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

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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 1 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

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • 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 2 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
        Birmingham B15 2TT
        United Kingdom

        http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
        Homepage
        http://NTGateway.com
        The New Testament Gateway

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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 3 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".
          _

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