[Synoptic-L] The wording in *The Riddle of the New Testament*
- On his NTGateway weblog, Mark Goodacre has called attention to the online publication of Sir Edwyn Hoskyn and Noel Davey's *The Riddle of the New Testament* (1931), a book that I have known about (and which I think is sitting somewhere on my bookshelf) but have never read. (See at http://www.katapi.org.uk/RiddleOfTheNT/RiddleCh5.htm.) Knowing Hoskyn's association (how close?) with the Oxford school of synoptic studies, I knew what to expect in the section labeled "The Synoptic Problem", yet I still found the wording of the section remarkable enough to quote here: after detailing the "fundamental solution" (note the Streeterian language), Hoskyn and Davey write, "The general agreement among modern scholars that this is not only an adequate explanation, but indeed the only adequate explanation of the highly intricate and complex literary problem presented by the synoptic gospels, is a monument to the skill and patience of the scholars of the last generation." A later little on they assert that "The modern scholar . . . has . . . no right to complain of what has been achieved by his predecessors ."
Those of us who think that the two-source theory has had it too easy can at least take heart in the fact that few scholars today would dare to write in this way. Yes, we have a long way to go before nonspecialists discuss the synoptic problem in equitable terms, but at least some progress has been made.
I'm curious as to how widespread the term "the fundamental solution" became. Did it spread very far beyond the Oxford school? (I realize that "fundamental" is used here in the sense of "stripped down" [*viz.* without Proto-Luke and other improvements] rather than as an insinuation that the two-source theory itself is secure ground, but I think that in Streeter's hands the label does double work, and I wonder whether there may be some blurring of the sense in Hoskyn and Davey as well.)
John C. Poirier
- At 08:35 AM 9/28/04 -0400, John C. Poirier wrote: (in part)
Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
Knowing Hoskyn's association (how close?) with the Oxford school of synoptic studies ...
Without unpicking your hesitant affirmation, suffice to say that as far as I can see Edwyn C. Hoskyns (NB sp.) had no association with the Oxford school. He was a Cambridge man! Even a Corpus Christi man.
Doubtless he may have read the books, but he had no association with Oxford, and (as he says in the material you cited), was of a different (scholarly) generation from the Oxford Studies (1911; seminar since 1894 [when Hoskyns was 10 years old]), if not from Streeter's book (1924).
Markus Bockmuehl published an article on Hoskyns in a recent issue of Theology (2004): �What�s Under the Microscope? Revisiting E.C. Hoskyns on the Object of New Testament Study.� Theology 107: 3-13.
Interestingly, in that article Bockmuehl quotes C.F.D. Moule as making a similar comment to John's, viz, that Hoskyns was a bit too comfortable in adopting the standard positions as 'assured results' without sufficient critical scrutiny.
[a foreigner in Cambridge]