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

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Aug 5, 2002
      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 Most of his references are out of date.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.

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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 2 of 5 , Aug 6, 2002
        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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