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Re: [Synoptic-L] PWRWSIS: piecemeal and cumulative solutions to the Synoptic ...

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 4/27/2002 12:13:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes:
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 27, 2002
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      In a message dated 4/27/2002 12:13:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      scarlson@... writes:

      << I think that if one is make a good case for priority
      from a lexical term such as PWRWSIS and PWROW, it is
      important to choose examples where one evangelist has
      the term and the other has all the surrounding context
      but avoids and replaces the term. This is not the
      case, however, for PWRWSIS and PWROW.

      Leonard basically argues that while good reason may
      exist for Mark to add the word, it is less clear
      why Matthew should omit the word. However, my
      examination of the parallel leads to me to believe
      that Matthew's treatment of PWRWSIS and PWROW is
      merely a collateral effect of a larger redactional
      activity.>>

      You are holding to me too strictly to a lexical argument here. I believe in
      fact that the larger redactional activity of Matthew in these passages, on
      the Markan priority hypothesis, is exactly as problematic, and for the same
      reasons, as is the collateral omission of PWRWSIS and cognates. (So your
      response to my argument is effective merely as a technicality: my argument
      should perhaps not be labeled a lexical argument.) This is especially true of
      Matthew's handling of Mark 3:5 on the Markan hypothesis.

      << At Mark 3:5, the word PWRWSIS is found in a clause that
      reads KAI PERIBLEYAMENOS AUTOUS MET ORGHS SULLOPOUMENOS
      EPI THi PWRWSI THS KARDIAS AUTWN. Matthew at 12:13 lacks
      the entire clause. However, Matthew may have felt about
      the term PWRWSIS it is clear that is not a sufficient
      explanation for the omission of the entire clause.>>

      So what? As I said above, the omission of the entire clause is what is
      problematic. The term PWRWSIS is merely a convenient lexical item with which
      to associate this problematic redaction of Matt, which repeats itself on
      three occasions, on the Markan priority hypothesis.

      << On the other hand, were one to postulate a reason for
      Matthew's (alleged) omission of the entire clause, that
      reason, completely independent of Matthew's attitude
      toward PWRWSIS, would be sufficient.>>

      Of course. And I await such a postulation that would convince.

      <<Matthew has no true parallel to the entirely of Mark
      6:52, which comprises 12 words (OU GAR SUNHKAN EPI TOIS
      ARTOIS, ALL HN AUTWN hH KARDIA PEPWRWMENH), unless one
      takes the final bit of 14:33 (ALHQWS QEOU hUIOS EI) to
      be the replacement. Needless to day, to attribute
      Matthew's omission or wholesale rewriting to PEPWRWMENH
      in particular is to have the tail wag the dog. This
      passage is obscure that the reason for dropping/rewritting
      it would be to improve the clarity of the passage.>>

      I don't see how this text of Mark is obscure at all. Its meaning seems
      perfectly clear to me. I admit that in this case one might argue reasonably
      that Matthew wished to improve the image of the disciples, and therefore
      omitted the phrase when copying from Mark. But then one has to deal with
      other texts in which Matthew does not do this, and in fact "heightens" the
      criticism of the disciples compared with Mark. Since it is an acknowledged
      feature of Markan redaction, even among Markan priorists, that Mark is intent
      on presenting the 12 in a negative light (for whatever reason), Markan
      addition of the phrase in these sets of parallels remains the more economic
      explanation of the data.

      << Finally, Mark 8:17 // Matt. 16:9 also involves the use of
      PEPWRWMENHN embedded in a rather large amount of text (22
      words) that is lacking Matthew.

      In sum, the argument from the term PWRWSIS/PWROW is
      inconclusive. On the Griesbach hypothesis, Mark
      could have added the term to Matthean contexts, or
      on Markan priority hypothesis, it could merely be the
      casuality of Matthew's decisions to omit passages from
      Mark on other grounds. We don't know Matthew's exact
      attitude toward the term because there is no parallel
      that would show Matthew's specific behavior toward the
      term. All the passages in which the term is found has
      a competing and more comprehensive explanation for its
      omission.>>

      To which I would respond, as I responded above, that you have merely
      demonstrated that I should not have called this a (strictly) lexical argument
      (if I did). You have not in fact come up with a more comprehensive
      explanation for the redaction of Matt, involving the removal of PWRWSIS and
      cognates from originally Markan texts, that is more convincing than the
      addition of a sentence involving this lexical item by a presumed late Mark.
      So, to restate my case more carefully: a study of Mark's use of PWRWSIS and
      cognates leads one to Synoptic parallels that are better explained on the GH
      than on the theory of Markan priority as normally understood.

      Leonard Maluf


      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... It was certainly my impression that your argument was lexical, or as you put it, the evidence of particular terms as used in each of the three Synoptic
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 27, 2002
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        At 10:11 PM 4/27/2002 EDT, Maluflen@... wrote:
        >To which I would respond, as I responded above, that you have merely
        >demonstrated that I should not have called this a (strictly) lexical argument
        >(if I did).

        It was certainly my impression that your argument was lexical, or
        as you put it, "the evidence of particular terms as used in each
        of the three Synoptic Gospels." The linkage of the diverse passages
        at Mark 3:5 and the 6:52+8:17 while ignoring more thematically
        related passages make sense only if one is making a lexical
        case than a thematic argument.

        >You have not in fact come up with a more comprehensive
        >explanation for the redaction of Matt, involving the removal of PWRWSIS and
        >cognates from originally Markan texts, that is more convincing than the
        >addition of a sentence involving this lexical item by a presumed late Mark.

        My response was that the lexical item of PWRWSIS and cognates is irrelevant.
        There is no reason to impute Matthew's removal of the sentences in which
        PWRWSIS/PWROW is found to the lexical item.

        >So, to restate my case more carefully: a study of Mark's use of PWRWSIS and
        >cognates leads one to Synoptic parallels that are better explained on the GH
        >than on the theory of Markan priority as normally understood.

        If you want to make a case, not based on a lexical argument, but
        perhaps on a thematic argument, then only those parallels involving
        the root PWRO- are far too insufficient. In fact, there are multiple
        themes at play.

        In Mark 3:5 et pars., not only is there the hardening of the Pharisee's
        heart, but there is the issue of Jesus's anger. Mark mentions that Jesus
        was angry at 1:41a and 3:5, but Matthew does not mention this at 8:3a
        and 12:13. So Mark has no problem reciting that Jesus was angry, but
        Matthew does. On Markan priority, Matthew omitted Mark 3:5 (which happens
        to include the PWRO- root) because Matthew didn't like depictions of
        Jesus's anger. On the GH, Mark inserted the reference to Jesus's
        anger because he has no problem with that. Personally, I find these
        kind of arguments to be reversible and inconclusive, though a majority
        of critics are willing to find Mark's version more primitive. I cannot
        see, however, that Markan posteriority provides a better explanation.

        As for 6:53+8:17, basically the same comments but on a different
        theme. Mark likes to portray the disciples negatively, but Matthew
        does not. Again I think the argument is inconclusive even though
        most find Mark's position to be more primitive. How this makes the
        GH the superior explanation, however, is beyond me.

        Leonard, I appreciate your proposal for making a cumulative case for a
        particular view of gospel origins by assessing each pericope. I seriously
        thought so, myself. However, I found most of the arguments for priority
        in each pericope to be worthless, being largely based on one's
        preconceptions of first century redactional activity. In other words,
        our preunderstanding influences how we assess the relative probablities
        that one evangelist would be more candid about Jesus's emotions, say.

        That is why I have been in search of more objective measures of
        (non)dependence. Fatigue, as corroborated by stylistic criteria,
        is a good start.

        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


        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 4/27/2002 11:04:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes:
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 28, 2002
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          In a message dated 4/27/2002 11:04:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
          scarlson@... writes:

          << It was certainly my impression that your argument was lexical, or
          as you put it, "the evidence of particular terms as used in each
          of the three Synoptic Gospels." The linkage of the diverse passages
          at Mark 3:5 and the 6:52+8:17 while ignoring more thematically
          related passages make sense only if one is making a lexical
          case than a thematic argument.>>

          We are quibbling here, with an equivocation involved in the process. It is a
          lexical case (in one sense) that I intended to make, but not a strictly
          lexical case. Parallel Synoptic passages are identified for discussion
          through the use of a particular term by one or more evangelists. Those
          passages are then evaluated to determine directionality, within the limits of
          the passage in question, and by a probable argument.

          << >You have not in fact come up with a more comprehensive
          >explanation for the redaction of Matt, involving the removal of PWRWSIS and
          >cognates from originally Markan texts, that is more convincing than the
          >addition of a sentence involving this lexical item by a presumed late Mark.

          My response was that the lexical item of PWRWSIS and cognates is irrelevant.
          There is no reason to impute Matthew's removal of the sentences in which
          PWRWSIS/PWROW is found to the lexical item.>>

          I conceded this point, I think, but the point is itself irrelevant. The
          sentence itself simply looks more like an addition by Mark than an omission
          by Matthew in the cases in question.

          >So, to restate my case more carefully: a study of Mark's use of PWRWSIS and
          >cognates leads one to Synoptic parallels that are better explained on the
          GH
          >than on the theory of Markan priority as normally understood.

          If you want to make a case, not based on a lexical argument, but
          perhaps on a thematic argument, then only those parallels involving
          the root PWRO- are far too insufficient. In fact, there are multiple
          themes at play.>>

          I still think this could be regarded as a lexical argument in the sense in
          which I define such an argument. Of course, in this case, the multiple themes
          at play in these particular passages represent items that can legitimately be
          used in counter-argumentation to my argument. Which is what you are about to
          do here:

          << In Mark 3:5 et pars., not only is there the hardening of the Pharisee's
          heart, but there is the issue of Jesus's anger. Mark mentions that Jesus
          was angry at 1:41a and 3:5, but Matthew does not mention this at 8:3a
          and 12:13. So Mark has no problem reciting that Jesus was angry, but
          Matthew does. On Markan priority, Matthew omitted Mark 3:5 (which happens
          to include the PWRO- root) because Matthew didn't like depictions of
          Jesus's anger. On the GH, Mark inserted the reference to Jesus's
          anger because he has no problem with that.>>

          I recognize that this is an argument against my position, but I think it is a
          very weak argument. A passage like Matt 15:13-14 or 21:12-13 shows that
          Matthew has no problem presenting an angry Jesus -- particularly with respect
          to the Pharisees. Also, Mark's text could easily have been edited to avoid
          explicitly saying that Jesus was angry, without removing the entire sentence.
          Of course such a removal is a possible solution. It is just less likely, all
          things considered, than is the addition by Mark of the phrase in question.
          Especially since the phenomenon of Mark alone referring to some emotion of
          Jesus, even in triple tradition passages, is so frequent.

          << Personally, I find these
          kind of arguments to be reversible and inconclusive, though a majority
          of critics are willing to find Mark's version more primitive. I cannot
          see, however, that Markan posteriority provides a better explanation.>>

          "These kinds of arguments" are of course inconclusive, in the sense that they
          are by their nature partial treatments of the overall evidence. As for the
          argument being reversible, I am arguing that it is not, really. I think the
          term "reversible" is being used too glibly here. I would like to see the word
          "reversible" used only when an equally valid argument can be made for either
          position, which I maintain is not the case here. To convince me that it is,
          you would have to produce better arguments than you have.

          << As for 6:53+8:17, basically the same comments but on a different
          theme. Mark likes to portray the disciples negatively, but Matthew
          does not.>>

          This is simply not true. Matthew very frequently portrays the disciples in a
          negative light, as I have illustrated many times on this list (cf. 26:8!). It
          is only when Matt is already read as depending on Mark that the above
          statement could be verified in a number of cases.

          << Again I think the argument is inconclusive even though
          most find Mark's position to be more primitive. How this makes the
          GH the superior explanation, however, is beyond me.>>

          Focusing on Mk 6:53 and 8:17 alone, it is not unreasonable to view the
          argument as inconclusive. I think a consideration of Mk 3:5 in conjunction
          with these passages tilts the evidence slightly in favor of a late Mark.
          Which means that the argument as a whole, based on passages connected with
          the use of PWRWSIS and cognates in the Synoptic gospels, supports a late Mark
          by a small margin.

          <<Leonard, I appreciate your proposal for making a cumulative case for a
          particular view of gospel origins by assessing each pericope. I seriously
          thought so, myself. However, I found most of the arguments for priority
          in each pericope to be worthless, being largely based on one's
          preconceptions of first century redactional activity. In other words,
          our preunderstanding influences how we assess the relative probablities
          that one evangelist would be more candid about Jesus's emotions, say.>>

          The solution is to remove the subjectivity in these arguments, as far as
          possible, and to disallow arguments that are purely subjective or that fail
          to take some gospel evidence into account.

          <<That is why I have been in search of more objective measures of
          (non)dependence. Fatigue, as corroborated by stylistic criteria,
          is a good start.>>

          I am not yet confident that the problems of subjective factors which you
          attach to the more traditional arguments are necessarily absent from the
          fatigue approach.

          Leonard Maluf

          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
          List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
        • John Lupia
          ... The most important question here is the scientific design of the study. The evaluation criteria are essential to know, examin and study to determine if
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 28, 2002
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            --- Maluflen@... wrote:
            > In a message dated 4/27/2002 11:04:50 PM Eastern
            > Daylight Time,
            > scarlson@... writes:
            >
            > << It was certainly my impression that your argument
            > was lexical, or
            > as you put it, "the evidence of particular terms as
            > used in each
            > of the three Synoptic Gospels." The linkage of the
            > diverse passages
            > at Mark 3:5 and the 6:52+8:17 while ignoring more
            > thematically
            > related passages make sense only if one is making a
            > lexical
            > case than a thematic argument.>>
            >
            > We are quibbling here, with an equivocation involved
            > in the process. It is a
            > lexical case (in one sense) that I intended to make,
            > but not a strictly
            > lexical case. Parallel Synoptic passages are
            > identified for discussion
            > through the use of a particular term by one or more
            > evangelists. Those
            > passages are then evaluated to determine
            > directionality, within the limits of
            > the passage in question, and by a probable argument.


            The most important question here is the scientific
            design of the study. The evaluation criteria are
            essential to know, examin and study to determine if
            the correct criteria have been met and if all of the
            appropriate criteria are being considered. A detailed
            narrative that explains how criteria are determined,
            what we are looking for and why are also important to
            judge if the overall design and its analysis even
            makes sense and if one should agree or disagree with
            it and why.


            > << >You have not in fact come up with a more
            > comprehensive
            > >explanation for the redaction of Matt, involving
            > the removal of PWRWSIS and
            > >cognates from originally Markan texts, that is
            > more convincing than the
            > >addition of a sentence involving this lexical item
            > by a presumed late Mark.

            The above statement is highly biased flagrantly
            favoring Markan priority and is not a scientific
            formulation but a highly subject one. The very fact
            you say "involving the removal of PWRWSIS and cognates
            from originally Markan texts" clearly evidences a bias
            of Markan priority. Who is to say and for what reason
            that the term "PWRWSIS" was ever removed to begin
            with? The only logical possibilities are (1)PWRWSIS
            was part of a document vailable to all of the four
            evangelists and that all except Mark removed it, or it
            was part of a document only available to one, two, or
            three of the evangelists and a study might be devised
            to determine which ones. This wouldentail eplaining
            the design of the study and the validations for the
            criteria and method involved so that others may
            determine if the agree or disagree with it and why.


            > My response was that the lexical item of PWRWSIS
            > and cognates is irrelevant.
            > There is no reason to impute Matthew's removal of
            > the sentences in which
            > PWRWSIS/PWROW is found to the lexical item.>>


            It might be helpful here to make a comprehensive study
            on words found in Mk and not found (rather than to say
            excluded by Mt, which reflects a Markan priority bias
            in its vry wording). Examining thisword list might
            reveal something rather important. Once again a
            comprehensive narrative should be devised that clearly
            exoplains the design f the study and its criteria etc.
            to make it truly public and be held in scrutiny.


            > I conceded this point, I think, but the point is
            > itself irrelevant. The
            > sentence itself simply looks more like an addition
            > by Mark than an omission
            > by Matthew in the cases in question.


            As I have alreadt sad and suggested objective studies
            can be dsigned for public reading to be scrutinized
            and commented on.

            > >So, to restate my case more carefully: a study of
            > Mark's use of PWRWSIS and
            > >cognates leads one to Synoptic parallels that are
            > better explained on the
            > GH
            > >than on the theory of Markan priority as normally
            > understood.


            It could be, but it is not a strong case in itself.
            It is possible that if Mk were written first that
            subsequent writers could have not included that term
            or any phraseology that contained it or wished not to
            follow those lines of thought for various reasons that
            might become apparent in a detailed comprehensive
            study.


            I have already performed such an investigation. Mk
            consistently paints a portrait of his circle of
            earliest believers as acking in basic ways both
            spiritually and intellectually to truly grasp Jesus'
            attitude, disposition and mentality. My conclusion is
            that Mk's use of PWRWSIS is based on Mk's theology
            that shows that the apostles and first disciples were
            lackng in intellectual enlightenment, weak in faith,
            and close minded, with steel trap minds prior to
            Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came bringing the grace
            lacking to the Church through its sacramental life. I
            say this since Mk's Gospel appears to have been
            written in a period when the Church had already become
            established with a history that in itself showed a
            sacramental life and that participation in it is the
            source of grace lacking in all adherents. This would
            obviously be a Sitz im Leben Kirche that post dates
            the Luke-Acts. Consequently, it dethrones the position
            of Markan priority showing that a fundamental premise
            required to maintain it cannot included because the
            internal evidence of the text itself shows it to be
            otherwise.


            > If you want to make a case, not based on a lexical
            > argument, but
            > perhaps on a thematic argument, then only those
            > parallels involving
            > the root PWRO- are far too insufficient. In fact,
            > there are multiple
            > themes at play.>>

            A preliminary study should be done here to see where
            the facts lie. Once a gain it should be of a public
            nature which can be scrutinized.

            > I still think this could be regarded as a lexical
            > argument in the sense in
            > which I define such an argument. Of course, in this
            > case, the multiple themes
            > at play in these particular passages represent items
            > that can legitimately be
            > used in counter-argumentation to my argument. Which
            > is what you are about to
            > do here:
            >
            > << In Mark 3:5 et pars., not only is there the
            > hardening of the Pharisee's
            > heart, but there is the issue of Jesus's anger.
            > Mark mentions that Jesus
            > was angry at 1:41a and 3:5, but Matthew does not
            > mention this at 8:3a
            > and 12:13. So Mark has no problem reciting that
            > Jesus was angry, but
            > Matthew does.


            Why would this be the correct and/or logical
            conclusion that Matthew has a problem talking aout
            Jess being angry? It is only one of several
            possibilities. Matthew might not have wanted to state
            the obvious that Jesus is angry with those who
            deliberately defy him with stony hearts far removed
            from the tuth. Whereas, Mk appears to have lived in a
            Sitz im Leben Kirche where it was useful to remind a
            broader Church population about the basics, something
            that the exhortative epistles of Paul, John, Peter,
            James, and Jude do. In this sense it further
            contributes to the evidence that Mk and also Mt was
            indeed writing later to a post epistle period Church
            population. Each Gospel was writen for a specific
            period in the history of the Church and their texts
            reflect which phase they were written in through the
            shape of its vocabularly and the kinds of statements
            it makes addressing specific issues that were
            revlevent at specific time periods. Examing the
            Gospels this way we can then show a timeline
            chronology of the early infant Church showing the
            phases of theological thinking that it passed through.

            On Markan priority, Matthew omitted
            > Mark 3:5 (which happens
            > to include the PWRO- root) because Matthew didn't
            > like depictions of
            > Jesus's anger. On the GH, Mark inserted the
            > reference to Jesus's
            > anger because he has no problem with that.>>
            >
            > I recognize that this is an argument against my
            > position, but I think it is a
            > very weak argument. A passage like Matt 15:13-14 or
            > 21:12-13 shows that
            > Matthew has no problem presenting an angry Jesus --
            > particularly with respect
            > to the Pharisees. Also, Mark's text could easily
            > have been edited to avoid
            > explicitly saying that Jesus was angry, without
            > removing the entire sentence.
            > Of course such a removal is a possible solution. It
            > is just less likely, all
            > things considered, than is the addition by Mark of
            > the phrase in question.
            > Especially since the phenomenon of Mark alone
            > referring to some emotion of
            > Jesus, even in triple tradition passages, is so
            > frequent.
            >
            > << Personally, I find these
            > kind of arguments to be reversible and
            > inconclusive, though a majority
            > of critics are willing to find Mark's version more
            > primitive. I cannot
            > see, however, that Markan posteriority provides a
            > better explanation.>>



            Then come up with a solid case against it.

            Too tired to continue with the rest which have been
            snipped.

            [snip]

            Best,
            John

            =====
            John N. Lupia
            501 North Avenue B-1
            Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA

            __________________________________________________
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          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... OK. Let s move away from the dry issue of argument taxonomy and look at the specifics. ... Well, the text of Matt 15:13-14 and 21:12-13 does not present
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 29, 2002
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              At 08:34 AM 4/28/02 EDT, Maluflen@... wrote:
              >I still think this could be regarded as a lexical argument in the sense in
              >which I define such an argument. Of course, in this case, the multiple themes
              >at play in these particular passages represent items that can legitimately be
              >used in counter-argumentation to my argument. Which is what you are about to
              >do here:

              OK. Let's move away from the dry issue of argument taxonomy and
              look at the specifics.

              ><< In Mark 3:5 et pars., not only is there the hardening of the Pharisee's
              > heart, but there is the issue of Jesus's anger. Mark mentions that Jesus
              > was angry at 1:41a and 3:5, but Matthew does not mention this at 8:3a
              > and 12:13. So Mark has no problem reciting that Jesus was angry, but
              > Matthew does. On Markan priority, Matthew omitted Mark 3:5 (which happens
              > to include the PWRO- root) because Matthew didn't like depictions of
              > Jesus's anger. On the GH, Mark inserted the reference to Jesus's
              > anger because he has no problem with that.>>
              >
              >I recognize that this is an argument against my position, but I think it is a
              >very weak argument. A passage like Matt 15:13-14 or 21:12-13 shows that
              >Matthew has no problem presenting an angry Jesus -- particularly with respect
              >to the Pharisees. Also, Mark's text could easily have been edited to avoid
              >explicitly saying that Jesus was angry, without removing the entire sentence.
              >Of course such a removal is a possible solution. It is just less likely, all
              >things considered, than is the addition by Mark of the phrase in question.
              >Especially since the phenomenon of Mark alone referring to some emotion of
              >Jesus, even in triple tradition passages, is so frequent.

              Well, the text of Matt 15:13-14 and 21:12-13 does not present Jesus
              as being angry, at least explicitly, which the issue in Mark 1:41a
              and 3:5, so I don't see how those passages really contest the point.
              We are dealing with editor's proclivities, and I cannot see how one
              can infer any direction of dependence when the one evangelist who
              likes to depict Jesus's emotions actually depicts Jesus's emotion,
              and the other evangelist who does not like to depict Jesus's emotions
              actually fails to depict Jesus's emotion. Both addition by one and
              deletion by the other is what both would have written originally or
              redacted his source to say (or not say). The evangelists are merely
              being consistent with themselves, and the probabilities balance out.
              Therefore, I cannot support you, or more tellingly, the majority of
              scholars who do find this kind of argumentation probative, i.e., an
              angry Jesus is the more difficult reading.

              ><< Personally, I find these
              > kind of arguments to be reversible and inconclusive, though a majority
              > of critics are willing to find Mark's version more primitive. I cannot
              > see, however, that Markan posteriority provides a better explanation.>>
              >
              >"These kinds of arguments" are of course inconclusive, in the sense that they
              >are by their nature partial treatments of the overall evidence. As for the
              >argument being reversible, I am arguing that it is not, really. I think the
              >term "reversible" is being used too glibly here. I would like to see the word
              >"reversible" used only when an equally valid argument can be made for either
              >position, which I maintain is not the case here. To convince me that it is,
              >you would have to produce better arguments than you have.

              Your case for Markan posteriority sounds exactly the same to me as how the
              majority of scholars argue in favor of the other position. The arguments
              are symmetric. To me, this makes it reversible. If the argument is truly
              irreversible, you would have to produce better arguments than you have.
              Your arguments are no better than the majority's and, in fact, mirror the
              majority's. If anyone has the burden of proof, it is should be on the
              one stating that his argument is clearly better.

              ><< As for 6:53+8:17, basically the same comments but on a different
              > theme. Mark likes to portray the disciples negatively, but Matthew
              > does not.>>
              >
              >This is simply not true. Matthew very frequently portrays the disciples in a
              >negative light, as I have illustrated many times on this list (cf. 26:8!). It
              >is only when Matt is already read as depending on Mark that the above
              >statement could be verified in a number of cases.

              Matt. 26:8 relates that the disciples were angry over the loss of
              expensive perfume. Even if you were to view as a negative Matthean
              comment of the disciples (which I don't), please add the word "relatively"
              to my statement and readdress it. And when you address it, please
              explain why your argument is stronger than than the majority's view
              that the harder reading is to denigrate the disciples.

              ><< Again I think the argument is inconclusive even though
              > most find Mark's position to be more primitive. How this makes the
              > GH the superior explanation, however, is beyond me.>>
              >
              >Focusing on Mk 6:53 and 8:17 alone, it is not unreasonable to view the
              >argument as inconclusive. I think a consideration of Mk 3:5 in conjunction
              >with these passages tilts the evidence slightly in favor of a late Mark.
              >Which means that the argument as a whole, based on passages connected with
              >the use of PWRWSIS and cognates in the Synoptic gospels, supports a late Mark
              >by a small margin.

              If all we're doing is stating our personal conclusions, let me state
              that I see no connection between Mark 6:52+8:17 and Mark 3:5 except
              for the term PWRWSIS, which I have already argued to be an irrelevant
              factor. Thus, there is no synergy here.

              > <<Leonard, I appreciate your proposal for making a cumulative case for a
              > particular view of gospel origins by assessing each pericope. I seriously
              > thought so, myself. However, I found most of the arguments for priority
              > in each pericope to be worthless, being largely based on one's
              > preconceptions of first century redactional activity. In other words,
              > our preunderstanding influences how we assess the relative probablities
              > that one evangelist would be more candid about Jesus's emotions, say.>>
              >
              >The solution is to remove the subjectivity in these arguments, as far as
              >possible, and to disallow arguments that are purely subjective or that fail
              >to take some gospel evidence into account.

              Exactly. This is why I am uncomfortable inferring priority based on
              one's attitude about the evangelists or Jesus's emotions. Some people
              see problems where I merely see the evangelists as being consistent.

              > <<That is why I have been in search of more objective measures of
              > (non)dependence. Fatigue, as corroborated by stylistic criteria,
              > is a good start.>>
              >
              >I am not yet confident that the problems of subjective factors which you
              >attach to the more traditional arguments are necessarily absent from the
              >fatigue approach.

              The search goes on.

              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

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            • Maluflen@aol.com
              In a message dated 4/29/2002 5:53:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes:
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 29, 2002
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                In a message dated 4/29/2002 5:53:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                scarlson@... writes:

                << Well, the text of Matt 15:13-14 and 21:12-13 does not present Jesus
                as being angry, at least explicitly, which the issue in Mark 1:41a
                and 3:5, so I don't see how those passages really contest the point.
                We are dealing with editor's proclivities, and I cannot see how one
                can infer any direction of dependence when the one evangelist who
                likes to depict Jesus' emotions actually depicts Jesus' emotion,
                and the other evangelist who does not like to depict Jesus' emotions
                actually fails to depict Jesus' emotion.>>

                You are misstating the case again. Matthew does depict Jesus' emotions, and
                those emotions often involve anger. What he does not do is to name explicitly
                the emotion that is implied in his narrative presentation. And by the way,
                the explicit naming of something that is only implicit in a parallel passage
                usually suggests posteriority on the part of text where the implicit is made
                explicit. This is a very natural progression, and one that may be verified in
                numerous literary texts where the direction of dependence is known. For
                example, the Genesis account of the creation and fall of man is prior to 1
                Tim 2:13-14 (I think all would agree). The latter text tells us that Adam was
                created first and Eve second. This sequence is implicit in the Genesis
                narrative, but without the explicit numbering. 1 Tim also tells us that Eve
                was "deceived". This too is implicit, but not explicit in the Genesis story.
                1 Tim further refers explicitly to Eve's "transgression", which is also not
                explicitly mentioned in the Gen account. A process of abstraction and naming
                has taken place between the two accounts, similar to that which can often be
                observed between the texts of Matthew and Mark. One could almost speak here
                of an ontological priority of the Genesis text with respect to its
                theological abstraction and summary in the Epistle to Timothy.

                <<Both addition by one and
                deletion by the other is what both would have written originally or
                redacted his source to say (or not say). The evangelists are merely
                being consistent with themselves, and the probabilities balance out.
                Therefore, I cannot support you, or more tellingly, the majority of
                scholars who do find this kind of argumentation probative, i.e., an
                angry Jesus is the more difficult reading.>>

                To argue that an angry Jesus is the "more difficult", and therefore the
                earlier reading (employing a principle of text-criticism), requires the
                assumption of a liberal Protestant view of Jesus, whose principal duty it is
                to be nice.


                >"These kinds of arguments" are of course inconclusive, in the sense that
                they
                >are by their nature partial treatments of the overall evidence. As for the
                >argument being reversible, I am arguing that it is not, really. I think the
                >term "reversible" is being used too glibly here. I would like to see the
                word
                >"reversible" used only when an equally valid argument can be made for
                either
                >position, which I maintain is not the case here. To convince me that it is,
                >you would have to produce better arguments than you have.

                Your case for Markan posteriority sounds exactly the same to me as how the
                majority of scholars argue in favor of the other position. The arguments
                are symmetric. To me, this makes it reversible.>>

                This simply means to me that you are not yet ready to accept my (quite
                reasonable) suggestion that the term "reversible" not be used so glibly, but
                that it be reserved for cases where an equally valid (as opposed to just any)
                argument can be made for either position.

                << Matt. 26:8 relates that the disciples were angry over the loss of
                expensive perfume. Even if you were to view as a negative Matthean
                comment of the disciples (which I don't), please add the word "relatively"
                to my statement and readdress it. And when you address it, please
                explain why your argument is stronger than the majority's view
                that the harder reading is to denigrate the disciples.>>

                The "lectio difficilior lectio potior" argument here is considerably weakened
                by the widely recognized fact that it is Mark's specific redactional
                intention, for whatever reason, to denigrate the disciples. For this reason,
                I think the use of this text-critical principle to argue this particular case
                is especially inappropriate.

                Leonard Maluf



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              • Stephen C. Carlson
                ... Actually the assumption behind this argument is not about the nature of Jesus but the first century Christians s beliefs about his nature. ... I simply
                Message 7 of 8 , Apr 30, 2002
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                  At 09:39 PM 4/29/2002 EDT, Maluflen@... wrote:
                  >In a message dated 4/29/2002 5:53:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                  >scarlson@... writes:
                  > <<Both addition by one and
                  > deletion by the other is what both would have written originally or
                  > redacted his source to say (or not say). The evangelists are merely
                  > being consistent with themselves, and the probabilities balance out.
                  > Therefore, I cannot support you, or more tellingly, the majority of
                  > scholars who do find this kind of argumentation probative, i.e., an
                  > angry Jesus is the more difficult reading.>>
                  >
                  >To argue that an angry Jesus is the "more difficult", and therefore the
                  >earlier reading (employing a principle of text-criticism), requires the
                  >assumption of a liberal Protestant view of Jesus, whose principal duty it is
                  >to be nice.

                  Actually the assumption behind this argument is not about the
                  nature of Jesus but the first century Christians's beliefs about
                  his nature.

                  >The "lectio difficilior lectio potior" argument here is considerably weakened
                  >by the widely recognized fact that it is Mark's specific redactional
                  >intention, for whatever reason, to denigrate the disciples. For this reason,
                  >I think the use of this text-critical principle to argue this particular case
                  >is especially inappropriate.

                  I simply cannot see how a "specific redactional intention" allows
                  one to infer priority or posteriority. Let us assume for purposes
                  of argument that Mark did have a specific redaction intention to
                  denigrate the disciples, notwithstanding all the issues of circularity
                  in coming to that conclusion.

                  1. If Mark was prior to Matthew, then Mark is an original composition,
                  and we would expect to see the disciples denigrated in Mark.

                  2. If Mark was posterior to Matthew, then we would expect to see Mark
                  redact the text to denigrate the disciples.

                  Thus, the result in Mark (denigrated disciples) is identical no matter
                  what the direction of dependence between Matthew and Mark is.

                  What about Matthew? If we assume that the final text of Matthew was
                  acceptable to Matthew (the rationale of realized intent), then only
                  a small amount of negativity is acceptable. Therefore:

                  1. If Mark was prior to Matthew, then Mark being original denigrated
                  the disciples and Matthew removed most of the references.

                  2. If Mark was posterior to Matthew, then Mark added to the small
                  amount of disciple denigration in Matthew.

                  The result is the same no matter what dependence: Mark would have more
                  denigration of the disciples than Matthew. Therefore, the argument
                  from a "specific redaction intention" concludes nothing about the
                  direction of dependence and is properly deemed reversible.

                  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


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                • Maluflen@aol.com
                  Stephen Carlson wrote: There are no issues of circularity in coming to that conclusion. The conclusion is reached quite firmly by a synchronic reading of
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 2, 2002
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                    Stephen Carlson wrote:

                    <>

                    There are no issues of circularity in coming to that conclusion. The
                    conclusion is reached quite firmly by a synchronic reading of Mark.

                    <<1. If Mark was prior to Matthew, then Mark is an original composition,
                    and we would expect to see the disciples denigrated in Mark.

                    2. If Mark was posterior to Matthew, then we would expect to see Mark
                    redact the text to denigrate the disciples.>>

                    Yes, this makes good sense.

                    <<Thus, the result in Mark (denigrated disciples) is identical no matter
                    what the direction of dependence between Matthew and Mark is.>>

                    Yes, I agree. But its impact is slightly sharpened if Mark is secondary to
                    Matthew and is therefore seen more clearly to view existing treatments of the
                    disciples as excessively benign. This by no means proves Markan posteriority,
                    even in the limited sense of what can be gleaned from Synoptic passages
                    involving PWRWSIS and cognates. It simply makes the scenario of deliberate
                    Markan addition in these passages slightly more plausible than simultaneous
                    omission by both Matthew and Luke, or omission by Matthew alone, because
                    Matthew's attitude toward the disciples is generally more ambiguous than
                    Mark's (as you admit below), and his attitude toward Pharisees is distinctly
                    negative.

                    <<What about Matthew? If we assume that the final text of Matthew was
                    acceptable to Matthew (the rationale of realized intent), then only
                    a small amount of negativity is acceptable. Therefore:

                    1. If Mark was prior to Matthew, then Mark being original denigrated
                    the disciples and Matthew removed most of the references.

                    2. If Mark was posterior to Matthew, then Mark added to the small
                    amount of disciple denigration in Matthew.

                    The result is the same no matter what dependence: Mark would have more
                    denigration of the disciples than Matthew. Therefore, the argument
                    from a "specific redaction intention" concludes nothing about the
                    direction of dependence and is properly deemed reversible.>>

                    OK. I will allow that you win the battle over the use of the term reversible.
                    But I will insist that the reversed argument presupposes a redaction-scenario
                    that is slightly less plausible than that envisioned in my original argument,
                    whose conclusion therefore stands, I think, as stated.

                    Leonard Maluf



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