## [Synoptic-L] Story dualiities

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• Ron Price wrote -- ... Ron, The ambiguity is slight and is not, in fact, critical, in that determining whether two stories form a story duality is not
Message 1 of 13 , Oct 17, 2001
Ron Price wrote --
>
>Brian,
>As I can't read your Story Duality paper with my current software,
>perhaps you would explain how you overcome the following ambiguities
>which appear to be inherent in your definitions.
>
>(a) How do you determine exactly where a story starts and where it
>ends? As a specific instance, it is not entirely clear to me whether
>Mark 6:45 belongs to the Feeding of the 5000 (so Hooker) or not (so
>most translations). If it does belong, then its EUQUS will presumably
>parallel that in 8:10.

Ron,
The ambiguity is slight and is not, in fact, critical, in that
determining whether two stories form a story duality is not dependent on
this. The same ambiguity can occur with introductions to parables, of
course.
>
>(b) Sentences were not explicit in the original text, so whose
>definition of NT Greek sentences do you use?
>
Again, this is not critical in practice, as is clear when you see the
columns of Greek and English together.
>
>(c) In theory there may be ambiguities in selecting parallel word
roots.
>For instance:
>Story_A sentence_1 ..... crowd ..... sentence_2 ..... eats .....
>sentence_3 ..... eats ..... sentence_4 ..... satisfied ..... Story_B
>sentence_1 ..... crowd ..... sentence_2 ..... eats ..... sentence_3
>..... satisfied ..... Which "eats" in story_A is parallel to the "eats"
>in story_B ? In other words, what algorithm do you use to select the
>parallel word roots?
>
Yes. But again, in practice this is not critical. Any "path" through the
similarities will do. The criterion is simply to ensure that the two
stories have sufficient word-roots the same and in the same order to
make it unlikely that the observed similarities are the result of mere
coincidence. If you wish, you can choose the path that seems to be the
least likely to be the result of mere coincidence, of course. It does
not make a significant difference in practice.
>
>It would also be useful if you would write out (in either English or
>Greek) the sentence subset of one of the Markan feedings which is
>unmatched in the other feeding and also makes more sense than the story
>as a whole. This would facilitate an assessment of where the latter
>judgement sits on the scale from dubious through subjective to obvious.
>
Yes. Such an English representation is set out in full in the Finland
talk available on my homepage. If you would like to e-mail me directly
a spare copy of the hand-out booklets I used in Finland. These are a
print-out of the talk on my homepage. You really need to see the
columns of Greek and English together, showing similarities in the same
colour, and so on.

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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• ... Brian, I now see that you do include Mark 6:45 in your listing of the Feeding of the 5000. If it were not included, then 8:10b would be part of the
Message 2 of 13 , Oct 20, 2001
I wrote:

>>(a) How do you determine exactly where a story starts and where it
>>ends? As a specific instance, it is not entirely clear to me whether
>>Mark 6:45 belongs to the Feeding of the 5000 (so Hooker) or not (so
>>most translations). If it does belong, then its EUQUS will presumably
>>parallel that in 8:10.

Brian Wilson replied:

> The ambiguity is slight and is not, in fact, critical, in that
>determining whether two stories form a story duality is not dependent on
>this.

Brian,
I now see that you do include Mark 6:45 in your listing of the Feeding
of the 5000. If it were not included, then 8:10b would be part of the
"shortened version which makes more sense..." I concede that in this
case at least the ambiguity in the story boundary does not cause a
problem, for the sense is not impaired if 8:10b is added.

>>(b) Sentences were not explicit in the original text, so whose
>>definition of NT Greek sentences do you use?

>Again, this is not critical in practice, as is clear when you see the
>columns of Greek and English together.

But here I must disagree. If we use the best Greek text (NTG27), then
verses 8:1-3 are all one sentence, as in the RSV. Thus because of the
parallels with Mark 6 (MAQHT..., TI FAGWSIN) verses 8:1a,c,3 cannot be
part of the "shortened version which makes more sense...". This would
surely ruin your case because 8:7 plus 8:10a does not make much sense.

>>(c) In theory there may be ambiguities in selecting parallel word
>roots.
>>For instance:
>>Story_A sentence_1 ..... crowd ..... sentence_2 ..... eats .....
>>sentence_3 ..... eats ..... sentence_4 ..... satisfied ..... Story_B
>>sentence_1 ..... crowd ..... sentence_2 ..... eats ..... sentence_3
>>..... satisfied ..... Which "eats" in story_A is parallel to the "eats"
>>in story_B ? In other words, what algorithm do you use to select the
>>parallel word roots?

>Yes. But again, in practice this is not critical. Any "path" through the
>similarities will do.

No, it won't do, because it defines the 'sentences' to be omitted. The
Feedings example has a case of the problem which I mentioned above. In
6:41-42 there are 2 KAIs between the PARATIQWSIN and the EFAGON, whereas
in 8:6-8 there are 5 KAIs between these words. If any of the KAIs in 8:7
are included in the pairing, then according to your rules, 8:7 (which is
one sentence) must be omitted from the "shortened version which makes
more sense...". But 8:3 plus 8:10a makes no sense without 8:7.

One final point. Your translation appears to be following the RSV. But
in 8:7 you translate the third KAI (RSV "also") as "even". Of course in
the Feeding of the 4000, the "also" refers quite naturally to fish *as
well as* loaves. I am not convinced that softening the meaning to "even"
removes the anomaly caused by the removal of the section about the
loaves. In other words, the "even" in your translation of 8:7 does not
make sense to me.

Thus I contend that your rules are ambiguous, and that even with the
'best' selection of KAIs from 8:6-8, the extraction from the Feeding of
the 4000 does *not* make more sense than Mark's account using the rules
you defined.

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
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• Ron Price wrote -- ... Ron, Before dealing with the details you raise, I think it might help if I make some general points relevant to how I see the 5000 and
Message 3 of 13 , Oct 22, 2001
Ron Price wrote --
>
>Brian,
> I now see that you do include Mark 6:45 in your listing of the
>Feeding of the 5000. If it were not included, then 8:10b would be part
>of the "shortened version which makes more sense..." I concede that in
>this case at least the ambiguity in the story boundary does not cause a
>problem, for the sense is not impaired if 8:10b is added.
>
Ron,
Before dealing with the details you raise, I think it might help if
I make some general points relevant to how I see the 5000 and 4000 in
Mark form a story duality.

(1) The word "sentences" in the definition in the wording of the Finland
talk is intended to indicate merely the adjoining associated wording of
the words with word-roots the same and in the same order. In other
formulations of the wording of the definition I have not used the word
"sentence" at this point because it is perhaps confusing since it may
suggest something "grammatical" that is not intended. It is in fact very
difficult to express these definitions in succinct English (and the talk
at Finland had to be compressed into 21 minutes). The essential idea in
the criterion being considered is that if the words with word-roots the
same and in the same order are removed, then the remaining wording
includes wording that can be shown to make more consistent sense than
the story as a whole. In other words, the definition is not intended to
define exactly which words must be included, but to set limits to the
wording within which the wording with more coherent wording can be
observed. It would be possible for slightly different versions of the
wording with more coherent sense to be produced, but any version that
fits the definition would show that the criterion concerned is met.

(2) It is important to note that "making more coherent sense" is
relative, not absolute. It is not required that the wording obtained
must be completely coherent sense, but only that it makes more coherent
sense than the story as a whole within which it is set.

(3) It is very clear that, in the 5000 and 4000 in Mark, there are more
than 10 word-roots the same and in the same order, and that the 5000 is
in tatters if these are omitted from it.

(4) Checking from my file of columns of Greek from which I obtained the
two columns of English for the 4000, in my Greek file the word KAI at
the beginning of Mk 8.7 is in red, and should have been shown in red in
the previous column of English. The relevant part of this material in
the column of black and red wording should have ended -- "and having
given thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before
the people. And they set them before them AND". The relevant part of the
material in the column of blue wording should therefore have begun --
transcription error. (There are other transcription errors in the talk.)

To answer particular points you raise --
>
>>>(b) Sentences were not explicit in the original text, so whose
>>>definition of NT Greek sentences do you use?
>
>>Again, this is not critical in practice, as is clear when you see the
>>columns of Greek and English together.
>
>But here I must disagree. If we use the best Greek text (NTG27), then
>verses 8:1-3 are all one sentence, as in the RSV. Thus because of the
>parallels with Mark 6 (MAQHT..., TI FAGWSIN) verses 8:1a,c,3 cannot be
>part of the "shortened version which makes more sense...". This would
>surely ruin your case because 8:7 plus 8:10a does not make much sense.
>
I think the general point I have made about the word "sentence" meaning
merely "associated adjoining wording" applies here. If you look back at
the previous instances of story dualities set out in the Finland talk,
it is clear that "sentence" is not understood in a grammatical sense.
For instance, in the previous instance, the word "other" in the Wedding
Feast (Mt 22.1-10) stands by itself in the column of red and black
wording.
>
>>>(c) In theory there may be ambiguities in selecting parallel word
>>>roots. For instance:
>>>>Story_A sentence_1 ..... crowd ..... sentence_2 ..... eats .....
>>>sentence_3 ..... eats ..... sentence_4 ..... satisfied ..... Story_B
>>>sentence_1 ..... crowd ..... sentence_2 ..... eats ..... sentence_3
>>>..... satisfied ..... Which "eats" in story_A is parallel to the
>>>"eats" in story_B ? In other words, what algorithm do you use to
>>>select the parallel word roots?
>
>>Yes. But again, in practice this is not critical. Any "path" through
>>the similarities will do.
>
>No, it won't do, because it defines the 'sentences' to be omitted. The
>Feedings example has a case of the problem which I mentioned above. In
>6:41-42 there are 2 KAIs between the PARATIQWSIN and the EFAGON,
>whereas in 8:6-8 there are 5 KAIs between these words. If any of the
>KAIs in 8:7 are included in the pairing, then according to your rules,
>8:7 (which is one sentence) must be omitted from the "shortened version
>which makes more sense...". But 8:3 plus 8:10a makes no sense without
>8:7.
>
Again, "sentences" is not intended to be grammatical but to mean merely
>
>One final point. Your translation appears to be following the RSV. But
>in 8:7 you translate the third KAI (RSV "also") as "even". Of course in
>the Feeding of the 4000, the "also" refers quite naturally to fish *as
>well as* loaves. I am not convinced that softening the meaning to
>"even" removes the anomaly caused by the removal of the section about
>the loaves. In other words, the "even" in your translation of 8:7 does
>not make sense to me.
>
The RSV translates Mk 8.1-10 as one story. In the "remainder" that is
formed by omitting the words with word-roots the same and in the same
order together with their adjoining associated wording, Mk 8.7 (without

"They had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he commanded that
KAI these should be set before them."

We have no need to follow the RSV in order to translate the word "KAI"
in this context. In the column of blue wording, the most natural
translation is "even", at this point. The fact that "KAI" can be
translated as "even" here is surely support for the material having
originally been in a different context.

However, if you are not happy with this translation, the word KAI
concerned can be treated as a word with word-root the same and in the
same order, by matching it with the word KAI at the beginning of Mk
6.42. The consequence would be to divide the material as follows --

(IN BLUE IN RIGHT-HAND COLUMNS OF ENGLISH) "They had a few small fish.
And having blessed them he commanded that"

(IN RED IN LEFT-HAND COLUMN OF ENGLISH) "and"

(IN BLUE RIGHT-HAND COLUMN OF ENGLISH) "these should be set before
them."

(IN RED IN LEFT-HAND COLUMN OF ENGLISH ) "They ate and were
satisfied..."

In this way the word "KAI" is removed from the middle of Mk 8.7 in the
right-hand column, so that the material being considered in the right-

"They had a few small fish. And having blessed them he commanded
that...these should be set before them."

I think anyone reading through the wording in blue will see that it is
definitely material forming one feeding with little fish that makes
more coherent sense than the story as a whole which is two feedings. One
feeding story is found within only remnants of another feeding story. In
the 4000 as it stands in Mk 8.1-10 (though not in the parallel in
Matthew), there are two accounts of people being fed, two prayers, two
commands, two distributions of food. The 4000 is clearly "composite" in
some sense. I think the two stories, the 5000 and the 4000, do satisfy
the criteria of a story duality, and that the 4000 is the composite dua-
story.

I think it is worth pointing out here that in the two columns of English
of the 4000, in the left-hand column the wording in red, also found in
the 5000, does not make coherent sense, and neither does the black and
red wording of the column as a whole. It is characteristic of story
dualities that the composite dua-story appears to be a *selection* of
wording from the simple dua-story combined *awkwardly* with what appears
to be an *edited* version of another story. It should be noted that such
appearances do not define a story duality, but are rather the sort of
account that the LTH would give of their occurrence. Story dualities can
be observed in the synoptic gospels irrespective of any attempt at
accounting for their occurrence.

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@...
• ... associated adjoining wording Brian, This definition is imprecise, giving you rather a lot of latitude in choosing which words to include and which to
Message 4 of 13 , Oct 23, 2001
Brian Wilson wrote:

> ...the word "sentence" [in the Finland talk] mean[s] merely

Brian,
This definition is imprecise, giving you rather a lot of latitude in
choosing which words to include and which to omit. It indicates that

>I would stress again that a story duality is an observed phenomenon.
>There are some two dozen stories dualities observable in the synoptic
>gospels. They were there before anyone ever thought of positing any
>hypothesis of the documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels.

is just not true, for part of what you present is your own
interpretation of what constitutes
the "associated adjoining wording". It is therefore not simply "an
observed phenomenon".

In the Parable of the Pounds the "associated adjoining wording" in Lk
19:13, in addition to "his ten" and "ten pounds each", includes a whole
extra clause: "and he said to them, 'Trade with these till I come'".
This has to be included because otherwise it would be in the remainder,
which would then *not* make a meaningful story. In the Parable of the
Tares in Mt 13:30, the "associated adjoining wording" is only one word
("until"). With such varied interpretation of the rules it will be
possible to detect a 'consistent story' in many cases where a more rigid
set of rules would not.

Yet even with all this latitude, your story extracts do not always,
in my opinion, make more sense than the original gospel stories.
Your reconstruction of the Feeding of the 4000 presents an incomplete
story ending with Mk 8:7,10a. What happened? Did the disciples obey the
command to set a few fish before the crowd of 4000? If they did, weren't
most of the crowd left hungry? Did Jesus send the crowd away because
they complained? No, Brian, it's not as good as Mark's account. Whatever
Mark's faults, the inability to tell a good story was not one of them.
Similarly in the call of Levi, your reconstruction leaves a bare
statement about Jesus seeing Levi sitting at the tax office. Shorn of
the call of Levi, the statement is pointless. In any case Mk 2:13-14 and
2:15-17 are two distinct stories put together by 'Mark' because they are
about tax collectors. i.e. Mk 2:13-17 is not one story but two. So it's
not at all surprising that 2:15-17 is a consistent story - that's the
way 'Mark' wrote it.

In the Woman with the Ointment, the fact that there are two matching
DEs and two matching KAIs in Mk 14:9 and Lk 7:48-49 is conveniently
ignored.

In the Wedding Feast, "again" and "other" in 22:4 are omitted from the
extract with no justification in the rules - but simply to make sense of
the result. If it is argued that these two words belong to "he sent his
servants" in verse 3, then for consistency one should say that as a
minimum the whole clause "Again he sent other servants" also belongs.

There is a further inconsistency in that certain words (shown in green
in your listings) are used in the extract even though under your rules
we would expect them to be omitted. So you do not even keep to your own
loosely defined rules.

The idea of making deductions about synoptic hypotheses based on such
an ill-defined and subjective phenomenon is extremely dubious.

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
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• Brian Wilson wrote -- ... Ron Price replied -- ... Ron, If your argument were valid here, then the triple tradition in the synoptic gospels is not an observed
Message 5 of 13 , Oct 27, 2001
Brian Wilson wrote --
>
>The word "sentences" in the definition in the wording of the Finland
>talk is intended to indicate merely the adjoining associated wording of
>the words with word-roots the same and in the same order. In other
>formulations of the wording of the definition I have not used the word
>"sentence" at this point because it is perhaps confusing since it may
>suggest something "grammatical" that is not intended. It is in fact
>very difficult to express these definitions in succinct English (and
>the talk at Finland had to be compressed into 21 minutes). The
>essential idea in the criterion being considered is that if the words
>with word-roots the same and in the same order are removed, then the
>remaining wording includes wording that can be shown to make more
>consistent sense than the story as a whole. In other words, the
>definition is not intended to define exactly which words must be
>included, but to set limits to the wording within which the wording
>with more coherent wording can be observed. It would be possible for
>slightly different versions of the wording with more coherent sense to
>be produced, but any version that fits the definition would show that
>the criterion concerned is met.
>

Ron Price replied --
>
>This definition is imprecise, giving you rather a lot of latitude in
>choosing which words to include and which to omit. It indicates that
>
>>I would stress again that a story duality is an observed phenomenon.
>>There are some two dozen stories dualities observable in the synoptic
>>gospels. They were there before anyone ever thought of positing any
>>hypothesis of the documentary relationship between the synoptic
>>gospels.
>
>is just not true, for part of what you present is your own
>interpretation of what constitutes the "associated adjoining wording".
>It is therefore not simply "an observed phenomenon".
>
Ron,
If your argument were valid here, then the triple tradition in the
synoptic gospels is not an observed phenomenon (and study of the
synoptic problem would grid to a halt!). For exactly what is to be
included in the triple tradition is determined to some extent by the
interpretation of scholar concerned. The definition of story duality
sets definite limits to the wording within which the wording with more
coherent wording can be observed. These limits are not subjective.
>
>In the Parable of the Pounds the "associated adjoining wording" in Lk
>19:13, in addition to "his ten" and "ten pounds each", includes a whole
>extra clause: "and he said to them, 'Trade with these till I come'".
>This has to be included because otherwise it would be in the remainder,
>which would then *not* make a meaningful story.
>
Yes. This is fine. We are looking for material within the Parable of the
Pounds that makes more consistent sense than the parable as a whole. The
essential point is that the word-roots the same and in the same order
should not be included in this. When the "black and red" wording is
omitted from the Parable of the Pounds, as John Nolland observes, and as
quoted in the talk --
>
>"The narrative that emerges, if we extract and fit together those
>parts of the parable that deal with royal rule, is in its own right a
>more of less complete and coherent narrative.~ (J. Nolland, "Word
>Biblical Commentary Volume 35C - Luke 18:35-24-24:53" -- Dallas, 1993 -
>- page 910.)
>
Note that Nolland even obligingly uses the term "coherent" to describe
the remainder here. Note also that he is implying that the remainder is
more coherent than the parable as a whole, but not that the remainder
makes totally coherent sense.
>
>In the Parable of the Tares in Mt 13:30, the "associated adjoining
>wording" is only one word ("until"). With such varied interpretation of
>the rules it will be possible to detect a 'consistent story' in many
>cases where a more rigid set of rules would not.
>
There is no rule that the associated adjoining wording must be of any
particular length. In some instances there may be a single word only in
red in the column showing the wording with word-roots the same and in
the same wording in both narratives, with no associated adjoining
wording at all. You seem to want a set of rules that ties down the exact
wording of what must have been in the "remainder" (the blue wording).
The essential idea of the criterion being considered is that if **any**
ten or more word-roots the same and in the same order are observed, and
if these and **any** adjoining associated wording is removed, then it is
**possible** to observe a remainder that makes more consistent sense
than the story as a whole. As I said above, it is clearly possible for
slightly different versions of the wording with more coherent sense to
be produced, but **any** version that fits the definition would show
that the criterion concerned is met.
>
>Yet even with all this latitude, your story extracts do not always,
>in my opinion, make more sense than the original gospel stories.
>
As the notes in my talk show, I think in every case I have found
comments by other scholars supporting the idea that there is an
awkwardness in the story concerned such that if the awkwardness is
removed the story makes more coherent sense. In other words, the
judgement that the remainder makes more coherent sense is not merely
mine.
>
>Your reconstruction of the Feeding of the 4000 presents an incomplete
>story ending with Mk 8:7,10a. What happened? Did the disciples obey the
>command to set a few fish before the crowd of 4000? If they did,
>weren't most of the crowd left hungry? Did Jesus send the crowd away
>because they complained? No, Brian, it's not as good as Mark's account.
>Whatever Mark's faults, the inability to tell a good story was not one
>of them.
>
Your rhetorical questions support my explanation of the creation of
story dualities by the writer of the Greek Logia. In my view, it was
precisely because a story was "weak" in his view that he decided to
expand it using material from a story he had already used. It was
precisely because the story was not "a good one" that he sought to
improve it by expanding it with wording taken from the 5000. Also, you
seem to be wanting the "remainder" to form a completely coherent story.
This is not required by the definition. As explained in the text of the
talk, the remainder makes more consistent sense that the 4000 as a whole
in which it is set. The story as it stands in Mark does contain
awkwardnesses, and these are not present in the remainder set out in
blue wording.
>
>Similarly in the call of Levi, your reconstruction leaves a bare
>statement about Jesus seeing Levi sitting at the tax office. Shorn of
>the call of Levi, the statement is pointless. In any case Mk 2:13-14
>and 2:15-17 are two distinct stories put together by 'Mark' because
>they are about tax collectors. i.e. Mk 2:13-17 is not one story but
>two. So it's not at all surprising that 2:15-17 is a consistent story -
>that's the way 'Mark' wrote it.
>
The story of Jesus and Levi in Mark is represented as one narrative in
all the synopses I know. According to Huck/Throckmorton, the "Call of
Levi" covers Mk 2.13-17 and parallels. The idea that Mark was a good
story-teller is speculation. How do we know that any story in Mark was
formed by him? On the LTH, the great majority of the wording of Mark was
lifted from the Greek Logia. It could well be that Mark was hopeless at
writing stories, and much appreciated the opportunity to use the fine
examples of stories he found before him in his documentary source. The
narrative in Mk 2.13-17 is one composite story which was not necessarily
formed by Mark.
>
>In the Woman with the Ointment, the fact that there are two matching
>DEs and two matching KAIs in Mk 14:9 and Lk 7:48-49 is conveniently
>ignored.
>
Big deal! They are exactly the sort of words that could well be omitted
from any selection of word-roots the same and in the same order. There
is no rule that any such words must be included.
>
>The idea of making deductions about synoptic hypotheses based on such
>an ill-defined and subjective phenomenon is extremely dubious.
>
The definition is well-defined, as shown above. Your idea of "making
deductions" seems to echo the idea of Emmanuel Fritsch, that it is
possible to deduce a synoptic hypothesis from observed synoptic
phenomena such as story dualities. I hope I would not be so foolish as
to attempt to deduce any synoptic hypothesis from the observed synoptic
phenomena for which it accounts, since I do not think it very sensible
to attempt to do the impossible. The LTH is a hypothesis to be checked
against the data, not a theorem that can be deduced logically step by
step from the data. No synoptic documentary hypothesis can be deduced
from the observed data for which it accounts.

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, There is a difference between the triple tradition and your story dualities . A precise definition of the former is not usually required as part
Message 6 of 13 , Oct 28, 2001
I wrote:

>> ..... part of what you present is your own
>>interpretation of what constitutes the "associated adjoining wording".
>>It is therefore not simply "an observed phenomenon".

Brian Wilson replied:

> If your argument were valid here, then the triple tradition in the
>synoptic gospels is not an observed phenomenon (and study of the
>synoptic problem would grid to a halt!). For exactly what is to be
>included in the triple tradition is determined to some extent by the
>interpretation of scholar concerned.

Brian,
dualities". A precise definition of the former is not usually required
as part of any argument which refers to it. This is not the case with
regard to 'story dualities', each of which needs to be set out in detail
in order to be sure that it qualifies. If a precise definition of
"triple tradition" were ever required for some particular purpose,
doubtless scholars could agree on such a definition.

>The essential idea of the criterion being considered is that if **any**
>ten or more word-roots the same and in the same order are observed, and
>if these and **any** adjoining associated wording is removed, then it is
>**possible** to observe a remainder that makes more consistent sense
>than the story as a whole.

Ah, now this is not the plain meaning of the original definition, but
quite a distinct refinement of the original.

>The story [of the Feeding of the 4000] as it stands in Mark does contain
>awkwardnesses, and these are not present in the remainder set out in
>blue wording.

But this is not the whole test. Your claim was that the remainder
makes more sense than the original story. In order to assess this you
must compare the awkwardnesses of the original story with the
awkwardnesses of the remainder, which involves assessing any
awkwardnesses introduced during your editing procedure.

>> ..... Mk 2:13-17 is not one story but
>>two. So it's not at all surprising that 2:15-17 is a consistent story -
>>that's the way 'Mark' wrote it.

>The story of Jesus and Levi in Mark is represented as one narrative in
>all the synopses I know.

Synopses often put related stories (e.g. Mustard and Yeast) together
for convenience. We cannot rely on the divisions of synopses to identify
story boundaries. Even Hooker puts 2:13-17 together as one section for
convenience in her commentary, but she describes it as "two brief
stories ..... (vv.13-14) and ..... (vv.15-17)".

> The idea that Mark was a good story-teller is speculation.
> How do we know that any story in Mark was formed by him?

For the purposes of this discussion, let's say that he relates many
good stories. Where he got them from is not relevant here.

>The definition is well-defined, as shown above.

Not yet. For you still haven't given a satisfactory explanation of the
words in green.

> Your idea of "making deductions" .....

Actually it's your idea, for in your notes on "Duality in the Synoptic
Gospels" you argue that the Greek Notes Hypothesis is better able to
account for the pattern of story dualities. You are therefore trying to
deduce from your observations that one synoptic hypothesis is better
than certain others.
Of course there's nothing wrong with this in principle, *if* story
dualities are sufficiently objectively defined.

You also wrote:

>Your rhetorical questions support my explanation of the creation of
>story dualities by the writer of the Greek Logia. In my view, it was
>precisely because a story was "weak" in his view that he decided to
>expand it using material from a story he had already used. It was
>precisely because the story was not "a good one" that he sought to
>improve it by expanding it with wording taken from the 5000.

But in this case I much prefer the explanation that Mark duplicated the
story so as to represent the (spiritual) feeding both of Jews (12
baskets, c.f. 12 tribes of Israel) and of Gentiles (7 baskets, c.f. 70
"others" in Luke 10:1 - well 70 baskets would have been *really*
ridiculous!). Most narrators when they improve a story will quietly drop
the original if they can.

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 Wilson wrote -- ... Ron Price replied -- ... Ron, Yes. The original is in very compressed English, and the refinement of the original wording brings out
Message 7 of 13 , Oct 29, 2001
Brian Wilson wrote --
>
>The essential idea of the criterion being considered is that if **any**
>ten or more word-roots the same and in the same order are observed, and
>if these and **any** adjoining associated wording is removed, then it
>is **possible** to observe a remainder that makes more consistent sense
>than the story as a whole.
>
Ron Price replied --
>
>Ah, now this is not the plain meaning of the original definition, but
>quite a distinct refinement of the original.
>
Ron,
Yes. The original is in very compressed English, and the refinement
of the original wording brings out what was originally intended in the
original wording. The meaning of the original definition was not
altogether "plain", therefore. I suppose I should be strongly aware of
this, since I have been using the definition to try and spot story
dualities for years. Moreover the procedure followed in the Finland talk
is clearly in line with the intended meaning.

Brian Wilson also wrote --
>
>The definition is well-defined, as shown above.
>
To which Ron Price replied --
>
>Not yet. For you still haven't given a satisfactory explanation of the
>words in green.
>
The words in green could have been shown in blue. They are not needed to
meet the criteria of the definition of a story duality. They draw
attention to striking instances of the same word-root in the same
position that is not used as one of the ten or more word-roots the same
and in the same order required by the definition. From the point of view
of the LTH, they may well have been words which prompted the writer of
the Greek Logia to turn back to a previous story in which this was a key
word. For instance, "woman" in the "Woman with the Ointment" may well
have prompted the writer of the Greek Logia to turn back to the story of
the "woman" of the Anointing at Bethany. Similarly "he saw" in the Call
of Levi could well have prompted the writer of the Greek Logia to look
back at the story in which Jesus "saw" Simon and Andrew working as
fishermen. (The green wording "[a king]" in the Wedding Feast is a
transcription error. It should be without brackets and in blue. The
Greek is literally "a man (a king)" and the error arose from my own
translation into English containing these brackets. The word "king" is
not in the corresponding simple dua-story -- the Wicked Tenants.) On
reflection, it would perhaps have been better if I had simply put the
words "woman" and "he saw" in blue, and made the point about these being
"key" words in the Notes.

I wonder, Ron, whether you have tried looking for story dualities
yourself? You seem to suggest that the definition with which I have been
working is slack in some way. But if so, it would surely be easy to find
pairs of narratives that meet the criteria of the definition. I began
with the one example observed by Vincent Taylor -- "The Gospel according
to St. Mark" (London, 1957) pages 368-370 -- wondering whether this was
the only instance of such a story duality in the synoptic gospels. I
looked for further examples of what he had spotted. It has been a slow
process finding other instances, and I have found about twenty-nine to
date. I think if you tried looking for them, you would see that they
certainly exist, and that the definition works.

If you do find any further examples of story dualities, or if anyone
else does, I would be very glad to be told. I would, of course, ascribe
the credit for this to the discoverer.

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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