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[Synoptic-L] Synoptic Anonymity and Judas

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  • Ron Price
    ... Leonard, Wow! In one sentence you manage to misuse the word fact and accuse scholars whose views you don t like of systematic academic prejudices . ...
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 19, 2001
      Leonard Maluf wrote:

      > It is a fact that the arguments against the validity of the
      >attributed authors are mostly based on extremely questionable source theories
      >and systematic academic prejudices.

      Leonard,

      Wow! In one sentence you manage to misuse the word "fact" and accuse
      scholars whose views you don't like of "systematic academic prejudices".

      > ....... What is
      >extremely odd is that an anonymous Christian author could have composed, in
      >the 60's, a complete fib regarding Jesus' closest followers (such as the
      >entire Judas story), been taken seriously by two other Christian writers
      > .......

      So how could 'Matthew' or 'Luke' have checked the validity of the
      story?
      Bear in mind that if Mark was written ca. 70 CE and Matthew ca. 80 CE,
      this would have given 10 years for the story to pass from Mark into
      tradition, and most of the original followers of Jesus had died by the
      time Matthew was written.
      With no access either to eyewitnesses or to an independent biography
      of Jesus, the second and third gospel writers would have had little
      reason to reject such a plausible story. Of course what was plausible to
      first century Christians is not necessarily plausible to a 21st. century
      historian equipped with copies of most of Paul's letters, and modern
      investigative tools such as Redaction Criticism.

      Ron Price

      Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

      e-mail: ron.price@...

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


      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 7/19/2001 3:08:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ron.price@virgin.net writes: ... theories ... Wow! In one sentence you manage to misuse the word
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 20, 2001
        In a message dated 7/19/2001 3:08:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
        ron.price@... writes:

        << Leonard Maluf wrote:

        > It is a fact that the arguments against the validity of the
        >attributed authors are mostly based on extremely questionable source
        theories
        >and systematic academic prejudices.

        Wow! In one sentence you manage to misuse the word "fact" and accuse
        scholars whose views you don't like of "systematic academic prejudices". >>

        Your objection to my use of the term "fact" here is an excellent example of
        precisely what I meant by "systematic (should have read "systemic") academic
        prejudices".

        > ....... What is
        >extremely odd is that an anonymous Christian author could have composed, in
        >the 60's, a complete fib regarding Jesus' closest followers (such as the
        >entire Judas story), been taken seriously by two other Christian writers
        > .......

        So how could 'Matthew' or 'Luke' have checked the validity of the
        story?
        Bear in mind that if Mark was written ca. 70 CE and Matthew ca. 80 CE,
        this would have given 10 years for the story to pass from Mark into
        tradition, and most of the original followers of Jesus had died by the
        time Matthew was written.
        With no access either to eyewitnesses or to an independent biography
        of Jesus, the second and third gospel writers would have had little
        reason to reject such a plausible story. Of course what was plausible to
        first century Christians is not necessarily plausible to a 21st. century
        historian equipped with copies of most of Paul's letters, and modern
        investigative tools such as Redaction Criticism.>>

        You add a Protestant (sola scriptura) prejudice here to our academic ones. I
        simply don't share your low estimate of the critical intelligence of a
        typical first century Christian audience. I don't believe such a fabrication
        by Mark would ever have gotten off the ground, let alone been taken seriously
        by the likes of Matthew and Luke. Do you imagine no resistance at all to
        Mark's story "passing into the tradition"? I do. Sorry.

        Leonard Maluf

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Stephen C. Carlson
        ... While I think there is much to dispute about Price s assumptions, I don t think a Protestant prejudice is one of them, nor, if true, warranted for the
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 20, 2001
          At 07:06 AM 7/20/01 EDT, Maluflen@... wrote:
          >In a message dated 7/19/2001 3:08:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
          >ron.price@... writes:
          ><<
          > With no access either to eyewitnesses or to an independent biography
          > of Jesus, the second and third gospel writers would have had little
          > reason to reject such a plausible story. Of course what was plausible to
          > first century Christians is not necessarily plausible to a 21st. century
          > historian equipped with copies of most of Paul's letters, and modern
          > investigative tools such as Redaction Criticism.>>
          >
          >You add a Protestant (sola scriptura) prejudice here to our academic ones. I
          >simply don't share your low estimate of the critical intelligence of a
          >typical first century Christian audience. I don't believe such a fabrication
          >by Mark would ever have gotten off the ground, let alone been taken seriously
          >by the likes of Matthew and Luke. Do you imagine no resistance at all to
          >Mark's story "passing into the tradition"? I do. Sorry.

          While I think there is much to dispute about Price's assumptions,
          I don't think a "Protestant prejudice" is one of them, nor, if true,
          warranted for the list. In fact, I would prefer it if we would
          stick to the facts and not try to characterize our disagreements
          in sectarian terms.

          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

          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
          List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          In a message dated 7/20/2001 8:11:38 AM Eastern Daylight Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes:
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 20, 2001
            In a message dated 7/20/2001 8:11:38 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
            scarlson@... writes:

            << While I think there is much to dispute about Price's assumptions,
            I don't think a "Protestant prejudice" is one of them, nor, if true,
            warranted for the list. In fact, I would prefer it if we would
            stick to the facts and not try to characterize our disagreements
            in sectarian terms. >>

            "Prejudice" is indeed a stronger term in our linguistic usage than its
            etymology justifies, with highly emotional overtones for some, and I should
            for this reason have avoided using it (especially in connection with
            "Protestant"). But if I could substitute for it a more neutral expression,
            say "presupposition", then I think the criticism stands. Price's envisioned
            scenario of the eventual triumph of the supposed Marcan fabrication in
            question really does imply a primacy of the written word (sola scriptura)
            over any Christian tradition about the last days of Jesus' life that probably
            does not correspond to historical reality. I apologize, nevertheless, for any
            offense caused by the indiscretion of my previous post.

            Leonard Maluf

            Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
            List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
          • Ron Price
            ... Leonard, I could equally well assert that your statement ending ... probably does not correspond to historical reality is also a presupposition,
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 21, 2001
              I wrote:

              >> With no access either to eyewitnesses or to an independent biography
              >>of Jesus, the second and third gospel writers would have had little
              >>reason to reject such a plausible story [of the betrayal by Judas].

              Leonard Maluf replied:

              > [much snipped] ...
              > ... if I could substitute for it a more neutral expression,
              >say "presupposition", then I think the criticism stands. Price's envisioned
              >scenario of the eventual triumph of the supposed Marcan fabrication in
              >question really does imply a primacy of the written word (sola scriptura)
              >over any Christian tradition about the last days of Jesus' life that probably
              >does not correspond to historical reality.

              Leonard,

              I could equally well assert that your statement ending "... probably
              does not correspond to historical reality" is also a presupposition,
              especially as you supply no justification for your use of the word
              "probably". But accusations about presuppositions get the discussion
              nowhere.

              In any case if I have understood it correctly your position is
              completely inconsistent. For why, if the later synoptic writers did not
              hold to the 'primacy of the written word' (as you call it), did Mark,
              according to your synoptic hypothesis, take 90% of his material from the
              written document we call Matthew?

              Texts where it might be supposed that a later synoptic writer has used
              oral tradition to correct the written testimony of his predecessor are
              (I suggest) invariably better explained as the later writer expressing
              his stylistic preference or composing something to further his
              particular theological interests. If you can think of a contrary example
              then I would be happy to discuss it.

              Ron Price

              Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

              e-mail: ron.price@...

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


              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
              List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
            • Steve Black
              ... Better a living dog than a dead lion. The text we have in front of us. The tradition that lay behind and around it we must reconstruct from the text
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 21, 2001
                >Ron Price wrote:
                >
                >>> With no access either to eyewitnesses or to an independent biography
                >>>of Jesus, the second and third gospel writers would have had little
                >>>reason to reject such a plausible story [of the betrayal by Judas].
                >
                >Leonard Maluf replied:
                >
                >> [much snipped] ...
                >> ... if I could substitute for it a more neutral expression,
                >>say "presupposition", then I think the criticism stands. Price's envisioned
                >>scenario of the eventual triumph of the supposed Marcan fabrication in
                >>question really does imply a primacy of the written word (sola scriptura)
                >>over any Christian tradition about the last days of Jesus' life that probably
                > >does not correspond to historical reality.

                Better a living dog than a dead lion.
                The text we have in front of us.
                The tradition that lay behind and around it we must reconstruct from
                the text itself, as we have no other [reliable] sources besides texts.

                Tradition is of course crucial, as long as we are talking not about
                later traditions.
                Later traditions have value, but not so much so in regards to
                historical criticism.
                --
                Peace

                Steve Black
                Vancouver, BC


                Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
              • Maluflen@aol.com
                In a message dated 7/21/2001 9:24:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ron.price@virgin.net writes: ... probably ... Leonard, I could equally well assert that your
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 21, 2001
                  In a message dated 7/21/2001 9:24:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                  ron.price@... writes:

                  << I wrote:

                  >> With no access either to eyewitnesses or to an independent biography
                  >>of Jesus, the second and third gospel writers would have had little
                  >>reason to reject such a plausible story [of the betrayal by Judas].

                  Leonard Maluf replied:

                  > [much snipped] ...
                  > ... if I could substitute for it a more neutral expression,
                  >say "presupposition", then I think the criticism stands. Price's envisioned
                  >scenario of the eventual triumph of the supposed Marcan fabrication in
                  >question really does imply a primacy of the written word (sola scriptura)
                  >over any Christian tradition about the last days of Jesus' life that
                  probably
                  >does not correspond to historical reality.

                  Leonard,

                  I could equally well assert that your statement ending "... probably
                  does not correspond to historical reality" is also a presupposition,
                  especially as you supply no justification for your use of the word
                  "probably". But accusations about presuppositions get the discussion
                  nowhere.>>

                  Of course, mine is in some sense a presupposition as well. But I am not as
                  terrified of the word or the reality of presuppositions (especially if they
                  are based on good common sense thinking) as you seem to be. It is scientific
                  pre... oops. I can't use that word.. to image that all our reasoning must be
                  utterly presuppositionless. This is sheer fantasy.


                  << In any case if I have understood it correctly your position is
                  completely inconsistent. For why, if the later synoptic writers did not
                  hold to the 'primacy of the written word' (as you call it), did Mark,
                  according to your synoptic hypothesis, take 90% of his material from the
                  written document we call Matthew?>>

                  It is no problem for me at all that Mark did a considerable amount of coyping
                  from Matt and Lk. Besides the fact that he was probably not a very competent
                  writer himself, I don't assume that there was a fundamental difference
                  between what Matthew (especially) wrote and the preexisting tradition. And so
                  it was not by way of ignoring tradition, but rather by way of following a
                  literary model that Mark did his copying. He did, however, have sufficient
                  competence as a writer to almost completely avoid gross reproduction of
                  literary structures found in his sources (a good illustration of this is Mk
                  1:23-27, compared to its Lukan source). This was basic to all Hellenistic
                  training in the chreia exercises. Mark probably had at least this fundamental
                  training as a writer of Greek prose.

                  << Texts where it might be supposed that a later synoptic writer has used
                  oral tradition to correct the written testimony of his predecessor are
                  (I suggest) invariably better explained as the later writer expressing
                  his stylistic preference or composing something to further his
                  particular theological interests. If you can think of a contrary example
                  then I would be happy to discuss it.>>

                  I don't think I would disagree with your suggestion here. At least nothing
                  comes to my mind immediately in this regard. I doubt, for example, that
                  differences between Luke and Matthew are ever to be explained by Luke's use
                  of oral tradition to correct what he found in Matthew. Maybe someone else,
                  though, will come up with a good possible instance of a correction made by a
                  later evangelist on the basis of oral tradition. I don't think your thinking
                  and mine differ here at all.

                  Leonard Maluf

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