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[Synoptic-L] Less hypothetical?

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  • Ron Price
    In: On dispensing with Q?: Goodacre on the relation of Luke to Matthew - NTS 49 (2003) p. 215, Kloppenborg wrote: Luke s supposed dependence on Mark is not
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 29, 2004
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      In: "On dispensing with Q?: Goodacre on the relation of Luke to Matthew" -
      NTS 49 (2003) p. 215, Kloppenborg wrote:
      "Luke's supposed dependence on Mark is not any less hypothetical than Luke's
      dependence on Q, merely because we have third-century manuscripts of Mark."

      Is he inferring that the existence of Q is as assured as the existence of
      an archetype for Mark? If so, why do no scholars (as far as I know) deny the
      existence of the latter, whereas some reputable scholars (albeit a few)
      firmly deny the existence of the former?

      Ron Price

      Derbyshire, UK

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


      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... Comparing Q to the autograph of Mark has been a favorite comparison of Kloppenborg and his students for quite some time. Of course, Q and the Markan
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 30, 2004
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        At 01:42 PM 8/29/2004 +0100, Ron Price wrote:
        > In: "On dispensing with Q?: Goodacre on the relation of Luke to Matthew" -
        >NTS 49 (2003) p. 215, Kloppenborg wrote:
        >"Luke's supposed dependence on Mark is not any less hypothetical than Luke's
        >dependence on Q, merely because we have third-century manuscripts of Mark."
        >
        > Is he inferring that the existence of Q is as assured as the existence of
        >an archetype for Mark? If so, why do no scholars (as far as I know) deny the
        >existence of the latter, whereas some reputable scholars (albeit a few)
        >firmly deny the existence of the former?

        Comparing Q to the autograph of Mark has been a favorite comparison
        of Kloppenborg and his students for quite some time. Of course, Q
        and the Markan autograph differ greatly in the quality and quantity
        of the evidence supporting their respective, putative existences.

        I am unaware of any *serious* source critic dismissing Q merely because
        it is hypothetical. The actual argument is that Q is an *unnecessary*
        hypothesis to be shave by Occam's razor. Rather than condemn Klopp.
        et al. for a strawman, I would say that the error (dismissing Q merely
        for being a hypothesis) must be such a common mistake among their
        (undergraduate?) student that its speciousness must be combated even
        if Goodacre didn't make that mistake.

        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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      • Ron Price
        ... That s probably the way Kloppenborg would defend it if he were challenged, in spite of the word less which seems to imply degree in the comparison. ...
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 31, 2004
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          Kloppenborg had written in NTS:

          >"Luke's supposed dependence on Mark is not any less hypothetical than Luke's
          >dependence on Q, merely because we have third-century manuscripts of Mark."

          Peter Kirby wrote:

          > But it is not clear what "less hypothetical" means; is it the same as "more
          > certain"?  I don't think it is.  He may be implying that a statement is either
          > hypothetical or isn't (without degree).

          That's probably the way Kloppenborg would defend it if he were challenged,
          in spite of the word "less" which seems to imply "degree" in the comparison.

          Stephen Carlson wrote:

          > Rather than condemn Klopp.et al. for a strawman .....

          I think this is being too soft on him. An eminent scholar should not
          descend to making an exaggerated claim just because some of his opponents
          make exaggerated claims. In making the comparison between Q and the
          archetype of Mark, Kloppenborg evidently intended to try to demolish the
          argument that the hypothetical nature of Q should be counted as a factor
          against the 2ST. Kloppenborg's statement is misleading and we should see
          through it.

          Perhaps the inclusion of such a dubious statement shows that he has been
          rattled by Goodacre's case against Q.

          Ron Price

          Derbyshire, UK

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


          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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        • Stephen C. Carlson
          ... OK, I ve re-read Kloppenborg s statement in context. He is criticizing a statement by Austin Farrer for not realizing that Luke s dependence on Mark is a
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 1, 2004
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            At 07:49 AM 9/1/2004 +0100, Ron Price wrote:
            >Kloppenborg had written in NTS:
            >>"Luke's supposed dependence on Mark is not any less hypothetical than Luke's
            >>dependence on Q, merely because we have third-century manuscripts of Mark."
            >
            >Stephen Carlson wrote:
            >> Rather than condemn Klopp.et al. for a strawman .....
            >
            > I think this is being too soft on him. An eminent scholar should not
            >descend to making an exaggerated claim just because some of his opponents
            >make exaggerated claims. In making the comparison between Q and the
            >archetype of Mark, Kloppenborg evidently intended to try to demolish the
            >argument that the hypothetical nature of Q should be counted as a factor
            >against the 2ST. Kloppenborg's statement is misleading and we should see
            >through it.

            OK, I've re-read Kloppenborg's statement in context. He is criticizing
            a statement by Austin Farrer for not realizing that Luke's dependence
            on Mark is a hypothesis too, as is the existence of Q. Kloppenborg's
            criticism of A. Farrer still stands but it would have been analytically
            neater and, in fact, less confusing if he had written instead "first-
            century manuscripts of Mark" or even "have manuscripts of Mark." Thus,
            I don't see Kloppenborg as logically fallacious or even intentionally
            misleading, but it would be a fair criticism that his use of "third-
            century" was less relevant than its pragmatic weight that detail would
            normally imply to his readers.

            I agree with Kloppenborg's point that a supposition of dependence should
            also count as a hypothesis. I also feel that one shouldn't compare
            hypothetical apples with hypothetical oranges. In other words, I don't
            know how to balance off a hypothesis of dependence with a hypothetical
            text. In mathematical terms, the comparison may only involve a partial
            ordering.

            Fortunately, in the case of the FT vs. the 2ST, we don't have solve this
            philosophical conundrum: the Farrer Theory has both fewer hypotheses of
            dependence and fewer hypotheses of lost sources. For example, the FT
            posits three hypotheses of dependence (Mk->Mt, Mk->Lk, Mt->Lk) versus
            four (Mk->Mt, Mk->Lk, Q->Mt, and Q->Lk) for the 2ST. Also, the 2ST has
            one additional hypothetical source (Q) that the FT lacks. Whether or
            not one should also count the autographs of Matt., Mark, and Luke as
            hypothetical entities, the effect applies equally to the FT and the
            2ST and effectively cancels out.

            > Perhaps the inclusion of such a dubious statement shows that he has been
            >rattled by Goodacre's case against Q.

            I don't know Kloppenborg well enough to conclude that (I've talked with
            him only about a half-dozen times). In fact, he strikes me as one of
            the most fair-minded supporters of the 2ST active today. I do, however,
            acknowledge noticing that Kloppenborg more than once criticized various
            logical errors people have made before conceding that Goodacre did not
            in fact make those errors. It is not fully clear whether this helps
            or hurts Goodacre overall, but I suspect the latter. The criticisms
            are first and the disavowals come later, so the negative guilt-by-
            association effect should be making a stronger impression on the reader.

            I don't think that this subtle rhetorical effect is intentional, though.
            In fact, I can see clear didactical reasons for quashing common mistakes
            that non-specialists would make at the offset before getting into the
            nuances. Because Kloppenborg is one of the best teachers in the field
            (just look at the quality of his students), pedagogy, not some devious
            sophistry, is what is most probably driving Kloppenborg.

            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


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