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Re: [Synoptic-L] Synoptic Anonymity and Judas

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  • 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 1 of 7 , Jul 21, 2001
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      >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 2 of 7 , Jul 21, 2001
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        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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