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[Synoptic-L] are all parallelism phenomena bound to support the 2DH?

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    B. H. Streeter stated that the synoptic problem is to account for the parallelism between the synoptic gospels, that is, for the observed similarities and
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 3, 2001
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      B. H. Streeter stated that the synoptic problem is to account for the
      parallelism between the synoptic gospels, that is, for the observed
      similarities and differences of wording (including similarity of order
      of that wording) between the synoptic gospels.

      It seems to me, however, that all parallelism phenomena are bound to
      support the Two Document Hypothesis. Any agreement in wording between
      any pair of synoptic gospels is consistent with Matthew and Luke having
      independently used both Mark and hypothetical Q. This applies even to
      agreements of Mt and Lk against Mk, since it may be assumed that the
      major agreements are the result of Matthew and Luke each using Q, and
      that the minor agreements in the triple tradition are either
      coincidentally the same alteration to the wording of Mk by both Matthew
      and Luke, or the result of the assimilation of the text of Lk to Mt,
      since Mt was the most popular synoptic gospel.

      Similarly, any disagreement of wording between any two synoptic gospels
      in parallel passages can be assumed to be the result of at least one of
      them having edited the wording of either Mark or Q, or by simply having
      introduced additional material.

      It would appear that by restricting the synoptic problem to accounting
      for parallelism between the synoptic gospels, Streeter guaranteed that
      there could be no evidence against the 2DH.

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON

      >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://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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    • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
      I think that Brian makes some very good points here. It is true that agreement in wording between any pair of synoptic gospels is consistent with Matthew and
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 3, 2001
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        I think that Brian makes some very good points here. It is true that
        agreement in wording between any pair of synoptic gospels is consistent with
        Matthew and Luke having indepdently used both Mark and a hypothetical Q. It
        is also true that "any disagreement of wording between any two synoptic
        gospels in parallel passages can be assumed to be the result of at least one
        of them having edited the wording of either Mark or Q, or by simply having
        introduced additional material."

        I agree that the problem with many of the hypotheses offered to "solve" the
        synoptic problem is that they are limited to what is consistent with the
        evidence rather than what is most probable given the evidence. Furthermore,
        they are often based on assumptions about what an author might have done
        rather than careful analyses of what an author has done.

        Dr. Thomas R. W. Longstaff
        Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
        Colby College
        4643 Mayflower Hill
        Waterville, ME 04901-8846
        Tel: (207) 872-3150
        FAX: (207) 872-3802

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Brian E. Wilson" <brian@...>
        To: <Synoptic-L@...>
        Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 6:33 AM
        Subject: [Synoptic-L] are all parallelism phenomena bound to support the
        2DH?


        > B. H. Streeter stated that the synoptic problem is to account for the
        > parallelism between the synoptic gospels, that is, for the observed
        > similarities and differences of wording (including similarity of order
        > of that wording) between the synoptic gospels.
        >
        > It seems to me, however, that all parallelism phenomena are bound to
        > support the Two Document Hypothesis. Any agreement in wording between
        > any pair of synoptic gospels is consistent with Matthew and Luke having
        > independently used both Mark and hypothetical Q. This applies even to
        > agreements of Mt and Lk against Mk, since it may be assumed that the
        > major agreements are the result of Matthew and Luke each using Q, and
        > that the minor agreements in the triple tradition are either
        > coincidentally the same alteration to the wording of Mk by both Matthew
        > and Luke, or the result of the assimilation of the text of Lk to Mt,
        > since Mt was the most popular synoptic gospel.
        >
        > Similarly, any disagreement of wording between any two synoptic gospels
        > in parallel passages can be assumed to be the result of at least one of
        > them having edited the wording of either Mark or Q, or by simply having
        > introduced additional material.
        >
        > It would appear that by restricting the synoptic problem to accounting
        > for parallelism between the synoptic gospels, Streeter guaranteed that
        > there could be no evidence against the 2DH.
        >
        > Best wishes,
        > BRIAN WILSON
        >
        > >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://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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      • Tim Reynolds
        ... How about: ... the synoptic problem is to account for the fact that the language is too similar to be unrelated and too different to be copying. Tim
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 3, 2001
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          "Brian E. Wilson" wrote:
          >
          > B. H. Streeter stated that the synoptic problem is to account for the
          > parallelism between the synoptic gospels, that is, for the observed
          > similarities and differences of wording (including similarity of order
          > [snip]) between the synoptic gospels.
          >
          How about: "... the synoptic problem is to account for the fact that
          the language is too similar to be unrelated and too different to be copying."

          Tim Reynolds

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        • Brian E. Wilson
          Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote -- ... Thomas, I think the basic difficulty is to find a hypothesis that is consistent with all the evidence. If we enjoyed the
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 4, 2001
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            Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote --
            >
            >I agree that the problem with many of the hypotheses offered to
            >"solve" the synoptic problem is that they are limited to what is
            >consistent with the evidence rather than what is most probable given
            >the evidence.
            >
            Thomas,
            I think the basic difficulty is to find a hypothesis that is
            consistent with all the evidence. If we enjoyed the luxury of several
            hypotheses that worked completely, then perhaps we might consider which
            of these is the most probable. But the first step is to find just one
            synoptic documentary hypothesis that works.
            >
            >Furthermore, they are often based on assumptions about what an author
            >might have done rather than careful analyses of what an author has
            >done.
            >
            I would suggest that it is wishful thinking to suppose that careful
            analyses of what a synoptist has done to produce his gospel can be
            carried out without first solving the synoptic problem. Simply by
            examining a synoptic gospel in isolation, there is no way of
            distinguishing between wording the synoptist obtained from sources
            (tradition), and wording that he supplied (redaction). Simply by
            examining a synoptic gospel, there is therefore no way of determining
            what the synoptist has done to produce his gospel.

            Of course, if we posit a documentary relationship between the synoptic
            gospels, then, on this basis, we can immediately see some wording that
            is tradition and other wording that is redaction. For example, if we
            posit the Two Document Hypothesis in which Mt is dependent on Mk and
            hypothetical "Q", then the markan parallels in Mt are derived from the
            gospel of Mark. We can therefore see what Matthew has done to material
            he used from Mark. On the other hand, if we posit a hypothesis in which
            Mk is dependent on Mt, then the matthaean parallels in Mk are derived
            from Mt. On this basis we can see what Mark has done to material he used
            from Matthew. But if we do not posit a documentary hypothesis of which
            (if any) is dependent on the other, Matthew or Mark, then where do we
            begin to discover what either Matthew or Mark did to produce his gospel?
            For without a synoptic documentary hypothesis, we do not know one single
            word that either Matthew or Mark supplied in his gospel or one single
            word he obtained from any source. We therefore cannot even begin to
            carry out analyses of what any synoptist has done.

            I think that it is therefore wishful thinking to imagine that we can
            engage in careful analyses of what a synoptist has done to produce his
            gospel without stating the documentary relationship between the synoptic
            gospels we are positing. In other words, we first have to solve the
            synoptic problem. The careful analyses come after, and are not part of,
            solving the synoptic problem. The reconstruction of "Q" can be effected
            only by first assuming that the Two Document Hypothesis is true, and, on
            this basis, using redaction criticism to tease out the wording of "Q"
            (as is done in Robinson, Hoffmann and Kloppenborg's "A Critical Edition
            of Q".) And so on with other synoptic documentary hypotheses.

            To solve the synoptic problem, I would suggest the way to proceed is to
            posit any synoptic documentary hypothesis at all, and test it against
            the observed synoptic data. If it does not account easily for all the
            data, then posit another hypothesis, and test this. And so on. Until a
            hypothesis that works is found. Only then, by assuming this hypothesis
            to be true, does it make any sense to use careful redaction critical
            analyses to discover what a synoptist has done to produce his gospel.

            Best wishes,
            BRIAN WILSON

            >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://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
            Brian Wilson wrote -- ... Tim Reynolds replied -- ... Tim, It seems to me that your definition does not take into account similarities between the synoptic
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 4, 2001
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              Brian Wilson wrote --
              >
              >B. H. Streeter stated that the synoptic problem is to account for the
              >parallelism between the synoptic gospels, that is, for the observed
              >similarities and differences of wording (including similarity of order
              >[snip]) between the synoptic gospels.
              >

              Tim Reynolds replied --

              >
              >How about: "... the synoptic problem is to account for the fact that
              >the language is too similar to be unrelated and too different to be
              >copying."
              >

              Tim,
              It seems to me that your definition does not take into account
              similarities between the synoptic gospels that are not parallelism. What
              about the similarities between the synoptic gospels other than
              similarities of language (or order of these similarities)?

              Best wishes,
              BRIAN WILSON

              >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://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@...
            • Emmanuel Fritsch
              ... My first question is : what are the evidence ? May you provide a list of evidence ? Do you think your list would be exhaustive, or at least, would be
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 4, 2001
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                > Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote - and Brian answered :
                > >
                > >I agree that the problem with many of the hypotheses offered to
                > >"solve" the synoptic problem is that they are limited to what is
                > >consistent with the evidence rather than what is most probable given
                > >the evidence.
                > >
                > Thomas,
                > I think the basic difficulty is to find a hypothesis that is
                > consistent with all the evidence. [...]

                My first question is : what are the evidence ?
                May you provide a list of evidence ? Do you think your
                list would be exhaustive, or at least, would be accepted
                by a majority of scholar ?

                For instance I think that Boismard would propose the Lukanian
                wording in Mark as an evidence for the list. And if I well
                understood, you disagree...

                As another example, I think to your parallel discussion
                with Tim Reynolds, where you diverge on definition of
                synoptic phenomenon.

                a+
                manu

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              • Frich107@aol.com
                In a message dated 9/4/01 8:48:44 PM, brian@TwoNH.demon.co.uk writes: ... Could it be that the main problem with the various hypotheses used to solve the
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 5, 2001
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                  In a message dated 9/4/01 8:48:44 PM, brian@... writes:

                  Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote:

                  > I agree that the problem with many of the hypotheses offered to
                  > "solve" the synoptic problem is that they are limited to what is
                  > consistent with the evidence rather than what is most probable given
                  > the evidence.

                  Brian replied:

                  > I think the basic difficulty is to find a hypothesis that is
                  > consistent with all the evidence. If we enjoyed the luxury of several
                  > hypotheses that worked completely, then perhaps we might consider which
                  > of these is the most probable. But the first step is to find just one
                  > synoptic documentary hypothesis that works.

                  Could it be that the main problem with the various hypotheses used to solve
                  the Synoptic Problem is that they wish to explain the problem way exlusively?
                  Could it in fact be that a combination of two or more of the hypotheses
                  explain the similarities between the synoptics better? What I am suggesting
                  is that maybe we could suggest that Matthew used Mark, Q (whether written or
                  oral) and at least, say Luke's source material, as well as his own source
                  material. In turn Luke may have used Mark, Matthew (or his source material)
                  and 'Q' to form his gospel.

                  Would this be a reasonable way to explain the parallels, and differences for
                  that matter, between the three gospels? This would make gmatthew and gluke
                  more interelated than is normally accepted, while still maintaining their
                  independance to a large extent. This may in turn explain why none of the
                  hypotheses seem to work entirely, as Brian points out.

                  It also seems that a variety of different sources is more likely to be the
                  case than exclusive access to one source another by only one of the gospel
                  writers - for example the exlusive pericopes that Matthew, or Luke use. Just
                  some thoughts, that may provoke a slightly different angle on the Synoptic
                  Problem.

                  Regards,
                  Fred Rich.

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                • Michael Grondin
                  ... This doesn t strike me as the proper interplay between data and hypothesis. No one does it this way, as far as I know, nor does it seem a particularly
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 5, 2001
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                    Brian Wilson wrote:
                    >To solve the synoptic problem, I would suggest the way to proceed is to
                    >posit any synoptic documentary hypothesis at all, and test it against
                    >the observed synoptic data. If it does not account easily for all the
                    >data, then posit another hypothesis, and test this. And so on. Until a
                    >hypothesis that works is found.

                    This doesn't strike me as the proper interplay between data and hypothesis.
                    No one does it this way, as far as I know, nor does it seem a particularly
                    promising procedure. The aggregate of data, as we interpret it, already
                    suggests to each of us a subset of hypotheses we find most plausible, and
                    we start with them, not with a random selection from a finite list of
                    possible hypotheses. Take for example the story of Peter cutting off
                    somebody's ear in the garden. Mark has a simple statement of fact. Matt and
                    Luke have Jesus respond in some way to soften the incident or make a lesson
                    out of it - in Luke's case by healing the ear. The hypothesis to which this
                    piece of data would push _me_ is that Mark was earlier than the others. Of
                    course, there might well be other data that would push in the opposite
                    direction, but if the preponderance of evidence pushed in the direction of
                    Mark being the first written, and known to the other two (why else would
                    they mention the incident at all?), one would be led to a subset of
                    hypotheses that posited Markan priority. One would have no motivation and
                    no need to look at other possible hypotheses which posited the opposite,
                    unless one was engaging in argument against those hypotheses. So to me it's
                    neither exclusively top-down nor bottom-up (as you suggest), but rather
                    both. Data pushes hypotheses, and hypotheses pull data, and the proper way
                    to do it seems to be to balance the two, neither distorting the data to fit
                    an overly-simple Procrustean hypothesis, nor letting minor anomalies force
                    hypotheses of impossible complexity.

                    Mike Grondin
                    Mt Clemens, MI

                    p.s. Apologies for the two previous posts.

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                  • Tim Reynolds
                    ... Brian wants a scenario that is “consistent with all the evidence.” I want a scenario that explains the most salient (and least discussed)
                    Message 9 of 11 , Sep 6, 2001
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                      Emmanuel Fritsch wrote:
                      >
                      > > Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote - and Brian answered :
                      > > >
                      > > >I agree that the problem with many of the hypotheses offered to
                      > > >"solve" the synoptic problem is that they are limited to what is
                      > > >consistent with the evidence rather than what is most probable given
                      > > >the evidence.
                      > > >
                      > > Thomas,
                      > > I think the basic difficulty is to find a hypothesis that is
                      > > consistent with all the evidence. [...]
                      >
                      > My first question is : what are the evidence ?
                      > May you provide a list of evidence ? Do you think your
                      > list would be exhaustive, or at least, would be accepted
                      > by a majority of scholar ?
                      >
                      > For instance I think that Boismard would propose the Lukanian
                      > wording in Mark as an evidence for the list. And if I well
                      > understood, you disagree...
                      >
                      > As another example, I think to your parallel discussion
                      > with Tim Reynolds, where you diverge on definition of
                      > synoptic phenomenon.
                      >
                      > a+
                      > manu

                      Brian wants a scenario that is “consistent with all the evidence.”

                      I want a scenario that explains the most salient (and least discussed)
                      characteristic of the synoptics, their endemic wobbliness of verbal
                      agreement. Given such a scenario, it would be interesting to see how
                      the rest of the evidence fits.

                      Tim Reynolds

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                    • Tim Reynolds
                      I m not defining. See previous posting. tim ... Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@bham.ac.uk
                      Message 10 of 11 , Sep 6, 2001
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                        I'm not defining. See previous posting.

                        tim

                        "Brian E. Wilson" wrote:
                        >
                        > Brian Wilson wrote --
                        > >
                        > >B. H. Streeter stated that the synoptic problem is to account for the
                        > >parallelism between the synoptic gospels, that is, for the observed
                        > >similarities and differences of wording (including similarity of order
                        > >[snip]) between the synoptic gospels.
                        > >
                        >
                        > Tim Reynolds replied --
                        >
                        > >
                        > >How about: "... the synoptic problem is to account for the fact that
                        > >the language is too similar to be unrelated and too different to be
                        > >copying."
                        > >
                        >
                        > Tim,
                        > It seems to me that your definition does not take into account
                        > similarities between the synoptic gospels that are not parallelism. What
                        > about the similarities between the synoptic gospels other than
                        > similarities of language (or order of these similarities)?
                        >
                        > Best wishes,
                        > BRIAN WILSON
                        >
                        > >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://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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                      • Brian E. Wilson
                        ... Michael Grondin replied -- ... Michael, It is the way I have proceeded. I have considered hundreds of synoptic documentary hypotheses in my mind over the
                        Message 11 of 11 , Sep 20, 2001
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                          Brian Wilson wrote:
                          >
                          >To solve the synoptic problem, I would suggest the way to proceed is to
                          >posit any synoptic documentary hypothesis at all, and test it against
                          >the observed synoptic data. If it does not account easily for all the
                          >data, then posit another hypothesis, and test this. And so on. Until a
                          >hypothesis that works is found.
                          >
                          Michael Grondin replied --
                          >
                          >This doesn't strike me as the proper interplay between data and
                          >hypothesis. No one does it this way, as far as I know, nor does it seem
                          >a particularly promising procedure.
                          >
                          Michael,
                          It is the way I have proceeded. I have considered hundreds of
                          synoptic documentary hypotheses in my mind over the years, and rejected
                          virtually all of them by testing them against the observed data.
                          >
                          >The aggregate of data, as we interpret it, already suggests to each of
                          >us a subset of hypotheses we find most plausible, and we start with
                          >them, not with a random selection from a finite list of possible
                          >hypotheses. ...
                          >
                          I would suggest that where we start is irrelevant. However plausible a
                          hypothesis may seem, if it does not fit the data well it is not a
                          solution. We are not looking for a merely plausible hypothesis. We are
                          looking for a hypothesis that can objectively be shown to work when
                          tested against the observable data. However "plausible" a hypothesis, if
                          testing it against the data shows that it does not work, then it is not
                          a solution. The point is that no hypothesis of the documentary
                          relationship between the synoptic gospels can be deduced from the
                          observed data. A hypothesis is not a theorem produced at the end of a
                          chain of reasoning, but a question at the start of a line of
                          investigation.

                          The same is true in astronomy. However many observations are made
                          through telescopes of the relative positions of the planets and moons in
                          our solar system at given times, there is no way in which Newton's law
                          of gravitation, or Einstein's general theory (which includes a theory of
                          gravitation) can be deduced from the observed data. All Newton or
                          Einstein could do was make an imaginative guess, and check this against
                          the observed facts to see whether it works. Einstein was thrilled when
                          he realized that the observed change in the orbit of Mercury about the
                          sun was consistent with his gravitational theory (in his theory of
                          general relativity). He says that he "walked on air" for a fortnight
                          afterwards. The reason, however, was that he realized that his general
                          theory of relativity fitted well this data. When tested against the
                          data, the hypothesis worked. He was glad to find not that he had deduced
                          anything from observed data, but that his leap of imagination that was
                          his basic theory fitted the observed data well.

                          I think we should be clear that no synoptic documentary hypothesis has
                          been, or can be, deduced from the data provided by the synoptic gospels
                          themselves, and that the route by which a synoptic hypothesis is
                          obtained is irrelevant. What matters is whether the hypothesis is shown
                          to work when tested against the data.

                          Best wishes,
                          BRIAN WILSON

                          >HOMEPAGE *** RECENTLY UPDATED *** http://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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