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Re: [Synoptic-L] "Minor agreements" in de Solages

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  • Tim Reynolds
    ... What does he call them? tim Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@bham.ac.uk
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 30, 2002
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      on 7/30/02 7:15 AM, John C. Poirier at poirier@... wrote:

      > In his *Synopse Grecque des Evangiles* (French original and English
      > translation both 1959), Bruno de Solages discusses the category of
      > agreement that we all know as "the minor agreements," yet he never uses
      > the term.
      >
      > Why? Does his failure to mention the term reflect unfamiliarity with
      > it, or a studious avoidance of it?
      >
      > Was it not yet a widely used term when de Solages wrote the bulk of his
      > study (perhaps being used mostly by the Oxford school at that time)?
      > Was it slow in penetrating French scholarship? Or, on the other hand,
      > is the absence of the term simply a reflection of de Solages's obvious
      > intellectual parochialism? Or, perhaps, did de Solages know the term,
      > but avoid it in order to give his work an air of detachment from
      > synoptic studies (i.e., to enhance the "objective" feel of the
      > statistical analysis)?
      >
      > Any ideas?
      >
      >
      > John C. Poirier
      > Middletown, Ohio
      >
      >
      >
      > Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      > List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...

      What does he call them?

      tim


      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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    • Emmanuel Fritsch
      ... I would add another question : what is the position of Solages about the Synoptic problem ? a+ manu Synoptic-L Homepage:
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 31, 2002
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        > John C. Poirier wrote:
        >
        > > In his *Synopse Grecque des Evangiles* (French original and English
        > > translation both 1959), Bruno de Solages discusses the category of
        > > agreement that we all know as "the minor agreements," yet he never uses
        > > the term.
        > >
        > > Why? Does his failure to mention the term reflect unfamiliarity with
        > > it, or a studious avoidance of it?
        > >
        > > [...]
        > >
        > > Any ideas?

        Tim Reynolds asked :
        >
        >
        > What does he call them?

        I would add another question :
        what is the position of Solages about the Synoptic problem ?

        a+
        manu

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Emmanuel Fritsch
        ... I think not, because he claims (in the book refered here after) that he was leaded by a matthew-priority a priori. It looks as if he has been convinced
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 5, 2002
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          in his las mail, John C. Poirier wrote about Solages :

          > Yet the way in which he arrives at the Two-Source theory
          > is so problematic that one suspects that he had that theory
          > as his goal.

          I think not, because he claims (in the book refered here after)
          that he was leaded by a matthew-priority a priori. It looks as
          if he has been convinced just by its computations, but in fact,
          they may have reflected the same basic evidences that induces
          the success of 2SH among 20c. scholarship.


          in his penultimate mail, John C. Poirier wrote :
          >
          > In his *Synopse Grecque des Evangiles* (French original and English
          > translation both 1959), Bruno de Solages discusses the category of
          > agreement that we all know as "the minor agreements," yet he never uses
          > the term.

          I have a question, and some comments, about Solages.

          First, Solages was a scholar, but not a specialist of synoptic
          problem. He was director of the Catholic University of Toulouses,
          and had got Lagrange as professor at the Ecole Biblique.

          But in the book of him I read this week-end, he ackowledges
          that textual critic and redaction process are not his principal
          occupation. Most of his references are out of date.

          Just to show it : this book is called : "Critique des Évangiles
          et méthode historique, l'exégèse des synoptiques selon R. Bultmann",
          and is dedicated to the critics of Bultmann's methods. The book is
          dated to 1972. I think Solages was perhabs not up-to-date.

          Some aspects of this book about Bultmann are interesting for
          the synoptic problem, because Solages adresses many aspects
          of the transmission, looking for analogies in other fields
          than bible study.

          And his critics of Bultmann are some of the most argumented
          I ever seen, even if it looks some time angry and vindicatous.
          The rigidity of "forms" and the arbitrary critical decision of
          Bultmann are well enlighted.


          On the other hand, his arguments on synoptic are absolutely not
          convincing, because he claims for a high formalism in statistic,
          but produces a high quantity of approximations and simplifications
          to reach a sustainable formalism, and more than half of approximations
          and simplifications are obviously false and lead to fakes. For instance,
          Solages considers a multi-stage process as absolutely equivalent
          to an independant derivation from a lost document (ala Brian Wilson).
          And for him, an ur-Markus process is equivalent to 2SH.

          ========================

          Now, my question.

          At the core of synoptic problem, Solages gave a strange observation
          about triple tradition, and I would like to get some precision from
          those one (John?) that read his other books : he give the number of
          triple tradition pericopae that appear in the same order in the three
          synoptic, the numbers of pericopae that appear in the same order in
          each pear of gospels and not in the third, (Mark and Matthew and not
          Luke, Luke and Mark and not Matthew, etc.) and the number of pericopae
          whose order differs in the three synoptics.

          the result is :
          * constant order in synoptic : 43 (68)
          * Mark+Matthew : 14 (22)
          * Mark+Luke : 14 (15)
          * Luke+Matthew : 0 (0)
          * no common order : 2 (2)

          the second number is computed on the whole gospel. The first one, is
          presented as more representative, since computed without beginning
          and end of the gospel (Mk 1:1-20 and 14:1-16:8).

          The strange phenomenon is naturally the 0 connexion between Luke and
          Matthew, that Solages presents as an evidence for a no connexion
          dependency between Mark and Matthew. (There are possible objection
          against such a conclusion, I know, and do not want to discuss it)

          Solages gives no precision about his computation, and I would like
          to know how he defines this order, and computes the pericopae.

          And also : is it a discovery from him, or is it a well known phenomenon ?

          a+
          manu
          ========================

          PS : about the penetration of "Minor agreements" in french scholarship.

          > Was it not yet a widely used term when de Solages wrote the bulk of his
          > study (perhaps being used mostly by the Oxford school at that time)?
          > Was it slow in penetrating French scholarship?

          In fact, I do not know if "Minor agreements" is considered as
          a significant problem in french scholarship. If I well remember,
          I read it only in translations from english books.

          But If I am right, "minor agreements" is highly related to
          the perspective of 2SH, which is not the majority view in
          french scholarship. Multistage theories (Hermant, Rolland,
          Boismard) are far more popular in France among synoptic
          problem specialists, and even exegesis that deals with 2SH
          ackoledges in the same time that it is just a conventional
          use, and not a precise image of reality.

          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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        • John C. Poirier
          Emmanuel, Thanks for the interesting remarks about Solages. They will be helpful. As Solages is apparently the first one to do a full-length statistical
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 6, 2002
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            Emmanuel,

            Thanks for the interesting remarks about Solages. They will be helpful. As
            Solages is apparently the first one to do a full-length statistical study of
            patterns of agreement, it is not expected that his analysis will be as strong
            as later analyses, but I had trouble discerning what parts of Solages's
            shortcomings are owed to his own situation, and what parts are owed to his
            aims.

            Emmanuel Fritsch wrote:

            > At the core of synoptic problem, Solages gave a strange observation
            > about triple tradition, and I would like to get some precision from
            > those one (John?) that read his other books : he give the number of
            > triple tradition pericopae that appear in the same order in the three
            > synoptic, the numbers of pericopae that appear in the same order in
            > each pear of gospels and not in the third, (Mark and Matthew and not
            > Luke, Luke and Mark and not Matthew, etc.) and the number of pericopae
            > whose order differs in the three synoptics.
            >
            > the result is :
            > * constant order in synoptic : 43 (68)
            > * Mark+Matthew : 14 (22)
            > * Mark+Luke : 14 (15)
            > * Luke+Matthew : 0 (0)
            > * no common order : 2 (2)
            >
            > the second number is computed on the whole gospel. The first one, is
            > presented as more representative, since computed without beginning
            > and end of the gospel (Mk 1:1-20 and 14:1-16:8).
            >
            > The strange phenomenon is naturally the 0 connexion between Luke and
            > Matthew, that Solages presents as an evidence for a no connexion
            > dependency between Mark and Matthew. (There are possible objection
            > against such a conclusion, I know, and do not want to discuss it)
            >
            > Solages gives no precision about his computation, and I would like
            > to know how he defines this order, and computes the pericopae.
            >
            > And also : is it a discovery from him, or is it a well known phenomenon ?

            The figures that you cite are found on p. 18 of Bruno de Solages, *La
            Composition des Evangiles* (1973). They appear to be a revision of his
            earlier figures. E.g., in his 1959 work, he writes simply that Luke's,
            Mark's, and Matthew's orders agree "in an overwhelming majority of cases,"
            that, apart from these triple agreements, Mark and Matthew agree 13 times
            within the triple tradition, Mark and Luke agree 17 times, and Luke and
            Matthew never agree.

            Unless I am missing some subtle aspect to Solages's description of this
            phenomenon, this is simply one form of the "argument from order." It proves
            that Mark is the middle term. Solages seems to be aware that "middle term"
            allows more than one stemma, but he narrows the choices down, esp. through an
            argument about doublets.

            Solages's charts showing the order of the synoptic gospels are hard to read.
            Morgenthaler writes, "Auch die Tafeln S 1089 bis 1105 sind optisch blind und
            daru Barrs Darstellung weit unterlegen" (*Statistische Synopse*, p. 25).


            John C. Poirier
            Middletown, Ohio




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