Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Synoptic Problem and Proto-Mark

Expand Messages
  • E. Bruce Brooks
    Topic: Synoptic Problem and Proto-Mark From: Bruce In Response To: Yuri (4 Aug 98; Archive 734) Many thanks to Yuri for setting forth his own proto-Mark theory
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 6, 1998
    • 0 Attachment
      Topic: Synoptic Problem and Proto-Mark
      From: Bruce
      In Response To: Yuri (4 Aug 98; Archive 734)

      Many thanks to Yuri for setting forth his own proto-Mark theory more fully
      than before, and for bringing in other dimensions as well, largely
      following Koester. I don't think anyone can object to the proposition that
      a successful theory must in the end account for all the known early texts.
      On the other hand, this may be an impracticable initial goal. Physicists
      are still looking for a "theory of everything," but have in the interim
      established a very successful theory of quantum electrodynamics. We too
      might do best to tackle our difficult problem in stages.

      Consider the mere combinatoric aspect. With only 3 Gospels to account for,
      never mind all the Secret This and Conjectural That, there are (as Reuss
      wryly noted more than 150 years ago) 6 possible chronological sequences,
      and since each of these must be further subdivided according as the second
      text is or is not dependent on the first, and the third is or is not
      dependent on each of the preceding two, we actually get 36 theoretically
      possible rival theories. I can easily imagine that the list might settle a
      small point after a week's debate, only to take another two weeks to sort
      out which of the 36 theories that decision supported, and which it refuted,
      *and how decisively in each case.* That way lies bandwidth.

      So, notwithstanding Koester, I think it is not only valid but tactically
      necessary to take up a more manageable subchunk of the problem. The one I
      would suggest is the relation of GMk to GMt. I like this because (1) it
      leads to only 4 possible theories of sequence plus dependency relation, not
      36, so the bookkeeping is easier; (2) by eliminating GLk it obviates any
      discussion of a so-called Q, since without Mt/Lk agreements against Mk to
      explain, the Q theory cannot arise, nor can the rest of the Minor
      Agreements; and (3) if solved, it is decisive for at least certain versions
      of the present range of major theories, and makes those aspects in their
      turn much more amenable to finite discussion.

      I also note that there is general agreement currently that Streeter's
      statement of the case for Markan Priority is weak. To the extent that this
      is justified, I think that it may be because he regards that point as long
      since decisively demonstrated, so his statement is more a retrospective
      summary of plausibility than an argument ab initio. If we want to grapple
      all over again with the basic evidence, we would have to go back to Hawkins
      (Horae Synopticae) at least.

      My own preliminary reconnaissance of the Mk/Mt problem, admittedly that of
      a weekend tourist rather than a resident, might run something like this:

      Q1: Are GMk and GMt literarily related?
      A1: Yes; there are areas of exact and near verbal identity (this eliminates
      two theories).

      Q2: In the areas of only near identity, are there intermediate texts?
      A2: Not so far demonstrated. Examples welcome from those who know of some.

      Q3: Which of the two is likely to be earlier? (deciding between the
      remaining two theories).
      A3: The general presumption seems to be in favor of GMk. The following
      items are generally convincing to an experienced outsider: (1) GMk is
      complete as a narrative but shorter than GMt, and an expansion seems
      likelier to suit the needs of a growing Christianity than a contraction.
      Note that I do not invoke any general theory that short literary forms must
      precede longer literary forms. (2) GMk is in rougher Greek than GMt, and an
      increasing facility in Greek seems likelier than the opposite, as a
      consequence of Christianity expanding more and more into the Greek-speaking
      Gentile world, and becoming estranged from the Aramaic-speaking world of
      its origins. (3) GMk's Aramaicisms, whether garbled or not, are paralleled
      in only a few cases, and then only with common words, in GMt; otherwise
      they are translated into Greek or omitted. The general presumption, here as
      in the preceding, is that the drift of Christianity as a whole is away from
      Aramaic and toward Greek, hence GMt appears to represent a later stage in
      this process than does GMk. This point holds whether or not the GMk
      Aramaicisms are confined to one stratum of GMk; we are here considering the
      texts as a whole. (4) In parallel but nonidentical passages, GMk often
      treats Jesus as having less power than does GMt, and the general tendency
      of evolving Christian theory would be more likely to exaggerate than to
      diminish claims of Jesus's power. (5) GMk contains fewer references to, or
      forefigurings of, an established church than does GMt, and the trend in
      Christianity, after the initial imminent-End enthusiasm wore off, was
      certainly toward recognizing and providing for the administrative needs of
      a continuous ecclesiastical structure. (6) GMk is very little quoted by the
      early Church Fathers, is very little represented in the liturgy of the
      Church, and is only rarely visible in the POxy Gospel fragments, whereas
      GMt predominates in all three categories. This is more congruent with the
      assumption that GMt is a later version, more responsive to the needs of the
      later CHurch, than GMk. (7) The present canonical order is: GMt, GMk, GLk.
      The quoted comments of Papias are consistent with the view that this is an
      order of probity: GMt was associated with a direct disciple and thus an
      eyewitness and primary source (and indeed with a claimed Hebrew original,
      which as noted above would be closer to the origins of the Christian
      movement), GMk was associated with a *transcript from* the retelling of a
      direct disciple (Peter), and GLk was associated with a *version based on*
      the preaching of an indirect apostle (Paul). Whatever the accuracy of those
      claims, they seem to have been the ones that were made and accepted at a
      relatively early point. The later position of GLk in this series is
      virtually guaranteed by its own statement in the incipit; it explicitly
      aims at improving on earlier versions. As between GMk and GMt in this early
      opinion, if a disciple-attributed text (GMt) already existed, it would seem
      to be tactically insufficient for a later text (GMt) to claim for itself
      only the lesser authority of a *second-hand* eyewitness. The minimum
      competitive claim would seem to be derivation from another, and more
      prominent, *first-hand* eyewitness. Whereas if GMk was early associated,
      but *at second hand,* with the preaching of Peter, then the claim of
      *direct* disciple authorship by GMt (or its backers) *would* count as a
      rational upping of the ante.

      None of this is proof, but the fact that all these independent
      probabilities run *in the same direction* may fairly count as a cumulative
      probability.

      Q4: Can this probability be confirmed by hard text evidence?
      A4: It would seem that there are cases where some parallel passages have
      directional pointers, and where it is thus possible to determine the
      direction of text borrowing. I have given one example (Mk 1:2b) where it
      seems to me such a pointer exists, but this is perhaps the place to open
      the discussion to anyone who wishes to nominate, and explain, such
      unambiguous cases of directional relation.

      Any takers?

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... The single largest logical error in the history of the Synoptic Problem is, in my opinion, the failure to consider all the relevant possibilities. The
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 7, 1998
      • 0 Attachment
        At 01:39 AM 8/7/98 -0400, E. Bruce Brooks wrote:
        >So, notwithstanding Koester, I think it is not only valid but tactically
        >necessary to take up a more manageable subchunk of the problem. The one I
        >would suggest is the relation of GMk to GMt. I like this because (1) it
        >leads to only 4 possible theories of sequence plus dependency relation, not
        >36, so the bookkeeping is easier; (2) by eliminating GLk it obviates any
        >discussion of a so-called Q, since without Mt/Lk agreements against Mk to
        >explain, the Q theory cannot arise, nor can the rest of the Minor
        >Agreements; and (3) if solved, it is decisive for at least certain versions
        >of the present range of major theories, and makes those aspects in their
        >turn much more amenable to finite discussion.

        The single largest logical error in the history of the Synoptic Problem is,
        in my opinion, the failure to consider all the relevant possibilities. The
        combinatoric aspect with an exploding number of possible configurations is
        the reason why many possibilities are ignored. However, some oversights are
        inexcusable. On this continent (North America), it seems common enough to
        prove the 2SH by refuting only the Griesbach Hypothesis -- as if Farrer,
        Goulder, etc. never published a scrap.

        If we start with considering only the relation of Mark to Matthew, then we
        will systematically fail to consider the Griesbach, Two Gospel Hypothesis'
        proposal: that the relationship between Mark and Matthew is not independent
        but involves Luke. For example, Mark's deviations from Matthew's order is
        explained as Mark's following Luke's order.

        >I also note that there is general agreement currently that Streeter's
        >statement of the case for Markan Priority is weak. To the extent that this
        >is justified, I think that it may be because he regards that point as long
        >since decisively demonstrated, so his statement is more a retrospective
        >summary of plausibility than an argument ab initio. If we want to grapple
        >all over again with the basic evidence, we would have to go back to Hawkins
        >(Horae Synopticae) at least.

        Hawkins won't help. On page 114, Hawkins merely deferred to Woods' arguments
        for (Ur-)Markan priority, stating that "[t]he most simple and impressive of
        them rests on the fact that 'the order of the whole of St. Mark, except of
        course what is peculiar to that Gospel, is confirmed either by St. Matthew or
        St. Luke, and the greater part of it by both' (p. 61)." This formal argument
        from order, Streeter's third argument, was demonstrated to be logically invalid
        by Butler in 1951 and factually foundationless by Sanders in 1968.

        In addition, it is hard to credit Hawkins as support for the modern Mark-Q
        Hypothesis in which Matthew and Luke are posited to be dependent on our
        canonical Mark (aside from very few minor text-critical issues). Hawkins
        believed that Matthew and Luke were dependent on a different recension of
        Mark, because Hawkins could not imagine Matthew and Luke's omitting some
        twenty particular passages of Mark.

        >My own preliminary reconnaissance of the Mk/Mt problem, admittedly that of
        >a weekend tourist rather than a resident, might run something like this:
        >
        >Q1: Are GMk and GMt literarily related?
        >A1: Yes; there are areas of exact and near verbal identity (this eliminates
        >two theories).

        So far, so good.

        >Q2: In the areas of only near identity, are there intermediate texts?
        >A2: Not so far demonstrated. Examples welcome from those who know of some.

        I think we should not although this possibility to default here. The evidence
        for priority should be considered first -- if it turns out to be inconsistent
        (some of which points to Markan priority, some to Matthean priority), then a
        shared source may be the best explanation. One example of a shared source, K,
        was proposed by Parker in 1953, in which Matthew and Mark are independently
        on a common source that includes Mark + M. Thus, Matthew added Q material to
        K and Mark deleted the M material. (Parker also saw an overlap between Q and
        M.)

        >Q3: Which of the two is likely to be earlier? (deciding between the
        >remaining two theories).
        >A3: The general presumption seems to be in favor of GMk. The following
        >items are generally convincing to an experienced outsider: (1) GMk is
        >complete as a narrative but shorter than GMt, and an expansion seems
        >likelier to suit the needs of a growing Christianity than a contraction.
        >Note that I do not invoke any general theory that short literary forms must
        >precede longer literary forms.

        I'm happy to see the last proviso, but I must wonder about the probative
        force this observation. I suppose that, all other things being equal, a
        longer text might be slightly more likely to be dependent on the shorter,
        but, then, Marcion was accused of truncating Luke. If Mark were dependent
        on Parker's K, then Mark could be readily understood as uninterested in the
        Jewish character of the M material. On the other hand, most of Mark's
        pericopes are longer and fuller than Matthew's. Thus, on the pericope
        level, this line of argumentation points to Matthew's priority. At best,
        this argument on the gospel level provides only mild support for Markan
        priority but support in the other direction for Matthean priority at the
        pericope level. I think it better to state that this argument from length
        is inconclusive or inconsistent.

        >(2) GMk is in rougher Greek than GMt, and an
        >increasing facility in Greek seems likelier than the opposite, as a
        >consequence of Christianity expanding more and more into the Greek-speaking
        >Gentile world, and becoming estranged from the Aramaic-speaking world of
        >its origins.

        I have previously argued, based on actual models of composition from
        sources in the first century, facility in the Greek is more of an indication
        of the author's personal competence in the Greek language and style, but
        not an indicator of priority. Sure, Matthew is more elegant, but the original
        book is often more elegant than the derivative Hollywood movie. Furthermore,
        Paul's Greek is better than Mark's, but surely Paul is prior to Mark.
        Therefore, I feel that the probative value of the relative facility with
        Greek to be nil or next to nil.

        >(3) GMk's Aramaicisms, whether garbled or not, are paralleled
        >in only a few cases, and then only with common words, in GMt; otherwise
        >they are translated into Greek or omitted. The general presumption, here as
        >in the preceding, is that the drift of Christianity as a whole is away from
        >Aramaic and toward Greek, hence GMt appears to represent a later stage in
        >this process than does GMk. This point holds whether or not the GMk
        >Aramaicisms are confined to one stratum of GMk; we are here considering the
        >texts as a whole.

        I think I would disagree with the factual basis of this argument. Mark's
        Aramaicisms are always translated (except for RABBI), but Matthew sometimes
        uses Aramaic words (unparalleled to Mark) without translation as if his
        readership were comfortable with the terms [see Farmer, p.172-4; cf. Mt5:22
        (RAKA), and compare Mt27:6 (KORBANON) with Mk7:11 (KORBAN explained as an
        offering to God)).

        >(4) In parallel but nonidentical passages, GMk often
        >treats Jesus as having less power than does GMt, and the general tendency
        >of evolving Christian theory would be more likely to exaggerate than to
        >diminish claims of Jesus's power.

        I think this argument historically has been exaggerated. A classic example
        is Mk6:5 and Mt13:58. Streeter, p.162, argues that "Mark's 'he COULD do
        there NO mighty work" (vi. 5) becomes in Matthew (xiii. 58) 'he DID NOT MANY
        mighty works'" (emphasis original) because Mark's version "might cause
        offence" and was "toned down." However, Mark himself toned that statement
        IMMEDIATELY after the quoted section: "EXCEPT that he laid his hands on a
        few people and cured them" (Mk6:5b NRSV, emphasis added). Another example
        (p.162) is Mk10:18 "no one is good but God alone" vs. Mt's "There is only
        one who is good." Mt19:17. In this case, it is interesting that the
        Byzantine text, known for soothing over difficulties, assimilates Matthew
        to Mark's (or Luke's identical) version! Further, Lamar Cope has argued
        cogently for the priority of Matthew's version.

        >(5) GMk contains fewer references to, or
        >forefigurings of, an established church than does GMt, and the trend in
        >Christianity, after the initial imminent-End enthusiasm wore off, was
        >certainly toward recognizing and providing for the administrative needs of
        >a continuous ecclesiastical structure.

        I suspect that the lack of references for the established church in Mark
        is related to his negative treatment of the disciples, and, thus, tells
        much more about the Mark's and Matthew's ecclesiology than their priority.

        >(6) GMk is very little quoted by the
        >early Church Fathers, is very little represented in the liturgy of the
        >Church, and is only rarely visible in the POxy Gospel fragments, whereas
        >GMt predominates in all three categories. This is more congruent with the
        >assumption that GMt is a later version, more responsive to the needs of the
        >later CHurch, than GMk.

        This state of affairs is actually more conguent with Matthew being "first
        to market" and achieving an immediate dominance that was never relinquished
        until the 19th century reaction against the Tübingen School.

        >(7) The present canonical order is: GMt, GMk, GLk. [...]

        I doubt that the present canonical order has anything to do with the
        chronological order of the gospels, because there were different competing
        canonical orders (e.g. Mt, Jn, Lk, Mk) before this one won out.

        >None of this is proof, but the fact that all these independent
        >probabilities run *in the same direction* may fairly count as a cumulative
        >probability.

        I believe in cumulative arguments, but I just can't find one for Markan
        priority over Matthew. Most of the independent probabilities are selective
        (and thus ignores contrary probabilities) and, upon closer examination, don't
        run in any direction. In favor of a Matthean priority over Mark, Parker
        argued that (A) the "author [of Mark] declares there is material [in Matt.]
        he has not used," (B) he is "aware of additional material" in M ,(C) "echoes
        M passages", (D) "summarizes M passages" (E) condenses M passages, (F) has
        awkward transitions due to deleting M passages, and (G) shows linguistic
        signs of revising Matt./M. These arguments, too, run in the same direction
        but of a Matthean-type priority for a cumulative case.

        >Q4: Can this probability be confirmed by hard text evidence?
        >A4: It would seem that there are cases where some parallel passages have
        >directional pointers, and where it is thus possible to determine the
        >direction of text borrowing. I have given one example (Mk 1:2b) where it
        >seems to me such a pointer exists, but this is perhaps the place to open
        >the discussion to anyone who wishes to nominate, and explain, such
        >unambiguous cases of directional relation.

        If you're correct that "Mk 1:2b, and that only, is a later harmonizing
        intrusion from Mt (and/or Lk)", then I think that this this points to a
        Mt-->Mk direction of text borrowing. Further factors include Matthean
        language in the non-LXX, non-MT, nearly verbatim quotation.

        >Any takers?

        Stephen Carlson

        --
        Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
        Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
      • E. Bruce Brooks
        Topic: Synoptic Problem and Proto-Mark From: Bruce In Response To: Stephen Carlson I am grateful to Stephen for his detailed response to my suggestions as to a
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 8, 1998
        • 0 Attachment
          Topic: Synoptic Problem and Proto-Mark
          From: Bruce
          In Response To: Stephen Carlson

          I am grateful to Stephen for his detailed response to my suggestions as to
          a point of entry into the Synoptic Problem, assuming (as disgreeement on
          the list attests) that the Synoptic Problem must be regarded as unsolved. I
          have a few clarifications in reply:

          To my suggestion that the Mk/Mt relationship is a useful starting point for
          a reconsideration of the problem, Stephen said:
          ----------
          The single largest logical error in the history of the Synoptic Problem is,
          in my opinion, the failure to consider all the relevant possibilities. The
          combinatoric aspect with an exploding number of possible configurations is
          the reason why many possibilities are ignored. However, some oversights
          are
          inexcusable. On this continent (North America), it seems common enough to
          prove the 2SH by refuting only the Griesbach Hypothesis -- as if Farrer,
          Goulder, etc. never published a scrap.

          If we start with considering only the relation of Mark to Matthew, then we
          will systematically fail to consider the Griesbach, Two Gospel Hypothesis'
          proposal: that the relationship between Mark and Matthew is not independent
          but involves Luke. For example, Mark's deviations from Matthew's order is
          explained as Mark's following Luke's order.
          -----------

          REPLY: I don't in the least intend that other components of the Problem
          should be neglected, merely that a *component* of these and other
          full-fledged theories is easier to work on for a start than the full
          theories themselves. It is certainly agreed (I stated as much) that a final
          solution must eventually account for all the texts. But I continue to think
          that a starting-point less than the total Problem and its ramified possible
          solutions is a tactical advantage. (1) It is smaller, and therefore, as I
          originally urged, finitely discussable. (2) If well chosen, as I think my
          Mk/Mt suggestion is, though there are certainly other options, it will be
          solvable on textual grounds, and perhaps not get bogged down in less
          evidential disputes over which authorial scenario is more plausible, or
          which situational conjecture is better supported archaeologically. (3) I am
          also leery of debating the matter in terms of, say, Griesbachian or
          anti-Griesbachian positions. A debate can easily arise over who has the
          right to define "Griesbachian," an objection may be made, such as "No, the
          current Griesbachians hold that . . . " - and it emerges that there are
          seventeen sects of Griesbachianism. Where do you stop? My preference would
          be never to start. Any *text argument* adduced by Griesbach or anyone else
          can be mentioned and re-examined, but I think the purpose should be not to
          vindicate or refute Griesbach per se, but to see where the evidence points.
          The evidence will be plenty to occupy discussion. Individual reputations,
          as in any case they always have, will have to fall where they may.

          On my suggestion that it may be necessary to go beyond Streeter to Hawkins
          for an actual argument for Markan Priority, Stephen comments:
          ---------
          Hawkins won't help. On page 114, Hawkins merely deferred to Woods'
          arguments
          for (Ur-)Markan priority, stating that "[t]he most simple and impressive of
          them rests on the fact that 'the order of the whole of St. Mark, except of
          course what is peculiar to that Gospel, is confirmed either by St. Matthew
          or
          St. Luke, and the greater part of it by both' (p. 61)." This formal
          argument
          from order, Streeter's third argument, was demonstrated to be logically
          invalid
          by Butler in 1951 and factually foundationless by Sanders in 1968.

          In addition, it is hard to credit Hawkins as support for the modern Mark-Q
          Hypothesis in which Matthew and Luke are posited to be dependent on our
          canonical Mark (aside from very few minor text-critical issues). Hawkins
          believed that Matthew and Luke were dependent on a different recension of
          Mark, because Hawkins could not imagine Matthew and Luke's omitting some
          twenty particular passages of Mark.
          -------------

          REPLY: Here again, for better or worse, I am trying to avoid engaging fully
          formed hypotheses such as Mark-Q, concerning which passions and commitments
          tend to run high, and to focus instead on finite, preferably textual,
          arguments, which have a better chance of being approached in a laboratory
          spirit. Doubtless in terms of fully formed hypotheses, Hawkins "won't do."
          But if we approach the problem de novo, on the primary evidence (one
          alternative would simply be to take a vote of the Synoptic-L subscribers,
          and declare a winner on that basis, but I am assuming that we need to get
          beyond the ballot options to their text-argument underpinnings), then one
          thing we will need to do is ask ourselves: how do we recognize, of material
          common to two texts, and thus implying textual indebtedness, in which
          direction the indebtedness runs? One classic way is to see if the version
          in Text B contains signature usages that are rare or absent in Text B
          itself, but characteristic of Text A, and by their survival in the Text B
          version point to A as the source. And the preliminary ground for making
          that assessment is to first establish what are the characteristic usages of
          Texts A and B. This is exactly the point at which Hawkins opens Horae
          Synopticae. I can only respect this philological instinct.

          Do we simply use his lists, and see if they have been correctly applied in
          particular cases? My guess is that his criteria of characteristic usage
          could use re-examination (Goulder redefined them for his Luke study, and
          doubtless other revisions have been made as well). For example, they ignore
          considerations of general word frequency, and there are other points that
          would invite rediscussion. I think it would be a fruitful step if such
          preliminary rediscussion occurred, on-list or elsewhere.

          Stephen grants (My Q/A1) that Mk/Mt are literarily related. So it seems
          that we do have a basis for examining the nature of that relationship.

          On the question of intermediate texts participating in that relationship,
          Stephen says:
          -----------
          I think we should not although [allow?] this possibility to default here.
          The evidence
          for priority should be considered first -- if it turns out to be
          inconsistent
          (some of which points to Markan priority, some to Matthean priority), then
          a
          shared source may be the best explanation. One example of a shared source,
          K,
          was proposed by Parker in 1953, in which Matthew and Mark are independently
          on a common source that includes Mark + M. Thus, Matthew added Q material
          to
          K and Mark deleted the M material. (Parker also saw an overlap between Q
          and
          M.)
          -----------

          REPLY: Again, I would like to look at the *element of priority* as such,
          and dodge the more fully formed total hypotheses. Perhaps we can declare a
          functional working agreement that we will first examine literary priority
          between Mt/Mk, and then see what other presumptions or suppositions that
          investigation compels us to consider. One immediately suggestive detail
          (for the systematic statement of which I am indebted to Hawkins, 123f, and
          he in turn to Westcott and others; Stephen refers to it below) is that
          Matthew's practice with OT quotations is internally inconsistent. In
          Hawkins's summary, "the quotations which are introduced by the Evangelist
          himself agree much less closely with the LXX than those which occur in the
          course of the common narrative." We would expect an author to be either
          Septuagintal or not in this matter, and the fact that Matthew is both, and
          that the difference tends to correlate with types of material, immediately
          suggests *a significant difference* between types of material. No doubt
          Hawkins's detailed results could benefit from rescrutiny, and I for one
          would welcome a chance to observe same (or have a published one cited). But
          I think that a fruitful reconsideration of the Problem needs to go back to
          these first studies of the detailed evidence. Hence my mention of Hawkins.
          Not that Streeter does not make some worthwhile primary observations of his
          own.

          On my Q/A3, regarding general presumptions of direction, Stephen cites
          Parker in opposition. I have earlier examined Parker's claim of
          geographical incompetence in Mark, and found that in most cases where he
          ventures beyond the dilemmas long noted by commentators, he is either weak
          or, in a few cases, egregiously out of line. This, to me, is the trap that
          awaits any knowledgeable and intelligent person who attempts to validate a
          fully formed theory, rather than seeing what theory the evidence might
          suggest. I am thus not enthusiastic about the prospect of examining
          Parker's case here, not least because it is formulated in terms of assumed
          conjectural texts K and other, which I think should be given a rest,
          conceptually, until they re-emerge (if they should do so) from a restudy of
          the primary evidence. In any case, no preliminary presumption avails
          against the detailed evidence, and to economize discussion we can perhaps
          waive the whole question of overall tendencies in favor of proceeding
          directly to the detailed evidence.

          In that spirit I here reluctantly pass over Stephen's responses, some of
          which I would argue with, and many of which I find suggestive, to my list
          of grounds for a preliminary presumption. Just one exception. Stephen
          notes:
          ------------
          Furthermore, Paul's Greek is better than Mark's, but surely Paul is prior
          to Mark.
          -------------

          REPLY: Not if you credit Koester's list of quotations from Mark in Paul's
          authentic Epistles; Ancient Gospels p53. Koester also cites quotes of what
          he calls Luke/Q. It is evidently his position, or at any rate it is the
          implication of this data set, that both these elements of the Two Source
          Hypothesis predated Paul's late Epistles, that is, that they were extant in
          quotable form by c50. In that case the expectation of progressively
          snappier Greek in progressively later Gospels would after all seem to hold.

          To defend my Q/A4 suggestion of Mk 1:2b as a directional pointer from
          Stephen's suggestion that it runs in the opposite direction, I would have
          to argue for a distinction between adoption during the text-formation
          process and intrusion after the text-formation process. I believe that this
          can be done, but it's a complex matter, and I think it better simply to
          renew my invitation for others to suggest passages common to Mk/Mt which
          they regard as containing unambiguous indications of the direction of the
          adoption from one to the other. Once again, then:

          Any takers?

          Bruce

          E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts

          PS: I don't know if this is an inducement or an intimidation, but I will
          take the chance of mentioning it. Our Chinese classical study circle (the
          Warring States Working Group), at its semi-annual Conference this October,
          will have a section on precisely this general matter: How do you determine
          the directionality of a passage common to two works? Chinese examples will
          of course be mentioned and debated, but we would be most interested to have
          some Greek examples also, perhaps supplied in the form of in absentia
          papers (in praesentia ones are not excluded, but I must add that we are not
          in a position to reimburse travel costs), which by Conference rules may not
          exceed 10min in presentation (written equivalent: 4p), with a
          recommendation of 5min (2p). If anyone would like to contribute either
          solved problems with an exposition, or important unsolved problems with a
          statement of the difficulty, I invite them to contact me personally, at
          brooks@.... Day or night. References to standard works
          setting forth a canon of procedures with such problems are also most
          welcome. / Bruce
        • Jim Deardorff
          ... Having nearly caught up on reading over 2 weeks worth of Synoptic-L messages following return from vacation, I d like to go back just to this one of
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 8, 1998
          • 0 Attachment
            At 01:39 AM 8/7/98 -0400, E. Bruce Brooks wrote:

            >So, notwithstanding Koester, I think it is not only valid but tactically
            >necessary to take up a more manageable subchunk of the problem. The one I
            >would suggest is the relation of GMk to GMt. I like this because (1) it
            >leads to only 4 possible theories of sequence plus dependency relation, not
            >36, so the bookkeeping is easier; (2) by eliminating GLk it obviates any
            >discussion of a so-called Q, since without Mt/Lk agreements against Mk to
            >explain, the Q theory cannot arise, nor can the rest of the Minor
            >Agreements; and (3) if solved, it is decisive for at least certain versions
            >of the present range of major theories, and makes those aspects in their
            >turn much more amenable to finite discussion. ...

            Having nearly caught up on reading over 2 weeks' worth of Synoptic-L
            messages following return from vacation, I'd like to go back just to this
            one of Bruce's, to which Stephen Carlson responded, and add a couple points
            to Stephen's.

            However I agree with Bruce that it is useful to examine the Synoptic
            relationship between just one pair of Gospels at a time, particularly when
            examining the consistency or lack of it within a particular Synoptic
            hypothesis, such as Griesbach, Farrer, 2SH or AH.

            >The general presumption seems to be in favor of GMk. The following
            >items are generally convincing to an experienced outsider: (1) GMk is
            >complete as a narrative but shorter than GMt, and an expansion seems
            >likelier to suit the needs of a growing Christianity than a contraction.
            >Note that I do not invoke any general theory that short literary forms must
            >precede longer literary forms.

            Besides Stephen's capable responses here, I would add that if an evangelist
            has a strong motivation to edit in some particular manner -- the case in
            point here being omission of much more material from Matthew than was added
            into Mark -- this is a more important consideration than arguments that fail
            to take human motivation into account. At the least, then, one can say it is
            consistent within the framework of Matthean priority over Mark that the
            writer of Mark, if writing for gentiles, would have had the strongest
            possible motivation to reverse Matthew's editorial slant that favored
            discipleship for the children of Israel over that for gentiles.

            A further consideration Stephen didn't mention is the obvious one that it is
            simpler for the writer to omit material when editing another's text than to
            invent new subject matter. Yet when copying material he does not wish to
            omit, there is a strong tendency for the editor to add his own
            interpretations or alterations to it. This latter is especially true if the
            editor wishes his work to have an appearance different from that of his
            source. Both these considerations favor Matthean priority.

            >(2) GMk is in rougher Greek than GMt, and an
            >increasing facility in Greek seems likelier than the opposite, as a
            >consequence of Christianity expanding more and more into the Greek-speaking
            >Gentile world, and becoming estranged from the Aramaic-speaking world of
            >its origins. ...

            Although Stephen's response here was also pertinent, the likelihood that
            Matthew was first written in Hebrew or Aramaic was overlooked. With Matthew
            having first been set into Greek only after Mark (and Luke) appeared in
            Greek, Bruce's consideration here favors Matthean priority. Of course, the
            many passages in Matthew containing up to 25 or 30 consecutive Greek words
            identical to those in Mark, and also in Luke ("Q"), cannot represent any
            improvement in Greek language. Instead, they must represent a purposeful
            replication of wordage (by the translator of Hebraic Matthew).

            > (7) The present canonical order is: GMt, GMk, GLk.
            >The quoted comments of Papias are consistent with the view that this is an
            >order of probity: GMt was associated with a direct disciple and thus an
            >eyewitness and primary source (and indeed with a claimed Hebrew original,
            >which as noted above would be closer to the origins of the Christian
            >movement), GMk was associated with a *transcript from* the retelling of a
            >direct disciple (Peter), and GLk was associated with a *version based on*
            >the preaching of an indirect apostle (Paul). Whatever the accuracy of those
            >claims, they seem to have been the ones that were made and accepted at a
            >relatively early point. The later position of GLk in this series is
            >virtually guaranteed by its own statement in the incipit; it explicitly
            >aims at improving on earlier versions. As between GMk and GMt in this early
            >opinion, if a disciple-attributed text (GMt) already existed, it would seem
            >to be tactically insufficient for a later text (GMt) to claim for itself
            >only the lesser authority of a *second-hand* eyewitness. The minimum
            >competitive claim would seem to be derivation from another, and more
            >prominent, *first-hand* eyewitness. Whereas if GMk was early associated,
            >but *at second hand,* with the preaching of Peter, then the claim of
            >*direct* disciple authorship by GMt (or its backers) *would* count as a
            >rational upping of the ante.

            This consideration omits the fact that by the time at which Eusebius
            conveyed pieces of Papias's writings, and for over a century before, it was
            totally unacceptable within Christianity to express any opinion on Gospel
            authorship
            other than Matthew having been written by the disciple Matthew, Luke by the
            physician and friend of Paul, and Mark by the interpreter of Peter. And it
            remains unacceptable in many quarters even today, which I think is one
            reason why many on this list simply refer to the writer of Matthew as
            Matthew, etc. So if Papias had known better than to refer to the writer of
            Matthew as "Matthew," Eusebius would have corrected him, in my opinion (and
            similarly with Irenaeus...). I see no reason why this consideration should
            be ignored. The early church fathers would scarcely alter anything that
            agreed with orthodoxy, but would not hesitate to alter or omit that which
            disagreed, because the latter had to be wrong and needed correction.

            In a later response, of Aug. 8th, Bruce resonded to Stephen:

            >To defend my Q/A4 suggestion of Mk 1:2b as a directional pointer from
            >Stephen's suggestion that it runs in the opposite direction, I would have
            >to argue for a distinction between adoption during the text-formation
            >process and intrusion after the text-formation process. I believe that this
            >can be done, but it's a complex matter, and I think it better simply to
            >renew my invitation for others to suggest passages common to Mk/Mt which
            >they regard as containing unambiguous indications of the direction of the
            >adoption from one to the other. Once again, then:

            >Any takers?

            There remain those ten passages in Mark that Jameson (1922) pointed out
            where, within the framework of Matthean priority, the writer of Mark broke
            into a discourse, apparently needlessly, with words to the effect: "and he
            said to them," and then the discourse continues; at each of these
            interruptions (not found in Matthew) the writer of Mark had either made an
            omission from Matthew, an addition, a quotation from elsewhere in Matthew, a
            transposition of Matthean order, or a marked rearrangement of phrases. The
            interruptions look like attempts by the writer of Mark to bridge over any
            discontinuity that his editing may have caused.

            Some time ago Mark Goodacre thought he had found an instance in Mark where
            the interruption in a copied Matthean discourse occurred without there
            having been Marcan editing, but this did not seem to be the case. Although
            one or two exceptions to the ten instances would not disprove Jameson's
            argument, if several were found they would greatly weaken it.

            Jim Deardorff
            Corvallis, Oregon
            E-mail: deardorj@...
            Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
          • Stephen C. Carlson
            I am disappointed that, after many paragraphs written in defence of your methodological approach, you have chosen to pass over the specific arguments on the
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 8, 1998
            • 0 Attachment
              I am disappointed that, after many paragraphs written in defence of
              your methodological approach, you have chosen to pass over the specific
              arguments on the relationship between Matthew and Mark in accordance
              with your methodology -- merely because I happened to cite, if for only
              a few examples, Pierson Parker, whom you found to be less than helpful
              in another of his publications. I am a bit perplexed.

              However, I still have misgivings about approaching the Synoptic Problem
              by initially only considering two of the gospels, here, Matthew and Mark.
              This approach has been dubbed the Lachmann Gambit, and like many gambits
              it is very attractive at first but accepting the gambit leads one down a
              blind alley. Please read Farmer's criticism of Neirynck in the online
              paper at Mark Goodacre's website.

              When only two gospels are intially examined, the fundamental Synoptic
              fact -- that agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark are quite
              rare -- is missed. All solutions must account for this pattern of
              evidence, and I can't see how this can be done without examining all
              three at once. I'm not saying that one has to examine "seventeen sects"
              of Griesbachianism, but one ought to be aware at least that Mark as a
              conflation of Matthew and Luke is one of the four "orthodox" solutions
              to the Synoptic Problem. It will not do to systematically eliminate
              an important hypothesis at the outset--even in the name of tractability.
              When only two gospels are examined at a time, some recourse to Occam's
              Razor is often made -- to select the simplest, sufficient hypothesis.
              However, examining only two gospels can only lead to a partial hypothesis,
              but appealing to simplicity, parsimony, or Occam's Razor for a partial
              hypothesis is logically premature and irrelevant (see Palmer, LOGIC OF
              GOSPEL CRITICISM, p.152).

              As for Hawkins, it is very important to understand the context within
              which he wrote. Hawkins wrote at a time when it was almost universally
              accepted (for logically insufficient reasons) that Matthew and Luke
              depended on an Ur-Markus. Accordingly, Hawkins designed tests that are
              directed to understanding the nature of this Ur-Markus, and his well-
              designed indicated that, in terms of style, boldness (many of the
              factors you wanted to examine with Mt vs. Mk), Ur-Markus was virtually
              indistinguishable from our Mark. Hawkins did not design his tests to
              examine the relative priority between Matthew and Mark, and I think
              that it would be unwise to do so for the reasons I gave in the last
              message, even though Streeter apparently reapplied to the extra-Markan
              relationships with Matthew and Luke.

              Considering intermediate texts or shared sources, I think that (a) it
              must be considered because it is a fundamental logical possibility,
              and (b) it falls out of the analysis of directional indicators. If
              the directional indicators point in only one direction, then we may
              be justified in asserting the priority of one document over the
              other. On the other hand, if the directional indicators point in
              both directions, then we may be justified in asserting the existence
              of a shared source (Palmer, p.129). Therefore, I don't know why any
              consideration of an intermediate source for Matthew and Mark is
              excluded from the outset. It is a valid possibility and should be
              considered.

              Stephen Carlson

              --
              Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
              Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
              "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
            • E. Bruce Brooks
              Topic: Synoptic Problem and Proto-Mark From: Bruce In Response To: Stephen Carlson (and Jim Deardorff) Stephen owns himself both disappointed and perplexed by
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 9, 1998
              • 0 Attachment
                Topic: Synoptic Problem and Proto-Mark
                From: Bruce
                In Response To: Stephen Carlson (and Jim Deardorff)

                Stephen owns himself both disappointed and perplexed by my response to his
                earlier comment. Sorry to disappoint and/or perplex. On my persistence in
                wanting to take on a preliminary two-body problem in preference to the
                ultimate three-body problem, Stephen further writes:
                ----------
                . . . . . . . I still have misgivings about approaching the Synoptic
                Problem
                by initially only considering two of the gospels, here, Matthew and Mark.
                This approach has been dubbed the Lachmann Gambit, and like many gambits
                it is very attractive at first but accepting the gambit leads one down a
                blind alley.
                ----------

                What I have been suggesting here, methodologically, is to work on what the
                mathematicians call a lemma: a preliminary proof that is not the *desired*
                proof, but establishes a sort of firm platform from which the final, more
                complex, problem may more fruitfully be approached. Whether someone called
                this particular lemma the Lachmann Gambit or not doesn't interest me very
                much, because pejorative names in general don't interest me very much. I
                have been around long enough to have discovered that some very shaky
                scholars have their good days, and some very sound scholars have their off
                moments. To use a list of OK or NOK names (Lachmann, Griesbach, anybody) as
                a way of judging results is not, to my mind, superior to judging the
                results. All that counts in the end (and I for one would welcome any
                shortcut in the direction of the end) is whether a particular suggestion is
                supported by evidence. There is still raging on CrossTalk at this moment a
                flap over Marcus Borg, called a careless scholar by his detractors and the
                nicest guy alive by his supporters. One side of this discussion is more
                amiable than the other, but both sides are equally ad hominem arguments,
                and ad hominem arguments have no place in serious discussion. What counts
                is the evidence.

                Stephen continues:
                -----------
                Please read Farmer's criticism of Neirynck in the online paper at Mark
                Goodacre's website.
                -----------

                I have, and feel that I could improve on the statements of both Farmer and
                Neirynck, logically speaking. But, once again, I am less concerned with
                whether Neirynck is right than with whether Mark precedes or follows
                Matthew. It is certainly within the zone of the imaginable that the hazards
                of survival might have left us, today, with no extant Luke to discuss. In
                that case we would perforce be doing our best to dope out any larger
                situation by analyzing Mark and Matthew to a fare-thee-well. Why should it
                be a prori impermissible to borrow that situation for the purposes of an
                exploratory or preliminary investigation? For that matter, if someone were
                teaching NT today in the spirit of the naturalist Agassiz, he might well
                set the student down before a tin dish containing *only* the text of
                Matthew, with orders not to knock any of the scales off of it, but to see
                if, merely by studying it, he could deduce the existence of any other
                Gospel. If we knew only the orbit of Neptune, we could in principle (and
                with good instruments) deduce the orbit of Pluto. Why not Matthew? However,
                that would be even more rigorous a trial than the Mark/Matthew pair I
                earlier recommended, and I must admit that there has been no disposition on
                the part of the list to take up even that milder suggestion. Vox populi,
                vox Dei, as Mencius used to say.

                Stephen continues:
                -----------
                When only two gospels are intially examined, the fundamental Synoptic
                fact -- that agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark are quite
                rare -- is missed. All solutions must account for this pattern of
                evidence, and I can't see how this can be done without examining all
                three at once. I'm not saying that one has to examine "seventeen sects"
                of Griesbachianism, but one ought to be aware at least that Mark as a
                conflation of Matthew and Luke is one of the four "orthodox" solutions
                to the Synoptic Problem. It will not do to systematically eliminate
                an important hypothesis at the outset--even in the name of tractability.
                -----------

                I suspect that a poll of the list might reveal other candidates for the
                "fundamental" Synoptic Fact, but I am quite prepared to concede that all
                Synoptic Facts are important. On the larger method question, it seems
                futile to linger out discussion of a project in which the list is not
                interested, but, once again, if I may: my proposal was not designed to
                "eliminate" any of the full-fledged options, but to devise a preliminary
                investigation from which they might, in a later stage, more fruitfully be
                approached. The preliminary investigation I proposed would, however, if
                successful, *have* had the effect of eliminating *classes* of specific
                solutions. Thus, if the two-body test demonstrated that the common material
                in Mt/Mk was borrowed from Mt into Mk, then all solutions featuring the
                order Mk > Mt (including, but not limited to, the Farrer Hypothesis, the
                Two Source Hypothesis, the Jesus Seminar version of the Two Source
                Hypothesis, and doubtless scores more of named or namable solutions)
                *would* be eliminated from consideration as final solutions. Or, if that
                preliminary investigation indicated that there was no single direction of
                borrowing, but instead that there existed a two-way traffic in material
                (precisely this seemingly impossible situation exists with many of, and
                many pairs of, the classical Chinese philosophical texts; for a sample see
                The Original Analects, Appendix 3), then a hypothesis differing from any I
                have so far heard of would have to be devised to accommodate that finding.
                In my view, pursuing a two-body test leaves all options assumptionally
                open, but at the same time its results (if it were well chosen; cf the
                classic problem of determining the heavy ball among 12 otherwise equal
                balls with only 3 equipoise-scale weighings) would *affect* all options.

                Stephen (skipping some material here; I have, for example, already
                suggested that Hawkins's lists may need revising; I merely applaud his
                systematic approach in realizing that such lists are a properly rigorous
                place to begin) addresses the third-source possibility:
                ------------
                Considering intermediate texts or shared sources, I think that (a) it
                must be considered because it is a fundamental logical possibility,
                and (b) it falls out of the analysis of directional indicators. If
                the directional indicators point in only one direction, then we may
                be justified in asserting the priority of one document over the
                other. On the other hand, if the directional indicators point in
                both directions, then we may be justified in asserting the existence
                of a shared source (Palmer, p.129). Therefore, I don't know why any
                consideration of an intermediate source for Matthew and Mark is
                excluded from the outset. It is a valid possibility and should be
                considered.
                -------------

                A quibble in passing: intermediate texts (such as B in the paradigm A > B >
                C) are a different constellation from shared sources (such as A in the
                paradigm A > B, C). For two-way indications, see my previous response. But
                on the main point, one last time: Nothing is "excluded" at the outset, or
                if it is, that has not been demonstrated. The problem of whether two texts
                sharing common material have borrowed from each other or from a third, lost
                source is one of the most difficult (at least in my experience) in all of
                philology. But in general, it seems to me that: If the common material in B
                has features unknown in the not-in-common parts of B but widespread in A,
                then probably the verdict will be that A is the source of the common
                material in B. And vice versa, as Stephen seems to agree. But if the common
                material (or some segment of it) shows features that are characteristic of
                *neither* A nor B in their areas of *unshared material,* then the
                assumption of a third source becomes not only possible but indicated. The
                shorter the material, and the more commonplace its expression, the harder
                this gets in practice (without doubt, the most important tool in the
                philologist's kit is luck), but in principle, a two-body preliminary
                investigation *could lead* to the requirement that a third body be posited.
                No? To that extent, the reduction for the sake of establishing the lemma is
                only temporary, and does not preclude later complication in any direction,
                including some directions to which, as far as I know, Synoptic history has
                so far given little attention. For it can't be assumed, a priori, that the
                Golden Answer is exactly contained within any one of the major current
                fully formatted options. There may be a wild card out there. If so, an
                exploratory investigation (as vs a confirmatory investigation) might turn
                it up.

                Jim Deardorff suggests looking at the Markan Interruptions into Discourse,
                a list of which can be found on Stephen's web site at
                www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/interrpt.htm (note the spelling
                "interrpt," which is productive of mistypings by those in search of truth).
                These are indeed full of interest, and I have spent some time over them. My
                first impression is that they fall into more than one group, and thus have
                more than one explanation. My only reluctance to use them as a sample test
                of the philological reality is that they seem to invoke the writer's agenda
                in an almost unavoidable way, and I don't relish the prospect of arguing
                about the agenda of a writer of unknown identity, which has to be
                back-inferred from the text (or taken ready-made from traditions which at
                some points can be shown to be unreliable). It seems, to me, to open up the
                same vistas of wide but unfruitful discussion as does Farmer's insistence
                on probing the motives of former Synoptists, as distinct from scrutinizing
                their results. Ad hominem is fun, no doubt; the popular media do little
                else; but Farmer seems to me to be dangerously close to a conspiracy theory
                of Synoptic History. For my part, I am still holding out for ad rem.

                Not to leave the matter without an alternate suggestion, my first one not
                finding favor: What do the Matthean Prioritists make of the Lukan Omission
                (perhaps from their angle more felicitously the Markan Expansion?) Here is
                a finite question involving three bodies. What's the answer? And, once that
                is given, can a more convincing answer be suggested from the other side?

                Bruce

                E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts
              • Stephen C. Carlson
                ... The issue, of course, is whether this particular lemma is even capable of approaching the complete solution. Eventually it may be useful, but the
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 9, 1998
                • 0 Attachment
                  At 03:22 AM 8/9/98 -0400, E. Bruce Brooks wrote:
                  >What I have been suggesting here, methodologically, is to work on what the
                  >mathematicians call a lemma: a preliminary proof that is not the *desired*
                  >proof, but establishes a sort of firm platform from which the final, more
                  >complex, problem may more fruitfully be approached. Whether someone called
                  >this particular lemma the Lachmann Gambit or not doesn't interest me very
                  >much, because pejorative names in general don't interest me very much.

                  The issue, of course, is whether this particular "lemma" is even capable
                  of approaching the complete solution. Eventually it may be useful, but
                  the Griesbach solution must first be eliminated. My reference to the
                  "Lachmann Gambit" is not to ridicule a position but to cite to the very
                  real debate over methodology between Neirynck on one side and those like
                  Farmer, Stoldt, and Dungan on the other side. If you are going to propose
                  a methodology that is similar to Neirynck's, you should be aware of
                  criticism that has already been leveled against that methodology and deal
                  with it.

                  Here are some references:

                  Dungan, David L., "A Griesbachian Perspective on the Argument from Order,"
                  in SYNOPTIC STUDIES: The Ampleforth Conferences of 1982 and 1983
                  (Tuckett, ed.) (JSNTSS 7; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1984) 67-74.
                  Dungan, David L., "Response to the Two-Source Hypothesis," in THE
                  INTERRELATIONS OF THE GOSPELS: A Symposium (Dungan, ed.) (BETL XCV;
                  Leuven: University Press, 1990) 201-216.
                  Neirynck, Frans, "The Synoptic Problem" in THE NEW JEROME BIBLICAL COMMENTARY,
                  (Brown et al. eds.) (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1990) 587-95.
                  Stoldt, Hans-Herbert, HISTORY & CRITICISM OF THE MARCAN HYPOTHESIS (Niewyk,
                  trans.) (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1980) (1977) e.g. 108.

                  >I have, and feel that I could improve on the statements of both Farmer and
                  >Neirynck, logically speaking. But, once again, I am less concerned with
                  >whether Neirynck is right than with whether Mark precedes or follows
                  >Matthew.

                  This is not dealing with Farmer's criticism of Neirynck's methodological
                  approach, which still appears to be similar to yours. What is important
                  is whether a proposed method is even capable of answering the ultimate
                  question whether Mark precedes or follows Matthew. Let us not be like
                  the drunk who searches for his car keys under the streetlight instead of
                  next to his car where he dropped them, simply because it is easier to see
                  under the streetlight.

                  Stephen Carlson
                  --
                  Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                  Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                  "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                • Yuri Kuchinsky
                  ... Dear Bruce, I appreciate the effort you ve made to reexamine the complex problem of the relationship between Mk and Mt, but I must confess I m sceptical it
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 12, 1998
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Sun, 9 Aug 1998, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                    > At 03:22 AM 8/9/98 -0400, E. Bruce Brooks wrote:

                    ...

                    > >I have, and feel that I could improve on the statements of both Farmer and
                    > >Neirynck, logically speaking. But, once again, I am less concerned with
                    > >whether Neirynck is right than with whether Mark precedes or follows
                    > >Matthew.

                    Dear Bruce,

                    I appreciate the effort you've made to reexamine the complex problem of
                    the relationship between Mk and Mt, but I must confess I'm sceptical it
                    can succeed in the form in which you've structured your analysis.

                    AFAIAC, the best results that can be expected will still be inconclusive,
                    and will not provide the sort of an answer you seek, since I expect your
                    analysis will show that most parts of Mk precede Mt, but that
                    nevertheless, other substantial parts of Mk _also_ post-date Mt. In other
                    words, just where we started from. It is the Loisy-Koester hypothesis
                    (LKH) that explains the data the best in my opinion.

                    > This is not dealing with Farmer's criticism of Neirynck's
                    > methodological approach, which still appears to be similar to yours.

                    Yes, Stephen, I agree, very often Farmer is not given an attentive hearing
                    by the mainstream critics. All too often the 2ST is assumed as valid, and
                    applied in literature in a mechanical and uncritical fashion.

                    > What is important is whether a proposed method is even capable of
                    > answering the ultimate question whether Mark precedes or follows
                    > Matthew.

                    Of course, I don't think this "unltimate question" of yours can be
                    answered in the way you hope and expect. Moreover, I don't think it can be
                    answered at all the way it is asked. Because the answer is probably
                    "both".

                    > Let us not be like the drunk who searches for his car keys
                    > under the streetlight instead of next to his car where he dropped
                    > them, simply because it is easier to see under the streetlight.

                    Obviously I'm also somewhat sceptical of the approach Bruce suggested, but
                    most probably for different reasons. Still, perhaps your dismissal of
                    Bruce's initiative is a little unfair. Because what if we still don't know
                    where we dropped these keys? In such a case, looking for them where
                    there's light may not be such a bad idea to start with, after all.

                    One positive outcome of Bruce's analysis may be to highlight how a
                    clear-cut either/or solution to this problem is not in sight.

                    Best wishes,

                    Yuri.

                    Yuri Kuchinsky || Toronto

                    http://www.trends.net/~yuku/bbl/bbl.htm

                    The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
                    equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.