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Re: [Synoptic-L] Matthew's additions to Mark

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  • Ron Price
    ... Mark, Yes, I realize that you haven t got such a simplistic view of Occam s razor. ... On the surface this statement sounds exemplary. Perhaps it is so if
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 20, 2003
      Mark Goodacre wrote:

      >(1) The Farrer Theorist's appeal to Occam's Razor is not an appeal to
      >a philosophical preference for "simple" over "complex".


      Yes, I realize that you haven't got such a simplistic view of Occam's

      > Rather, it
      >is to point out that if one can make good sense of the double
      >tradition without appealing to an additional, hypothetical entity,
      >then one should avoid doing so.

      On the surface this statement sounds exemplary. Perhaps it is so if
      it's interpreted correctly.
      The problem I see is one of boundaries. There is an analogy here with
      the problem of the minor agreements. You have rightly complained about
      2ST advocates placing the minor agreements between Matthew and Luke in a
      separate category from the major agreements, thus obfuscating the
      evidence for Luke's use of Matthew. Likewise your statement above *can*
      lead to obfuscation. For hidden inside it is the assumption that the
      category "double tradition" is unambiguous, can be treated as a unity,
      and is the correct category for considering the underlying Matthew/Luke
      similarities. Should we consider sayings and narrative as separate
      categories (at least until there is evidence to merge them)? Should we
      consider pericopae written in distinctly Matthean style as in a separate
      category from those which look un-Matthean? Should we for an alternative
      viewpoint look back to the time before Luke had been published and
      concentrate on identifying Matthew's sources? (Anyone arguing for a
      written sayings source behind Matthew in this last scenario would arrive
      at something notably different from Q.)

      >(2) I've sometimes wondered myself why it is that Matthew seems able
      >to provide so much interesting extra sayings material and relatively
      >little interesting extra narrative material .....

      Thanks. It's nice to have some support for my observation even if my
      "early" is replaced by your more cautious "interesting"!

      > ..... is there any other evidence in early
      >Christianity for the communication of sayings material that overlaps
      >with what we find in Matthew's additions to Mark (more traditionally
      >Q+M)? Indeed there is -- the Epistle of James and the Gospel of
      >Thomas are both much stronger on M+Q than they are on L material.
      >Perhaps they, like Matthew, were accessing similar traditions. As
      >with Matthew, there is no division between Q+M.

      True. But the "much stronger on M+Q" could also be explained by the
      greater influence of the most popular gospel, i.e. Matthew.

      > Where we have
      >allowed ourselves to be misled has been in using Lucan parallels to
      >Matthew's non-Marcan material as a means of accessing and
      >reconstructing a discreet written source.

      Where we (to copy your polite terminology!) have allowed ourselves to
      be misled has been in assuming an either/or solution to the origin of
      the very diverse double tradition material.

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, 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@...
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