Wow. This is great feedback. Thank you so much! All excellent points.Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:46 amTo use a more concrete example from your file, on page 85 you have Mark 2.23 broken out as an example of a verse having two layers (Mark 1, Mark 2):Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:29 amIn this case, because of my awareness of how puns work, I would probably stack them in the order 3, 1, 2 (original, pun, explanation of pun). But that is only because I know how puns (usually) work in English.vocesanticae wrote: ↑Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:49 pmFor example, if I gave you three statements, how would you order them sequentially as to when they first emerged in history and how they are related to each other?
1. "May the schwartz be with you."
2. "The schwartz, the force, same difference."
3. "May the force be with you.
What about something like this?
In this case, I would have no idea, because preferences for which Presidents are great can vary from person to person. Maybe person 1 made an assertion, person 2 added a name to the list, and then person 3 agreed with the addition but disagreed with one of the original names. Maybe that exact same process happened in the order 3, 2, 1. Maybe person 2 started with a full list, but persons 1 and 3 each removed the paradigmatic member of the political party opposite that to which each belonged (Republican or Democrat). Maybe person 3 named two Presidents, person 1 proposed an alternative for the more modern of the two, and person 3 said, "No, they were all great." Maybe that same thing happened in the order 1, 3, 2. I cannot tell.
First, it looks like version 1 is ungrammatical; either the ἐγένετο needs a nominative subject or the accusative αὐτόν needs an infinitive (there may be other ways to resolve the issue, but those are the two that come to mind).
Second, your notes do present a plausible sequence of events. Mark 1 writes something simple; then Luke 2 adds διαπορεύεσθαι αὐτὸν διὰ σπορίμων; and then Mark 2 both changes that line to παραπορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν σπορίμων and adds ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν, making a distinction between Jesus respectfully skirting the edge of the field and the disciples disrespectfully forging their own road right through it.
My issue with this second point is twofold.
On the one hand, your reasoning seems to require the assumption that the later redactor would make Jesus more and not less respectful. As attractive as this assumption both is and has been for many researchers on the synoptic problem for more than a century now, it is still an assumption, and I feel pretty certain it is not the only assumption that you employ when making such decisions, since this particular one (treating Jesus more or less respectfully, or as more or less respectful a person) comes up only a certain limited number of times throughout the synoptic record; not every single decision is going to hang on this one in particular. So do you somewhere list those kinds of assumptions that your methodology requires? Do you somewhere defend them? (I have not exhausted the PDF file yet, I admit.)
On the other hand, for the phrase ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν, I can easily imagine it being original to Mark 1 as either a Semitism or a Latinism.
The Old Greek shows us exactly what we find in Mark, the active voice of the infinitive of ποιέω used with the accusative ὁδὸν to express the idea of making one's way or taking a trip. (That Judges 17.8 has the aorist infinitive and Mark 2.23 has the present infinitive is a matter of simple aspect, and is of no consequence to the idiom itself.)
The Latin expression iter facere, "to make a way," simply means to go on a journey. The infinitive facere is active. A simple, uncritical translation of iter facere into Greek would yield ὁδὸν ποιεῖν.
Mark has many of both (Semitisms and Latinisms) throughout the gospel, so to find one here would occasion exactly zero surprise. Then it becomes natural for Matthew and Luke to eliminate what in Greek comes off sounding weird or harsh. (Luke, especially, seems to tend to avoid words and phrases which come off as foreign; there are exceptions, of course, but not as many as Mark is riddled with.)
So is ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν original to Mark or is it part of a later layer? Given that both directions make sense (to my eye, at least), how would we tell? What is the tiebreaker, as it were?
My signals and strata analysis is only about half way done, but what I'm finding so far is that the Semitisms/Aramaicisms and Latinisms in Mark almost entirely belong to the later stratum. In Mk2 2.23, it's not just that the verb is a slight variation of what we find in Lk2 (and not in any earlier stratum), it's the cultural sensibilties and values of the editor that have shifted. It sounds like what we would expect expect of a land-owning aristocratic early-orthodox church official in Rome around the mid-2nd century.
No matter who tells the story of Jesus, it can't help but be a self-reflective telling. That doesn't mean that we can't speak meaningfully, even accurately of the past, but our ability to do so depends on coming to terms with the otherness and distinctiveness of the earliest stratum of the historical person or moment which we are trying to understand. We can never escape or completely transcend our historical-particularity, but we can learn to approach data strata reconstruction in an objective and scientific way.