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4789Re: tc-list muratorian canon

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  • Mike Logsdon
    Oct 8, 1998
      Hahneman's work, though it is difficult to follow at times, does deal with
      the issue at hand--strengthening the case for a late fourth-century date
      and an eastern provenance designation of the fragment. Nevertheless one of
      his weaknesses from the outset is his overstatement regarding the
      Muratorian fragment to canon study. As such, he does not demonstrate why a
      later date necessitates a revised canon history toward a more gradual
      process, but instead his own dating of the Muratorian canon seems to be
      predicated upon this gradual process of canon formation. Still other
      weaknesses do occur. His argumentation is largely based on speculative
      postulations rather than concrete demonstrations about the contents of the
      fragment. Nowhere does he demonstrate a peculiarity or other aspect of the
      fragment that absolutely requires a fourth century dating. When he does
      attempt to offer a concrete characteristic, he erroneously concludes that
      the fragment is completely synonymous to the other fourth century
      catalogues. In fact, the lists in the fourth century catalogues are just
      that, lists. The Muratorian list, comparatively, is an expanded or
      apologetic commentary. What is more, Hahneman's dating is questionable
      since he so quickly accepts Sundberg's translation of nuperrime that is at
      best a mere plausible choice. In fact, Hahneman does not offer a critique
      of the traditional view that the reference is in fact not about the
      Shepherd of Hermas and Pius, but the Muratorian fragment and Pius.
      Hahneman rightly identifies the need to view the canon process as gradual,
      but over emphasizes the distinction between canon and scripture in
      reference to the fourth-century. In the end, Hahneman's conclusion appears
      plausible and his argumentation is good, but at the same time his own
      rejection of traditional conclusions offers little reason to completely
      accept his position thereby leaving readers cynical towards all positions
      concerning the Muratorian fragment. When one considers the abrupt ending
      and beginning of the fragment, cynicism towards conclusive remarks about
      the fragment might be a good position to maintain.

      At 09:51 PM 10/8/98 -0400, you wrote:
      >Query for the cognoscenti: would anyone care to share an opinion about G.
      >(Oxford: Clarendon, 1992), in which he suggests redating the Muratorian
      >Canon to the Fourth Century? I'll reserve my own comments for now. Thanks,
      >Rod Mullen
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