no hypothesis can be deduced from observed
                            phenomena. Whatever the psychological route by which a hypothesis is
                            arrived at, it still remains true that the logically it has not been
                            deduced from the data. You are confusing psychology and logic. They are
                            not the same.

                            Archimedes ran naked through the streets shouting EURHKA having
                            conceived his hypothesis concerning the reduced weight of objects partly
                            or wholly immersed in water. The psychological route is fascinating!
                            Archimedes himself, however, would have been the last person to say that
                            he had logically deduced his hypothesis from his observations. He was a
                            brilliant mathematician. (Some say one of the greatest the world has
                            seen.) He knew very well that his hypothesis was not a deduced theorem
                            of number theory or geometry, where conclusions follow inescapably by
                            deduction from stated axioms. He knew very well that his observations in
                            the bath were used to **test** his hypothesis, not to create it. It is a
                            logical howler to suggest that phenomena are the **logical** basis for
                            any synoptic documentary hypothesis. If they were, it would no longer be
                            necessary to test a documentary hypothesis against what is observed in a
                            synopsis. The term "hypothesis" would in fact no longer be needed. The
                            logical disjunction between hypotheses that can be tested and a theorem
                            that can be deduced from axioms, is absolute.

                            I also wrote --
                            >
                            >The point is, however, that it is utterly impossible to arrive at a
                            >conclusion that contradicts our preferred hypothesis if we are applying
                            >that preferred hypothesis to the synoptic gospels. We cannot obtain a
                            >denial of the hypothesis we prefer by assuming it to be true and
                            >applying it to the synoptic gospels.
                            >
                            To which Leonard Maluf replied --
                            >
                            >This is simply not quite true. What about all the numerous cases,
                            >e.g., in which 2 DH supporters admit, with commendable honesty, that
                            >data they are dealing with in a given pericope are extremely difficult
                            >to account for on the basis of their preferred source hypothesis?

                            I think, Leonard, that you are misunderstanding the idea of "preferred
                            hypothesis" here. The "preferred hypothesis" is one that "has no
                            difficulties with the observed phenomena" (See Result (3) in my previous
                            posting.)

                            If you are correct that there are such extreme difficulties in the 2DH
                            accounting for the observed data in the synoptic gospels, then it is not
                            our preferred hypothesis, and should not be applied to the synoptic
                            gospels.

                            I think you will find, however, that the commendably honest supporters
                            of the 2DH do find ways of overcoming the difficulties they acknowledge
                            so that they can hold that the 2DH is true. The introductory articles of
                            "The Critical Edition of Q" are a fascinating example of this. The
                            difficulties are admitted with commendable honesty and then overcome
                            with awesome ingenuity. The redaction-critical reconstruction of Q that
                            follows is produced entirely on the assumption that the 2DH is the
                            truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

                            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".
                            _

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