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Re: [Synoptic-L] Special Mark?

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  • David Barrett Peabody
    Actually, Peter, members of the International Institute for the Renewal of Gospel Studies, including Bill Farmer, utilized a careful analysis of the so-called
    Message 1 of 29 , Oct 7, 2003
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      Actually, Peter, members of the International Institute for the Renewal of Gospel Studies, including Bill Farmer, utilized a careful analysis of the so-called "Special Mark"
      material in arguing our case for the Two-Gospel (neo-Griesbach) hypothesis. Our most focused discussion of this kind of evidence falls under that category of what we came
      to call "The Markan Overlay" in our most recent collaborative work, *One Gospel from Two. Mark's Use of Matthew and Luke.*

      Within the extended introduction to that book we sketch our analysis of "the Markan Overlay" on pp. 35-45 (supplemented by evidence laid out in Appendix 3: More Structural
      and Linguistic Elements of the Markan Overlay, pp. 383-88) and throughout the main body of the book we call attention to the fact that much of the "Special Mark" material
      contains quite a number of repeated themes and similar (sometimes identical) phrases that either quite rarely appear in the parallels ("distinctive" Markan usage) or
      sometimes even find no place at all in the Matthean and Lukan parallels ("unique" Markan usage). For us, the fact that the most characteristics elements of Markan literary
      style tend to concentrate in the Markan special material, as Leonard would seem to be affirming in his comment below, does, in our view, "demonstrate...the secondary
      character of Mark."

      When this evidence is combined with the six other categories of evidence we have outlined in this book in support of the Two Gospel Hypothesis, we conclude that the 2GH or
      neo-Griesbach hypothesis is, at very least, one of the most viable solutions to the Synoptic Problem, if not the most adequate one.

      Best,

      David B. Peabody


      Quoting "Peter M. Head" <pmh15@...>:

      >
      > At 08:23 PM 10/7/03 -0400, Maluflen@... wrote:
      >
      > I
      > wonder if scholars who hold Markan priority are hesitant to look at
      > the
      > special Markan material as a whole (and therefore hesitant to name it
      > as
      > a whole), because so much of it demonstrates what they would rather
      > not
      > see, namely, the secondary character of Mark?
      >
      >
      >
      > Those who don't hold Markan Priority haven't made much of them
      > either
      > (except perhaps Strauss for whom they were quite important
      > indicators).
      > Farmer is a little ambivalent but doesn't treat 'Special Mark' as a
      > definite category. Did he not attribute lots of this material to
      > Markan
      > sources (additional to Matthew and Luke) [Synoptic Problem, 242; cf.
      > also
      > Mann, Mark, 336]?
      >
      >
      > What would be your argument
      > Leonard?
      >
      >
      > Peter
      >
      >
      > Leonard Maluf
      >
      > Blessed John XXIII Seminary
      >
      > Weston, MA
      >
      > Peter M. Head, PhD
      >
      > Research Fellow
      >
      > Tyndale House
      >
      > 36 Selwyn
      > Gardens                                       Phone:
      > (UK) 01223 566607
      >
      > Cambridge, CB3
      > 9BA                                      Fax:
      > (UK) 01223 566608
      >
      > http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm
      >
      > Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      > List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      >


      --
      David Barrett Peabody
      Professor of Religion
      Nebraska Wesleyan University
      5000 St. Paul Ave.
      Lincoln, NE 68504
      (402) 465-2302
      www.nebrwesleyan.edu/people/dbp


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    • Mark Goodacre
      Let me provide a bit more context for my question. I have been thinking about J. P. Meier s comments on the relationship between the Gospel of Thomas and the
      Message 2 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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        Let me provide a bit more context for my question. I have been
        thinking about J. P. Meier's comments on the relationship between the
        Gospel of Thomas and the Synoptics (_Marginal Jew_, Chapter 5). He
        points out that Thomas has parallels with every major strand of
        Synoptic material, triple trad., Q, M, L, MattR, LukeR etc., which
        for him makes it unlikely that Thomas predates or is independent of
        our Gospels. I was thinking that the case is potentially stronger
        than Meier makes it since Thomas also has some Special Mark (Seed
        Growing Secretly, Mark 4.26-29 // Thomas 21c). One might also add
        that it has material parallel to pericopae that blur the neat
        categories, e.g. Mark-Q overlaps. I find the argument from the
        extent of Thomas's parallels with the differing strands of material
        in the Synoptics powerful. How could autonomous Thomas have been
        familiar with every major strand of Synoptic tradition? Is it not
        much more likely that Thomas simply knows this material from
        familiarity with the Synoptics? Does anyone happen to know of a good
        response to Meier on this point? Could a good defence be mounted?

        Thanks
        Mark
        --------------------------------------
        Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
        Graduate Institute for Theology and Religion
        Dept of Theology
        University of Birmingham
        Elmfield House, Selly Oak tel.: +44 121 414 7512
        Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax.: +44 121 415 8376

        http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
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      • Peter M. Head
        ... I m generally pretty sympathetic with Meier and others on this one. But the LukeR and MattR parallels are the crucial ones if they can be made to stick
        Message 3 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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          At 10:39 AM 10/8/03 +0100, Mark Goodacre wrote:
          >Let me provide a bit more context for my question. I have been
          >thinking about J. P. Meier's comments on the relationship between the
          >Gospel of Thomas and the Synoptics (_Marginal Jew_, Chapter 5). He
          >points out that Thomas has parallels with every major strand of
          >Synoptic material, triple trad., Q, M, L, MattR, LukeR etc., which
          >for him makes it unlikely that Thomas predates or is independent of
          >our Gospels. I was thinking that the case is potentially stronger
          >than Meier makes it since Thomas also has some Special Mark (Seed
          >Growing Secretly, Mark 4.26-29 // Thomas 21c). One might also add
          >that it has material parallel to pericopae that blur the neat
          >categories, e.g. Mark-Q overlaps. I find the argument from the
          >extent of Thomas's parallels with the differing strands of material
          >in the Synoptics powerful. How could autonomous Thomas have been
          >familiar with every major strand of Synoptic tradition? Is it not
          >much more likely that Thomas simply knows this material from
          >familiarity with the Synoptics? Does anyone happen to know of a good
          >response to Meier on this point? Could a good defence be mounted?

          I'm generally pretty sympathetic with Meier and others on this one. But the
          LukeR and MattR parallels are the crucial ones if they can be made to stick
          (which they often can't!). I can recall/imagine two possible responses
          (other than disputing the existence of significant parallels):
          a) yes the Coptic translation does show the broader influence of terms from
          gospel texts, but when we say that GThomas is from 60CE we don't mean the
          Coptic text we do have but something a bit less definite that we don't,
          UrThomas (which we can reconstruct by deleting some of these pesky parallels).
          Or (b): Yes we accept the existence of the parallels (except for MattR and
          LukeR because they would be knock out blows), but this simply demonstrates
          that the Thomas stream of tradition reaches way back to the earliest Jesus
          tradition in the same way that all the other 'strands' do; but when you
          compare the GT version with the SG version the GT very often demonstrates
          that it is a more primitive version of the parallel tradition. Indeed to
          argue any other way is to imagine that GT has first unpicked every strand
          of synoptic tradition that modern scholarship can supply and then ensured
          she included something from everything - what are the odds of that?!

          Pete




          >Thanks
          >Mark
          >--------------------------------------
          >Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
          > Graduate Institute for Theology and Religion
          > Dept of Theology
          > University of Birmingham
          > Elmfield House, Selly Oak tel.: +44 121 414 7512
          > Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax.: +44 121 415 8376
          >
          >http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
          >http://NTGateway.com
          >
          >
          >Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
          >List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...

          Peter M. Head, PhD
          Research Fellow
          Tyndale House
          36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
          566607
          Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
          http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm


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        • Peter M. Head
          At 08:23 PM 10/7/03 -0400, Maluflen@aol.com wrote: I wonder if scholars who hold Markan priority are hesitant to look at the special Markan material as a whole
          Message 4 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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            At 08:23 PM 10/7/03 -0400, Maluflen@... wrote:
            I wonder if scholars who hold Markan priority are hesitant to look at the special Markan material as a whole (and therefore hesitant to name it as a whole), because so much of it demonstrates what they would rather not see, namely, the secondary character of Mark?

            Those who don't hold Markan Priority haven't made much of them either (except perhaps Strauss for whom they were quite important indicators). Farmer is a little ambivalent but doesn't treat 'Special Mark' as a definite category. Did he not attribute lots of this material to Markan sources (additional to Matthew and Luke) [Synoptic Problem, 242; cf. also Mann, Mark, 336]?

            What would be your argument Leonard?

            Peter

            Leonard Maluf
            Blessed John XXIII Seminary
            Weston, MA

            Peter M. Head, PhD
            Research Fellow
            Tyndale House
            36 Selwyn Gardens                                             Phone: (UK) 01223 566607
            Cambridge, CB3 9BA                                            Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
            http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/Staff.htm

            Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
          • Daniel Grolin
            Dear Ron, * On the contrary, Schnelle does not support the classic Two Source Theory. He has a modified version which includes a Deuteromark amongst other
            Message 5 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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              Dear Ron,

              * On the contrary, Schnelle does not support the
              classic Two Source
              Theory.
              He has a modified version which includes a
              "Deuteromark" amongst other
              things, as the diagram on p.175 makes clear. This is
              why he includes
              the word "classic" in the quote above.
              Thus there is no 'tongue in cheek'. There is not the
              slightest hint
              of a wink when on p.169 Schnelle refers to the Markan
              special material as
              "Sondergut".*

              I did write Markan priority, not Two Source Theory,
              but you are right he does have a Deutero-Mark.
              However, far from all Markan Sondergut is attributed
              to Deutero-Mark. He dismisses (or at least allows for)
              most omissions as redactional selection of Matthew and
              Luke.

              Regards,

              Daniel


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            • Maluflen@aol.com
              In a message dated 10/8/2003 2:23:59 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... I suspect that a distinction is in order here. Mark, I assume you are thinking primarily of
              Message 6 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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                In a message dated 10/8/2003 2:23:59 AM Pacific Daylight Time, M.S.Goodacre@... writes:


                Speaking for myself, the special Mark material is one of the reasons
                I am persuaded of Markan Priority.  As I attempted to argue in The
                Case Against Q, chapter 2, the combination of Mark's alleged
                omissions and additions on the Griesbach Hypothesis renders it less
                plausible than the alternative.



                I suspect that a distinction is in order here. Mark, I assume you are thinking primarily of complete Markan stories or pericopes that are unique to Mark; I was thinking mostly of phrases, sentences or terms unique to Mark that are found embedded in double or triple tradition material. While I would argue that David Peabody's comments are applicable even to the full stories that are proper to Mark, I think the secondary character of Markan stuff within double or triple tradition material is often even more evident. Although a similar argument can occasionally be made in the other direction (unique Matthean or Lukan stuff in double or triple material that might seem secondary to Mark) the instances of Markan secondary editing are both more frequent and more objectively grounded. This is why I have always contended that the uniquely valid (or at least plausible) argument for Markan priority, based on macro considerations of "material" contained in the respective Gospels, is not in fact confirmed at the micro level. Which ought to make one reexamine the said plausible argument, and ultimately bring one to the finer distinction between an argument that is plausible and one that is decisive.

                Let me give one example of what I mean, in response to the request of Peter, and to avoid remaining completely in the abstract. In Mark 7:19 (double tradition material) we read: "hOTI OUK EISPOREUETAI AUTOU EIJ THN KARDIAN...",  a phrase not found in Matt 15:17, though the thought is indeed implied in that verse of Matthew. Mark's text here is thus to be judged as secondary, not simply because it contains words that are not found in Matt, but because the nature of the additional words is such as to suggest the secondary character of the text: namely, it says explicitly what is only implicit in the original text, i.e., it dialectically completes the unfinished thought of an original writer. For the same reason we (Griesbachians and Farrerites) understand Luke 3:15 ("The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ") indicates the secondary character of the Lukan text with respect to Matt. Matthew's text already implies what Luke's text then states explicitly.

                Leonard Maluf
                Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                Weston, MA
              • David Gentile
                I think there are of a couple of possible ways to explain that in general. 1) Thomas knew the other gospels. 2) Thomas comes to us fairly directly from an
                Message 7 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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                  I think there are of a couple of possible ways to explain that in general.
                  1) Thomas knew the other gospels.
                  2) Thomas comes to us fairly directly from an early written source, and the
                  synoptic authors only picked parts of that early source.
                  3) Thomas was simply written from oral tradition, gathered from many
                  individuals, and those people may have been familiar with various traditions
                  and/or earlier traditions.
                  4) Any combination of the above, perhaps in multiple editions, may have led
                  to the document we have.

                  By itself the fact that Thomas contains a wide variety of material does not
                  suggest the author was familiar with the gospels.

                  However, in combination with other evidence that tends to eliminate #2
                  above, I think it does suggest that the author directly, or indirectly, knew
                  of the other traditions.

                  Dave Gentile
                  Riverside, Illinois
                  M.S. Physics
                  M.S. Finance

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Mark Goodacre" <M.S.Goodacre@...>
                  To: <Synoptic-L@...>
                  Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 4:39 AM
                  Subject: Meier on Thomas & the Synoptics (was Re: [Synoptic-L] Special
                  Mark?)





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                • Ron Price
                  ... Daniel, True. ... Indeed, and part of his reason for this is the supposed difficulty in explaining why on the 2ST Matt and Luke independently decided to
                  Message 8 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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                    Daniel Grolin wrote:

                    > I did write Markan priority, not Two Source Theory,

                    Daniel,

                    True.

                    > but you are right he does have a Deutero-Mark.

                    Indeed, and part of his reason for this is the supposed difficulty in
                    explaining why on the 2ST Matt and Luke independently decided to omit the
                    Sondergut Mark passages.

                    > However, far from all Markan Sondergut is attributed
                    > to Deutero-Mark. He dismisses (or at least allows for)
                    > most omissions as redactional selection of Matthew and
                    > Luke.

                    Note that this is a deutero-Mark he's talking about, not a proto-Mark. If
                    a Markan Sondergut text can be attributed to the 'original Mark', then it
                    can be argued that only one person has made the decision to omit the text,
                    namely the redactor of Deuteromark.

                    Ron Price

                    Derbyshire, UK


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                  • Daniel Grolin
                    Dear Ron, ... I stand corrected. It seems to me that makes the use of that term even more more interesting. Regards, Daniel
                    Message 9 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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                      Dear Ron,

                      > Note that this is a deutero-Mark he's talking
                      > about, not a proto-Mark. If
                      > a Markan Sondergut text can be attributed to the
                      > 'original Mark', then it
                      > can be argued that only one person has made the
                      > decision to omit the text,
                      > namely the redactor of Deuteromark.

                      I stand corrected. It seems to me that makes the use
                      of that term even more more interesting.

                      Regards,

                      Daniel

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                    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                      David Gentile wrote:
                      Message 10 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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                        David Gentile <GentDave@...> wrote:

                        <[T]here are of a couple of possible ways to explain
                        that in general. 1) Thomas knew the other gospels. 2)
                        Thomas comes to us fairly directly from an early
                        written source, and the synoptic authors only picked
                        parts of that early source. 3) Thomas was simply
                        written from oral tradition, gathered from many
                        individuals, and those people may have been familiar
                        with various traditions and/or earlier traditions. 4)
                        Any combination of the above, perhaps in multiple
                        editions, may have led to the document we have.>

                        Someone recently -- on this or another listserve --
                        reported that recent scholarship had argued strongly
                        that the Gospel of Thomas was based on the
                        Diatesseron. Does anyone know anything about this
                        argument?

                        Jeffery Hodges

                        =====
                        Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges (Inv.) [Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley]
                        Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                        447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                        Yangsandong 411
                        South Korea

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                      • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                        David Gentile wrote:
                        Message 11 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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                          David Gentile <GentDave@...> wrote:

                          <[T]here are of a couple of possible ways to explain
                          that in general. 1) Thomas knew the other gospels. 2)
                          Thomas comes to us fairly directly from an early
                          written source, and the synoptic authors only picked
                          parts of that early source. 3) Thomas was simply
                          written from oral tradition, gathered from many
                          individuals, and those people may have been familiar
                          with various traditions and/or earlier traditions. 4)
                          Any combination of the above, perhaps in multiple
                          editions, may have led to the document we have.>

                          Someone recently -- on this or another listserve --
                          reported that recent scholarship had argued strongly
                          that the Gospel of Thomas was based on the
                          Diatesseron. Does anyone know anything about this
                          argument?

                          Jeffery Hodges

                          =====
                          Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges (Inv.) [Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley]
                          Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                          447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                          Yangsandong 411
                          South Korea

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                        • Mark Goodacre
                          ... Yes, it s the thesis of Nicholas Perrin, _Thomas and Tatian: The Relationship Between the Gospel of Thomas and the Diatessaron_ (Academia Biblica, 5;
                          Message 12 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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                            On 8 Oct 2003 at 14:20, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:

                            > Someone recently -- on this or another listserve --
                            > reported that recent scholarship had argued strongly
                            > that the Gospel of Thomas was based on the
                            > Diatesseron. Does anyone know anything about this
                            > argument?

                            Yes, it's the thesis of Nicholas Perrin, _Thomas and Tatian: The
                            Relationship Between the Gospel of Thomas and the Diatessaron_
                            (Academia Biblica, 5; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002).
                            It's had some reasonably sympathetic reviews, Paul-Hubert Poirier in
                            Hugoye at:

                            http://syrcom.cua.edu/Hugoye/Vol6No2/HV6N2PRPoirier.html

                            David Parker in TC at:

                            http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/vol08/Perrin2003rev.html

                            and Robert Shedinger in RBL at:

                            http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=2967

                            There are two things in particular that concern me about the thesis
                            (both of which I've put to Nick who is a good friend). The first is
                            David Parker's point (in the review above) that Thomas does not have
                            any clear parallels with John. This is remarkable if Thomas is
                            dependent on the Diatessaron: how did Thomas know to eliminate the
                            specifically Johannine pieces from the Diatessaron? Second is my own
                            question relating to the narrow window available on this theory for
                            the writing of Thomas. The Diatessaron is c.175; P.Oxy. 1 is
                            usually dated to c. 200. There are verbatim links between the Greek
                            of P.Oxy. 1 and Matt / Lk. This gives a very narrow window for
                            Thomas to go from Syria to Egypt, from Syriac to Greek. There may be
                            answers to these points but I can't work out for myself what they
                            would be.

                            Mark
                            -----------------------------
                            Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                            Graduate Institute for Theology & Religion
                            Dept of Theology
                            University of Birmingham
                            Elmfield House, Bristol Road tel.+44 121 414 7512
                            Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376

                            http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
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                          • Mark Goodacre
                            Thanks for helping me to think this through. ... Who are the others? Blomberg also makes this point; I can t remember if Snodgrass does. ... It s tough
                            Message 13 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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                              Thanks for helping me to think this through.

                              On 8 Oct 2003 at 12:34, Peter M. Head wrote:

                              > I'm generally pretty sympathetic with Meier and others on this one.

                              Who are the others? Blomberg also makes this point; I can't
                              remember if Snodgrass does.

                              > But the LukeR and MattR parallels are the crucial ones if they can be
                              > made to stick (which they often can't!).

                              It's tough because LukeR and MattR questions are sometimes a matter
                              of judgement. I'd see Matthew's Wheat and the Tares parable as his
                              redaction of Mark's Seed Growing Secretly, for example, and Thomas
                              witnesses both. But that's far from a consensus view so we have to
                              look elsewhere. One less controversial is Matt. 15.10-11 // Mark
                              7.14-15 // Thomas 14c, into the mouth / out of the mouth -- this is
                              Matthean redaction of Mark.

                              > I can recall/imagine two
                              > possible responses (other than disputing the existence of significant
                              > parallels): a) yes the Coptic translation does show the broader
                              > influence of terms from gospel texts, but when we say that GThomas is
                              > from 60CE we don't mean the Coptic text we do have but something a bit
                              > less definite that we don't, UrThomas (which we can reconstruct by
                              > deleting some of these pesky parallels).

                              But that won't wash, will it, because it's not just "terms" but
                              entire pericopae / sayings from across the various strands? Mk, Q,
                              M, L, Special Mk, Mk-Q overlap are all there. Moreover, P.Oxy. 1,
                              654 and 655 will give us Q, M and L.

                              > Or (b): Yes we accept the
                              > existence of the parallels (except for MattR and LukeR because they
                              > would be knock out blows), but this simply demonstrates that the
                              > Thomas stream of tradition reaches way back to the earliest Jesus
                              > tradition in the same way that all the other 'strands' do; but when
                              > you compare the GT version with the SG version the GT very often
                              > demonstrates that it is a more primitive version of the parallel
                              > tradition. Indeed to argue any other way is to imagine that GT has
                              > first unpicked every strand of synoptic tradition that modern
                              > scholarship can supply and then ensured she included something from
                              > everything - what are the odds of that?!

                              The form of the latter sounds scarily like the famous Streeter
                              quotation and it reminds me of Downing and Crossan too in other
                              contexts! But basically, yes, that's the problem. I don't find many
                              of the greater primitivity arguments particularly convincing, e.g.
                              the idea of less allegorical versions of the parables being more
                              primitive than more allegorical versions I find particularly
                              problematic. But in any case I think that that would beg the
                              question. The point is the extraordinary scope of Thomas's parallels
                              with the differing strands, something that seems implausible for
                              someone writing independently of the Synoptics. The only thing I
                              can think of -- and I think you may be hinting at this -- is that we
                              would have to conceptualise the earliest traditions as being
                              relatively unified and / or limited; they only diversified as time
                              went on into separate streams.

                              But the difficulty remains, does it not, that one is having to try to
                              think of how defenders of an early and autonomous Thomas would deal
                              with the point rather than being able to engage directly with their
                              answer(s) to it?

                              Mark
                              -----------------------------
                              Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                              Graduate Institute for Theology & Religion
                              Dept of Theology
                              University of Birmingham
                              Elmfield House, Bristol Road tel.+44 121 414 7512
                              Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376

                              http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
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                            • Stephen C. Carlson
                              ... I think Perrin did much to establish that the language of Thomas s composition is Syriac, but there simply wasn t enough work with the Diatessaron directly
                              Message 14 of 29 , Oct 8, 2003
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                                At 11:37 PM 10/8/03 +0100, Mark Goodacre wrote:
                                >On 8 Oct 2003 at 14:20, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
                                >> Someone recently -- on this or another listserve --
                                >> reported that recent scholarship had argued strongly
                                >> that the Gospel of Thomas was based on the
                                >> Diatesseron. Does anyone know anything about this
                                >> argument?
                                >
                                >Yes, it's the thesis of Nicholas Perrin, _Thomas and Tatian: The
                                >Relationship Between the Gospel of Thomas and the Diatessaron_
                                >(Academia Biblica, 5; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002).

                                I think Perrin did much to establish that the language of Thomas's
                                composition is Syriac, but there simply wasn't enough work with the
                                Diatessaron directly to show the dependence.

                                >There are two things in particular that concern me about the thesis
                                >(both of which I've put to Nick who is a good friend). The first is
                                >David Parker's point (in the review above) that Thomas does not have
                                >any clear parallels with John. This is remarkable if Thomas is
                                >dependent on the Diatessaron: how did Thomas know to eliminate the
                                >specifically Johannine pieces from the Diatessaron? Second is my own
                                >question relating to the narrow window available on this theory for
                                >the writing of Thomas. The Diatessaron is c.175; P.Oxy. 1 is
                                >usually dated to c. 200. There are verbatim links between the Greek
                                >of P.Oxy. 1 and Matt / Lk. This gives a very narrow window for
                                >Thomas to go from Syria to Egypt, from Syriac to Greek. There may be
                                >answers to these points but I can't work out for myself what they
                                >would be.

                                As for the second point, a copy of Irenaeus, Adv. haer., composed
                                around 185 also showed up in Egypt with a c. 200 date. Paleographic
                                dates are not exact; you can give or take 50 or 100 years, and MSS
                                did move around quite a bit in the Pax Romana.

                                As for the first point, no John parallels, that is the more interesting
                                question. Perhaps the reason is genre: more pithy sayings in the
                                Synoptics, and even in the Diatessaron, the Johannine material still
                                manages to stand out some. Unless the motives for compiler/composer
                                of Thomas are pretty clear and established, it is hard for me to draw
                                much of a conclusion from Thomas's Johannine silence, however.

                                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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                              • Peter M. Head
                                Dear Mark, Sorry I can t help too much with the bibliography at the moment. But can I probe one issue? Mark wrote: Thomas has parallels with every major
                                Message 15 of 29 , Oct 9, 2003
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                                  Dear Mark,

                                  Sorry I can't help too much with the bibliography at the moment. But can I probe one issue?
                                  Mark wrote:

                                  "Thomas has parallels with every major strand of Synoptic material, triple trad., Q, M, L, MattR, LukeR etc."

                                  and (in another post)

                                  "Thomas does not have any clear parallels with John."

                                  As you say, this would pose a bit of a difficulty (not perhaps the only one) with Perrin's thesis.

                                  But there are some parallels in phraseology if not in whole sayings:
                                  John: 8.52 cf GosThom.1;
                                  4.14 cf GosThom.13;
                                  1.5,9 cf GosThom.24b;
                                  7.33f cf GosThom.38b;
                                  15 cf GosThom.40;
                                  8.12 cf GosThom.77;
                                  7.37 cf GosThom.108.

                                  What do you make of these?
                                  Pete



                                  Peter M. Head, PhD
                                  Research Fellow
                                  Tyndale House
                                  36 Selwyn Gardens                                             Phone: (UK) 01223 566607
                                  Cambridge, CB3 9BA                                            Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
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                                • Mark Goodacre
                                  ... Thanks for that -- good point. But Irenaeus is Greek, no? I suppose my concern is not simply the relatively narrow window but what is the actually
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Oct 9, 2003
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                                    On 9 Oct 2003 at 0:28, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:

                                    > As for the second point, a copy of Irenaeus, Adv. haer., composed
                                    > around 185 also showed up in Egypt with a c. 200 date. Paleographic
                                    > dates are not exact; you can give or take 50 or 100 years, and MSS did
                                    > move around quite a bit in the Pax Romana.

                                    Thanks for that -- good point. But Irenaeus is Greek, no? I suppose
                                    my concern is not simply the relatively narrow window but what is the
                                    actually achieved in this window in thelight of the verbatim
                                    agreement between P.Oxy. 1 and Matt/Luke in Thomas 26. If Thomas is
                                    composed in Syriac, the Greek translator has assimilated to the
                                    Matt/Luke form, which brings us back to Patterson's difficulties with
                                    explaining the links between the Synoptics and Thomas.

                                    But agreed about the inexact science of palaeography though even here
                                    it's give or take 50/100 years, i.e. P.Oxy.1 could be much earlier
                                    than 200 (and for that matter P.Oxy 654 and 655 much earlier than
                                    250), in which case the link with the Diatessaron would be
                                    impossible. So the lack of precision potentially cuts both ways, no?
                                    What this evidence gives us is a reminder that it is quite possible
                                    that Thomas postdates the Diatessaron, but I don't think it erases
                                    the question mark. What I really would have liked would have been
                                    more discussion of the P.Oxy material in Nick's book, some
                                    acknowledgement that these are really key issues in the origin of
                                    Thomas, especially for someone who dates it so much later than anyone
                                    else.

                                    > As for the first point, no John parallels, that is the more
                                    > interesting question. Perhaps the reason is genre: more pithy sayings
                                    > in the Synoptics, and even in the Diatessaron, the Johannine material
                                    > still manages to stand out some. Unless the motives for
                                    > compiler/composer of Thomas are pretty clear and established, it is
                                    > hard for me to draw much of a conclusion from Thomas's Johannine
                                    > silence, however.

                                    Perhaps; I'm not sure about this. Thomas apparently has little
                                    trouble on Perrin's thesis in picking out choice morsels from longer
                                    synoptic discourses, e.g. selections of a verse here and a verse
                                    there from the Sermon on the Mount. And in terms of genre, Thomas is
                                    undiscriminating when it comes to Synoptic sayings, aphorism,
                                    dialogue, short parable, full narrative parable, beatitude -- I don't
                                    get the impression that this is an author concerned about differences
                                    of genre among sayings materials selected.

                                    Thanks
                                    Mark
                                    -----------------------------
                                    Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                                    Graduate Institute for Theology & Religion
                                    Dept of Theology
                                    University of Birmingham
                                    Elmfield House, Bristol Road tel.+44 121 414 7512
                                    Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376

                                    http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
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                                  • Mark Goodacre
                                    ... I find them very interesting, especially the first, Thom. 1 / John 8.52, OU MH GEUSHTAI [QANATOU] . I don t think these are close enough to demonstrate
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Oct 9, 2003
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                                      On 9 Oct 2003 at 12:04, Peter M. Head wrote:

                                      > But there are some parallels in phraseology if not in whole sayings:
                                      > John: 8.52 cf GosThom.1; 4.14 cf GosThom.13; 1.5,9 cf GosThom.24b;
                                      > 7.33f cf GosThom.38b; 15 cf GosThom.40; 8.12 cf GosThom.77; 7.37 cf
                                      > GosThom.108.
                                      >
                                      > What do you make of these?

                                      I find them very interesting, especially the first, Thom. 1 / John
                                      8.52, OU MH GEUSHTAI [QANATOU] . I don't think these are close
                                      enough to demonstrate direct dependency either way; do you? I'm very
                                      interested by the idea that John & Thomas emerged in similar
                                      contexts, perhaps at a similar time. Ismo Dunderberg in Uro (ed.),
                                      _Thomas at the Crossroads_, suggests that the early development of
                                      authorial fiction in both John & Thomas may place them at a similar
                                      point, and not very early in the first century, though he does not
                                      think that they come from the same or closely rival groups. I'm
                                      intrigued by the doubting Thomas business in John, though, and do
                                      wonder whether this could represent some polemicising in John against
                                      a Thomas-style Christianity that was uninterested in cross &
                                      resurrection (cf. Riley & Pagels). Sorry, a terse answer; hope it
                                      makes sense.

                                      Mark
                                      -----------------------------
                                      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                                      Graduate Institute for Theology & Religion
                                      Dept of Theology
                                      University of Birmingham
                                      Elmfield House, Bristol Road tel.+44 121 414 7512
                                      Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376

                                      http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
                                      http://NTGateway.com


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                                    • Jeffrey Glen Jackson
                                      ... I could have sworn there were a couple, but maybe my memory is faulty. What I find more interesting is the parallels between Thomas and the Gospels of the
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Oct 9, 2003
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                                        > The first is
                                        > David Parker's point (in the review above) that Thomas does not have
                                        > any clear parallels with John. This is remarkable if Thomas is
                                        > dependent on the Diatessaron: how did Thomas know to eliminate the
                                        > specifically Johannine pieces from the Diatessaron?

                                        I could have sworn there were a couple, but maybe my memory
                                        is faulty. What I find more interesting is the parallels between
                                        Thomas and the Gospels of the Hebrews and of the Egyptians.
                                        Given that the later two are extant only as a handful of fragments,
                                        it seems remarkable that we discover parallels with Thomas.
                                        This would suggest that Thomas and the Hebrews/Egyptians
                                        documents probably have many parallels, probably accounting
                                        for most of the Thomas sayings w/o canonical parallels.
                                        That still begs the question of which is the source of which,
                                        but it's provocative none-the-less.

                                        ><> Jeffrey Glen Jackson, son of Albert, son of George, son of <><
                                        ><> Henry, son of Miles, son of Randolph, son of Ephraim, son of <><
                                        ><> Thomas, son of John, son of Thomas, .... sonne of Jack. <><
                                        mailto:jeff@... http://www.jeff-jackson.com




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                                      • Stephen C. Carlson
                                        ... Tertullian in North Africa was using a Latin translation of Irenaeus shortly after 200, so there is evidence in contemporary Christianity of texts being
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Oct 9, 2003
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                                          At 01:50 PM 10/9/03 +0100, Mark Goodacre wrote:
                                          >On 9 Oct 2003 at 0:28, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                                          >> As for the second point, a copy of Irenaeus, Adv. haer., composed
                                          >> around 185 also showed up in Egypt with a c. 200 date. Paleographic
                                          >> dates are not exact; you can give or take 50 or 100 years, and MSS did
                                          >> move around quite a bit in the Pax Romana.
                                          >
                                          >Thanks for that -- good point. But Irenaeus is Greek, no?

                                          Tertullian in North Africa was using a Latin translation of Irenaeus
                                          shortly after 200, so there is evidence in contemporary Christianity
                                          of texts being translated and disseminated very rapidly. Perrin
                                          points out the bilingual nature of Edessa (p. 27), and the bilingual
                                          nature of Gaul for Irenaeus makes the analogy instructive as to the
                                          rapidity of translation. Also, I recall reading that Mani, later in
                                          the third century, traveled from Syria/Persia to Egypt as part of his
                                          missionary activities, indicating circulation between Syria and Egypt
                                          among heterodox groups.

                                          >I suppose
                                          >my concern is not simply the relatively narrow window but what is the
                                          >actually achieved in this window in thelight of the verbatim
                                          >agreement between P.Oxy. 1 and Matt/Luke in Thomas 26. If Thomas is
                                          >composed in Syriac, the Greek translator has assimilated to the
                                          >Matt/Luke form, which brings us back to Patterson's difficulties with
                                          >explaining the links between the Synoptics and Thomas.

                                          It might, but there are a few consideration that need to be addressed.
                                          First, a fairly literal translation from Syriac can yield the same word
                                          order as the Greek. For example, if you compare the OS and the Greek
                                          for Matt. 7:5, the word order is basically the same (except that
                                          articles in Syriac are postpositve while Greek articles precede the
                                          noun). Vocabulary choice is another factor, and one would have to
                                          study how much freedom of choice was actually available.

                                          It is true, though, that the translation from Syriac to Greek presents
                                          an opportunity for assimilation to the Greek texts of Matt. and Luke,
                                          but in the late second century the danger is somewhat less than in the
                                          fourth century of the Coptic translation, because it was only in the
                                          mid to late second century that Matt. and Luke began acquiring their
                                          canonical status, and that did not occur in all places at once.

                                          >But agreed about the inexact science of palaeography though even here
                                          >it's give or take 50/100 years, i.e. P.Oxy.1 could be much earlier
                                          >than 200 (and for that matter P.Oxy 654 and 655 much earlier than
                                          >250), in which case the link with the Diatessaron would be
                                          >impossible. So the lack of precision potentially cuts both ways, no?

                                          I wouldn't exactly say cuts both ways. What is important is the
                                          relative size of the paleography window pre- and post- the critical
                                          date. If POxy is 200 +/- 50 or 150-250, and the Diatessaron was
                                          composed in 173, then most of the range is still after 173, even
                                          some part is less than the 173 date (and there is uncertainty in
                                          the dating of the DT as well).

                                          > What this evidence gives us is a reminder that it is quite possible
                                          >that Thomas postdates the Diatessaron, but I don't think it erases
                                          >the question mark. What I really would have liked would have been
                                          >more discussion of the P.Oxy material in Nick's book, some
                                          >acknowledgement that these are really key issues in the origin of
                                          >Thomas, especially for someone who dates it so much later than anyone
                                          >else.

                                          That would have been nice. It also would have been nice if he
                                          interacted more with the actual text of the Diatessaron instead
                                          of relying on the premises that the DT was the first available
                                          scripture in Syriac and that the catchword composition of Thomas
                                          requires documentary sources.

                                          >> As for the first point, no John parallels, that is the more
                                          >> interesting question. Perhaps the reason is genre: more pithy sayings
                                          >> in the Synoptics, and even in the Diatessaron, the Johannine material
                                          >> still manages to stand out some. Unless the motives for
                                          >> compiler/composer of Thomas are pretty clear and established, it is
                                          >> hard for me to draw much of a conclusion from Thomas's Johannine
                                          >> silence, however.
                                          >
                                          >Perhaps; I'm not sure about this. Thomas apparently has little
                                          >trouble on Perrin's thesis in picking out choice morsels from longer
                                          >synoptic discourses, e.g. selections of a verse here and a verse
                                          >there from the Sermon on the Mount. And in terms of genre, Thomas is
                                          >undiscriminating when it comes to Synoptic sayings, aphorism,
                                          >dialogue, short parable, full narrative parable, beatitude -- I don't
                                          >get the impression that this is an author concerned about differences
                                          >of genre among sayings materials selected.

                                          OK. Think of the Farrer counter-argument to charges that Luke must
                                          have unpicked Mark out of Matthew to get the non-Markan Matthean bits.
                                          Rather, the answer is that Luke's familarity with Mark allows him to
                                          readily spot which parts of Matthew are not Markan. Similarly, if
                                          the composer of Thomas was familiar with but antagonistic toward John,
                                          then it wouldn't be too difficult to pick out the non-Johannine bits
                                          from the Diatessaron, especially since the Johannine material was not
                                          conflated so closely the Synoptic material was.

                                          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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                                        • Peter M. Head
                                          Just a note that in JBL 121 (2000) 579-583 there is an interesting review of a new German edition of Nag Hammadi texts. In this review James Robinson lines up
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Oct 10, 2003
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                                            Just a note that in JBL 121 (2000) 579-583 there is an interesting review
                                            of a new German edition of Nag Hammadi texts. In this review James Robinson
                                            lines up 'the typically German position' (GT late 2nd Cent; depends on SGs
                                            etc.) against 'the typically American position' (Helmut Koester et al).

                                            Just interesting

                                            Pete


                                            Peter M. Head, PhD
                                            Research Fellow
                                            Tyndale House
                                            36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
                                            566607
                                            Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
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                                          • Mark Goodacre
                                            Thanks very much for that, Peter; I hadn t seen it before. The reference should be 2002. Interesting that the typically American position is pioneered by
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Oct 10, 2003
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                                              Thanks very much for that, Peter; I hadn't seen it before. The
                                              reference should be 2002. Interesting that "the typically American
                                              position" is pioneered by Koester, a German! It's a fascinating
                                              review; Robinson again talks about the alleged scribal error in Q
                                              12.25 about which he & Heil have frequently published. He refers to
                                              a debate with between himself and Schroeter on this one; an
                                              extraordinary feature emerges here, that Schroeter apparently does
                                              not think POxy 655 is part of the Gospel of Thomas. Does this
                                              represent Schroeter accurately, I wonder? And if so, I find this
                                              remarkable. On the alleged scribal error in Q 12.25 I remain
                                              unconvinced. If the original text of Sinaiticus contained this
                                              reading, then surely we have two options, (1) that it's a witness to
                                              what Matthew wrote, thereby invalidating the idea of a scribal error
                                              in Q or (2) that it represents a secondary emendation by a scribe.
                                              If the latter, then we would be admitting that this could be a
                                              secondary gloss, thereby again invalidating the case. Is there a
                                              third option?

                                              Mark
                                              -----------------------------
                                              Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                                              Graduate Institute for Theology & Religion
                                              Dept of Theology
                                              University of Birmingham
                                              Elmfield House, Bristol Road tel.+44 121 414 7512
                                              Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376

                                              http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
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                                            • Peter M. Head
                                              ... According to Maurice Casey, in all mythological quests there is always a third option and it always the best/highest/final one (cf. NTW and Tony Blair). I
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Oct 10, 2003
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                                                At 12:01 PM 10/10/03 +0100, Mark Goodacre wrote:
                                                > Is there a third option?

                                                According to Maurice Casey, in all mythological quests there is always a
                                                third option and it always the best/highest/final one (cf. NTW and Tony Blair).

                                                I appreciate there is an issue of substance here as well, btu just don't
                                                have time to get my head round that one again right now (with the rugby
                                                already started).

                                                Pete



                                                >Mark
                                                >-----------------------------
                                                >Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                                                > Graduate Institute for Theology & Religion
                                                > Dept of Theology
                                                > University of Birmingham
                                                > Elmfield House, Bristol Road tel.+44 121 414 7512
                                                > Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376
                                                >
                                                >http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
                                                >http://NTGateway.com
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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                                                Peter M. Head, PhD
                                                Research Fellow
                                                Tyndale House
                                                36 Selwyn Gardens Phone: (UK) 01223
                                                566607
                                                Cambridge, CB3 9BA Fax: (UK) 01223 566608
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