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Re: Prehistory of the Farrer Hypothesis

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  • E. Bruce Brooks
    Topic: Prehistory of the Farrer Hypothesis From: Bruce In Supplement To: Jeff Peterson On 22 Jul 98 (Syn-L archive 676), Jeff responded to Stephen Carlson s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25, 1998
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      Topic: Prehistory of the Farrer Hypothesis
      From: Bruce
      In Supplement To: Jeff Peterson

      On 22 Jul 98 (Syn-L archive 676), Jeff responded to Stephen Carlson's
      earlier request for information on Eduard Reuss's synoptic views by quoting
      William Baird, who characterizes Reuss as an UrMarcus advocate. I have
      gotten hold of Reuss's major work, and can fill in a few additional details
      for their possible interest as a contribution to the history of our

      Eduard (Wilhelm Eugen) Reuss, 1804-1891, Professor in Kaiser Wilhelm
      University, Strassburg. History of the Sacred Scriptures of the New
      Testament. 1ed (Gm) 1842, 5ed rev (Gm) 1874 [there were also at least two
      Fr editions], Eng tr Edw L Houghton, 1884.

      In a word, Reuss advocates the order Mk > Mt, Lk (in which Lk follows Mt
      but is parallel to it in depending on Mk but not also on Mt). He rejects
      the Eichhorn Hypothesis (EH) of a single Proto-Gospel behind all three
      Synoptics. He follows Papias in positing two earliest sources in addition
      to oral tradition: (1) An Aramaic source lying behind Matthew, and (2)
      GMark, as a transcript from the disconnected preaching of Peter, though not
      exactly in its present form, but rather comprising Mk 1:21-16:8 (see
      p193). In addition to the fact that Lk's reliance on Mk begins at Mk 1:21,
      he cites Tertullian in support of beginning GMk with Mk 1:21. He does not
      assume (as do many Proto-Markan theorists) that Luke's Great Omission (Mk
      6:45-8:26) was not in Proto-Mark, but rather that Luke's copy of Proto-Mark
      was defective. He considers that the passion narratives present a special
      case, and concludes that there are three independent ones: Mk, Lk, and Jn
      (Mt being dependent on Mk). He notes that there is only one clear case (Lk
      8:19-21, cf Mk 3:31f and Mk 4:34) where Luke diverges from the historical
      order of Mark. The historical order of events in Mt on the other hand is
      manifestly confused (the Twelve being narratively introduced before they
      are chosen, etc).

      Reuss's view of oral tradition is that it originally contained, simply in
      the memory of eyewitnesses, both sayings and deeds of Jesus, but that these
      gradually became separated from each other in the course of being made more
      orderly in response to an increasing need to fix the tradition. Stories
      lost their detail and became confused and conflated accordingly. Examples

      In section 180, Reuss notes with some archness that every mathematically
      possible sequence of the 3 Synoptics has been proposed and defended by
      somebody. I give a short version of his list here, as a contribution to
      Synoptic History. In addition to Reuss's personally advocated Mk / Mt / Lk
      sequence (in which however the FH element of Lukan knowledge of Matthew is
      missing), Reuss's catalogue (p178f) runs as follows:

      1. Mt / Mk / Lk; no explicit dependency statement. Augustine, Grotius,
      Mill, Bentel, Wetstein, T Townson [1778], Hug, Seiler, J Aeschimann [1832],
      Hennell, and "at present" A Hilgenfeld and G D'Eichthal [1863]. This
      option, assuming that Mk epitomized Mt, is our AH.

      2. Mt / Lk / Mk drew from both. Griesbach, Saunier [1825], C G W Theile
      [1825], Fritzsche, A F Gfrorer [1838]; essentially also Paulus [1797 and
      1822], Stroth, Sieffert [1832], Ammon [Lucas emendator Matthei, 1805]. Some
      "modern" theories, complicated by dependence on other sources, omitted
      here. The Ammon title makes plain that not all these theories are
      equivalent in detail. In the initially stated form, this is our GH.

      3. Mk / Lk / Mt, no explicit dependency statement. Storr [1794]. "In modern
      times this combination has become particularly prominent, though modified
      in many ways."

      4. Lk / Mt / Mk used both the others. Busching [1776], Evanson [1792].

      5. Lk / Mk / Mt drew from both the others. Vogel.

      The Proprietor has let us know that the Pub is closing in a few minutes. I
      forego the mandatory quotation from Omar Khayyam.


      E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts
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