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Re: [Synoptic-L] Added a page to my site, an alternative to the 3SH

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... These are all very good points and importantly corrective of naive assumptions about the stability of the text, but I think the question is, how do we go
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 4, 2004
      At 09:39 AM 3/3/04 -0800, Stuart Waugh wrote:
      >I think one stands on infirm ground when they suggest that significant
      >textual variance necessarily starts after redaction. The evidence is far
      >from clear-cut, and it seems to me more likely that redaction and textual
      >variance came about early, often overlapping each other. The same forces
      >that put an end to wild textual variance also put the brakes on redaction
      >(although they did continue some to support orthodoxy). I suggest instead
      >that they co-existed and grew up together. The separation of a redaction
      >period from a textual reproduction (thus variance) and transmission period
      >is a false division. Remember also no Codex of significant size (more than
      >some scraps) is extant to us from prior to the 3rd century. Yet textual
      >theories trace many of the text types back into at least the early 2nd
      >century because of Patristic readings.

      These are all very good points and importantly corrective of
      naive assumptions about the stability of the text, but I think
      the question is, how do we go forward from here?

      There have been attempts to identify which text-type of Mark
      that Matt and Luke (are supposed to have) used, but I don't
      think much has come out that work. Assuming Markan priority,
      for the sake of an example and without loss of generality, it
      is true that--unless Matthew and Luke were using an unmutilated
      autograph of Mark--their exemplars of Mark differed in some
      way from Mark's autograph. A similar idea has been suggested
      for Q, in Qmt and Qlk, versions. My understanding of all this
      work is that specific solutions have commanded little assent.

      The problem isn't so much that people are unaware of the problem;
      it's that they are unaware of the solution, or more precisely
      how to find a generally agreeable solution. How can we identify
      pre-redactional textual variation in the synoptic problem? How
      do we distinguish this from post-redactional textual variation?

      I suppose these questions might be somewhat answerable if we
      had confidence in both the text and the synoptic relationship,
      but the issue often crops up, as it did here, when comparing
      two competing synoptic theories. Usually, in this context,
      appeals to textual variation are proposed to avoid some problem
      in one's own source theory, so now we're faced with the additional
      issue of having to balance this against a source theory may not
      need to rely on such textual variation to explain the evidence.

      Unless one has a decent method for sorting out which variant
      belongs to which level of redaction or scribal transmission, I
      think that the UBS text will continue to stand as the best
      supported approximation of the original texts. It's always
      possible that post-redactional textual variation could have
      influenced the text of the synoptic gospels, so to that extent
      I agree with David Gentile. However, much of this textual
      variation has already factored into the text of the gospel
      reconstructed by UBS, so I think that the person proposing a
      different text used by the synoptic evangelists has the onus
      of producing arguments and evidence independent of one's source
      theory for each departure from the UBS text. To that extent
      I'm on Price's side.

      Use of the UBS text brings up another problem: to what extent
      is Markan Priority or even the full Two-Source Theory was used
      as a premise in establishing the text? Dungan has pointed out
      before that the UBS may be biased in favor a particular solution.
      I don't think this question has been answered satifactorially yet;
      based on my own, limited investigations I can only say that other
      biases of the UBS committee seem to play a much stronger role.

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Weblog: http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/hypotyposeis/blogger.html
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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