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Re: [Synoptic-L] Less hypothetical?

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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 1 of 4 , Aug 30, 2004
      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 2 of 4 , Aug 31, 2004
        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


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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 3 of 4 , Sep 1, 2004
          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


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