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Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Lk21:20-28, on Jerusalem

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  • Karel Hanhart
    The thesis Mark radically revised a pre-70 gospel is relevant to the exchange between Ron and Manu cited below re Lk 21,20-28. I based the thesis on a lengthy
    Message 1 of 18 , Aug 13, 2002
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      The thesis Mark radically revised a pre-70 gospel is relevant to the exchange
      between Ron and Manu cited below re Lk 21,20-28. I based the thesis on a lengthy
      exegesis of Mark's ending, read as a midrash on LXX Isa 22,15; 33,16 and Gn 29,2.3.
      In a following post I hope to make clear why the thesis throws new light on the
      vexing synoptic problem. Here I wish to clarify my motivation.
      Without Jesus' resurrection christianity would loose its foundation. Mark
      certainly was convinced Jesus was raised from the dead. The exegete ought to
      approach his open tomb story, therefore, with prudence and circumspection. Fools
      rush in where angels fear to tread.
      The exegete should also and at all times take account of historical and literary
      facts. One of those is the impact of the temple's total destruction. Psalm 74
      offers an impression of the religious feelings of indignation the violation of the
      temple aroused. "Your foes have roared within your holy place...set up their
      emblems there...hacked the wooden trellis with axes and hammers..all the carved
      work...set your sanctuary on fire, desecrated the dwelling place of your name,
      bringing it to the ground" (4ff.). While the psalm probably describes the
      devastation wrought by the Babylonians, the destruction in 70 CE was even more
      severe and initiated a far longer exile.
      The second literary fact is that Mark - as some rightly stress - quoted :LXX
      Isa 22,16, a text in which "a tomb hewn from the rock" is a metaphor for the temple
      about to be destroyed.
      Also a third fact hasn't been faced adequately in the commentaries, namely,
      that the Pharisees had fixed the first day of the harvest on Nisan 16. This is
      still the official date in the synagogue for the beginning of the 50 pentecostal
      days. However, in the open-tomb-ending this is the very day Jesus was buried. On
      the other hand, all four gospel writers testify that the stone was rolled away on
      the first of the fifty days according to the christian Judean calendar in apparent
      accordance with Lv 23,15. Other traditions also took the Sunday after Pesach to be
      right date (e.g. the Samaritans). Mark considered "the Pharisees" to be hostile to
      the Jesus' movement (3,6). Mark wouldn't have been ignorant of the implications,
      for Jesus' resurrection was often compared with the sacrifice of the "first fruits"
      on that first day (1 Cor 15,20). How to account for these facts?
      According to the earliest creed Jesus rose from the dead "on the third day
      according to the Scriptures". Thus far most commentators suppose that the
      "Scriptures" were mentioned to support the testimony of the resurrection (Hosea
      6,2) especially by those who take the empty tomb story literally However,
      "according to the Scriptures" most likely refers primarily to Lv 23,15; it deals
      with the day of the first fruits, i.e. the Sunday after Pesach according to the old
      priestly calendar..
      It will lead too far afield to even briefly describe the elements of Mark's
      post-70 redaction of an earlier manuscript. The purpose of this introduction is too
      introduce the post on the benefits this theory of a revision by Mark has on
      synoptic studies as a whole. I hope to list them in a next post..

      cordially

      Karel Hanhart.

      Manu asked:

      > You have not answered the question : if this phenomenon is not
      > a track of an earlier redaction for Lk 21:20-28 (proto-gospel
      > or rough draft), then where does it come from ? <snip>

      > Ron stated:

      > > >Just imagine that my 'First Edition of Luke' would be

      > > >the same of yours, with just a little modification on
      > > >Lk21:20-28, where my will follow the Luke minus Mark
      > > >pattern. Then my 'First Edition of Luke' would passe (1) and (2)
      > > >as easy as yours, and would passe (3) better, since some
      > > >difficulties on Lk 21:20-28 have been canceled.

      <large snip>

      Manu stated:

      > In fact, what we find on Lk21:20-28 is like a scrap of papyrus :
      > it looks as a fragment.

      He continued at a later point:

      > Your argument is easily controvertible : many many christians may have
      > wanted to write the story of Jesus, but only few may have wanted to write
      > it twice. If we find four early christians that had motivation to write gospels,
      > why
      > not a fifth, a sixth, a seventh, and many others ? And on the other hand,
      > where are your model which show us that a double edition was a common
      > praxis in early christianity ?

      (to be continued, KH).


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    • archeboc
      Ron, ... RP: ... EF: And then I wanted to use the rough draft as a kind of document, and you answered that since you said Luke MIGHT have written out a rough
      Message 2 of 18 , Aug 13, 2002
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        Ron,

        Emmanuel Fritsch wrote:
        >You have not answered the question : if this phenomenon is not
        >a track of an earlier redaction for Lk 21:20-28 (proto-gospel
        >or rough draft), then where does it come from ?

        RP:
        I answered this question several days ago as follows:

        >> ..... Luke might have
        >> written out a rough draft of what you call 'Luke minus Mark' for
        >> Lk 21:20-28 before combining his input with Mark.

        EF:
        And then I wanted to use the rough draft as a kind of document,
        and you answered that since you said "Luke MIGHT have written
        out a rough draft" so that there is no necessity for it.

        this is a soap-argumentation. I can not take it firmly
        in hand. OK : rough draft or proto-gospel, do you agree
        that something has been written, once, looking as 'Luke
        minus Mark on Lk 20-28' ?


        EF:
        >> You are nowhere near knowing what your supposed document contained.
        >> ..... There is a world of difference between your vague
        >> suggestion and my precise hypothesis.
        >>
        >My suggestion is really precise : I take your work, and I replace ...

        RP:
        […] But here you propose mixing your hypothesis with mine,
        and I've told you already that it wouldn't work. Just because
        two hypotheses are each plausible by themselves doesn't mean
        that you can necessarily put them together and get a plausible
        hypothesis from the combination.

        EF:
        "it does not mean that you can necessarily put them
        together". But in that case, I provided several
        arguments to show that we can locally improve your
        hypothesis with this mix. You did not answer with
        precise objections, but with general considerations
        that do not apply.


        EF:
        >Hey, do you forget your method ? If the difference of author is
        >"almost always true", then "earlier edition" by the same author is
        >very very rare. In that case, according your own method, you should
        >add a new criteria that exclude any "earlier edition".


        RP:
        Not at all. As I see it (and this is partly a question of
        terminology) there are four possibilities for a 'base
        document': a separate source by the same or a different
        author, and an earlier edition by the same or a different
        author. For simplicity I was considering only what I think
        are the most common cases, i.e. a separate source by a
        different author and an earlier edition by the same author.

        EF:
        What is the difference between source and early edition ?
        You choose the terminology for your convenience, but this
        is disconnected from facts.

        A document is a "hypothetical source" when you want to
        rebuke it. It becomes an "earlier ediion" (observe that
        any "hypothetical"


        EF :
        >In fact, what we find on Lk21:20-28 is like a scrap of papyrus :
        >it looks as a fragment. We do not know exactly of what, but it
        >looks as a gospel (the closest texts to that fragment are whole
        >gospels). And as for a scrap, the text is corrupted, so that we may
        >not warrant that the reading we find is exactly the original
        document:
        >the 'Luke minus Mark' operation gives just a track, an image, of a
        >previous document.

        RP:
        You seem to be missing my point. Your 'Luke minus Mark' for
        Lk 21:20-28 is nothing like a scrap of papyrus. You can
        examine a scrap of papyrus and *know* its wording must have
        been part of a larger document. Your scrap could be, and in
        my opinion probably is, a hypothetical construct which did
        not exist until Luke thought of it.

        EF:
        But (in your hypothesis) Luke thought of it, and write it.
        And this is a document.


        EF:
        >The Sitz im Leben of all hypothetical document would be the same as
        the
        >Sitz im Leben of Matthew, Luke, Mark, and John : Early christianity.
        >Where is the problem with that Sitz im Leben ?

        RP:
        It's not sufficiently precise.

        EF:
        Where is the rule that require a precise Sitz im Leben to be known to
        allow a document to have existed ? I suppose that Gospel Thomas does
        not exist, since its Sitz im Leben is not known with precision.

        Great, Gospel Thomas is a kind of rough draft.



        RP: [about Sitz im Leben]
        Anyway there is a crucial difference which is often forgotten.
        The period prior to the gospels, when Q was supposedly being written,
        is covered by Acts. There is no such early historical record for the
        period when the canonical gospels were being written, i.e. between
        around 70 CE and 110 CE. Therefore we should reasonably expect to be
        able to provide more precise Sitz information for any supposed early
        Christian gospel source than for the gospel itself.

        EF:
        I beg you pardon. I still not undersand how the end of Acts
        around 60 make the Sitz im Leben of 70-100 less problematic
        than for the previous.



        EF:
        >If we have no problem to find a Sitz im Leben for canonical gospels,
        >why would we have any problem with the Sitz im Leben of any
        >"hypothetical source" ?

        RP:
        You shouldn't have. But you do have. For I suggest you are quite
        unable to give a detailed description of the the Sitz im Leben
        for 'Luke
        minus Mark' for Lk 21:20-28.

        EF:
        Absolutely not. The same as Luke.

        a+
        manu







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      • Ron Price
        ... Emmanuel, (by the way, I address you thus because I don t understand your signature: a+ manu . If a+ is short for adieu, then it might be better to spell
        Message 3 of 18 , Aug 15, 2002
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          I wrote:

          >>> ..... Luke might have
          >>> written out a rough draft of what you call 'Luke minus Mark' for
          >>> Lk 21:20-28 before combining his input with Mark.

          Emmanuel Fritsch replied:

          >And then I wanted to use the rough draft as a kind of document,
          >and you answered that since you said "Luke MIGHT have written
          >out a rough draft" so that there is no necessity for it.
          >
          >this is a soap-argumentation. I can not take it firmly
          >in hand. OK : rough draft or proto-gospel, do you agree
          >that something has been written, once, looking as 'Luke
          >minus Mark on Lk 20-28' ?

          Emmanuel,

          (by the way, I address you thus because I don't understand your
          signature: "a+ manu". If a+ is short for adieu, then it might be better
          to spell it out as "adieu" in an English language discussion group)

          This looks like another language problem.
          When I write: "Luke might have written a rough draft" I am contending
          that this action is plausible. This is not the same as saying that it is
          *probable*.
          In any case I can't see the relevance of your division of the
          possibilities. You seem to think the crucial question is whether
          something was written or not. To me the crucial question is whether (a)
          the text is derived from some foreign (non-Lukan) source or (b) it
          formed part of an edition of the gospel produced by Luke before he
          produced the extant edition or (c) he made it up (with or without the
          use of a rough draft). If you wish to argue for (a) or (b), then you
          should either find other texts which belong to the supposed
          source/earlier edition, or demonstrate that the text is viable by
          itself. If there are no other texts and, like a typical papyrus
          fragment, it is not viable by itself, then in my opinion you have not
          found enough evidence, and you should accept that option (c) is more
          probable.

          > ..... I provided several
          >arguments to show that we can locally improve your
          >hypothesis with this mix. You did not answer with
          >precise objections .....

          Sorry, but I can't give precise objections here as to why 'Luke minus
          Mark' for Lk 21:20-28 is inconsistent with my 'First Edition of Luke'.
          The detailed case for the latter is complex and I'm currently trying to
          get it published.

          >What is the difference between source and early edition ?

          A source is generally produced by a different author in a different
          Sitz im Leben for a different purpose and a different audience.

          >You choose the terminology for your convenience,
          > but this is disconnected from facts.

          Many English books have been published in more than one edition. This
          is a fact.
          Many of these also quote from sources which they acknowledge. This is
          a fact.
          How then can you say that my distinction is not based on facts? Is it
          not the same with French books? If you distinguish between an earlier
          edition and a source in a modern French book, why not attempt to do the
          same in ancient Greek books?

          >Where is the rule that require a precise Sitz im Leben to be known to
          >allow a document to have existed ?

          Perhaps we differ in regard to what we call the 'onus of proof'. I
          contend that the onus here should be on the person asserting the
          existence of a hypothetical document/earlier edition to provide
          sufficient evidence of its existence.
          You simply have not provided sufficient evidence for 'Luke minus Mark'
          for Lk 21:20-28. I might live without a precise Sitz im Leben if you had
          other compelling evidence, but so far you haven't (as far as I can
          remember) mentioned a single piece of evidence from outside Lk 21:20-28
          to corroborate your argument.

          >Anyway there is a crucial difference which is often forgotten.
          >The period prior to the gospels, when Q was supposedly being written,
          >is covered by Acts. There is no such early historical record for the
          >period when the canonical gospels were being written, i.e. between
          >around 70 CE and 110 CE. Therefore we should reasonably expect to be
          >able to provide more precise Sitz information for any supposed early
          >Christian gospel source than for the gospel itself.

          >I beg you pardon. I still not undersand how the end of Acts
          >around 60 make the Sitz im Leben of 70-100 less problematic
          >than for the previous.

          For Christian documents dated ca. 70-110 CE it is more difficult to
          establish a Sitz im Leben because no contemporary Christian wrote a
          history of the period.

          > [the Sitz im Leben for 'Luke minus Mark' for Lk 21:20-28 is]
          > the same as [for] Luke.

          So presumably it was written at about the same time as Luke.
          If so, have you observed anything which would allow you to distinguish
          between a rough draft and a formal document in this case? If not, and if
          your argument about 'Luke
          minus Mark' for Lk 21:20-28 proved to be correct, what would be its
          significance for the history of the synoptics outside Lk 21:20-28 or for
          the history of Christianity?

          Ron Price

          Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

          e-mail: ron.price@...

          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
          List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
        • Emmanuel Fritsch
          Since Ron want to reserve his arguments for publication, this discussion is soon arrived to its end. ... If you do not think that Luke might have written a
          Message 4 of 18 , Aug 23, 2002
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            Since Ron want to reserve his arguments for publication,
            this discussion is soon arrived to its end.


            I said, and Ron answered :
            > [...] OK : rough draft or proto-gospel, do you agree
            > >that something has been written, once, looking as 'Luke
            > >minus Mark on Lk 20-28' ?
            > [...]
            > When I write: "Luke might have written a rough draft"
            > I am contending that this action is plausible. This is not the
            > same as saying that it is *probable*.

            If you do not think that "Luke might have written a
            rough draft" is highly probable, then you should be
            able to propose at least an alternative. This is the
            goal of my insistance from the beginning.

            Rough draft or anything else, do you agree that
            something has been written, once, looking as 'Luke
            minus Mark on Lk 20-28' ?
            If not, you are waited to provide an alternative explanation.


            > In any case I can't see the relevance of your division of the
            > possibilities. You seem to think the crucial question is whether
            > something was written or not.

            YES.
            This is the first step.
            If the existence of this "something" is accepted, we
            may then decide what this "something" was in fact.
            Is its existence accepted ?


            > To me the crucial question is whether
            > (a) the text is derived from some foreign (non-Lukan) source or
            > (b) it formed part of an edition of the gospel produced by Luke
            > before he produced the extant edition or
            > (c) he made it up (with or without the use of a rough draft).
            > If you wish to argue for (a) or (b), then you should either
            > find other texts which belong to the supposed source/earlier
            > edition, or demonstrate that the text is viable by itself.

            Absolutely not. If I want to argue for (a) or (b), I may say
            that (c) is really improbable. And I would prefer this way,
            rather than yours, since it is easier to argue: did you ever
            heard about the rough draft of any old greek document ?
            whithout further argument, the onus of proof is on the defender
            of this rough draft.
            There is nothing in (a) and (b) as problematic as this stange feature.

            I would like to know how many members of this list would
            agree with your rough draft...


            > > ..... I provided several
            > >arguments to show that we can locally improve your
            > >hypothesis with this mix. You did not answer with
            > >precise objections .....
            >
            > Sorry, but I can't give precise objections here as to why 'Luke minus
            > Mark' for Lk 21:20-28 is inconsistent with my 'First Edition of Luke'.
            > The detailed case for the latter is complex and I'm currently trying to
            > get it published.

            OK. then, for a sake of economy, and until you publish your
            arguments, we will consider that any hypothetical early edition
            of Luke is expected to presented a text close to 'Luke minus Mark'
            for Lk 21:20-28.

            We are waiting for your challenging views.


            > >What is the difference between source and early edition ?
            >
            > A source is generally produced by a different author in a different
            > Sitz im Leben for a different purpose and a different audience.

            And not an early edition ?
            Hey, since you prefer example found in modern times, I give you the
            example of a french book, translated in english:

            "An Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism" by Leon
            Vaganay & Christian-Bernard Amphoux. Cambridge University
            Press, 1992.

            The early french edition of this 'Initiation a la critique du Nouveau
            Testament' has been published in 1933. The present one is dated 1988.
            The first one is due to Vaganay, the second one to Amphoux. For the
            differences of purposes and audience, just have a look on respective
            Amphoux's and Vaganay's introductions. (if both have been translated).

            My example is a bad one ? For those who think that modern edition is
            not relevant when we are speaking about antiquity, OK, I will quote
            the only example of double edition I ever heard in antiquity: Plinius
            letters.
            The tenth book was not included in the first edition. It contains pieces
            from another hand (Trajan). It has not been published by Plinius, and not
            for a litterary purpose (as the first edition), but added to the first
            one with political views (according to my french edition).

            > A source is generally produced by a different author in a different
            > Sitz im Leben for a different purpose and a different audience.

            You said : "A source is generally...". This "generally" shows that
            your distinction is highly fuzzy. This would not be too hard if it had
            been just a semantic precision, but since the discrimination between
            sources and editions commanded the criteria you use, you charge it
            with a weight it can not carry on.

            More over, your definition does not explain how you recognize a
            source from an early edition, in an old-greek text. And if you can
            not recognize with security a hypothetical source from an hypothetical
            early edition, you may not be allowed to use different criteria for
            hypothetical sources and hypothetical early editions, since a hypothetical
            early edition may perhabs be a source, and a hypothetical source may
            perhabs hide an early edition...


            > >You choose the terminology for your convenience,
            > > but this is disconnected from facts.
            >
            > Many English books have been published in more than one edition.
            > This is a fact.
            > Many of these also quote from sources which they acknowledge.
            > This is a fact.
            > How then can you say that my distinction is not based on facts?

            I do not say that your distinction is not based on
            facts, I said "it is disconnected". And I may say
            now that the gap of disconnexion is more than ten
            centuries large.

            I apologize, but I would prefer example found in antiquity.


            > Is it
            > not the same with French books? If you distinguish between an earlier
            > edition and a source in a modern French book, why not attempt to do the
            > same in ancient Greek books?

            Sure you may attempt. But there is no warrant that you will succeed.

            And in fact, since there is no prima facie evidence to decide if a
            given text is an earlier edition or another kind of source, it looks
            difficult to ground your criteria on this distinction.

            - the way-to-do to distinguish between sources and editions has not been defined
            - but you are yet building some criteria on this distinguishing operation.

            Is it not building on sand ?


            > >Where is the rule that require a precise Sitz im Leben to be known to
            > >allow a document to have existed ?
            >
            > Perhaps we differ in regard to what we call the 'onus of proof'. I
            > contend that the onus here should be on the person asserting the
            > existence of a hypothetical document/earlier edition to provide
            > sufficient evidence of its existence.

            Sure. And when at least one single evidence has been provided,
            the onus of proof is on the person asserting the inexistence, to provide
            a better account of facts that base the alledged evidences.

            For my part, I do not yet assert the existence of a hypothetical document
            nor an earlier edition. I just ask for explanation of 'Luke minus Mark'
            phenomenon. If nobody provides any good explanation for the phenomenon,
            I will get bad ideas about synoptic problem...


            > >I beg you pardon. I still not undersand how the end of Acts
            > >around 60 make the Sitz im Leben of 70-100 less problematic
            > >than for the previous.
            >
            > For Christian documents dated ca. 70-110 CE it is more difficult to
            > establish a Sitz im Leben because no contemporary Christian wrote a
            > history of the period.

            And so ? We have some precision about 30-60. Less precision about
            70-110. How do you deduce that the lack of knowledge about a deduced
            source dated perhabs from 30-60, perhabs 60-80, is an evidence that this
            source is a fake ?

            The link between both questions (date and Sitz im Leben, vs probability
            of existence) is far away from my understanding.


            > > [the Sitz im Leben for 'Luke minus Mark' for Lk 21:20-28 is]
            > > the same as [for] Luke.
            >
            > So presumably it was written at about the same time as Luke.

            May be. Or may be not.
            Since the date of gospel according Luke and its Sitz im Leben are not precise,
            and subject to many discussion, all considerations of source date, and source
            Sitz im Leben are useless and lost time.


            > If so, have you observed anything which would allow you to distinguish
            > between a rough draft and a formal document in this case? If not, and if
            > your argument about 'Luke
            > minus Mark' for Lk 21:20-28 proved to be correct, what would be its
            > significance for the history of the synoptics outside Lk 21:20-28 or for
            > the history of Christianity?

            ** For history of christianity :
            A synoptic theory should not be first evaluated by its productivity
            in our knowledge of early christianity, but in our understanding of
            redaction process.

            A theory should fit first the synoptic phenomenon. When the good
            theory is found, historians will examine what we will learn about
            early christianity. A synoptic theory should never be evaluated
            through the nice new information it provides about early christianity,
            unless this nice information would appear in fact as imagination, and
            the theory built on sands.

            And if the best synoptic theory does not provide any information
            about early christianity, we should accept it, and are not allowed
            to consider this lack of knowledge as a bad point for the theory.


            ** For history of synoptics :
            Any theory that does not account the 'Luke minus Mark' phenomenon
            should be considered as doubtful: we should allways prefer reallity
            against imagination.

            a+
            manu

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          • Ron Price
            This discussion is not getting anywhere, but rather is tending to go round in circles. I will try to summarize the root of our differences. ... Emmanuel et
            Message 5 of 18 , Aug 25, 2002
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              This discussion is not getting anywhere, but rather is tending to go
              round in circles. I will try to summarize the root of our differences.

              Emmanuel Fritsch wrote:

              >For my part, I do not yet assert the existence of a hypothetical document
              >nor an earlier edition. I just ask for explanation of 'Luke minus Mark'
              >phenomenon.

              Emmanuel et al.,

              I have already given my explanation for 'Luke minus Mark' for Lk
              21:20-28 as follows:

              >> [Luke] thought it up himself (in order to make the [Markan] text [into] a
              >> better match with the events which occurred at the Fall of Jerusalem).

              The fact that the text almost looks as if it could once have been
              (part of?) a separate document is quite insignificant because Luke could
              simply have been merging the Markan text with his own mental picture of
              the Fall of Jerusalem. He could have transformed his image of past
              events into a prophecy of the future during the merging process.

              So the main difference between us is that whereas I think that this
              explanation is satisfactory and sufficient, Emmanuel disagrees, yet
              apparently provides no alternative proposal (see above: "I do not yet
              assert ..."). We have explored various aspects of this problem and not
              made any real progress. Our judgement on this issue differs, and the
              best we can do is to agree to disagree.

              Ron Price

              Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

              e-mail: ron.price@...

              Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm

              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
              List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
            • Emmanuel Fritsch
              ... I gave some objections about that implausible scenario and your other arguments (for instance your criteria). You answered with general considerations, but
              Message 6 of 18 , Aug 27, 2002
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                Ron Price wrote:
                >
                > This discussion is not getting anywhere, but rather is tending to go
                > round in circles. I will try to summarize the root of our differences.

                and later :

                > The fact that the text almost looks as if it could once have been
                > (part of?) a separate document is quite insignificant because Luke could
                > simply have been merging the Markan text with his own mental picture of
                > the Fall of Jerusalem. He could have transformed his image of past
                > events into a prophecy of the future during the merging process.

                I gave some objections about that implausible scenario and your
                other arguments (for instance your criteria). You answered with
                general considerations, but not about the detail of arguments.
                The most concret argument you used is more than ten centuries
                far away from gospel redaction process.
                Here is, according me, the root of our differences.

                We are waiting for your publication.

                a+
                manu

                Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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