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Re: [Synoptic-L] The Case Against Q

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  • Emmanuel Fritsch
    Hello Brian, Thank you for your review. ... Why a plural on arguments and on assumptions ? What you quote here refers to a single argument : if non-Markan
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 17, 2002
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      Hello Brian,

      Thank you for your review.

      > First, I greatly enjoyed Chapter 3 on "Reasons and Rhetoric" where Mark took
      > scholars to task for attacking arguments in favour of Lucan dependence on
      > Matthew with exaggerated and dismissive language. Here and elsewhere he
      > cites those who speak of the (im)probability of Luke's use of Matthew with
      > words like "demolishing", and "unscrabling eggs" and wondering aloud if
      > Luke himself might be thought of as a "crank." Mark rightly criticises this kind
      > of dismissive language, and correctly points out how this can serve to generate
      > excessive enthusiasm for weak arguments and even weaker assumptions.

      Why a plural on "arguments" and on "assumptions" ? What you quote
      here refers to a single argument : if non-Markan double tradition
      in Luke comes from Matthew, how and why did Luke separate it from
      Markan material, and sewing it over his work ?

      The strenght of this argument explains why scholars, independantly
      one from the others, used "exaggerated and dismissive" language
      when reporting it. But the emphasized rhetoric does not weaken the
      validity of the argument. And consequently, rhetorical considerations
      are not an objection against the old "Crank Luke" argument from Streeter.


      As you pointed out, the right question is : if
      > "Can one seriously envision someone rewriting Matthew and
      > Luke so as to omit the miraculous birth of Jesus, the sermon
      > on the mount, and the resurrection appearances..."
      is a valid argument, then by symetry, the Streeter's one is too.
      (until one may proove the difference between them)

      => Perhabs Mark Goodacre does provide objections against
      the "crank Luke" argument which do not operate against
      Davies-Allison argument ?


      > Can one seriously envision [...] someone rewriting Matthew and
      > Luke so as to omit the miraculous birth of Jesus, [...] quoting from
      > W. D. Davies and Dale Allison Matthew, 1:109)
      >
      > Now, speaking personally, I think that these arguments do help
      > to weigh in favour of Marcan priority [...] But other respected
      > scholars [...] did not (or do not) find such arguments compelling,
      > and each finds arguments in favour of the author of GMark knowing
      > about these stories,

      You do not need to follow these respected scholars in order to
      dismiss the Davies-Allison argument. In fact, there is a more
      basic and logical objection, by analysing the logic of the argument
      itself, and translate it in common life to show how it is weak :

      "Is it possible that Mark rewriting Matthew omit the miraculous birth ?
      No.
      Then Mark did not know Matthew. Then Matthew know Mark."

      Is it possible that Tuckett is younger than I ?
      No
      Then Tuckett is not my son. Then Tuckett is my father.

      a+
      manu

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    • John Lupia
      ... Why is it impossible to considered Mark *being last* rewriting Matthew (or Luke) omitting the miraculous birth? Is it inonceivable that these earlier
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 17, 2002
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        Emmanuel Fritsch wrote:
        > "Is it possible that Mark rewriting Matthew omit the
        > miraculous birth ?
        > No.
        > Then Mark did not know Matthew. Then Matthew know
        > Mark."


        Why is it impossible to considered Mark *being last*
        rewriting Matthew (or Luke) omitting the miraculous
        birth? Is it inonceivable that these earlier published
        accounts of the "miraculous birth" were complete in
        themselves and fulfilled a need in the early Church
        making it pass´┐Ż for a later author to recount them?
        The same can be said regarding the Lord 's Prayer. By
        the time Mk was written it was ingrained in the early
        Church like the "miraculous birth" no longer having a
        need to be expressed. Might not this "need" and
        "function" aspect also be related to the very reason
        or purpose why more than one Gospel was written to
        begin with?

        Best regards,
        John

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      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 9/17/2002 6:44:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... I hope that Mark Goodacre will acknowledge the validity of this criticism. I do think the
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 17, 2002
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          In a message dated 9/17/2002 6:44:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time, bj_traff@... writes:


          But the problem I had was that earlier in the book, in Chapter 2, Mark had quoted from one of his sources as he builds the case for Marcan priority among the Synoptics.

          "Can one seriously envision (my emphasis) someone rewriting Matthew and Luke so as to omit the miraculous birth of Jesus, the sermon on the mount, and the resurrection appearances, while, on the other hand, adding the tale of the naked young man, a healing miracle in which Jesus has trouble healing, and the remark that Jesus' family thought him mad?"
          (M. Goodacre, The Case Against Q, pg. 37, quoting from W. D. Davies and Dale Allison Matthew, 1:109)

          Now, speaking personally, I think that these arguments do help to weigh in favour of Marcan priority (though not as decisively as Davies, Allison and Goodacre seem to believe).  But other respected scholars, notably William Farmer, Thomas Longstaff, Brian Wilson (in his own typically idiosyncratic way), and a good many others did not (or do not) find such arguments compelling, and each finds arguments in favour of the author of GMark knowing about these stories, and yet excluding them even as he finds reasons to believe that the extra material was a unique insertion in Mark's Gospel.  I am not saying that they reasons are sufficient, or good enough for me to accept them.  But they are serious arguments, and it was here that I thought Mark was engaging unwittingly in the very behaviour he had so ably exposed as fallacious when used by defenders of Q.  I found this to be unfortunate, and would have preferred that he had relied, instead, on the strength of his own arguments without resorting to such tactics.



          I hope that Mark Goodacre will acknowledge the validity of this criticism. I do think the case is quite parallel to dismissals of Luke's knowledge of Matthew by proponents of the 2DH. Mark ignores here the very reasonable possibility that Mark did not intend to replace the older Gospels and that his particular authorial contribution was conceived in formal, rather than material terms: namely, his was to be a popular dramatization of an originally, and by then well known, literary tradition accessible only to a relative elite. The other problem I have with this oft repeated argument is this: although it is reasonable enough in itself to use for establishing an initial hypothesis, subject to further testing and verification, it really does not pass that further verification in so many respects. I know that arguments of some merit have been constructed (by authors like Peter Head) that could be taken to further corroborate an initial Marcan priority hypothesis; but the unbiased analysis of individual parallel Synoptic texts really does not. Of course one can in any case simply assume Markan priority as a given, and then go on to describe what the other evangelists have done with his work. But this does nothing to further corroborate the initial hypothesis. If this kind of work is really to have a confirmatory value, such individual texts should be examined without the presupposition of Markan priority to see where the evidence leads. Very few scholars have really done this with any consistency. And the evidence does not, in most cases, lead in the direction of Markan priority, in my judgment. It very often happens that an objective evaluation of the evidence in individual pericopes supports rather the view of a late Mark, dependent on earlier, more literary Gospels. It is at this point that one would need to reevaluate the macro-evidence argument of which Goodacre's version is cited above, and also the presuppositions of this argument -- which turn out to be without unassailable cogency, or even particular merit.

          Leonard Maluf
        • Stephen C. Carlson
          ... I don t see it this way at all. The Davies and Allison quotation is not put forth as an argument or a rhetorical tactic, but merely as a jumping off point
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 17, 2002
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            At 01:41 PM 9/17/02 +0000, Brian Trafford wrote:
            >But the problem I had was that earlier in the book, in Chapter 2, Mark had
            >quoted from one of his sources as he builds the case for Marcan priority
            >among the Synoptics.
            >>"Can one seriously envision (my emphasis) someone rewriting Matthew and Luke
            >>so as to omit the miraculous birth of Jesus, the sermon on the mount, and
            >>the resurrection appearances, while, on the other hand, adding the tale of
            >>the naked young man, a healing miracle in which Jesus has trouble healing,
            >>and the remark that Jesus' family thought him mad?"
            >>(M. Goodacre, The Case Against Q, pg. 37, quoting from W. D. Davies and Dale
            >Allison Matthew, 1:109)
            >Now, speaking personally, I think that these arguments do help to weigh in
            >favour of Marcan priority (though not as decisively as Davies, Allison and
            >Goodacre seem to believe). But other respected scholars, notably William
            >Farmer, Thomas Longstaff, Brian Wilson (in his own typically indiosyncratic
            >way), and a good many others did not (or do not) find such arguments
            >compelling, and each finds arguments in favour of the author of GMark
            >knowing about these stories, and yet excluding them even as he finds reasons
            >to believe that the extra material was a unique insertion in Mark's Gospel.
            >I am not saying that they reasons are sufficient, or good enough for me to
            >accept them. But they are serious arguments, and it was here that I thought
            >Mark was engaging unwittingly in the very behaviour he had so ably exposed
            >as fallacious when used by defenders of Q. I found this to be unfortunate,
            >and would have preferred that he had relied, instead, on the strength of his
            >own arguments without resorting to such tactics.

            I don't see it this way at all. The Davies and Allison quotation
            is not put forth as an argument or a rhetorical tactic, but merely
            as a jumping off point for Goodacre's more dispassionate analysis:
            "Davies and Allison's rhetorical question causes us to reflect on
            the general profile of Mark the redactor as it is defined on the
            Griesbach hypothesis." (p. 37 immediately following the block
            quotation). This is evident in the subsequent discussion, where
            Goodacre builds his case patiently with examples other than the
            ones adduced by Davies and Allison. Furthermore, the dismissiveness
            of "seriously envision" -- if it dismissive, which I don't believe
            it is, especially in the new context Goodacre gave it -- pales in
            contrast to Streeter's regular use of sarcasm.

            I think that it is highly problematic to charge Goodacre with
            "resorting to such tactics" based on a single quotation of other
            scholars' borderline rhetorical question, when Goodacre's own
            discussion, as a whole, has treated every position with respect.

            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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          • Mark Goodacre
            ... weigh ... Allison ... notably ... such ... author of ... insertion ... or ... and ... defenders of ... had ... resorting ... I am sorry if I gave that
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 18, 2002
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              On 17 Sep 2002 at 13:41, Brian Trafford wrote:

              >Now, speaking personally, I think that these arguments do help to
              weigh
              >in favour of Marcan priority (though not as decisively as Davies,
              Allison
              >and Goodacre seem to believe). But other respected scholars,
              notably
              >William Farmer, Thomas Longstaff, Brian Wilson (in his own typically
              >indiosyncratic way), and a good many others did not (or do not) find
              such
              >arguments compelling, and each finds arguments in favour of the
              author of
              >GMark knowing about these stories, and yet excluding them even as he
              >finds reasons to believe that the extra material was a unique
              insertion
              >in Mark's Gospel. I am not saying that they reasons are sufficient,
              or
              >good enough for me to accept them. But they are serious arguments,
              and
              >it was here that I thought Mark was engaging unwittingly in the very
              >behaviour he had so ably exposed as fallacious when used by
              defenders of
              >Q. I found this to be unfortunate, and would have preferred that he
              had
              >relied, instead, on the strength of his own arguments without
              resorting
              >to such tactics.

              I am sorry if I gave that impression. What I suppose I was trying to
              do was to focus attention on the relationship between omissions and
              additions and to do so in a non-rhetorically charged manner. The
              Davies & Allison quotation focuses the issue but does not develop the
              point. I remember being disappointed that William Farmer, in his
              response to Davies & Allison, was dismissive at this point and I was
              therefore keen to try to tease the point out some more (see the
              footnote on that page). I'd agree with Stephen Carlson's reading
              here, for which thanks.

              > Though I reject Q and the Two Source Theory as the best explanation
              > for interrelationship of the Synoptics, I still find the problem of
              > the Birth Narratives and of the M material in the Passion Narrative to
              > be highly problematic to the case for the Q sceptic. What has
              > changed, however, is that I no longer consider this argument to be as
              > decisive as I did previously. Here I will only say that while Mark
              > gives a reasonable case as to why Luke might not have wished to use
              > this material, I did not find these arguments to be strong, and think
              > that this might be an area where further work is needed.

              Thanks for that. As it happens, I am thinking about doing some
              writing on the history of the Passion Narratives, partly because I
              enjoyed doing a critique of Crossan's theory a while ago and that
              made me aware of some interesting avenues that could be explored some
              more.

              > My third criticism (if it can be called
              > that), would be of his use, by way of analogy, of how Jesus has been
              > treated in modern movies (Chapter 6: The Synoptic Jesus and the
              > Celluloid Christ), and how that might help us understand Luke's own
              > decisions in reformatting Matthew's material in his own Gospel.

              F. Gerald Downing wrote a response to the article on which this
              chapter was based and it was published in JSNT last December.
              Bascially he criticises me for using "anachronistic analogies" and
              says that there are valuable ancient analogies to hand, e.g.
              Josephus, which can shed more light. The difficulty with his short
              article is that it completely misses the main point of the article /
              chapter, which is explicitly to use film as a means of assessing the
              Two Source Theorists' value judgement concerning the superiority of
              Matthew's ordering to Luke's. I am a bit puzzled as to why Downing
              misses this since it is central, as I see it, to the piece.

              Thanks again for your encouraging comments
              Mark

              -----------------------------
              Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
              Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
              University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
              Birmingham B15 2TT UK

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            • Mark Goodacre
              ... Please see my earlier response to Brian Trafford, and also note Stephen Carlson s response. I don t think my views are accurately reflected in the
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 18, 2002
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                On 17 Sep 2002 at 20:41, Maluflen@... wrote:

                > I hope that Mark Goodacre will acknowledge the validity of this
                > criticism. I do think the case is quite parallel to dismissals of
                > Luke's knowledge of Matthew by proponents of the 2DH.

                Please see my earlier response to Brian Trafford, and also note
                Stephen Carlson's response. I don't think my views are accurately
                reflected in the quotation from Davies and Allison, which I used to
                begin that section on the relationship between omissions and
                additions, i.e. it is a jumping off point and not the conclusion. It
                was because of my own frustration with such casual dismissals that I
                devoted an entire chapter to Markan Priority in the book.

                > Mark ignores
                > here the very reasonable possibility that Mark did not intend to
                > replace the older Gospels and that his particular authorial
                > contribution was conceived in formal, rather than material terms:
                > namely, his was to be a popular dramatization of an originally, and by
                > then well known, literary tradition accessible only to a relative
                > elite.

                I tried to take seriously William Farmer's characterisation of the
                Griesbach / Two Gospel Mark as an irenic figure and to engage with
                that in the chapter. I have enjoyed reading your characterisation of
                Mark on Synoptic-L but in this chapter I was primarily engaging with
                published work on Mark from the Griesbach / Two Gospel perspective.
                I look forward to seeing your views on Mark in print in due course,
                with apologies if I have missed any up to this point.

                > The other problem I have with this oft repeated argument is
                > this: although it is reasonable enough in itself to use for
                > establishing an initial hypothesis, subject to further testing and
                > verification, it really does not pass that further verification in so
                > many respects. <SNIP> It very often happens that an objective
                > evaluation of the evidence in individual pericopes supports rather the
                > view of a late Mark, dependent on earlier, more literary Gospels. It
                > is at this point that one would need to reevaluate the macro-evidence
                > argument of which Goodacre's version is cited above, and also the
                > presuppositions of this argument -- which turn out to be without
                > unassailable cogency, or even particular merit.

                Let me draw your attention again to the nature of the quotation
                concerned. Brian Trafford was quoting an opening to a section in
                which I quoted Davies and Allison, but it is important to note that
                my views were laid out subsequent to that quotation. I tried as far
                as possible in that section, and in the chapter as a whole, to think
                through the logical consequences of postulating a Griesbach Mark.
                The question I particularly wanted to ask was whether a plausible
                picture of Mark the redactor emerges on the Griesbach / Two Gospel
                theory.

                Mark
                -----------------------------
                Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
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                University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
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