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Re: [Synoptic-L] The status of Q and (of) the Two-Source Theory

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... Welcome! I got bitten by the synoptic problem bug just about 10 years ago, and I m baffled more now than when I began. ... Yes, but please realize that
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 1, 2004
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      At 08:38 PM 9/1/2004 +0200, Frides Laméris wrote:
      >Having gotten (real) interest in the synoptic problem
      >only recently, I would like to bring up some questions
      >on the status of Q, an element in Synoptic Studies
      >which is rather baffling to me and not only to me it seems.

      Welcome! I got bitten by the synoptic problem
      bug just about 10 years ago, and I'm baffled
      more now than when I began.

      >I got hold of Mark Goodacre's book 'The case against Q',
      >from which it becomes clear that some synoptic theorists
      >can very well do without Q in trying to explain commonality
      >in synoptic material(s).
      >It also has become clear to me from Marks book that
      >at least in the US Q has received almost a 'cult status'
      >(my words), while objectively there seems to exist no sound
      >(historic) basis to this postulated documentary source at all.
      >For some the thing seems like a phantom. Others (e.g.
      >Goulder) speak of Q as 'a juggernaut.' Former Bultmannian,
      >and now turned evangelical, Mrs. Eta Linnemann, is even more
      >harsh in her comments on the supposed (non) existence of Q.

      Yes, but please realize that Linnemann is also
      against *any* literary relationships between
      and among the synoptic gospels.

      * * *

      >L:
      >'Unfortunately for Schleiermacher, logia here means "what the Lord said
      >or did", not just "sayings" (she refer to G. Kittel, logian (in Greek), TDNT,
      >4.141).
      >
      >So my question 1)
      >
      >Is she correct in this?

      Linnemann's statement certainly reflects a common and
      wide-spread understanding of the term LOGIA as used
      in that context (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.15-16).
      In fact, it is an understanding I used to fully share
      until Dieter Lührmann's essay in THE GOSPEL BEHIND
      THE GOSPELS caused me to re-evaluate the question,
      which is still very much open for me.

      >Now continuing the quote:
      >
      >"Schleiermacher proposed that Matthew only wrote the sayings, not the gospel
      >itself, a view lacking support in both ancient church tradition and Matthew's
      >gospel. There are simply no grounds for distinguishing between the gospel and
      >some sayings-source. If one were to sort out all 'sayings', the result does not
      >resemble what is called Q today. For Q does not contain all the "sayings"
      >found in Matthews gospel, nor does it merely consist of 'sayings".
      >
      >My second question:
      >
      >Somebody has IN GERMAN for me what Schleiermacher has exactly said
      >in these matters (or the references where to find his statements)? And again,
      >is she correctly rendering his view?

      The cite I have is Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher,
      "Über die Zeugnisse des Papias von unsern beiden ersten
      Evangelien," Theologische Studien und Kritiken (1832): 361-
      392. His conclusion on Papias is on p. 365. H.-H. Stoldt's
      German edition should have some German-language quotes.

      >Now, Linnemann in her next paragraph opens frontal attack on the Two-Source
      >Hypothesis, and from there I'll formulate my third and last question.
      >
      >She continues in her article:
      >
      >"Christian Hermann Weisse (..), founder of the two-source theory, was the first
      >to build on Schleiermacher's error (she refers in a note to Stoldt, History and
      >criticism of the Marcan Hypothesis, 1980). 'Contrary to Schleiermacher, Weisse
      >claimed the sayings source as a source for Luke's gospel as well, misusing
      >Schleiermachers authority, who had argued the opposite (in a note again a reference
      >to Stoldt, 50). 'And so the infamous Q made its debut in the theological world.
      >We likewise have Weisse to thank for the invention of the Lachmann fallacy
      >(note to Stoldt), which wrongly asserts that Lachmann proved that Mark was
      >the source for Matthew and Luke, when in fact Lachmann said the opposite.
      >The world- renowned two-source theory, the basis for perhaps forty percent
      >of so called NT-science today, was therefore founded on both an error
      >(Schleiermacher's) and a lie (Weisse's)." - End quote -
      >
      >Now the words 'have Weisse to thank for' and 'lie' in the last sentence of the
      >quote may be a bit coloured (judgemental language), but still my (3d) question
      >is:
      >
      >What is correct (or possibly incorrect) in what she is saying on Weisse?

      Linnemann is too dependent on Stoldt's tendentious
      misreading of Weisse. Weisse extended Schleiermacher's
      concept to Luke, which is certainly legitimate if
      reasons for the extrapolation are given. The main
      reason why Schl. did not himself apply his idea to
      Luke is his 1834 death.

      >I have never felt comfortable with source theories thus ar, because is seems they
      >are ALL not able to give fully satisfying explanations on possible relationship(s)
      >between the synoptic texts( I myself include Gospel of John among the
      >synoptics as an literary independent entity).

      Some explanations, though, are more satisfying than
      others.

      >We maybe have to go back to theories that explain the phenomena from
      >general literary INDEPENDENCE of all the four classical gospels?

      This is probably the least satisfactory explanation
      of the literary facts.

      >A new swing back of the pendulum, after Peter Hofrichter has suggested in "Johannes,
      >Modell und Vorlage der Synoptiker" " has proposed literary dependence of all the synoptic
      >gospels on the Gospel of John??

      It wouldn't solve the synoptic problem, though, which is
      to explain how Matthew, Mark, and Luke relate to each other.
      Bringing John into the mix sets up the Johannine problem,
      and there is precious little evidence to support literary
      dependence of all three on John (the relationship between
      Matthew and John is particularly difficult).

      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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    • Frides Laméris
      Hi Stephen, ... From: Stephen C. Carlson To: Frides Laméris ; Sent: Thursday, September
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 2, 2004
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        Hi Stephen,

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Stephen C. Carlson <scarlson@...>
        To: Frides Laméris <flameris@...>; <Synoptic-L@...>
        Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 6:06 AM
        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The status of Q and (of) the Two-Source Theory

        Thanks for your welcome to the list
        and the references!

        I'll try to get hold of the German version of Stoldts criticism of the
        Markan Hypothesis and see if the Schleiermacher texts are also
        available in the library.

        Stephen:
        > Yes, but please realize that Linnemann is also
        > against *any* literary relationships between
        > and among the synoptic gospels.

        As long as there are no aprioris build in into the possible literary
        (in)dependence, there are chances traces can be found of such a
        relationship between (gospel) texts. Because thusfar however, after almost
        a few hundreds years of critical research, definite results of the
        dependence
        approach seem to be minimal (who would dare to say: as far as proofed
        certainty is concerned almost nil), the better chances may at last be for
        more traditional approaches which reckon with a minimum of LITERARY
        dependence.
        (For the problems around the definition of 'literary dependence', please see
        my post
        of today to Jim West).

        I wish we had a simple example (one to start with!); describe all the
        different approaches;
        list the different presuppositions; have them rated as to their weight, do
        some more
        necessary steps, and create the (mathematical) formula which gives an
        evaluation of the (relative) strength(s) and weaknes(ses) of all the
        explanations/approaches!

        I was once told in mathematics one tends to go for solutions that are
        most simple and elegant.

        Maybe somebody can also work out some software which could do the
        job sketched above. I'll leave that with pleasure to the (paid) experts!

        Independent greetings to all

        Frides Laméris
        Zuidlaren (Home)
        Netherlands





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      • Frides Laméris
        Hi Jim, ... From: Jim West To: Frides Laméris Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 8:51 PM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The status of Q and (of) the Two-Source
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 2, 2004
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          Hi Jim,
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Jim West
          Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 8:51 PM
          Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The status of Q and (of) the Two-Source Theory
           
          re your (rather historical) anecdote:
           
          It seems to me you have something to digest with Mrs. Linnemann
          having not given you the chance to speak out on the seminar.
          Must have been a really frustrating experience.
          Robert Yarbrough wrote (internet) an good article on her science contribution:
          Eta Linnemann, Friend or Foe of Scholarship? (1997). He comes to a balanced
          position, having evaluated many reviews of her book 'Is there a synoptic problem'?.
           
           
          snip
           
          You:
          The presupposition of source criticism is, I think, based on a fallacy.  It seeks to reconstruct ipsissima when such an exercise is, in fact, futile and pointless.  No solution is satisfactory because none can be proven.  (But it does provide loads of doctoral students with something to do).  ;-)
           
          Me:
          I must confess New Testament Science seems not (to have been) able to contribute significantly to establish
          criteria for recovering ipsissima verba. Its a kind of intellectual exercise which gives (as usual) only dialectial results.
          This means: two scientists with the same criteria in hand may get opposite results when they apply the criteria to
          the texts. I noticed this fact several times during my NT studies. I happened to take home from the university
          library a recent survey on this matter: Hyeon Woo Shin: 'The search for valid criteria: Textual Criticism, the synoptic Problem, and historical Jesus research, diss., Amsterdam, 2003. For the theorist ( a little part of me), its is wonderful.
          The old criteria are a bit polished, some new are formulated.  But I am sure it will not bring us closer to the matter
          deciding what are (not) ipsissima verba.
          That hinges much more on other presuppositions and choices taken about what the gospels are or what they are not.
          Its true, little (almost nothing even) can be proven. So the question may be: why are we (still) undertaking all these efforts??
          (Maybe I quitt when I have found the solution !?)

          ME:
          >We maybe have to go back to theories that explain the phenomena from
          >general literary INDEPENDENCE of all the four classical gospels?
            YOU:
          No, there clearly is some sort of interdependence.  We just cant trace the family tree (probably because theres too much inbreeding).

          I am struggling these days with theories of Paul Anderson on possible interrelationship(s) between the gospels.
          There are many options. Anyway, the term literary (in)dependence should be(come) better defined.
          Linnemann 1992 (Is there a synoptic Problem), whose excellent scientific PAST cannot be denied, is emphatic
          on that. Even from great similarities in (two) texts, one should not hastily jump to conclusions of literary dependence.
          If we think, gospel writers were plagarianists, we first have to see wat rules underly writing up plagarian texts generally
          in time related documents.
          As far as I know Linneman has also been first in providing a table of 'seven types of literary dependence', so that one
          does not run down to a text with a too simple (in)dependence definition.
           
          Here one point of myself (and of several other theologians of course):
           
          If we think many things in gospel texts cannot stem from memory based actual history, maybe more research
          has to be done of the role of memory itself, etc. etc.
           
          Wishing you all the best
           
          P.S. I do take questions!
           
          Frides Laméris
          Zuidlaren (Home)
          Netherlands.
           
        • John C. Poirier
          ... Definite results of the dependence approach are *not* minimal, as far as demonstrating the fact of dependence is concerned. What is up in the air is not
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 2, 2004
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            Frides Laméris wrote (in response to Carlson):

            >As long as there are no aprioris build in into the possible literary (in)dependence, there are chances traces can be found of such a relationship between (gospel) texts. Because thusfar however, after almost a few hundreds years of critical research, definite results of the dependence approach seem to be minimal (who would dare to say: as far as proofed certainty is concerned almost nil), the better chances may at last be for more traditional approaches which reckon with a minimum of LITERARY dependence.
            >
            Definite results of the dependence approach are *not* minimal, as far as
            demonstrating the fact of dependence is concerned. What is up in the
            air is not the question of dependence but the *direction* of dependence,
            which is a different matter altogether. You cannot turn the unsettled
            state of the latter into an unsettling of the former.

            Frides Laméris wrote (in response to West):

            >Even from great similarities in (two) texts, one should not hastily jump to conclusions of literary dependence. . . . If we think many things in gospel texts cannot stem from memory based actual history, maybe more research has to be done of the role of memory itself, etc. etc.
            >
            Have no fear, I've come to save the day: just read my article on
            "Memory, Written Sources, and the Synoptic Problem: A Response to Robert
            K. McIver and Marie Carroll" in the most recent *Journal of Biblical
            Literature*. (It will help you sleep more soundly.)


            John C. Poirier
            Middletown, Ohio



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          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... I think that Jack Poirier has already pointed that there is a big difference between the fact of some literary interdependence and the direction of that
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 6, 2004
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              At 03:07 PM 9/2/2004 +0200, Frides Laméris wrote:
              >As long as there are no aprioris build in into the possible literary
              >(in)dependence, there are chances traces can be found of such a
              >relationship between (gospel) texts. Because thusfar however, after almost
              >a few hundreds years of critical research, definite results of the
              >dependence approach seem to be minimal (who would dare to say: as far as
              >proofed certainty is concerned almost nil), the better chances may at last
              >be for more traditional approaches which reckon with a minimum of LITERARY
              >dependence.

              I think that Jack Poirier has already pointed that there is a
              big difference between the fact of some literary interdependence
              and the direction of that relationship. I would also dispute the
              idea that independence is "more traditional" than dependence,
              because Augustine assumed dependence in his discussion of the
              agreement of the gospels.

              >I wish we had a simple example (one to start with!); describe all the
              >different approaches; list the different presuppositions; have them rated as
              >to their weight, do some more necessary steps, and create the (mathematical)
              >formula which gives an evaluation of the (relative) strength(s) and
              >weaknes(ses) of all the explanations/approaches!

              At my web site, I have enumerated (based on a computer program) a list of
              1488 viable, documentary solutions to the synoptic problem, with 0, 1,
              or 2 relevant hypothetical documents. (Independence is not one of them.)

              See http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/enum.htm

              >I was once told in mathematics one tends to go for solutions that are
              >most simple and elegant.
              >
              >Maybe somebody can also work out some software which could do the
              >job sketched above. I'll leave that with pleasure to the (paid) experts!

              The hard part is not the software, but devising a formula that can
              reasonably evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the
              possible solutions.

              Stephen
              --
              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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