MrMacSon wrote: ↑Mon Jan 16, 2023 5:20 pm
Key early points
- [3.34-4.14] Influenced by Mathias Klingardt, Jason BeDuhn and Markus Vinzent, Bilby thinks "Marcion's Gospel is actually our earliest repository of significant data signals in what became early Christian tradition ... We have [other] early signals, probably, preserved in the Gospel of Thomas, and various papyrus fragments, and other kinds of texts".
GMcn corroborates most of the previously established Q materials and confirms numerous Qn sayings that have been debated yet typically have parallels in Matthew and/or the Gospel of Thomas
[p.14 of the pdf
1.5. Computational Linguistics and the Synoptic [Signals] Problem
2) Inaccurate articulations of the problem have also plagued most prior scholarship by Gospel scholars and scientists/technologists. The "Synoptic Problem" is typically framed thus:
"Mark, Matthew, and Luke have a high degree of similarity. How are they related to each other?"
Articulating the problem in this way isolates these datasets and excludes other datasets from consideration by default. It also narrows the scope of the problem so that any proposed solution is limited to these texts. When scholars propose other texts for serious consideration (e.g., the Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Thomas
, the Gospel
of Marcion, the Exposition of Papias
), their work is typically dismissed or ignored by the scholarly majority as untenable because it is not isolated to synoptic datasets, which—following from the invalid assumptions above—are exclusively given pride of place by default. The Synoptic Problem thus becomes a confusing maze bounded by circular logic.
To be solved, the Synoptic Problem cannot use only three datasets. We must include not only canonical Matthew, Mark, Luke, but also the three discrete recensions of the Gospel of John, the Gospel
of Marcion, the Gospel of Peter
, the Gospel of Thomas
, the Didache
, the Exposition of Papias
, the authentic and inauthentic letters of Paul, the Fayyum fragment, the writings of Justin Martyr, the Diatessaron
of Tatian, and many other texts.27
Only by accommodating all relevant datasets in our modeling and analysis can we show, understand, and explain their internal and external connections.
27 Along similar lines, see John S. Kloppenborg, "Conceptual Stakes in the Synoptic Problem," in Mogens Müller and Heike Omerzu, ed., Gospel Interpretation and the Q-hypothesis, LNTS 573 (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018), 13–42 at 15–17: "In fact the 'Synoptic Problem' has been undergoing an expansion of its purview for quite some time: textual materials are examined that display significant resemblance to the Synoptic Gospels such as Didache 1.3b–2.1; 16.3–8; 1 Clement 13; the Gospel of Thomas; the Gospel of Peter; the Dialogue of the Saviour; the Longer (Secret) Gospel of Mark; P.Egerton II, and several other documents, with the goal of producing a 'map' on which to place these various documents.
[pp.45-6 of the pdf
2.0. Five Hypotheses to Recover and Restore the First Gospel (the New Q or Qn)
Hypothesis 1. The vast majority of attested materials in GMcn consistently reflects a simple two source program, drawing on Early Mark (Mk1) and Qn, modestly editing and paraphrasing them, and rotating back and forth between them with minimal redactional stitching. Evaluating this hypothesis involves a preliminary level of trust
in the reconstruction of GMcn as an accurate and thorough representation of Early Luke (Lk1). Building this first level of confidence will generate some excitement and momentum and likely lead some scholars to take GMcn seriously for the first time as of potentially significant value to the historical debates about Q.
Hypothesis 2. When Luke has parallels with Matthew and/or Gos. Thomas
and those parallels are explicitly corroborated by GMcn, then this confirms their existence in Qn. This is especially helpful for passages that the Critical Edition of Q
committee marked as uncertain or stricken. This hypothesis involves an initial level of trust
in the reconstruction of GMcn as an accurate representation of Lk1. Of note here is that wording within confirmed Qn passages is often very densely and confidently attested in GMcn. Climbing to this floor will open new views and insights about GMcn and its place in the composition history of early Jesus texts and traditions. [see also pp.79-80 of the pdf
Hypothesis 3. When GMcn attests to the presence of Qn passages and verses in Luke, the order of these materials is preferable to the ordering of Qn materials in Matthew. The ordering of Qn based on GMcn involves a moderate level of trust
in its reconstruction as an accurate representation of Lk1. Lk2 only confirms this trust, inserting new content into Lk1 but still preserving most of the content and order of its base text. Early Matthew (Mt1) by comparison extensively recompiles and reorders materials from its sources. This floor rises above current notions about the order of Q and reconfigures its structural lines.
Hypothesis 4. When Matthew has a parallel with Luke that is not present in GMcn, this is not Qn
, and when it is unattested for GMcn, it is probably not Qn
. This hypothesis involves a high level of trust
in the reconstruction of GMcn as an accurate, thorough representation of Lk1. This is where our solution to the Synoptic Problem dovetails deeply with key passages and arguments outlined by proponents of the Farrer-Goulder hypothesis showing how the text of Luke does in fact depend on that of Matthew at many points. While the view from here may be disconcerting for traditional Q scholars, feeling like nothing less than open surrender to sworn enemies, those who climb to this height will savor some stunning views and see the Synoptic Problem in a completely new way.
Hypothesis 5. When GMcn has a parallel in Luke that is not in Matthew or Mark, then these are additions to Qn
. This hypothesis involves the highest level of trust
in the reconstruction of GMcn as an accurate and thorough representation of Early Luke. Essentially, this idea involves accepting that the textual strata of Matthew omitted parts of Q that appear comfortably in both Lk1 and Lk2. While there is no reason to think this would be problematic, it certainly runs counter to centuries of scholarly habituation and discourse considering Matthew and Lk2 as the primary bases for reconstructing Q. This is where the GMcn solution reaches its most exhilarating heights, where completely new horizons appear for the study of the Gospels and the earliest 'Joshua' traditions and the history of his followers.
[p.77 of the pdf
...Jesus : protagonist of various Gospel strata developed after 70 CE outside of Judea
..Joshua : protagonist of the pre-70 CE Gospel; closest approximation to the Historical Jesus