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[Synoptic-L] documentary independence

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  • Frides Laméris
    Hi Tim, ... From: Tim Lewis To: synoptic-l@bham.ac.uk Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 6:46 AM Subject: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence ... It seems
    Message 1 of 20 , Sep 18, 2004
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      Hi Tim,
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Tim Lewis
      Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 6:46 AM
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence

      You wrote:
       
      >snip>
       
      It seems the Synoptics share much fewer verbal similarities than we might expect with documentary dependence given their context.
      My point is that one usually admits documentary dependence only when one believes that similar content, phrasing and sequence would not be expected given the context. Often it seems just as likely that the text has already had a oral life of its own. Could not phraseology from one Church's gospel effect another without positing direct literary dependence?
      Can someone please convince me that the synoptics are documentarily (inter)dependent (given the oral context).
       
      For my part, I very much doubt if real proof for documentary dependence proof can be given.
       
      E. Linnemann refers in her book 'Is there a synoptic problem' (I have a german edition from 1999) to the kind of considerations
      you are entertaining. She has also a lot of statistical observations that make documentary dependence of the synoptics according to her rather IMprobable. I think I referred before to the work of (Dutch) André Verkaik 'Tenability of Synoptic Independence' (a study that unfortunately I have not yet got hold of), who (also) goes for an (literary) independence view.
       
      As for myself, important, I think, is the point that when one allows more room for the gospel texts to reflect a higher level of historicity, directly or indirectly going back to reliable eyewitnesses, it MUST be that a certain percentage of the material being the same or having likeness can already be accounted for by this very fact.
       
      Other factors have to be considered of course and these one can certainly find in the literature of the 'Independentists'.
       
      As I have just rather recently gained (greater) interest in this matter, and I have not yet found the time to study (all) the details of the independence view, I am happy to leave the discussion at this point.
       
      I have understood from L. Dungans 'A history of the Synoptic Problem' that the formation of source theories often has been driven by questionable ideological factors. The postulated existence of Q is for me most enigmatic.
      One wonders, what drives the Q-theorists to almost make it a 'gospel' by itself
       
      Hoping the point that I have raised makes some connection with the question you have asked,
       
      Best wishes
       
      Frides Laméris
      Zuidlaren (Home)
      (Netherlands)
       
       
    • David Gentile
      ... (inter)dependent (given the oral context). ... I don t know if I can do that or not. I can provide some evidence in that direction however. I have a
      Message 2 of 20 , Sep 18, 2004
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        >
        > Can someone please convince me that the synoptics are documentarily
        (inter)dependent (given the oral context).
        >
        > Tim Lewis.
        >

        I don't know if I can do that or not. I can provide some evidence in that
        direction however.

        I have a statistical study of the synoptics here:
        http://www.davegentile.com/synoptics/main.html

        You might want to take a little time to look it over, if you are not already
        familiar with it.

        Let's consider two different ideas.

        1) Mark and Mathew were produced independently, and their common language
        reflects a common source. The non-common parts are attributed to the
        individual authors of Mark and Matthew.

        2) Matthew used Mark to produce his gospel. The common text, and the text
        unique to Mark, were then both produced by Mark, and the text unique to
        Matthew, was produced by Matthew.

        These ideas give different predictions about what the text common to Matthew
        and Mark should look like. In case 1, the style and vocabulary of the text
        should neither look like the rest of Mark, or the rest of Matthew, but
        instead reflect the underlying source. However, in case 2, The text common
        to Matthew and Mark should use the same style and vocabulary as the rest of
        Mark.

        My results support case 2.
        Let's look first, at just two categories. Here are there definitions -

        221 - Triple tradition, agreement between Matthew and Mark.
        Instances of words occurring in a sentence or clause in Mark, and also
        occurring in a corresponding parallel sentence or clause in Matthew, but
        not occurring in corresponding parallel sentence(s) or clause(s) in Luke.
        On the 2SH these are words authored by Mark and copied by Matthew, but not
        copied by Luke.
        On the FH these are words authored by Mark and copied by Matthew, but not
        copied by Luke, from either Mark or Matthew.
        On the GH these are words authored by Matthew, and then not copied by Luke,
        and then copied from Matthew by Mark.

        121 - Triple tradition, unique Mark.
        Instances of words occurring in a sentence or clause in Mark, but not
        occurring in corresponding parallel sentence(s) or clause(s) in Matthew,
        and also not occurring in corresponding parallel sentence(s) or clause(s)
        in Luke.
        On the 2SH these are words authored by Mark, but not copied by Matthew, and
        not copied by Luke.
        On the FH these are words authored by Mark, but then not copied by Matthew
        or Luke.
        On the GH these are words authored by Mark while editing Matthew and Luke.


        The relation between the categories 221, and 121, is significant at the
        8.75138E-16 level. (Odds are about 1 in 10 million billion, that it is due
        to random chance). The categories are related to each other above and
        beyond any relationship due to being part of the synoptics. That is to say
        if we were going to try to predict the frequency of vocabulary items in
        category 221, knowing the overall frequency of vocabulary items in the
        synoptics would help us make a good prediction, but we can improve our
        prediction, significantly, if we also know the frequency of vocabulary items
        in category 121.

        The vocabulary in the text common between Matthew and Mark, is significantly
        related to the vocabulary of Mark elsewhere in Mark's text. The same is not
        true of the text unique to Matthew. This result, and others relationships
        like it, strongly suggest that Mark was the original text, and that Matthew
        is based on Mark.

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

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Tim Lewis" <tlewistlewis@...>
        To: <synoptic-l@...>
        Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 11:46 PM
        Subject: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence


        > In regard to my question of documenary dependence (of which I want to be
        fully persuaded), Joseph Weaks wrote:
        >
        > >I received a couple mid-term papers last year that clearly had a
        > documentary dependence. :) Later investigation provided corroborating
        > evidence, and these two papers weren't nearly as similar as any two
        > synoptics.
        >
        > But this example of documentary dependence does not persuade me that the
        synoptics must also be (inter)dependent at a documentary level given that an
        essay is meant to be a personal and unique literary undertaking. Given that
        almost every sentence a person says or writes is unique (i.e. which no one
        has ever said or witten exactly that way before) we can account easily for
        documentary dependence in essay writing.
        >
        > Similarly I found in John Riches, Matthew, an example of verbal agreements
        that Riches uses from the Poll tax riots in the trial of Roy Hanney where
        the two police witnesses "agreed uncannily" in their statements such that
        the Defence Counsel clearly recognised collusion in the writing of the
        police statements. But this is because the similarities are such that would
        not otherwise be expected given the context. (Police do not routinely go
        around the police station chanting their statements like mantras or prayers
        and thus detailed agreement in phraseology and structure of a statement
        would be suspicious of collusion/dependence).
        >
        > Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote:
        > > ...I also looked at several medieval chroniclers where the lines of
        documentary dependence are well known. I chose these Latin chroniclers
        because they provided particularly clear examples of documentary
        interrelationships where three texts were closely related...
        >
        > But the medieval examples of documentary dependence chosen are again much
        less akin to that of the early Christian environment where the preservation
        of the Jesus-story was quite important.
        >
        > >Since I completed that work other known examples of documentay dependence
        have been identified and studied.
        >
        >
        > What examples might these be?
        >
        > It seems the Synoptics share much fewer verbal similarities than we might
        expect with documentary dependence given their context.
        >
        > My point is that one usually admits documentary dependence only when one
        believes that similar content, phrasing and sequence would not be expected
        given the context. Often it seems just as likely that the text has already
        had a oral life of its own. Could not phraseology from one Church's gospel
        effect another without positing direct literary dependence?
        >
        > Can someone please convince me that the synoptics are documentarily
        (inter)dependent (given the oral context).
        >
        > Tim Lewis.
        >
        >
        > (Apologies for the previous outdated signature which should not have
        included being "enrolled in Master of Theology at Whitley College" since
        deferring in March).
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Timothy M. Lewis
        > Cranbourne, VIC 3977
        > Part-time Greek Tutor at Whitley College,
        > Melbourne College of Divinity, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.
        >


        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
      • Karel Hanhart
        Dear Frides, It was nice to read a contribution from a compatriot. As most readers of Synoptic-L know I am an adept of the Farrer theory. The complex issues
        Message 3 of 20 , Sep 18, 2004
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          Dear Frides,
           
          It was nice to read a contribution from a compatriot. As most readers of Synoptic-L know I am an adept of the Farrer theory. The complex issues are best resolved, I believe, by the theory Matthew received  and wrote additional material and needed improvements of Mark. Luke used both Matthew and Mark and John reflected on all three.
          It seems to me that we should regard the gospel writers as educated authors writing creatively for their own particular audience and in their own right. Their first hand or second or third hand knowledge of the Jesus' movement, their ability to handle Hebrew and Aramaic, their own theological convictions and the needs of their audience should therefore be taken into account. They were not blind copyists. Statistical word counts are helpful, but are too small a basis to provide definitive answers.
          I, for one, find the notion that Mark wrote an abbreviated version of Matthew and Luke difficult to explain.  Mark wrote a Passover homily immediately after the debacle of 70. Matthew received this first Christian-Judean reaction from the ecclesia in Rome. Because  he wrote for a much broader Christian Judean public, he added such important material as the "Sermon on the Mount" to Mark's passion gospel.
          To be specific: I can very well explain the passage of Peter, the Rock and the keys (Mt 16,16-20) as a confirmation of Mark's ending of the opened  memorial tomb; and Matthew's longer version of the funeral as well as the vision of the women as an elaboration of Mark's tightly knit ending,  but I would be nonplussed to explain the differences in these key (!) passages as deriving from independent sources or from  a supposed order Matthew  - Mark.
          I wonder who this Verkaik is, you mentioned in your contribution. Could you clarify?
           
          with cordial greetings,
           
          Karel Hanhart
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 2:41 PM
          Subject: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence

          Hi Tim,
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Tim Lewis
          Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 6:46 AM
          Subject: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence

          You wrote:
           
          >snip>
           
          It seems the Synoptics share much fewer verbal similarities than we might expect with documentary dependence given their context.
          My point is that one usually admits documentary dependence only when one believes that similar content, phrasing and sequence would not be expected given the context. Often it seems just as likely that the text has already had a oral life of its own. Could not phraseology from one Church's gospel effect another without positing direct literary dependence?
          Can someone please convince me that the synoptics are documentarily (inter)dependent (given the oral context).
           
          For my part, I very much doubt if real proof for documentary dependence proof can be given.
           
          E. Linnemann refers in her book 'Is there a synoptic problem' (I have a german edition from 1999) to the kind of considerations
          you are entertaining. She has also a lot of statistical observations that make documentary dependence of the synoptics according to her rather IMprobable. I think I referred before to the work of (Dutch) André Verkaik 'Tenability of Synoptic Independence' (a study that unfortunately I have not yet got hold of), who (also) goes for an (literary) independence view.
           
          As for myself, important, I think, is the point that when one allows more room for the gospel texts to reflect a higher level of historicity, directly or indirectly going back to reliable eyewitnesses, it MUST be that a certain percentage of the material being the same or having likeness can already be accounted for by this very fact.
           
          Other factors have to be considered of course and these one can certainly find in the literature of the 'Independentists'.
           
          As I have just rather recently gained (greater) interest in this matter, and I have not yet found the time to study (all) the details of the independence view, I am happy to leave the discussion at this point.
           
          I have understood from L. Dungans 'A history of the Synoptic Problem' that the formation of source theories often has been driven by questionable ideological factors. The postulated existence of Q is for me most enigmatic.
          One wonders, what drives the Q-theorists to almost make it a 'gospel' by itself
           
          Hoping the point that I have raised makes some connection with the question you have asked,
           
          Best wishes
           
          Frides Laméris
          Zuidlaren (Home)
          (Netherlands)
           
           
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          In a message dated 9/18/2004 9:33:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Dave, I know you have been through this before, but could you possibly spell out, perhaps
          Message 4 of 20 , Sep 19, 2004
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            In a message dated 9/18/2004 9:33:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time, GentDave@... writes:


            The vocabulary in the text common between Matthew and Mark, is significantly
            related to the vocabulary of Mark elsewhere in Mark's text. The same is not
            true of the text unique to Matthew. This result, and others relationships
            like it, strongly suggest that Mark was the original text, and that Matthew
            is based on Mark


            Dave, I know you have been through this before, but could you possibly spell out, perhaps with some examples, what you mean by the above paragraph (especially, in a few more words, what you say about Matthew). A construction of vocabulary evidence that favors Markan priority always intrigues me, since on all other grounds (except perhaps one) the theory seems so improbable to me. Thanks much.

            Leonard Maluf
            Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
            Weston, MA
          • Maluflen@aol.com
            In a message dated 9/18/2004 11:06:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Maybe if you were able to conceive of a late Mark in other terms than these, your
            Message 5 of 20 , Sep 19, 2004
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              In a message dated 9/18/2004 11:06:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time, k.hanhart@... writes:


              I, for one, find the notion that Mark wrote an abbreviated version of Matthew and Luke difficult to explain.


              Maybe if you were able to conceive of a late Mark in other terms than these, your difficulty would disappear. As you know, I am a proponent of the GH, but I would never express what Mark did, except in a moment of carelessness, as an abbreviated version of Matthew and/or Luke. Conflation and abbreviation were not what Mark was "doing"; they were among a number of means used by him to create a Gospel drama suited for his relatively unsophisticated community of Roman, Gentile Christians. Another means he used was virtually the opposite of abbreviation, namely (clearly secondary) expansion and elaboration, which is found almost throughout Mark -- who achieved brevity, by comparison to Matthew and Luke, only by omitting large sections of the well-known teaching of Jesus, which would have slowed down his fast moving narrative.

                Mark wrote a Passover homily immediately after the debacle of 70. Matthew

              received this first Christian-Judean reaction from the ecclesia in Rome. Because  he wrote for a much broader Christian Judean public, he added such important material as the "Sermon on the Mount" to Mark's passion gospel.



              Strange, isn't it, that the second-hand recycler of material in the above description came to be known by the name of an intimate disciple of Jesus, and the original was written by someone for whom such a claim was never made. It is also strange, if your hypothesis is correct, how little interest Mark shows in Israel in his Gospel, or in relating Jesus (or even his opponents, for that matter) directly and explicitly to Israel. I see no hint in Mark that the author saw any connection between the twelve disciples of Jesus and the twelve tribes of Israel, for example. Or between "the Gospel" (which Mark alone of the Synoptics uses in the absolute) and the good news proclaimed in Second Isaiah. (MOGILALON, 7:32, is simply too small a data base on which to make such a claim.) Both connections are of course explicit in Matthew, and "naively" so. He does not seem to be "judaizing" a less Jewish source, but rather to be speaking his native language, from his native perspective, and producing out of it the substance of what has come to be known as the Synoptic common material -- as well as the rest of Matthew.

              Leonard Maluf
              Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
              Weston, MA
            • Frides Laméris
              Hi Karel, ... From: Karel Hanhart To: Frides Laméris ; synoptic-l@bham.ac.uk Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 5:06 PM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary
              Message 6 of 20 , Sep 19, 2004
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                Hi Karel,
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 5:06 PM
                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence

                 
                You:
                I wonder who this Verkaik is, you mentioned in your contribution. Could you clarify?
                 
                I'll try to contact him somehow. I only know that he graduated at Vrije Universiteit A'dam.
                 
                On the website of Sönke Finnern where she(he?) deals with
                  
                'Die Traditionshypothese als Alternative zur Zweiquellentheorie:
                Ihre neueren Vertreter, ihre Argumente, ihre Beurteilung* '

                I found a reference to another study of Verkaik:

                Verkaik, André, Hangovers over 'Überhänge': A study of the Additional Minor Details of Mark found in neither Matthew nor Luke, www.inexes.com/nt/synoptic_problem/ hangovers0t.html (5.3.01).

                I will contact you off list when I have found out more about him.

                Best wishes

                Frides Laméris

                Zuidlaren (Netherlands).

                 

                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 2:41 PM
                Subject: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence

                Hi Tim,
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Tim Lewis
                Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 6:46 AM
                Subject: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence

                You wrote:
                 
                >snip>
                 
                It seems the Synoptics share much fewer verbal similarities than we might expect with documentary dependence given their context.
                My point is that one usually admits documentary dependence only when one believes that similar content, phrasing and sequence would not be expected given the context. Often it seems just as likely that the text has already had a oral life of its own. Could not phraseology from one Church's gospel effect another without positing direct literary dependence?
                Can someone please convince me that the synoptics are documentarily (inter)dependent (given the oral context).
                 
                For my part, I very much doubt if real proof for documentary dependence proof can be given.
                 
                E. Linnemann refers in her book 'Is there a synoptic problem' (I have a german edition from 1999) to the kind of considerations
                you are entertaining. She has also a lot of statistical observations that make documentary dependence of the synoptics according to her rather IMprobable. I think I referred before to the work of (Dutch) André Verkaik 'Tenability of Synoptic Independence' (a study that unfortunately I have not yet got hold of), who (also) goes for an (literary) independence view.
                 
                As for myself, important, I think, is the point that when one allows more room for the gospel texts to reflect a higher level of historicity, directly or indirectly going back to reliable eyewitnesses, it MUST be that a certain percentage of the material being the same or having likeness can already be accounted for by this very fact.
                 
                Other factors have to be considered of course and these one can certainly find in the literature of the 'Independentists'.
                 
                As I have just rather recently gained (greater) interest in this matter, and I have not yet found the time to study (all) the details of the independence view, I am happy to leave the discussion at this point.
                 
                I have understood from L. Dungans 'A history of the Synoptic Problem' that the formation of source theories often has been driven by questionable ideological factors. The postulated existence of Q is for me most enigmatic.
                One wonders, what drives the Q-theorists to almost make it a 'gospel' by itself
                 
                Hoping the point that I have raised makes some connection with the question you have asked,
                 
                Best wishes
                 
                Frides Laméris
                Zuidlaren (Home)
                (Netherlands)
                 
                 
              • Joseph Weaks
                ... Of course, this type of historical reconstruction always strikes me as a random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake of brevity,
                Message 7 of 20 , Sep 19, 2004
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                  On Sep 19, 2004, at 6:31 AM, Maluflen@... wrote:
                  > ... I would never express what Mark did, except in a moment of
                  > carelessness, as an abbreviated version of Matthew and/or Luke.
                  > Conflation and abbreviation were not what Mark was "doing"; they were
                  > among a number of means used by him to create a Gospel drama suited
                  > for his relatively unsophisticated community of Roman, Gentile
                  > Christians. Another means he used was virtually the opposite of
                  > abbreviation, namely (clearly secondary) expansion and elaboration,
                  > which is found almost throughout Mark -- who achieved brevity, by
                  > comparison to Matthew and Luke, only by omitting large sections of the
                  > well-known teaching of Jesus, which would have slowed down his fast
                  > moving narrative...

                  Of course, this type of historical reconstruction always strikes me as
                  a random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake
                  of brevity, while most often expanding the individual traditions
                  themselves. These appeals to hypothetical sociological settings in
                  order to refute evidence internal to the text never strike me as
                  plausible.

                  Joe Weaks

                  **************************************************************
                  Rev. Joseph A. Weaks
                  Senior Minister, Bethany Christian Church, Dallas
                  Ph.D. (Cand.), Brite Divinity School, Ft. Worth
                  j.weaks@...
                  **************************************************************


                  Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                  List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                • David Gentile
                  Hello Leonard, As you say we have been through this before. I doubt I could add anything to what I have on my site, and what we have discussed on this list in
                  Message 8 of 20 , Sep 19, 2004
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                    Hello Leonard,

                    As you say we have been through this before. I doubt I could add anything to
                    what I have on my site, and what we have discussed on this list in the past.
                    Examples of specific vocabulary items are generally pointless, since the
                    statistical argument is based on the combined weight of many examples, not
                    individual cases which are by themselves insignificant.

                    I posted this because there are people here who may not be familiar with
                    earlier discussions on this list. If you, or others have specific questions
                    about material presented on the web pages, I'd be happy to try to answer
                    those question, since that might help me improve the site.

                    Sincerely,
                    Dave Gentile

                    Dave Gentile
                    Riverside, Illinois
                    M.S. Physics
                    M.S. Finance
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: <Maluflen@...>
                    To: <GentDave@...>; <tlewistlewis@...>;
                    <synoptic-l@...>
                    Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2004 6:02 AM
                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence


                    > In a message dated 9/18/2004 9:33:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                    > GentDave@... writes:
                    >
                    >
                    > > The vocabulary in the text common between Matthew and Mark, is
                    > > significantly
                    > > related to the vocabulary of Mark elsewhere in Mark's text. The same is
                    not
                    > > true of the text unique to Matthew. This result, and others
                    relationships
                    > > like it, strongly suggest that Mark was the original text, and that
                    Matthew
                    > > is based on Mark
                    >
                    > Dave, I know you have been through this before, but could you possibly
                    spell
                    > out, perhaps with some examples, what you mean by the above paragraph
                    > (especially, in a few more words, what you say about Matthew). A
                    construction of
                    > vocabulary evidence that favors Markan priority always intrigues me, since
                    on all
                    > other grounds (except perhaps one) the theory seems so improbable to me.
                    Thanks
                    > much.
                    >
                    > Leonard Maluf
                    > Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                    > Weston, MA
                    >


                    Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                    List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                  • Maluflen@aol.com
                    In a message dated 9/19/2004 4:40:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Joe, read what you just wrote, please: A random apology for how an author can leave out
                    Message 9 of 20 , Sep 20, 2004
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                      In a message dated 9/19/2004 4:40:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time, j.weaks@... writes:


                      On Sep 19, 2004, at 6:31 AM, Maluflen@... wrote:
                      > ... I would never express what Mark did, except in a moment of
                      > carelessness, as an abbreviated version of Matthew and/or Luke.
                      > Conflation and abbreviation were not what Mark was "doing"; they were
                      > among a number of means used by him to create a Gospel drama suited
                      > for his relatively unsophisticated community of Roman, Gentile
                      > Christians. Another means he used was virtually the opposite of
                      > abbreviation, namely (clearly secondary) expansion and elaboration,
                      > which is found almost throughout Mark -- who achieved brevity, by
                      > comparison to Matthew and Luke, only by omitting large sections of the
                      > well-known teaching of Jesus, which would have slowed down his fast
                      > moving narrative...

                      Of course, this type of historical reconstruction always strikes me as
                      a random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake
                      of brevity, while most often expanding the individual traditions
                      themselves.


                      Joe, read what you just wrote, please: "A random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake of brevity.." Since when is it expected that an *author* would copy stories written by someone else? If you want to refer to a late Mark as a redactor, or better still as a scribe (in the sense of a copier of manuscripts) your sentence would make good sense. But in the case of an author, if you think that's what Mark is (and I would agree), the question is not why he would have left out some parts of an existing Gospel of Matthew, but rather why he would appear, at first glance, to have copied so much of it! (Of all the early Christian writers we know, who knew the Gospel of Matthew, none of them copied those parts you want to blame a late Mark for not copying.) And to answer my own question (why Mark would have copied what he did from Matthew), the fact is that he did not just copy them, but rather worked them into a different kind of communication, a Gospel drama, designed to reach a specific (low-class, relatively unsophisticated) audience with a powerful Gospel message. The hypothesized situation is perfectly coherent, identical in kind to that which obtains today when films are made from existing books (always with major omissions in the film product). The fact that the theory is coherent does not make it true, but it cannot be dismissed out of hand as inherently implausible. Especially not "of course".


                      These appeals to hypothetical sociological settings in
                      order to refute evidence internal to the text never strike me as
                      plausible.

                      My purpose, like yours, is not to refute, but rather to interpret evidence internal to the text. The Markan priority hypothesis, like the Matthean priority hypothesis, is not "evidence internal to the text" but theory that attempts to explain that evidence.

                      Leonard Maluf
                      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                      Weston, MA
                    • Maluflen@aol.com
                      In a message dated 9/19/2004 9:16:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I would just like to hear you express verbally, in somewhat fuller form, what you think your
                      Message 10 of 20 , Sep 20, 2004
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                        In a message dated 9/19/2004 9:16:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time, GentDave@... writes:


                        I posted this because there are people here who may not be familiar with
                        earlier discussions on this list. If you, or others have specific questions
                        about material presented on the web pages, I'd be happy to try to answer
                        those question, since that might help me improve the site.



                        I would just like to hear you express verbally, in somewhat fuller form, what you think your tables of statistics prove and why. The reason I say this is because your less fully stated interpretation of your verbal statistics does not match with my interpretation of more macro observations -- such as the fact that the common Synoptic material is in general more demonstrably Matthean in origin than it is Markan in origin. It would be nice if the statistics re-inforced, rather than contradicted, sound evaluation of the evidence based on macro observations.

                        Leonard Maluf
                        Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                        Weston, MA
                      • Tim Reynolds
                        on 18/9/04 5:41 AM, Frides Laméris at flameris@prettel.nl wrote: Hi Tim, ... From: Tim Lewis To: synoptic-l@bham.ac.uk
                        Message 11 of 20 , Sep 21, 2004
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                          Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence on 18/9/04 5:41 AM, Frides Laméris at flameris@... wrote:

                          Hi Tim,
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: Tim Lewis <mailto:tlewistlewis@...>  
                          To: synoptic-l@...
                          Sent: Saturday, September 18, 2004 6:46 AM
                          Subject: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence

                          You wrote:

                          >snip>

                          It seems the Synoptics share much fewer verbal similarities than we might expect with documentary dependence given their context.
                          My point is that one usually admits documentary dependence only when one believes that similar content, phrasing and sequence would not be expected given the context.
                          Often it seems just as likely that the text has already had a oral life of its own. Could not phraseology from one Church's gospel effect another without positing direct literary dependence?
                          Can someone please convince me that the synoptics are documentarily (inter)dependent (given the oral context).

                          For my part, I very much doubt if real proof for documentary dependence proof can be given.

                          E. Linnemann refers in her book 'Is there a synoptic problem' (I have a german edition from 1999) to the kind of considerations
                          you are entertaining. She has also a lot of statistical observations that make documentary dependence of the synoptics according to her rather IMprobable. I think I referred before to the work of (Dutch) André Verkaik 'Tenability of Synoptic Independence' (a study that unfortunately I have not yet got hold of), who (also) goes for an (literary) independence view.

                          As for myself, important, I think, is the point that when one allows more room for the gospel texts to reflect a higher level of historicity, directly or indirectly going back to reliable eyewitnesses, it MUST be that a certain percentage of the material being the same or having likeness can already be accounted for by this very fact.

                             
                          Good point

                          Other factors have to be considered of course and these one can certainly find in the literature of the 'Independentists'.

                          As I have just rather recently gained (greater) interest in this matter, and I have not yet found the time to study (all) the details of the independence view, I am happy to leave the discussion at this point.

                          I have understood from L. Dungans 'A history of the Synoptic Problem' that the formation of source theories often has been driven by questionable ideological factors. The postulated existence of Q is for me most enigmatic.
                          One wonders, what drives the Q-theorists to almost make it a 'gospel' by itself

                          Hoping the point that I have raised makes some connection with the question you have asked,

                          Best wishes

                          Frides Laméris
                          Zuidlaren (Home)
                          (Netherlands)

                          It seems to me the synoptics are best described as "too similar to be unrelated and two dissimilar to be transcription or dictation.  Like the Bad Quartos of Shakespeare's most popular plays.

                          Best,

                          tim


                        • Tim Reynolds
                          on 19/9/04 4:02 AM, Maluflen@aol.com at Maluflen@aol.com wrote: In a message dated 9/18/2004 9:33:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time, GentDave@worldnet.att.net
                          Message 12 of 20 , Sep 21, 2004
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                            Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence on 19/9/04 4:02 AM, Maluflen@... at Maluflen@... wrote:

                            In a message dated 9/18/2004 9:33:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time, GentDave@... writes:


                            The vocabulary in the text common between Matthew and Mark, is significantly
                            related to the vocabulary of Mark elsewhere in Mark's text. The same is not
                            true of the text unique to Matthew. This result, and others relationships
                            like it, strongly suggest that Mark was the original text, and that Matthew
                            is based on Mark


                            Dave, I know you have been through this before, but could you possibly spell out, perhaps with some examples, what you mean by the above paragraph (especially, in a few more words, what you say about Matthew). A construction of vocabulary evidence that favors Markan priority always intrigues me, since on all other grounds (except perhaps one) the theory seems so improbable to me. Thanks much.

                            Leonard Maluf
                            Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                            Weston, MA


                            Dave's formulation appears clear to me.  What's your problem with it?

                            Tim Reynolds
                            LB CA 90802
                          • Tim Reynolds
                            ... Tampoco tim Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@bham.ac.uk
                            Message 13 of 20 , Sep 21, 2004
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                              on 19/9/04 1:39 PM, Joseph Weaks at j.weaks@... wrote:

                              >
                              > On Sep 19, 2004, at 6:31 AM, Maluflen@... wrote:
                              >> ... I would never express what Mark did, except in a moment of
                              >> carelessness, as an abbreviated version of Matthew and/or Luke.
                              >> Conflation and abbreviation were not what Mark was "doing"; they were
                              >> among a number of means used by him to create a Gospel drama suited
                              >> for his relatively unsophisticated community of Roman, Gentile
                              >> Christians. Another means he used was virtually the opposite of
                              >> abbreviation, namely (clearly secondary) expansion and elaboration,
                              >> which is found almost throughout Mark -- who achieved brevity, by
                              >> comparison to Matthew and Luke, only by omitting large sections of the
                              >> well-known teaching of Jesus, which would have slowed down his fast
                              >> moving narrative...
                              >
                              > Of course, this type of historical reconstruction always strikes me as
                              > a random apology for how an author can leave out stories for the sake
                              > of brevity, while most often expanding the individual traditions
                              > themselves. These appeals to hypothetical sociological settings in
                              > order to refute evidence internal to the text never strike me as
                              > plausible.
                              >
                              > Joe Weaks
                              >
                              > **************************************************************
                              > Rev. Joseph A. Weaks
                              > Senior Minister, Bethany Christian Church, Dallas
                              > Ph.D. (Cand.), Brite Divinity School, Ft. Worth
                              > j.weaks@...
                              > **************************************************************
                              >
                              >
                              > Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                              > List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...


                              Tampoco

                              tim


                              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                              List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                            • dgentil@sears.com
                              Leonard, Maybe I could just give a philosophical answer. What do I believe the study proves? Nothing at all. I believe absolute proof of anything is
                              Message 14 of 20 , Sep 24, 2004
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                                Leonard,

                                Maybe I could just give a philosophical answer. What do I believe the study
                                proves?

                                Nothing at all. I believe absolute proof of anything is impossible.

                                What the study demonstrates is that when vocabulary frequencies are
                                examined, that form of evidence indicates a strong probability of Markian
                                priority.

                                However, it is always possible that if more evidence, of other sorts, were
                                considered, the probability of Markian priority could be reduced or even
                                reversed. (Updating probabilities in this way is either an implicit or
                                explicit application of Bayes's theorem.) But, I think that it would
                                require a quite substantial amount of evidence to change the probable
                                conclusion.

                                What macro features are you referring to? I recall that you have said that
                                the large scale structure of the synoptics seems most consistent with
                                Markian priority, but that your disagreement was with the details.

                                .
                                Sincerely,
                                Dave Gentile

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




                                Maluflen@...
                                Sent by: To: GentDave@..., synoptic-l@...
                                owner-synoptic-l@ cc:
                                bham.ac.uk Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence


                                09/20/2004 07:32
                                PM






                                In a message dated 9/19/2004 9:16:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                GentDave@... writes:


                                I posted this because there are people here who may not be familiar with
                                earlier discussions on this list. If you, or others have specific
                                questions
                                about material presented on the web pages, I'd be happy to try to answer
                                those question, since that might help me improve the site.



                                I would just like to hear you express verbally, in somewhat fuller form,
                                what you think your tables of statistics prove and why. The reason I say
                                this is because your less fully stated interpretation of your verbal
                                statistics does not match with my interpretation of more macro observations
                                -- such as the fact that the common Synoptic material is in general more
                                demonstrably Matthean in origin than it is Markan in origin. It would be
                                nice if the statistics re-inforced, rather than contradicted, sound
                                evaluation of the evidence based on macro observations.

                                Leonard Maluf
                                Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                                Weston, MA




                                Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                                List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                              • Maluflen@aol.com
                                In a message dated 9/24/2004 3:18:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... What I would like is a fuller statement of your argument, as opposed to simply discussing
                                Message 15 of 20 , Sep 26, 2004
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                                  In a message dated 9/24/2004 3:18:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, dgentil@... writes:


                                  Maybe I could just give a philosophical answer. What do I believe the study
                                  proves?

                                  Nothing at all.  I believe absolute proof of anything is impossible.

                                  What the study demonstrates is that when vocabulary frequencies are
                                  examined, that form of evidence indicates a strong probability of Markian
                                  priority.


                                  What I would like is a fuller statement of your argument, as opposed to simply discussing its formal value, or stating what you believe to be its result or conclusion. I suspect that there are presuppositions in your argument that I would have serious problems with, but I can't say so for sure until you lay it out a bit more fully. It is not sufficient to say that such a fuller exposition can be found in Synoptic-L archives. You are writing on this list to an audience which should not be presumed to be familiar with those archives, and are stating that you have made a significant argument in favor of Markan priority, based on vocabulary statistics. I think you have to be able to describe or rehearse that argument with sufficient fulness to insure that list members don't have to simply take your word for it when you pronounce on its merit. Then I could proceed to either reject your argument, or perhaps to accept it, and then go on to air the numerous other possible arguments, also based on vocabulary statistics, that would favor Matthean priority. Thanks.

                                  Leonard Maluf
                                  Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                                  Weston
                                • David Gentile
                                  Leonard, I don t expect people to look through the archives. However, I do expect people who are interested in understanding the work to study all the webpages
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Sep 26, 2004
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                                    Leonard,

                                    I don't expect people to look through the archives. However, I do expect
                                    people who are interested in understanding the work to study all the
                                    webpages on my site completely (including following all the links) and ask
                                    specific questions about items there that they do not understand, or have
                                    issues with.

                                    http://www.davegentile.com/synoptics/main.html

                                    I don't see any value in cutting and pasting that material here, or trying
                                    to do a re-statement of that material here, unless I know what is not clear
                                    in the first attempt at explanation.

                                    Thank you,
                                    Dave Gentile

                                    Dave Gentile
                                    Riverside, Illinois
                                    M.S. Physics
                                    M.S. Finance
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: <Maluflen@...>
                                    To: <dgentil@...>; <synoptic-l@...>
                                    Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2004 10:39 AM
                                    Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence


                                    > In a message dated 9/24/2004 3:18:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                    > dgentil@... writes:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > > Maybe I could just give a philosophical answer. What do I believe the
                                    study
                                    > > proves?
                                    > >
                                    > > Nothing at all. I believe absolute proof of anything is impossible.
                                    > >
                                    > > What the study demonstrates is that when vocabulary frequencies are
                                    > > examined, that form of evidence indicates a strong probability of
                                    Markian
                                    > > priority.
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    > What I would like is a fuller statement of your argument, as opposed to
                                    > simply discussing its formal value, or stating what you believe to be its
                                    result or
                                    > conclusion. I suspect that there are presuppositions in your argument that
                                    I
                                    > would have serious problems with, but I can't say so for sure until you
                                    lay it
                                    > out a bit more fully. It is not sufficient to say that such a fuller
                                    > exposition can be found in Synoptic-L archives. You are writing on this
                                    list to an
                                    > audience which should not be presumed to be familiar with those archives,
                                    and are
                                    > stating that you have made a significant argument in favor of Markan
                                    > priority, based on vocabulary statistics. I think you have to be able to
                                    describe or
                                    > rehearse that argument with sufficient fulness to insure that list members
                                    > don't have to simply take your word for it when you pronounce on its
                                    merit. Then I
                                    > could proceed to either reject your argument, or perhaps to accept it, and
                                    > then go on to air the numerous other possible arguments, also based on
                                    > vocabulary statistics, that would favor Matthean priority. Thanks.
                                    >
                                    > Leonard Maluf
                                    > Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                                    > Weston
                                    >


                                    Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                                    List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                                  • Maluflen@aol.com
                                    In a message dated 9/26/2004 6:44:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I wouldn t waste my time. I have no reason to question any of your statistical data that do
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Sep 28, 2004
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                                      In a message dated 9/26/2004 6:44:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time, GentDave@... writes:

                                      I don't expect people to look through the archives. However, I do expect
                                      people who are interested in understanding the work to study all the
                                      webpages on my site completely (including following all the links) and ask
                                      specific questions about items there that they do not understand, or have
                                      issues with.


                                      I wouldn't waste my time. I have no reason to question any of your statistical data that do not require intelligence, and that can therefore be processed by a computer better than by a human being. I am interested in the following step: how you get from the data you have assembled to an argument in favor of Markan priority. It is there that I suspect (though I cannot yet say for sure, since you refuse to articulate your argument beyond the mere statement of its conclusion) that presuppositions would be operative to which I would take exception. Until you are able to articulate that argument, I don't believe its conclusion merits much credit or attention.

                                      Leonard Maluf
                                      Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                                      Weston, MA

                                    • dgentil@sears.com
                                      I wouldn t waste my time. Then I really don t see why I should waste mine. But... The central premise is that if a category of text (A) and another category
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Sep 28, 2004
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                                        "I wouldn't waste my time."

                                        Then I really don't see why I should waste mine.

                                        But...

                                        The central premise is that if a category of text (A) and another category
                                        of text (B) share a similar frequency of vocabulary items, above and beyond
                                        any similarity we would expect, given that both categories are taken from
                                        the synoptics, and if another category (C) does not share a similar
                                        frequency of vocabulary items with (A) and (B), then (A) and (B) most
                                        likely have the same author, and (C) most likely has a different author.

                                        The study shows that the categories which include material in common
                                        between Matthew and Mark show a similarity to categories which contain
                                        material found only in Mark. But the categories containing material unique
                                        to Matthew, do not show a similar relation to the categories containing
                                        material common to Matthew and Mark.

                                        Hence...the material in common between Matthew and Mark was likely
                                        originally authored by the same person who produced the rest of Mark, and
                                        not be the same person that produced the rest of Matthew.

                                        Some objections to directly connecting vocabulary frequency, and authorship
                                        have been raised on this list, and the objections are summarized and
                                        discussed here.

                                        http://www.davegentile.com/synoptics/problems.html

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






                                        Maluflen@...
                                        Sent by: To: GentDave@..., synoptic-l@...
                                        owner-synoptic-l@ cc:
                                        bham.ac.uk Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] documentary independence


                                        09/28/2004 11:55
                                        AM






                                        In a message dated 9/26/2004 6:44:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                        GentDave@... writes:

                                        I don't expect people to look through the archives. However, I do expect
                                        people who are interested in understanding the work to study all the
                                        webpages on my site completely (including following all the links) and ask
                                        specific questions about items there that they do not understand, or have
                                        issues with.


                                        I wouldn't waste my time. I have no reason to question any of your
                                        statistical data that do not require intelligence, and that can therefore
                                        be processed by a computer better than by a human being. I am interested in
                                        the following step: how you get from the data you have assembled to an
                                        argument in favor of Markan priority. It is there that I suspect (though I
                                        cannot yet say for sure, since you refuse to articulate your argument
                                        beyond the mere statement of its conclusion) that presuppositions would be
                                        operative to which I would take exception. Until you are able to articulate
                                        that argument, I don't believe its conclusion merits much credit or
                                        attention.

                                        Leonard Maluf
                                        Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                                        Weston, MA




                                        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                                        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                                      • Maluflen@aol.com
                                        In a message dated 9/28/2004 1:51:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Hmmm... I am wondering whether to try to tease out what this all means, or just to let it
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Sep 28, 2004
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                                          In a message dated 9/28/2004 1:51:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time, dgentil@... writes:

                                          The central premise is that if a category of text (A) and another category
                                          of text (B) share a similar frequency of vocabulary items, above and beyond
                                          any similarity we would expect, given that both categories are taken from
                                          the synoptics, and if another category (C) does not share a similar
                                          frequency of vocabulary items with (A) and (B), then (A) and (B) most
                                          likely have the same author, and (C) most likely has a different author.


                                          Hmmm... I am wondering whether to try to tease out what this all means, or just to let it stand as a monument to the stunning perlucidity of argumenation in favor of Markan priority. More seriously, I see a potential problem here in the fact that, on the one hand, you refer to "authors" of text here and on the other, the argument seems to presuppose a secondary author who is really, in a significant sense, more a copier than an author. I'm not sure exactly how this observation affects your argument, because it is not perfectly clear to me yet what your argument is, but perhaps some light will emerge if I proceed to read your next sentence


                                          The study shows that the categories which include material in common
                                          between Matthew and Mark show a similarity to categories which contain
                                          material found only in Mark. But the categories containing material unique
                                          to Matthew, do not show a similar relation to the categories containing
                                          material common to Matthew and Mark.



                                          Now you are writing in sentences I can understand, and if its components are true, your study would seem to be a valid, if inconclusive, argument in favor of Markan priority. I am not exactly sure how you are using the term "categories" in the above. Does it mean something more than "passages"? Also, I think it would be interesting if you could supply a concrete example, that could then be discussed, of the phenomenon the above sentences intend to convey. I realize that your original argument did not depend on a single item, but was rather cumulative in force. But I still find it difficult to evaluate your claims without the help of a few particulars. Maybe you could report on what you would regard as the most telling instances of the phenomenon you describe?


                                          Hence...the material in common between Matthew and Mark was likely
                                          originally authored by the same person who produced the rest of Mark, and
                                          not be the same person that produced the rest of Matthew.


                                          Your conclusion intrigues me because it is counter-intuitive. It states the opposite of what I would think to be true, coming at the problem from an approach not based exclusively on detailed vocabulary statistics. I think the material common to Matthew and Mark is demonstrably more Matthean than it is Markan in origin. I think, for instance, that the miracles in the two Gospels function differently in the two communication settings, and that that of Matthew is much more likely earlier than that of Mark. In Matthew the miracles of Jesus are part of a scriptural argument that legitimates Jesus as Israel's Messiah; in Mark the miracles are used to illustrate the saving mediation of Jesus' divine power in an ecclesial situation. Mark is not only no longer interested in legitimating Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, he is no longer even particularly interested in defining Jesus' relationship vis-a-vis Israel nor does he understand this relationship to be Jesus' defining identity. In other words, Mark's perspective is that of the later Christian creeds.

                                          Leonard Maluf
                                          Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
                                          Weston, MA

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