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Re: [Synoptic-L] Story dualities

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  • Emmanuel Fritsch
    Short sumary of this answer to Brian : 1- The debate about merged stories or composite story is not relevant. 2a- When focusing on composite stories,
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 17, 2001
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      Short sumary of this answer to Brian :
      1- The debate about "merged stories" or "composite story" is not relevant.
      2a- When focusing on composite stories, simple story are not relevant
      2b- The three synoptist copying faithfully a pericope is not a
      coincidence : it constitutes the triple tradition. (according LTH)
      3- What happens to hypotheses when they do not match data.

      ----------------------------

      1- Merged stories or composite stories ?

      > >Focusing only on merged stories that were present (according to you)
      > >in the greek notes, we have not to look for the complete pattern
      > >of six narratives, but just the three merged stories, one in each
      > >synoptic.
      > >
      > Emmanuel,
      > It seems to me that you have imported into the discussion an
      > idea of your own, and not of mine, that one of the two dua-stories
      > forming a story duality is a "merged story". I do not hold this view. I
      > do not agree with this description. I think you are mis-understanding
      > what I am saying about the story dualities that can be observed in the
      > synoptic gospels.

      I imported in the discussion the words "merged story", but not
      the idea, since I found it in your finland paper. I quote (p 15) :

      # Consider the following hypothesis. A writer with a somewhat
      # repetitious style was writing out a set of pieces of Jesus
      # tradition in Greek. Sometimes he came across a story which
      # he felt could be improved in the light of a story he had
      # already recorded. So he deliberately added to one story
      # parts of a story he had previously written out.

      You are describing a merging process, and I feel confident
      when calling the second story a "merged story". I understand
      that someone may disagree with this "merging" idea, but
      certainly not you, since it comes from you.

      You do not like the words "merged story" ? In that case, let us
      replace with "composite story", as you use it in your last mail.
      I do not understand the difference between "merged" and "composite",
      but for the following, it does not matter. Let us now call it the
      "composite story", or "composite dua-story" if needed.

      ----------------------------

      2- The composite stories in the triple tradition.

      > On the LTH, therefore, whenever any synoptist came across any
      > simple dua-story in the Greek Logia he was free (1) to include the dua-
      > story in his gospel and copy the wording reasonably faithfully, (2) to
      > include the dua-story in his gospel but edit the wording fairly heavily,
      > (3) to omit the dua-story. Furthermore, the synoptist was free to do
      > the same three things whenever he came across a composite dua-story in
      > the Greek Logia. On this view, therefore, (which assumes the LTH, of
      > course), a story duality came into existence only if a synoptist chose
      > option (1) in the case of the simple dua-story, and if a synoptist (not
      > necessarily the same synoptist) also chose option (1) in the case of the
      > composite dua-story.

      Please merge options (2) and (3). The question is : whatever the
      pericope in your posited greek notes, when the synoptist came
      across, he was free (1) to remain close enough to let us aknowledge
      a common material, (2) to edit the wording heavily or to omit the
      pericopes, so that the link is now lost.


      > For the same composite dua-story to occur in all three synoptic gospels,
      > therefore, all three synoptists would, coincidentally, have had to
      > exercise **the same option** (1) in the case of **the same composite
      > dua-story** from the Greek Logia. But this is not the end of the matter.

      First bias in your demonstration : when "all three synoptists would,
      coincidentally, have had to exercise **the same option** (1)", it is
      not coincidental at all : it constitutes the triple tradition, which
      is not a minor part of synoptics. But what would look coincidental,
      and, rather, implausible, is to find few triple (1) options for
      composite stories, since when looking the global corpus, the triple
      option (1) (i.e. the triple tradition) is statistically significant.

      Second bias in your demonstration :

      > [...] But this is not the end of the matter.
      > For if this was the only coincidence, we would not know that the dua-
      > story concerned was indeed a composite dua-story. We cannot know that
      > any observed story in the synoptic gospels is a composite dua-story
      > unless we can observe its corresponding simple dua-story.

      We are not counting if a story is or not a dua-story, but if a
      composite (dua-)story is or not in triple tradition. You want
      me to introduce in your count all the possible story dualities
      that would have disappear due to the cancel of the simple story
      in all synoptist. But it is not normal to count these unknown
      composite stories as if they would have reinforced the triple
      tradition.

      We are comparing (a) the numbers of composite stories in triple
      tradition with (b) the numbers of composite stories in your
      posited greek notes. You are saying : we shall take into account
      all composite stories, including those that we can not detect
      because the corresponding simple stories have been canceled
      by all synoptists.
      But how do we count in your posited greek notes the canceled
      duality stories ? They are undetectable. Since they are not
      count in (b), they have not to be counted in (a).


      > For a composite dua-story to be observable in the triple
      > tradition, therefore, yet a further coincidence is required
      > -- that coincidentally at least one synoptist exercised
      > option (1) in relation to the corresponding simple dua-story
      > in the synoptic gospels.

      Same observation as just above. With other words, you give
      here an additional condition "for a composite dua-story to
      be observable in the triple tradition", but this condition
      ("one synoptist exercised option (1) in relation to the
      corresponding simple dua-story") is true for all story
      dualities, (thus for all composite dua-stories), since
      this condition belongs to the definition of the story
      duality as you gave it just three lines above :

      > a story duality came into existence only if a synoptist chose
      > option (1) in the case of the simple dua-story, and if [...]

      This argument is not rhetoric, but pure logic ;-)
      You are not allowed to include canceled composite stories
      in the study after having rejected them in your definition.

      ----------------------------

      3- What happens to hypotheses when they do not match data.

      > >Take another example : if there is many widows in all synoptics,
      > >but very few in the triple tradition, you may deduce that the
      > >widow theme is common to first century christians, and has been
      > >integrated in each synoptic independently from the other one.
      > >
      > I think it is the most basic mistake in using probability theory to
      > suppose that it is possible to **deduce** that something happened by
      > statistical considerations of sampling. If a coin with a head on one
      > side and a tail on the other is spun twenty times and gives "heads" each
      > time, it is nonsense to say that we can "deduce" from his data that the
      > coin is biassed. This would be a fundamental misunderstanding of the use
      > of probability theory. The twenty consecutive "heads" could have been an
      > unlikely coincidence, and the coin not biassed.

      "it is the most basic mistake in using probability theory"... I am
      sorry Brian : I may respect you as a scholar, and learn a lot from
      you about NT, greek language and perhabs history. But I am quite
      confident when saying you can not teach me on probability theory.

      The computing deduction you may say with your experience,
      is : if the coin is unbiassed, the probability to obtain such
      twenty following "heads" is less than 1 against a million.
      (exactly : 1 / 2^20 = 1 / 1,048,576 )

      The common knowlege deduction is : perhabs it could have been an
      "unlikely coincidence", and the coin is not biassed, but until
      we may verify it, I would like rather consider the coin as
      biassed, and bet on "tail" with another coin.

      Would it not be better to consider the LTH as biassed, and play
      with another hypothesis ?


      > >If in your set of merged stories, there is a lack of merged stories
      > >present in the triple tradition, then we may deduce that these merged
      > >stories are not due to a single author, but are a global behavior of
      > >several redactors.
      > >
      > Really? I would suggest it is absolutely impossible to deduce the
      > "global behaviour of several redactors" from the observed data in the
      > synoptic gospels. Your idea that such a deduction can be made shows a
      > complete lack of understanding of what a hypothesis is. No hypothesis of
      > the documentary relationship between the synoptic gospels can possibly
      > be deduced from the observed data in the synoptic gospels. A hypothesis
      > is not the end of a chain of reasoning, but a question posed at the
      > beginning of a testing of the hypothesis against the observed data.

      - We have a hypothesis : LTH. We want to check it with facts.

      - We have facts : the story dualities, the related composite
      stories, their distribution in triple radition...

      IF the distribution of composite stories in triple tradition
      is low (and this is still not checked), THEN the LTH would be
      falsified : we find a phenomenon that does not fit the hypothesis.

      Corollary : SINCE composite stories do not come from a unique
      source, they come from various ones : composite stories -and
      thus story duality- are not a characteristic stylistic pattern,
      but come from various sources. THUS story duality results from
      a global behaviour of redactors.

      Note that I join here the conclusion of Ken Olson,
      he reached through other arguments.
      Note also that this is not a hypothesis, but a deduction.

      I am lucky : it is placed at the end of the chain of reasoning.

      a+
      manu

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