Textkit Logo

die Quelle

Are you learning New Testament Greek with Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek? Here's where you can meet other learners using this textbook. Use this board to ask questions and post your work for feedback. Use this forum too to discuss all things Koine, LXX & New Testament Greek including grammar, syntax, textbook talk and more.

die Quelle

Postby Thucydides » Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:27 am

I've been reading about the Q hypothesis (that matthew and luke use matthew and a common source Q for their gospels). I'd be interested to know what the textkiters think of this? Is it likely/specualation/hard to tell?
phpbb
User avatar
Thucydides
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 9:46 pm
Location: Christ Church Oxford

Postby Geoff » Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:25 pm

Fanciful theory not supported by hard evidence.
User avatar
Geoff
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:30 pm

Postby Thucydides » Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:28 pm

Do you subscribe to another theory then (e.g. Farrer's)? Or do you just think that it's impossible to really tell?
phpbb
User avatar
Thucydides
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 9:46 pm
Location: Christ Church Oxford

Postby Talmid » Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:11 pm

>>(that matthew and luke use matthew and a common source Q for their gospels)<<

I've recently started studying this issue as well. I think you meant to say rather, "that matthew and luke use Mark and a common source Q for their gospels." This is populary known as the two-source, or two-document, theory.

If you read the ancient writers from Papias to Augustine, you will find complete agreement that the apostle Matthew indeed wrote the gospel that bears his name first, and that he and all the other gospel writers worked independently of each other. Luke's prologue in 1:1-4 indicates that he deemed as inadequate the previous records which he had access to--it would be hard to imagine Luke as considering the gospel of Mark as an inadequte record.

Finally, this two-source theory demands that Matthew depended on Mark's gospel for information to write about his own conversion, and that Matthew, an apostle and eyewitness of Christ's ministry, depended on Mark, a non-eyewitness nor apostle. The logic behind the two-source theory does not stand very firm on these grounds.

You may wish to consult The Jesus Crisis (Kregel, 1998), by Thomas & Farnell, for a defense of the traditional view against the two-source theory.
Talmid
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:04 am
Location: Ft Drum, NY

Postby Geoff » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:34 pm

Thanks for the reference Talmid. I too believe in the single Bullet Theory (I Pet 1:21) ;)

Each writer worked independantly. I'm always wondering who Q copied from.

Korio could probably speak for ages on the subject.
User avatar
Geoff
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:30 pm

Postby JulianJ » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:57 pm

There are a number of proposed solutions to what is called the synoptic problem. The two source hypothesis is the most common and involves a theoretical document known as Q. There are other solutions such as Farrer and Griesbach.

No serious scholar outside the apologist and/or fundamentalist camp believe that the gospel writers wrote independently or that the names attached to them are authentic.

Most accept Markan priority but the real contention comes when trying to determine if Luke copied from Matthew or not.

The best modern overview of the problem, the methodologies and its many solutions is probably Studying the Synoptic Gospels by E.P. Sanders and Margaret Davies. Both of them are christians and believe in a historical Jesus, I should mention, before I get accused of suggesting liberal scholars.

The origin of the Q document would be hard to ascertain. It could be from a historical Jesus or a logia based on largely Cynic sayings, excepting the eschatological material. There is no way to know since we know nothing about the origin of christianity. Did it begin with a historical Jesus, was it a Jewish inspired mystery cult, or some other origin, we just don't know and therefore we can say very little about the origin of Q. We can say quite a bit of its evolution but much of that is guesswork. A decent source (that might make too many assumptions) is Burton Mack's The Lost Gospel.

Talmid and Geoff, who posted above, represent a fundamentalist/traditional view not supported by available evidence. It is a view supported by tradition, however.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Talmid » Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:33 pm

No serious scholar outside the apologist and/or fundamentalist camp believe that the gospel writers wrote independently or that the names attached to them are authentic.

Have you ever read the testimony of Eta Linnemann? She was a world-class, Bultmannian scholar and Professor of New Testament at Philipps University, Marburg, West Germany. She would disagree with your claim.

In addition, have you read the works of Papias, Augustine, or Eusebius? Were these not "serious scholars" in your estimation?

There is no way to know since we know nothing about the origin of christianity.

I do. Please limit your use of the first person pronoun to the singular, since you cannot rightfully include me as part of your use of "we." It is better for you to say "...since I know nothing about the origin of christianity."

Talmid and Geoff, who posted above, represent a fundamentalist/traditional view not supported by available evidence. It is a view supported by tradition, however.

Your first sentence is contradicted by the second.
Talmid
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:04 am
Location: Ft Drum, NY

Postby Geoff » Sat Dec 03, 2005 4:11 pm

No serious scholar outside the apologist and/or fundamentalist camp believe that the gospel writers wrote independently or that the names attached to them are authentic.

This is in fact an ad hominem and incidently not possible to be negated seeing it is a tautology. The unstated premises are that first if one believes the gospel writers worked independently they are not serious and second it places them in that camp and therefore none can exist outside that camp any more than a round square.

What is meant by independently is open for discussion. Few believe independence in the sense of being totally unaware of the other's existence and possibly works. However, they did not rely on another source.
There is no way to know since we know nothing about the origin of christianity.


The multitude of MSS testify to the origin's of Christianity better than many other historical movements. That is something.

Most people who reject the basic approach to the composition and transmission of the New Testament assert that it undermines the oral traditions and fails to account for their relevance. No one making that argument can deny that tradition is a type of evidence to be reckoned with. Tradition can come through time orally (subject to change without reference) or in a written form (possibly subject to change in a different way; i.e. through transmission, yet with reference for identification). A mixture of the two presents another discussion
:wink:

I however am confident in inspiration as the chief reconciling factor.
User avatar
Geoff
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:30 pm

Postby JulianJ » Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:38 pm

Talmid wrote:No serious scholar outside the apologist and/or fundamentalist camp believe that the gospel writers wrote independently or that the names attached to them are authentic.

Have you ever read the testimony of Eta Linnemann? She was a world-class, Bultmannian scholar and Professor of New Testament at Philipps University, Marburg, West Germany. She would disagree with your claim.

I am familiar with Bultman and the students that arose from his teachings. Bultman, however, was long ago and things moved on from that time. Sure, you can still find the odd scholar here and there who believe that the gospels were really written by the names attached to them and that they were written independently. Unfortunately, it is a minority view largely because of the complete lack of evidence to support it. All the early references that we have for the gospels are anonymous. The names were attached in the 2nd century using conjecture and guesswork. The same holds true today.

If you know of any evidence I would be glad to hear of it.
In addition, have you read the works of Papias, Augustine, or Eusebius? Were these not "serious scholars" in your estimation?

No, they certainly were not. Besides, no one alive has read Papias other than the few quotes we have. His works were lost. Eusebius had no respect for Papias. Also, the writings that Papias refers to don't mesh well with the gospels we know today. Papias' writings were late, as were those of Eusebius and Augustine. Eusebius was an orthodox writer whose belief system relied on apostolic tradition. I just finished reading a book about the church fathers last night and the consensus is that Eusebius is tendentious and unreliable in matters of tradition.
There is no way to know since we know nothing about the origin of christianity.

I do. Please limit your use of the first person pronoun to the singular, since you cannot rightfully include me as part of your use of "we." It is better for you to say "...since I know nothing about the origin of christianity."

No, the pronoun is correct. If you think you know something that amounts to evidence, please present it. You claim that you know who wrote them based on the church fathers who claimed that they knew, yet no on has presented evidence, including the church fathers.
Talmid and Geoff, who posted above, represent a fundamentalist/traditional view not supported by available evidence. It is a view supported by tradition, however.

Your first sentence is contradicted by the second.

Tradition does not constitute evidence. Tradition is just that, tradition. Again, presented with evidence, I would be happy to change my mind on these issues, but an appeal to some ancient writings by people had much to gain by the apostolic tradition, and who present no evidence, I prefer to side with modern scholars and the scientific method.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby JulianJ » Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:58 pm

Geoff wrote:
No serious scholar outside the apologist and/or fundamentalist camp believe that the gospel writers wrote independently or that the names attached to them are authentic.

This is in fact an ad hominem and incidently not possible to be negated seeing it is a tautology. The unstated premises are that first if one believes the gospel writers worked independently they are not serious and second it places them in that camp and therefore none can exist outside that camp any more than a round square.

How is it an ad hominem? If it is, I certainly apologize, I have no wish to insult anyone, but I don't see it as such.

Here is why I don't see it as an ad hominem and a tautology. The fact is that even scholars who subscribe to the Griesbach theory and Matthean priority have to admit that Mark is then an epitome conflation of Luke and Matthew. Independent writing of the gospels is an absolute, non-scientific, untenable position. Any scholar who holds this cannot be counted a serious scholar. There it is. People can complain all they want but the facts are the facts. Any claim of gospel independence is a statement of faith and faith has no place in science. There is nothing wrong with stating it but it cannot be reconciled with a scholarly approach.
What is meant by independently is open for discussion. Few believe independence in the sense of being totally unaware of the other's existence and possibly works. However, they did not rely on another source.

They most certainly did, even if it was only each other. Every solution to the synoptic problem indicates dependence in some form or other. Independence cannot be support by evidence and is a statement of faith.
There is no way to know since we know nothing about the origin of christianity.


The multitude of MSS testify to the origin's of Christianity better than many other historical movements. That is something.

No, the number of MSS means nothing other than they have been popular throughout history. No on is disputing that. This is an appeal to popularity and is a logical fallacy. The fact is that we have no MSS even close to the time of their writing.
Most people who reject the basic approach to the composition and transmission of the New Testament assert that it undermines the oral traditions and fails to account for their relevance. No one making that argument can deny that tradition is a type of evidence to be reckoned with. Tradition can come through time orally (subject to change without reference) or in a written form (possibly subject to change in a different way; i.e. through transmission, yet with reference for identification). A mixture of the two presents another discussion
:wink:

We don't know much about oral tradition, obviously, and while it might be a factor, we would unable to ascertain to what extent if at all.

The manuscript transmission show many signs of alteration. Although I agree that we can get close to the originals we will never know for sure what they said, especially considering the massive war of theologies that raged in the first centuries prompting numerous changes in the gospels.
I however am confident in inspiration as the chief reconciling factor.

Sure, I have no problems with that but surely you see that that is not a scientific argument. It is a statement of faith, which is fine, but it doesn't advance our knowledge in the scientific arena. Such statements are personal and cannot be used to argue the merits of the gospels outside of one's own personal sphere.

My interest is in establishing the facts (notice that I didn't say truth) of early christianity. To realize this goal I must remain level-headed and evaluate the material in a scientific and rational manner. Faith can have no part in my proceedings if I hope to ever contribute to uncovering the facts.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Kopio » Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:36 am

If I might very respectfully disagree with you Julian, there are a few points I would like to discuss.
JulianJ wrote: The fact is that we have no MSS even close to the time of their writing.

This I believe not to be the case. Recent dating (by Kim) of p46 is pushing that document back into the 70-150(?)AD. You can read about it here. This is about as scientific as you can be with the actual documents themselves. Now while I might not fully concur with Kim, it is proof that there were documents very close to the inception of Christianity. Or are these documents not considered "even close?"

Of course, this is assuming that you will allow for the New Testament to be viewed as a historical document that is trustworthy and can be taken at face value. If we can't agree on that then problems will arise in our discussion. I don't beleive it to be a matter of faith to trust in the historicity of the NT, and to treat it exactly how we would any other historical document. Do we at least agree on this point? Or does that make me one of those horrid "Fundamentalists?" :wink:

JulianJ wrote:The manuscript transmission show many signs of alteration. Although I agree that we can get close to the originals we will never know for sure what they said, especially considering the massive war of theologies that raged in the first centuries prompting numerous changes in the gospels.


There are most certainly alterations in the early manuscripts of the NT. Truly the problem is not that we don't have the whole text, rather it is that we have about 120% of it! However, we can in many cases come to an agreement of what the text truly said. As for "theological wars" of the first century, I believe it that was not quite the case. There were certainly many early heresies, and we can see that some of the NT was written as a polemic against some of them (e.g. Gnosticism), but I don't believe it was a time rife with "theological wars". Most certainly it was a time of theological progression, but I would limit it to that. Do you have any examples that you could share with me to enighten me on this point? If so, please post a link or share in the forum.

JulianJ wrote:No serious scholar outside the apologist and/or fundamentalist camp believe that the gospel writers wrote independently or that the names attached to them are authentic.

This most certainly sounds like an ad hominem, but I don't think you meant it to sound that way. I am assuming that you don't mean there aren't any "serious scholars" inside aforementioned camps. If that were the case I think you would be sorely mistaken.

Out of curiousity....when do you suppose the Gospels were written?
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby JulianJ » Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:50 pm

Thank you for your reply. :)

Kopio wrote:If I might very respectfully disagree with you Julian, there are a few points I would like to discuss.

That's why I am here. Well, actually I am here to improve my (very poor) greek but I consider useful discussions an added benefit.
JulianJ wrote: The fact is that we have no MSS even close to the time of their writing.

This I believe not to be the case. Recent dating (by Kim) of p46 is pushing that document back into the 70-150(?)AD. You can read about it here. This is about as scientific as you can be with the actual documents themselves. Now while I might not fully concur with Kim, it is proof that there were documents very close to the inception of Christianity. Or are these documents not considered "even close?"

I took a look at your link and, not being familiar with many of the papyri that he references, shall need more time to consider the argument. I do believe that paleographic dating is a shaky proposition, although other of Kim's points, such as eg- to ek- changes and so on, hold more weight.

How close p46 is depends on the dating for the gospels and the pauline epistles. I think we can agree that the epistles predate the gospels, although some radicals would date even those in the 2nd century. This, for me, creates more problems than it solves.

P46 could conceivably be 100 years after the fact. I would not consider that particularly close, although certainly better than most other MSS. That still leaves several generations in between, lots of time considering the turbulent times, more on this later.

That being said, evidence suggests that p46 was produced by a professional scribe working in a scriptorium. More info on p46 here: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn/Manusc ... i.html#P46
Of course, this is assuming that you will allow for the New Testament to be viewed as a historical document that is trustworthy and can be taken at face value. If we can't agree on that then problems will arise in our discussion. I don't beleive it to be a matter of faith to trust in the historicity of the NT, and to treat it exactly how we would any other historical document. Do we at least agree on this point? Or does that make me one of those horrid "Fundamentalists?" :wink:

I do believe that we should treat the NT texts as we treat any other text from antiquity. That, of course, also means that we should not take it at face value. When Caesar tells his ridiculous story of the elk that has no knees so it has to sleep standing up against a tree, nobody believes that it is a true story as it conflicts with our current scientific knowledge of the elk. The same must hold true for the gospels, to avoid special pleading. That means that when Jesus makes many loaves out a few, we must reject the story as failing the criterion of analogy. Saying that it was possible for him is special pleading.
JulianJ wrote:The manuscript transmission show many signs of alteration. Although I agree that we can get close to the originals we will never know for sure what they said, especially considering the massive war of theologies that raged in the first centuries prompting numerous changes in the gospels.


There are most certainly alterations in the early manuscripts of the NT. Truly the problem is not that we don't have the whole text, rather it is that we have about 120% of it!

Well, yes and no. We do have an excess of material since scibes generally added but rarely took away. That is no guarantee that we have all the original material embedded in there, although I suspect that we have almost all of it, possibly all of it. We have no way to be certain, all we can hope for is an educated guess, which is probably valid more often than not.

I must, at this point, state my distrust of the UBS commitee. I believe that they are guilty of a bias that shows through far too often. I prefer Swanson's editions since he makes no decisions regarding the text.

However, we can in many cases come to an agreement of what the text truly said. As for "theological wars" of the first century, I believe it that was not quite the case. There were certainly many early heresies, and we can see that some of the NT was written as a polemic against some of them (e.g. Gnosticism), but I don't believe it was a time rife with "theological wars".

I suppose we have here a disagreement as to the degree of contention. In many places, Marcionites were the majority which would make the proto-orthodox the heretics. Most of the epistles in the NT deal with christianities that were not in line with the proto-orthodox. The gospels show tampering designed to counter alternative views, e.g. docetism. Why so much energy and writing directed at something which wasn't that big of a deal?
Most certainly it was a time of theological progression, but I would limit it to that. Do you have any examples that you could share with me to enighten me on this point? If so, please post a link or share in the forum.

Not sure what you are asking for here...

In Edessa, for example, the Marcionites and other 'heretics' were called christians, while the proto-orthodox were termed Paultians, after their bishop Palut. The Palutinas were the latecomers in this case.

Irenaeus and Tertullian, the latter a heretic himself later in life (Montanist), spent book after book lashing out against the heretics. According to them, they seemed to be everywhere, including inside the proto-rothodox congregations (Marcus in Lyons, for example, if memory serves).

Good sources on the christian variations would be Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities and his Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. Since Bultman was mentioned ealier I guess I can also recommend a student of his student (Bultman-> Koester -> Pagels), Elaine Pagels who has written much on this topic.
JulianJ wrote:No serious scholar outside the apologist and/or fundamentalist camp believe that the gospel writers wrote independently or that the names attached to them are authentic.

This most certainly sounds like an ad hominem, but I don't think you meant it to sound that way. I am assuming that you don't mean there aren't any "serious scholars" inside aforementioned camps. If that were the case I think you would be sorely mistaken.

Well, serious might be the wrong word here. What I am trying to say is that when doing science one must adhere to scientific principles. It is fine to read the gospels in the light of faith but that view is incompatible with science. Science says that a few loaves don't magically become many loaves. Now, faith can still comment upon the event and its meaning but science must reject it or, at least, refrain from commenting upon its veracity, although comment in terms of, say, form criticism might still be useful.

Faith is faith and science is science. Both have their places but those places are not mixed together. Faith may have value for the invidual but does not advance human knowledge, the other does just that but in turn cannot answer deeper questions as to the whys and wherefores...
Out of curiousity....when do you suppose the Gospels were written?

Well, my view is not entirely in line with the majority view. I put Mark first sometime after 70 but probably close to the end of the first century. I would put Q before 70. I place Luke in the 90s because he depends on Josephus as a source, which was published in 92 (94?). Matthew about the same time and John around 100 or so.

E.P.Sanders wrote about the ranges of the gospel dating and then explains that the tendency is to place the date of the gospels as early as possible within that range. I find that to be dishonest. A range is a range. I especially have problems with the eucharist as it pertains to the Didache and the gospels, Luke being excepted here as a Western non-interpolation.

Anyways, I grow longwinded here so I shall curtail my efforts for now.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Talmid » Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:28 pm

If you know of any evidence I would be glad to hear of it....If you think you know something that amounts to evidence, please present it....Tradition does not constitute evidence. Tradition is just that, tradition. Again, presented with evidence, I would be happy to change my mind on these issues, but an appeal to some ancient writings by people had much to gain by the apostolic tradition, and who present no evidence, I prefer to side with modern scholars and the scientific method.


Julian -

Through the years, I have found that debating online to change an opponent's view is virtually inconceivable--I don't think I have anything to offer you which you will be satisfied with in this regard.

What exactly constitutes "evidence" to you? Do you need me to provide a video tape of Matthew writing his gospel for you to be happy? Do you want me to give you living eye-witnesses of what transpired?

If you do not settle for the criteria of ancient sources who stood in agreement on a matter, then I suppose you cannot even be sure that George Washington was the first President of the United States.

No, they [Papias, Augustine, & Eusebius] certainly were not [serious scholars].... I just finished reading a book about the church fathers last night and the consensus is that Eusebius is tendentious and unreliable in matters of tradition.


If Eusebius was not a serious scholar, then what were you doing reading a book about him? Certainly he must have sparked your interest for some reason? Your actions speak louder than words--his reputation, as evidendent by your attention to read about him, was of great repute. Nobody reads a book about somebody who was insignificant; it would be a waste of time and a logical absurdity.

**********************

Julian, thanks for taking part in this forum. I look forward to interacting with you again and to the fun we can experience together working on our Greek and Latin skills! This is a great website, wouldn't you agree?

Talmid
Talmid
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:04 am
Location: Ft Drum, NY

Postby Kopio » Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:22 am

Dear JulianJ,

Sorry, but i have not had the time to properly reply to your post.....I will pick it back up, but right now I am going into finals, and I just got a new computer that has to be loaded with a ton of software.

I have thinking about this conversation though, and I think there are still plenty of interesting areas to explore. My hope is not to "convert" you (for lack of a better word) to my point of view, it is merely to discuss our epistomological approaches to scripture.
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby JulianJ » Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:38 pm

Kopio wrote:Dear JulianJ,

Sorry, but i have not had the time to properly reply to your post.....I will pick it back up, but right now I am going into finals, and I just got a new computer that has to be loaded with a ton of software.

I have thinking about this conversation though, and I think there are still plenty of interesting areas to explore. My hope is not to "convert" you (for lack of a better word) to my point of view, it is merely to discuss our epistomological approaches to scripture.

No problem, real life comes first, of course. Good luck with your finals. :)

I love good and rational discussion of early christianity as there is always more to learn.

I will, as usual, check back here daily during weekdays.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby JulianJ » Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:02 pm

Talmid wrote:
If you know of any evidence I would be glad to hear of it....If you think you know something that amounts to evidence, please present it....Tradition does not constitute evidence. Tradition is just that, tradition. Again, presented with evidence, I would be happy to change my mind on these issues, but an appeal to some ancient writings by people had much to gain by the apostolic tradition, and who present no evidence, I prefer to side with modern scholars and the scientific method.


Julian -

Through the years, I have found that debating online to change an opponent's view is virtually inconceivable--I don't think I have anything to offer you which you will be satisfied with in this regard.

While I find it highly unlikely that I would ever convert to religion, I frequently change my mind on a variety of topics. A large part of me loves to be proven wrong for the simple reason that whenever that happens, it means that my understanding has grown and that I have grown as a person. Much as our understanding grows as our accumulated years, there is no reason why our knowledge of the world should not expand even when grown as we gather more facts. Real growth invariably involves change. My beliefs, or lack thereof, do not define me. It is my love of further knowledge that tells me who I am as well as my behavior towards my fellow creatures. My lack of religion is a meaningless datum regarding who I am.

While you may not be able to offer me scholarly insights or contribute towards any form of conversion, I find that most viewpoints are ultimately beneficial to my understanding of ideologies alien to my own.
What exactly constitutes "evidence" to you? Do you need me to provide a video tape of Matthew writing his gospel for you to be happy? Do you want me to give you living eye-witnesses of what transpired?

Well, videotapes can be faked. ;)

Non-christian contemporary sources would be nice. You must understand that my view of the matter comes from judging the evidence, textual and historical, which leads me to my current conviction. When confronted with additional evidence that view shifts. Unfortunately, there is so much evidence in favor of legendary creation in the christian writings and hardly any against it that I currently see no significant change on the horizon.

However, I have been on the side of the mythicist Jesus for some time now. I used to hold this position very strongly. However, in light of recent books and a greater understanding on my part, I have begun see that a historical Jesus might be the more reasonable view. This is an example of where my strongly held beliefs have been challenged and will probably be overturned. Funny enough, it was a book by a Bultman student, Helmut Koester, that made me think about the writings differently.
If you do not settle for the criteria of ancient sources who stood in agreement on a matter, then I suppose you cannot even be sure that George Washington was the first President of the United States.

Well, the ancient writings do not stand in agreement which is a large part of the problem. Another has to do with the nature of the claim.

The claims regarding George Washington enjoy widespread support across many fields of inquiry. The claims are, in addition, thoroughly mundane. This lowers the burden of evidence which is quite strong regardless.

In the case of Jesus, the claims are extraordinary but the evidence is not.

Surely, two different levels of confidence are clearly warranted here, in all honesty.
No, they [Papias, Augustine, & Eusebius] certainly were not [serious scholars].... I just finished reading a book about the church fathers last night and the consensus is that Eusebius is tendentious and unreliable in matters of tradition.


If Eusebius was not a serious scholar, then what were you doing reading a book about him? Certainly he must have sparked your interest for some reason? Your actions speak louder than words--his reputation, as evidendent by your attention to read about him, was of great repute. Nobody reads a book about somebody who was insignificant; it would be a waste of time and a logical absurdity.

Certainly, I find the story of early christianity highly fascinating. So much so that I devote a large portion of my free time to reading not just the bible but the non-canonical works, in addition to the church fathers, as well. It is a very engaging and interesting subject. That includes Eusebius who was an interesting historical character. Understanding the man and his situation is essential to understanding his literary and historical biases. And, like every writer, he has them. His writings are largely politically motivated and designed to shore up his particular branch of christianity. That doesn't mean that there not facts in them, there certainly are, but it does mean that we should use the same critical eye that we turn upon every other tendentious writer from antiquity, or any other period, for that matter.
Julian, thanks for taking part in this forum. I look forward to interacting with you again and to the fun we can experience together working on our Greek and Latin skills! This is a great website, wouldn't you agree?

Talmid

I do enjoy it although I could wish for more traffic. Many days I come here and find no new messages. Maybe I will start a few threads of my own. :)

I am hoping to one day become fluent in Koine and then turn my attention on the other greek dialects. Too bad I missed the Mounce study group.

Anyways, thanks for your kind words and I look forward to fututre interactions.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Kopio » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:51 am

JulianJ wrote:Thank you for your reply. :)

My pleasure...I have enjoy throwing this back and forth in my head over the last few days
JulianJ wrote:P46 could conceivably be 100 years after the fact. I would not consider that particularly close, although certainly better than most other MSS. That still leaves several generations in between, lots of time considering the turbulent times, more on this later.


The fact that it is within 100 years (quite possibly that is) make this document tremendously close by most standards (i.e. textual and literary criticism) and is very close to when things actually happened. If we look back on our history of 100 years ago, we are quite certain that we have a fairly accurate picture, and that the documents coming from that time are reliable (especially when they are held up against other documents from the time). As far as several generation passing.....are you talking about a 20 year generation? That might be theoretically sound, but in praxis short generations don't work. What I mean is, although that is a lot of time to pass.....I can talk to my a good friend of mine, and he can give me a very accurate picture of what life was like almost a hundred years ago....he was alive! He's actually only 89 years old, but he fought in WWII, and is a living talking piece of history. If someone were to make up a story about the Marines taking Guadal Canal, he would jump and down and say it's a bunch of garbage....he was an Army soldier, and it was the Army boys who took Guadal Canal. I think this principle is applicable here when we look at a biblical document being so close to the actual time of it's writing.

JulianJ wrote:I do believe that we should treat the NT texts as we treat any other text from antiquity. That, of course, also means that we should not take it at face value. When Caesar tells his ridiculous story of the elk that has no knees so it has to sleep standing up against a tree, nobody believes that it is a true story as it conflicts with our current scientific knowledge of the elk. The same must hold true for the gospels, to avoid special pleading. That means that when Jesus makes many loaves out a few, we must reject the story as failing the criterion of analogy. Saying that it was possible for him is special pleading.


I guess that this is going to be one of our greatest points of contention. The NT doesn't claim to be a scientific book. It claims to be a book about faith and love. These two things cannot be properly quantified and analyzed scientifically. They are metaphysical by their very nature. We cannot expect to be able to fit all of the things portrayed in them to be able to be fully analyzed by means of science. Can you, by means of science, tell me why I love my wife, or dog? You can probably talk about chemical receptors and pheremones, but do you really think that these things capture the essence and reality of love?? So I guess my next question is....are there some things that science in itself is not sufficient to answer?

JulianJ wrote:I must, at this point, state my distrust of the UBS commitee. I believe that they are guilty of a bias that shows through far too often. I prefer Swanson's editions since he makes no decisions regarding the text.

I am not familiar with Swanson's Editions, but I don't see how it is possible for him to not make any decisions regarding the text....that is unless he has all of the textual differences of the text listed for each and every verse. I don't really agree with the UBS commitee either (I wouldn't say I distrust them though), and I think that in many instances they simplify their choices to "What does B and P46 say", if they find those two in agreement then they go with it.

JulianJ wrote:I suppose we have here a disagreement as to the degree of contention. In many places, Marcionites were the majority which would make the proto-orthodox the heretics. Most of the epistles in the NT deal with christianities that were not in line with the proto-orthodox. The gospels show tampering designed to counter alternative views, e.g. docetism. Why so much energy and writing directed at something which wasn't that big of a deal?


I must say that I am completely at a loss that you view this as that big of a deal! This was obviously a very big deal to the authors of the NT text, so much so that parts of their writings were a direct polemic against the heresies of the day (cf. I John and docetism). I also don't understand what you mean by the gospels showing tampering. What would you point to specifically as tampering within the gospels?

JulianJ wrote:Not sure what you are asking for here...
Good sources on the christian variations would be Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities and his Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. Since Bultman was mentioned ealier I guess I can also recommend a student of his student (Bultman-> Koester -> Pagels), Elaine Pagels who has written much on this topic.

These sound like good sources. I am familiar with some of Ehrman's work in Text Criticism, and he is very good in that field.

JulianJ wrote:No serious scholar....Well, serious might be the wrong word here. What I am trying to say is that when doing science one must adhere to scientific principles. It is fine to read the gospels in the light of faith but that view is incompatible with science. Science says that a few loaves don't magically become many loaves. Now, faith can still comment upon the event and its meaning but science must reject it or, at least, refrain from commenting upon its veracity, although comment in terms of, say, form criticism might still be useful.

Faith is faith and science is science. Both have their places but those places are not mixed together. Faith may have value for the invidual but does not advance human knowledge, the other does just that but in turn cannot answer deeper questions as to the whys and wherefores...


This really plays back into the point I made earlier. In some respects I think that your quest for finding the Scientific truth behind the gospels is a lost cause. It's sort of like trying to quantifiy Miles Davis' Kind of Blue with a seismograph. It is an venture in catagory mistake. If faith is faith and science is science and never the twain shall meet, then how can we then expect to discover faith by science? Do you see what I'm trying to say? I can appreciate the fact that you are looking into the historical Jesus, and that you are trying to discover what was really said and written and done, but to discount the supernatural in the gospels, is to nullify most of what the book is about....that is faith.

That being said....I have no desire to enter into a theological discussion in the open forum with you (a PM would be much more practical), but the question I am most curious about now is....why does this matter to you? Or perhaps the better question would be....why does this interest you?


JulianJ wrote:Anyways, I grow longwinded here so I shall curtail my efforts for now.

As do I, my friend, which is precisely why I shall stop at this point also.

I look forward to your reply.
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby JulianJ » Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:30 pm

Kopio wrote:
JulianJ wrote:P46 could conceivably be 100 years after the fact. I would not consider that particularly close, although certainly better than most other MSS. That still leaves several generations in between, lots of time considering the turbulent times, more on this later.


The fact that it is within 100 years (quite possibly that is) make this document tremendously close by most standards (i.e. textual and literary criticism) and is very close to when things actually happened. If we look back on our history of 100 years ago, we are quite certain that we have a fairly accurate picture, and that the documents coming from that time are reliable (especially when they are held up against other documents from the time). As far as several generation passing.....are you talking about a 20 year generation? That might be theoretically sound, but in praxis short generations don't work. What I mean is, although that is a lot of time to pass.....I can talk to my a good friend of mine, and he can give me a very accurate picture of what life was like almost a hundred years ago....he was alive! He's actually only 89 years old, but he fought in WWII, and is a living talking piece of history. If someone were to make up a story about the Marines taking Guadal Canal, he would jump and down and say it's a bunch of garbage....he was an Army soldier, and it was the Army boys who took Guadal Canal. I think this principle is applicable here when we look at a biblical document being so close to the actual time of it's writing.

WWII is not 100 years ago, not even WWI would qualify here. You will be hard pressed to find somebody to talk to about the turn of the previous century. Also note that P46 show the letters much in the format that we have them today, even though they are actually collections of much smaller letters. This shows tampering already at this stage.

It must also be borne in mind that society is very different today than it was then. Only 10-15% of people were literate, papyrus and parchment was relative expensive. Means of communication were quite primitive by today's standards.

Today, publishing is commonplace as is education. Paper is readily available. Surely, the difference is immediately obvious.

We know that P46 has been tampered with and we know that it is removed in time (the severity of which we will disagree on). It is simply too far removed from the events.

I have asked around regarding Kim's dating and it seems very disputed by many scholars, including Metzger (if memory serves.) It is probably more like 150, or more, years after the fact.
JulianJ wrote:I do believe that we should treat the NT texts as we treat any other text from antiquity. That, of course, also means that we should not take it at face value. When Caesar tells his ridiculous story of the elk that has no knees so it has to sleep standing up against a tree, nobody believes that it is a true story as it conflicts with our current scientific knowledge of the elk. The same must hold true for the gospels, to avoid special pleading. That means that when Jesus makes many loaves out a few, we must reject the story as failing the criterion of analogy. Saying that it was possible for him is special pleading.


I guess that this is going to be one of our greatest points of contention. The NT doesn't claim to be a scientific book. It claims to be a book about faith and love. These two things cannot be properly quantified and analyzed scientifically. They are metaphysical by their very nature. We cannot expect to be able to fit all of the things portrayed in them to be able to be fully analyzed by means of science. Can you, by means of science, tell me why I love my wife, or dog? You can probably talk about chemical receptors and pheremones, but do you really think that these things capture the essence and reality of love?? So I guess my next question is....are there some things that science in itself is not sufficient to answer?

Nothing is outside of science, only outside our understanding of it. Love and faith are facets of the human psyche, nothing more. They can be explained by science through evolutionary traits and the physical electrical/chemical pathways of the brain. There is no need to appeal to metaphysics here.

Faith is obviously a real and powerful force and when applied to the NT I have no problems with this and never gainsay or argue the point. It is when scienctific statements are made. To wit:

1) I have faith that the gospels were written independently and are inerrant.

2) The gospels were written independently and are inerrant.

I have no issues with statement number 1 since it is clearly a statement of faith and therefore represents a personal faith and hope. No problem, enjoy.

The second one is a statement of fact and, as such, is subject to scientific scrutiny. It is factually incorrect. In order to have such a statement be even remotely plausible, one must present evidence of greater quality than that which currently speaks of copying and myth-making. Until this happens, one must be humble before the facts or return to the realm of faith where factual statements hold no sway.

The gospels are about faith and love. They are also about politics, a way of life, about condemnation and death, about good and evil and many, many other things. As such they have been, and still are, used as tools for domination. I wish that christians would sometimes adhere more closely to Mathhew 6:5-6 and many do, but it is when the bible brought to bear on society as a bludgeoning tool that the claim to faith and love no longer is valid. I am by no means saying that you fall into the category of people misusing the bible and none of this is meant as a personal attack, it is merely a general observation upon society.

If the NT was merely a statement on faith and love, I doubt we would be having this discussion.

But I ramble again...
JulianJ wrote:I must, at this point, state my distrust of the UBS commitee. I believe that they are guilty of a bias that shows through far too often. I prefer Swanson's editions since he makes no decisions regarding the text.

I am not familiar with Swanson's Editions, but I don't see how it is possible for him to not make any decisions regarding the text....that is unless he has all of the textual differences of the text listed for each and every verse. I don't really agree with the UBS commitee either (I wouldn't say I distrust them though), and I think that in many instances they simplify their choices to "What does B and P46 say", if they find those two in agreement then they go with it.

He doesn't make decisions on the text because he does, more or less, exactly what you describe. He quotes B (03) as the top line and then lists out fully all the other variants, lining up the words, bolding variants and so on. It makes it possible to see all the variant readings at a quick glance. B (03) is merely used for reference, nothing more. It contains a number of variant reading that were left out of UBS4, although many of them might be in NA27 or SQE, neither of which I have.

Bruce Metzger contribute to Swanson's editions and wrote the foreword.
JulianJ wrote:I suppose we have here a disagreement as to the degree of contention. In many places, Marcionites were the majority which would make the proto-orthodox the heretics. Most of the epistles in the NT deal with christianities that were not in line with the proto-orthodox. The gospels show tampering designed to counter alternative views, e.g. docetism. Why so much energy and writing directed at something which wasn't that big of a deal?


I must say that I am completely at a loss that you view this as that big of a deal! This was obviously a very big deal to the authors of the NT text, so much so that parts of their writings were a direct polemic against the heresies of the day (cf. I John and docetism). I also don't understand what you mean by the gospels showing tampering. What would you point to specifically as tampering within the gospels?

Sure. Most obvious are the Western non-interpolations. Many scholars reject the shorter readings but they have very poor reason to do so other than tradition and christian bias. Westcott and Hort showed why they were more likely the correct readings. This has since been backed up for some of the readings by Bart Ehrman (and others) with what I consider one of the most devastating series of arguments that I have seen in a long time in a field where things are general far from devastating and closer to 'I guess.' :)

The Western non-interpolations, if you are not familiar with them, are mostly Lukan readings. They are represented by omissions in D (05) and most of the old latins. They were made very early, before most of the greek uncials, and are in many cases (most?) directed against various gnostic 'heresies.'

Although, I still wonder how the Gospel of Mark made it into the canon when Gospel of Peter was rejected. I consider the Gospel of Mark to be an out and out gnostic separationist work but that would be a discussion for another thread.

Other modifications would be the 'son of god' in Mark 1:1 as well as the longer ending after 16:8. I realize that they are disputed but the fact that we have two versions is obvious tampering.

Anyways, you are obviously familiar with the apparatus, which is, of course, nothing but a list of modifications, tamperings and errors.
JulianJ wrote:Not sure what you are asking for here...
Good sources on the christian variations would be Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities and his Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. Since Bultman was mentioned ealier I guess I can also recommend a student of his student (Bultman-> Koester -> Pagels), Elaine Pagels who has written much on this topic.

These sound like good sources. I am familiar with some of Ehrman's work in Text Criticism, and he is very good in that field.

Both books are excellent but Orthodox Corruption of Scripture is superior and, in fact, one of the most interesting books in this field that I have ever read.
JulianJ wrote:No serious scholar....Well, serious might be the wrong word here. What I am trying to say is that when doing science one must adhere to scientific principles. It is fine to read the gospels in the light of faith but that view is incompatible with science. Science says that a few loaves don't magically become many loaves. Now, faith can still comment upon the event and its meaning but science must reject it or, at least, refrain from commenting upon its veracity, although comment in terms of, say, form criticism might still be useful.

Faith is faith and science is science. Both have their places but those places are not mixed together. Faith may have value for the invidual but does not advance human knowledge, the other does just that but in turn cannot answer deeper questions as to the whys and wherefores...


This really plays back into the point I made earlier. In some respects I think that your quest for finding the Scientific truth behind the gospels is a lost cause. It's sort of like trying to quantifiy Miles Davis' Kind of Blue with a seismograph. It is an venture in catagory mistake. If faith is faith and science is science and never the twain shall meet, then how can we then expect to discover faith by science? Do you see what I'm trying to say? I can appreciate the fact that you are looking into the historical Jesus, and that you are trying to discover what was really said and written and done, but to discount the supernatural in the gospels, is to nullify most of what the book is about....that is faith.

Well, I agree with much of this except we are not using science to discover faith. Faith is already there and is a personal statement and, as such, holds little to no interest for me in terms of studying the NT. Also, faith is not supernatural, but in the supernatural is certainly a fact. Boy, this is getting convoluted... ;)

I have no religious faith and no interest in acquiring any but I certainly respect people's right to possess it for themselves. Continuing this answer below because they are related...
That being said....I have no desire to enter into a theological discussion in the open forum with you (a PM would be much more practical), but the question I am most curious about now is....why does this matter to you? Or perhaps the better question would be....why does this interest you?

It matters to me because I find the fact of christianity fascinating. The history of it. Its impact can hardly be overestimated. It has been the single most important force in the development of post-antiquity man and it still affects the world in a profound manner even to this day. Combine this with my general interest in history and languages and it becomes an irresistible topic for me.

I have very little interest in theological issues order than to the extent that I must know about it for my studies. I also have very little interest in a historical Jesus, if he ever did exist at all, because he has become so marginalized by the movement itself that he is forever buried under the christological layers of the gospels to the extent that we will never be able to excavate him.

Early christianity is a fascinating area of study and topical, even today.

Once again I rambled on. Looking back over this post, it may seem forceful at times. Reast assured that this merely displays my enthusiasm for the topic and is in no way antagonistic. :)

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Talmid » Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:54 pm

JulianJ wrote:It is my love of further knowledge that tells me who I am as well as my behavior towards my fellow creatures. My lack of religion is a meaningless datum regarding who I am.


Hi Julian.

Are you aware that your use of "creatures" implies a "Creator"?

Anyway--I see you have quite a discussion on your hands with Kopio. Good luck--I'm glad I'm not caught in the middle of it!! :lol:
Talmid
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:04 am
Location: Ft Drum, NY

Postby JulianJ » Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:52 pm

Talmid wrote:Are you aware that your use of "creatures" implies a "Creator"?

I don't understand. How does the existence of a creature imply a creator? Are you simply saying that the word creature means something created? Which, of course, is true. But surely it can be understood that such usage of the word is not necessarily meant to imply any such thing in this day and age.
Anyway--I see you have quite a discussion on your hands with Kopio. Good luck--I'm glad I'm not caught in the middle of it!! :lol:

Indeed. It should be fun. :) Respectful and thought provoking discussions are a passion of mine.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Geoff » Sat Dec 17, 2005 6:10 am

This may be of interest. A friend knew another of the last of the civil war widows and received second hand accounts of details in battle from aunts and uncles. Not so far removed is it?

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0908934.html
User avatar
Geoff
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:30 pm

Postby Kopio » Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:33 am

JulianJ wrote:No problem, real life comes first, of course. Good luck with your finals. :)

I love good and rational discussion of early christianity as there is always more to learn.

I will, as usual, check back here daily during weekdays.

Julian


Aha!!! I'm back! :P

You'll be glad to note that today I just went down and bought a copy of Erhmans's Misquoting Jesus! Not too bad for a conservative-evangelical huh?

I am taking a class on Text and Canon this semster where we have to do a report on a theme or a book, and I asked my prof if I could write a paper on Ehrmans Orthodox Corruption, he said great....long story short....Misquoting was much easier to find, and is his more recent work, so I thought I'd give that a try. Plus it looks like a fairly unintimidating book, and since I have sooooo much reading to do this semester, I thought I'd take an easier softer way (because sometimes you can!)

So....I am really looking forward to interacting with you about this book and Ehrman's major premises. Are you familiar with this work? I do hope so.

I am afraid that my interaction might still be a bit sporadic, owing to the heavy class load and 50-60 hours per week worked right now. But I really didn't want to let this thread die, because I have greatly enjoy the candid and friendly nature of our discussions. Hope to hear from you soon....I just put a dustjacket cover on my new book (I am hopelessly anal with my books, especially ones I value as reference materials) and I can't wait to get into it!
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby JulianJ » Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:46 pm

Kopio wrote:Aha!!! I'm back! :P

I was wondering what happened to everyone. :?
You'll be glad to note that today I just went down and bought a copy of Erhmans's Misquoting Jesus! Not too bad for a conservative-evangelical huh?

I would think that good scholarship would be good for everyone, whatever their philosophical stance :)
I am taking a class on Text and Canon this semster where we have to do a report on a theme or a book, and I asked my prof if I could write a paper on Ehrmans Orthodox Corruption, he said great....long story short....Misquoting was much easier to find, and is his more recent work, so I thought I'd give that a try. Plus it looks like a fairly unintimidating book, and since I have sooooo much reading to do this semester, I thought I'd take an easier softer way (because sometimes you can!)

So....I am really looking forward to interacting with you about this book and Ehrman's major premises. Are you familiar with this work? I do hope so.

I am very familiar with Orthodox Corruption of Scripture which is the scholarly version of Misquoting Jesus. I found OCS to be one of the best, if not the best, book in the biblical studies field that I have ever read. The scholarship is rock solid and his evidence compelling. As a result I probably consider Ehrman the finest biblical scholar around today.

Incidentally, that book was probably the single most important factor in getting me to switch from the lay-person biblical criticism type book to learn koine and start reading real scholarly works.

See, the first time I read OCS I didn't understand it. At all. I was very upset. So I studied for a few years. Read it again. Understood more but much still escaped me. So I studied more, including koine and textual criticism. And finally read it again, and this time I understood it. It was an excellent feeling.

Some of the things in MJ may not seem reasonable to you. I saw one person question some of the reasons behind Ehrman points to which Ehrman replied the following in an email:

Bart Ehrman wrote:I'd suggest you look at the full discussion in my book Orthodox
Corruption of Scripture, which was written for scholars, rather than the
brief overview in Misquoting Jesus, which is written for lay folk. I
discuss all of these variants at length there. And I deal with the
problem of "intention" and explain what I mean by it (in the first
chapter).


So, yes, MJ is shorter and easier but do not judge his ideas too harshly, they are based on sound reasoning.

I am afraid that my interaction might still be a bit sporadic, owing to the heavy class load and 50-60 hours per week worked right now. But I really didn't want to let this thread die, because I have greatly enjoy the candid and friendly nature of our discussions. Hope to hear from you soon....I just put a dustjacket cover on my new book (I am hopelessly anal with my books, especially ones I value as reference materials) and I can't wait to get into it!

Good luck with it. I check this board once a day, usually. If I see a reply in this thread I generally respond right away. If this gets more involved I may have to wait until I get home from work since I have none of my reference materials here.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Kopio » Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:51 pm

JulianJ wrote:I am very familiar with Orthodox Corruption of Scripture which is the scholarly version of Misquoting Jesus. I found OCS to be one of the best, if not the best, book in the biblical studies field that I have ever read. The scholarship is rock solid and his evidence compelling. As a result I probably consider Ehrman the finest biblical scholar around today.

Incidentally, that book was probably the single most important factor in getting me to switch from the lay-person biblical criticism type book to learn koine and start reading real scholarly works.

See, the first time I read OCS I didn't understand it. At all. I was very upset. So I studied for a few years. Read it again. Understood more but much still escaped me. So I studied more, including koine and textual criticism. And finally read it again, and this time I understood it. It was an excellent feeling...

So, yes, MJ is shorter and easier but do not judge his ideas too harshly, they are based on sound reasoning.

I have requested OCS from my local library here at school. I should be getting it fairly soon, so if I do have any questions or problems with Ehrman's views in MJ, I will run it by you, and you can hopefully point me to the right spot in OCS and we can discuss from there.

JulianJ wrote:Good luck with it. I check this board once a day, usually. If I see a reply in this thread I generally respond right away. If this gets more involved I may have to wait until I get home from work since I have none of my reference materials here.

Julian


I look forward to the interaction.
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby Kopio » Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:43 am

Ok JulianJ,

I broke down and bought OCS. I couldn't help myself! After such a glowing review, I just had to add it to my book collection. I have had a chance to start reading it, but I'm afraid one thing became all to apparent as I started reading it....there's no way I can read this for my class....it's way too think and would take me far to long to get through it. That being said, I have been very thoughtfully engaging the text in the few spare minutes here and there that I have. I will read MJ for my school project, but this summer break OCS, along will a book on Atheism suggested by William are tops on my reading lists.

Ok....so far I have only read a little bit, but I do have a few things to comment on....(FWIW all references refer to the paperback edition, I don't know if the pagination is different for the hardback).

Page 3 Paragraph 1 :P :
Ehrman wrote:But the diverse manifestations of its first three hundred years--whether in terms of social structures, religious practices, or ideologies--have NEVER (emphasis mine) been replicated.


uh oh....he used the N word. I would have to kindly beg to differ. Surely the first three hundred years of the church was a very tumultuous time, however I believe we can easily point to other times being very like the first three hundred years of the church. For instance....the Reformation and the period following. Take a look at why we crossed the pond and came to America...religious (primarily that of Christian denominational) freedom. We could look at the Mormons and the Jehovah's witnesses, which are both groups that have grown to enormous sizes and are considered by the bulk of "Orthodox" (hereafter OX for ease of typing)Christians as "heretical" (hereafter HL for ease of typing). I think it is reasonable to call in to doubt his use of the word never here...that is my point.

I DO like how he talks about "orthodox" and "heresy" being merely labels. I would concur with him, but for the ease of argument they will be terms I will continue to use.

Page 3 Paragraph 3 :
Ehrman wrote:Did the scribes' polemical contexts influence the way they transcribed their sacred Scriptures?

This seems to me to be an assumption that all scribes worked in a polemic environment. There are many, many MSS of the NT that were NOT written by religious scribes. Scriptoriums were fairly well established by that time, so to me this seems to be a bit of a stretch to use a blanket statement like this (if that is indeed what Dr. Ehrman intended to do) without qualification. There most certainly were scribes of OX backgrounds, but there also would be scribes of HL background as well, especially since as Ehrman contends, in some regions the OX were in the minority.

OK.....that's enough print for me for right now. So far I have covered the first page of Dr. Ehrman's MSS :) I do have to say that so far I am enjoying it (as well as his writing style) quite a bit. I am frustrated, however, at having to pick up the dictionary a bit more than I'd like to (for terms like "nascent" and "regnant" the last of which show how very little Latin I do know!)

I look forward to your reply.
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby JulianJ » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:16 pm

Kopio wrote:Ok JulianJ,

I broke down and bought OCS. I couldn't help myself! After such a glowing review, I just had to add it to my book collection. I have had a chance to start reading it, but I'm afraid one thing became all to apparent as I started reading it....there's no way I can read this for my class....it's way too think and would take me far to long to get through it. That being said, I have been very thoughtfully engaging the text in the few spare minutes here and there that I have. I will read MJ for my school project, but this summer break OCS, along will a book on Atheism suggested by William are tops on my reading lists.

Well, it is a tough book to get through, not so much because it is thick (it isn't that thick. I am reading R. Brown's The Death of the Messiah right now cloking in at 2000 pages :shock: ) nor that it is boring (it isn't) but that it is packed with very specialized information. It not only requires some knowledge of Greek but also quite a bit of knowledge about early church history and the various heretical calssifications. He does, at least, give a brief description of each. I would agree that MJ would be a much easier read mostly because each sentence in OCS need serious thought. :)

Out of curiosity, which book on atheism was recommended to you? Although I am an atheist, I have never read much on the subject and am wondering what someone might recommend. :)
Ok....so far I have only read a little bit, but I do have a few things to comment on....(FWIW all references refer to the paperback edition, I don't know if the pagination is different for the hardback).

I am responding to this from work without a copy of OCS handy. I will check up on it when I get home and read the sentence in context. I too have the paperback.
Page 3 Paragraph 1 :P :
Ehrman wrote:But the diverse manifestations of its first three hundred years--whether in terms of social structures, religious practices, or ideologies--have NEVER (emphasis mine) been replicated.


uh oh....he used the N word. I would have to kindly beg to differ. Surely the first three hundred years of the church was a very tumultuous time, however I believe we can easily point to other times being very like the first three hundred years of the church. For instance....the Reformation and the period following. Take a look at why we crossed the pond and came to America...religious (primarily that of Christian denominational) freedom. We could look at the Mormons and the Jehovah's witnesses, which are both groups that have grown to enormous sizes and are considered by the bulk of "Orthodox" (hereafter OX for ease of typing)Christians as "heretical" (hereafter HL for ease of typing). I think it is reasonable to call in to doubt his use of the word never here...that is my point.

I agree that the 'N' word is generally dangerous. In this case he may be right, at least to a degree. I don't think that your examples can match the first three centuries of christianity. First of all, there is little to no textual variation in modern times, the invention of the printing press has kept scribal variation of of the loop and we only see a few protestant textual branches mostly revolving around TR (Textus Receptus) and the UBS/NA text. The Mormons are fairly monolithic to my knowledge and display little variety, at least to the outside world. I think a decent case for diverse manifestations could be made for the denominational diversity of current protestantism. There are now thousands of denominations, most of which are fairly similar, but some aren't. They still use more or less the same basic text, with variations mostly attested in terms of translation.
I DO like how he talks about "orthodox" and "heresy" being merely labels. I would concur with him, but for the ease of argument they will be terms I will continue to use.

Page 3 Paragraph 3 :
Ehrman wrote:Did the scribes' polemical contexts influence the way they transcribed their sacred Scriptures?

This seems to me to be an assumption that all scribes worked in a polemic environment. There are many, many MSS of the NT that were NOT written by religious scribes. Scriptoriums were fairly well established by that time, so to me this seems to be a bit of a stretch to use a blanket statement like this (if that is indeed what Dr. Ehrman intended to do) without qualification. There most certainly were scribes of OX backgrounds, but there also would be scribes of HL background as well, especially since as Ehrman contends, in some regions the OX were in the minority.

Yes, but it could reasonably be argued that the scriptoria belonged to christians (e.g. the scriptorium of Origen) and that the scribes were christian. Also bear in mind that many of the readings that we get are from correctors, people with a definite agenda. Here is a wonderful example from Codex Vaticanus B (03) which shows the force with which they cared about their interpretation: http://www1.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vaticanus/note1512.html

As for the heretics being more popular in some areas is shown by Marcion who almost won out over the orthodox. Because of his rejection of the OT he could not make a serious claim to antiquity and that was probably what killed the movement off. For a while though Marcionism was quite the thing. He was a docetic which is covered in OCS.

Also, the MSS were the primary sources from which arguments against heresies were based. Remember, without an established canon and given the nature of the early church, they didn't have the respect for the accuracy of the texts that we hold today. As you read on, you will see some great examples of this. The Swanson critical edition of the gospels show quite clearly the many variations that were not accidental, most of them being grammatical corrections, some not. :)
OK.....that's enough print for me for right now. So far I have covered the first page of Dr. Ehrman's MSS :) I do have to say that so far I am enjoying it (as well as his writing style) quite a bit. I am frustrated, however, at having to pick up the dictionary a bit more than I'd like to (for terms like "nascent" and "regnant" the last of which show how very little Latin I do know!)

I look forward to your reply.

Yes, the terminology of textual criticism get wonky, but you get used to it after a while and start to use words like 'pleonastic' and 'peripatetic.' :D

More to follow once I have checked my copy.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby JulianJ » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:49 pm

I read those opening paragraphs and now remember what he is on about. I would have to say that he is correct about the diversity. Today, even though we have a lot denominations and branches, certain things are constant. There is one god (or three), Jesus died and was resurrected and so on. However, even these things could not be counted on in early christianity. That's pretty diverse... ;)

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Kopio » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:31 pm

Hello JulianJ,

I have been reading through MJ, and I am about 60 pages into it....nothing major to report about (or discuss for that matter) yet.

But, I thought I would answer this question for you, because it is quick and painless :)

JulianJ wrote:Out of curiosity, which book on atheism was recommended to you? Although I am an atheist, I have never read much on the subject and am wondering what someone might recommend. :)


This is what William recommended to me: Atheism: A Very Short Introduction from the Oxford Very Short Introductions series, by Julian Baginni. And also: Philosopher's Toolkit.
There you go!
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby JulianJ » Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:43 pm

I always post as Julian but somebody else had already taken that name here so I was forced to add my last name initial. Just 'Julian' would be fine. Just an FYI...

When you get a chance, no rush, I would be curious to hear your overall impression so far of MJ .

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Kopio » Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:52 pm

Hello Julian,

I have been swamped with school, work, an auto accident, and so many other things I don't have time to list them all! But I thought I'd respond in short to your last post.
JulianJ wrote:When you get a chance, no rush, I would be curious to hear your overall impression so far of MJ .


So far, I must admit, I have been enteratined. I like Ehrman's writing style, and he has seemed fairly even handed in his representation of the material. However, I have not found many of his arguments (nor his suppositions) very compelling. There are things that he attributes to scribes "intentionally" leaving out, that are in my opinion classic cases of homoioteleuton, or periblepsis. I haven't been really convinced of any of his points, but it has been interesting reading his arguments. I have been, in most cases pulling out my critical editions and consuting the apparatus' of said editions when he talks about a specific variant. In some cases I think he is trying to make mountains out of molehills. BUT, I am only halfway through the book, so I can't have a completly formed opinion of what he is trying to do, nor the methods he is using to accomplish them.

As I said, this is merely an initial impression. I look forward to digging deeper and interacting with the text some more. If all goes well, after I write my reaction to this work, we can toss around some of his conclusions and some of my conclusions.
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby JulianJ » Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:22 pm

Kopio wrote:Hello Julian,

I have been swamped with school, work, an auto accident, and so many other things I don't have time to list them all! But I thought I'd respond in short to your last post.

Yeah, no worries. Life comes first and all that. :) Hope you are okay and your car, as well.
JulianJ wrote:When you get a chance, no rush, I would be curious to hear your overall impression so far of MJ .


So far, I must admit, I have been enteratined. I like Ehrman's writing style, and he has seemed fairly even handed in his representation of the material. However, I have not found many of his arguments (nor his suppositions) very compelling. There are things that he attributes to scribes "intentionally" leaving out, that are in my opinion classic cases of homoioteleuton, or periblepsis. I haven't been really convinced of any of his points, but it has been interesting reading his arguments. I have been, in most cases pulling out my critical editions and consuting the apparatus' of said editions when he talks about a specific variant. In some cases I think he is trying to make mountains out of molehills. BUT, I am only halfway through the book, so I can't have a completly formed opinion of what he is trying to do, nor the methods he is using to accomplish them.

As I said, this is merely an initial impression. I look forward to digging deeper and interacting with the text some more. If all goes well, after I write my reaction to this work, we can toss around some of his conclusions and some of my conclusions.

You may not find out how he came to his conclusions by reading MJ as he leaves most of them out AFAIK. In OCS he goes into a lot of detail. Ehrman is very unlikely to not see an obvious h.t. or h.a. They are generally well-known and always checked for.

Critical editions are very useful when reading such books. Which ones do you use? I generally use UBS4, Swanson and Metzger's Commentary. I will be getting photos of many of the papyri sometime in the next few weeks and I look at the codices online.

I look forward to your conclusions. Until then...

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby Kopio » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:12 pm

Hello Juilian,
JulianJ wrote:Critical editions are very useful when reading such books. Which ones do you use? I generally use UBS4, Swanson and Metzger's Commentary. I will be getting photos of many of the papyri sometime in the next few weeks and I look at the codices online.

I look forward to your conclusions. Until then...

Julian

I am using the NA27, the UBS4, and Metzger's Textual Commentary on the GNT. I have found that the best way to look at variants. The UBS usually has much more of the Fathers and Versions listed, whilst the NA27 usually focuses on the Greek MSS. The textual commentary is an interesting read (if you don't have it you really should) when looking at some of the more difficult variants. There are some variants that caused quite a bit of strife amongst the committee. I also have the Hodges and Farstad Majority Text, as well as the new Robinson Pierpoint Majority Text for reference as to whether or not when the NA27 says "Majority" whether it is a split Majority, or whether it differs from the TR (which is admittedly a fairly horrid collation of very late manuscripts) in places.

I am (admittedly) a pretty big TC geek. I find it something that completely fascinates me. I would consider myself an Eclectic, however, I am not necessarily an Alexandrian Priority proponent. I think that, in large, the Byzantine Text type is largely disregarded, even though it has many early readings in it supported by early papyri. I always find it interesting when papyri like P46 and the Maj are in agreement against B, Aleph, and the like. Overall my problem with Alexandrian priority is that I think the Byzanting should have more weight than it does. For the most part, it seems to me, it is treated as not holding much, if any, weight... But now I'm rambling on :)
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby JulianJ » Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:40 pm

Kopio wrote:Hello Juilian,
JulianJ wrote:Critical editions are very useful when reading such books. Which ones do you use? I generally use UBS4, Swanson and Metzger's Commentary. I will be getting photos of many of the papyri sometime in the next few weeks and I look at the codices online.

I look forward to your conclusions. Until then...

Julian

I am using the NA27, the UBS4, and Metzger's Textual Commentary on the GNT. I have found that the best way to look at variants. The UBS usually has much more of the Fathers and Versions listed, whilst the NA27 usually focuses on the Greek MSS. The textual commentary is an interesting read (if you don't have it you really should) when looking at some of the more difficult variants. There are some variants that caused quite a bit of strife amongst the committee. I also have the Hodges and Farstad Majority Text, as well as the new Robinson Pierpoint Majority Text for reference as to whether or not when the NA27 says "Majority" whether it is a split Majority, or whether it differs from the TR (which is admittedly a fairly horrid collation of very late manuscripts) in places.

I will be ordering NA27 sometime this week if all goes well. That is in addition to the few Swanson volumes I still don't have. Mostly I will be ordering TC books.
I am (admittedly) a pretty big TC geek. I find it something that completely fascinates me. I would consider myself an Eclectic, however, I am not necessarily an Alexandrian Priority proponent. I think that, in large, the Byzantine Text type is largely disregarded, even though it has many early readings in it supported by early papyri. I always find it interesting when papyri like P46 and the Maj are in agreement against B, Aleph, and the like. Overall my problem with Alexandrian priority is that I think the Byzanting should have more weight than it does. For the most part, it seems to me, it is treated as not holding much, if any, weight... But now I'm rambling on :)

TC is my favorite area of study. I have been going through Codex A in some detail lately. I put up a page on some observations I made that I found scant coverage of on the web. Please take a look at my first draft and let me know if you have any suggestions, comment and/or corrections:

http://www.crownschoice.com/tc001/

I am still just a beginner in the TC field but I am having much fun. I am now working on a page on scribal errors and the corrector in Codex A. I will let you know when it is up. :)

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Postby annis » Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:39 pm



Aren't these early majuscule manuscripts some of the most beautiful Greek documents ever produced?
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 3397
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Madison, WI, USA

Postby Kopio » Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:02 pm

annis wrote:Aren't these early majuscule manuscripts some of the most beautiful Greek documents ever produced?


They are indeed, however, some of the cursives are equally beautiful. They are attractive to me also, becasue they still hold some mystery. I have to really try hard to read a cursive...all of the abbrieviations and contracted forms. I can read uncials with little to no effort at all. I wonder....is there a site that lists all of the cursive letters and combonations??

Oh....and Julian.....I have finished Ehrman's book, and I will be posting about it in a bit. I had to write a paper on it, so more than likely I will be pulling snips from that. All in all, I really enjoyed it, but I find some of his textual choices to be questionable (for instance the angry Jesus variant). I will expoud at a later date.
User avatar
Kopio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 pm
Location: Boise, ID

Postby JulianJ » Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:28 pm

Kopio wrote:
annis wrote:Aren't these early majuscule manuscripts some of the most beautiful Greek documents ever produced?


They are indeed, however, some of the cursives are equally beautiful. They are attractive to me also, becasue they still hold some mystery. I have to really try hard to read a cursive...all of the abbrieviations and contracted forms. I can read uncials with little to no effort at all. I wonder....is there a site that lists all of the cursive letters and combonations??

As for the abbreviations, just do a google search for nomina sacra and you should find a list. It is best if you can find one that shows the grammatical variants, like ΙΣ is Jesus in the nominative and ΙΥ is Jesus in the genitive and so on. One thing that I have never seen explained or listed is that in an uncial manuscript if a line would end in a N (nu) they instead write an overscore. Not sure why. Nor am I sure if they do that in minuscules. The easiest way to deal wtih the minuscule writing is to read a few pages with a Greek NT next to you. The letters soon become apparent and you get used to them. It is a pretty but rather sloppy writing style.
Oh....and Julian.....I have finished Ehrman's book, and I will be posting about it in a bit. I had to write a paper on it, so more than likely I will be pulling snips from that. All in all, I really enjoyed it, but I find some of his textual choices to be questionable (for instance the angry Jesus variant). I will expoud at a later date.

I can see Ehrman's point but it is not his strongest. I suspect that he doesn't present all the evidence in MJ. Witherington and Wallace do not agree with Ehrman as they explain here: http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/200 ... -bart.html

Because of word limitations they present a very weak case consisting mostly of hand waving. While I am unimpressed with Witherington in general I respect Wallace's opinion. I wish he had given more detail as I think he probably has some decent reasons. The angry Jesus issue is really one of probabilities and ties into the synoptic problem. More later when I hear your views on this.

Julian
JulianJ
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:38 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: die Quelle

Postby joja » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: the 4 GOSPELS

----------------------------------

"Now you see, God wrote the Bible, Himself. Now, God can speak. Moses said He spoke to him. Jeremiah said, "He put Words in my mouth."And God can write. He wrote the ten commandments with His Own finger. He wrote on the walls of Babylon. And, remember, of the Old Testament alone, two thousand times the prophets said, "THUS SAITH THE LORD!" God can speak, God can write. Certainly. Almost ninety percent of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, is the very Words of God Himself, Jesus Christ speaking. So, if God can write, if God can read, if God can talk, can't He cause others to do the same? Did not He say to Moses, "Who makes man dumb or who gives him speech?" God wrote the Bible by the prophets, His way of doing it.


Took His Own fingers and wrote on the sand, one day. He spoke, He preached, He prophesied, with His Own lips, God did, when He was made flesh and dwelled among us, "God manifested in flesh." If He can write, speak, can't He also tell others what to do? Certainly can. He can talk to them, in a human voice. He can write and show them what to do. He has done it.
So, "God, in sundry times and divers manners spake to the fathers through the prophets." And He said, on this Writing, that, "Not one jot or tittle shall ever pass away until It's fulfilled," and then It's manifested; then It will pass, because It's manifested. It can't pass then, but just the Word Itself is made flesh. Jot means "small word." Tittle means "small mark." Not even one punctuation, one expression, anything, shall ever fail in the Word of God. It can't fail, because It's God, God manifested in a form of a human flesh. For, it's God Himself in letter form, prophet form, manifested in flesh.
Now, that's the reason Jesus could say, "The ones who spoke to you, you call them 'gods,' who spoke to you by the Word of God," said, "and they were gods." Those prophets when they were anointed with the Spirit of God, and brought exactly the Word of God, then they were gods. It was God's Word speaking through them.


That is how the Gospels were written. These men had recalled to their minds by the Holy Ghost the very Words that Jesus spake. That is why the Gospels are accurate. They are perfect. But the Spirit did not only bring all things to their minds but He taught them further on the truth they already had. That is how Paul received his revelations. He said concerning it,

A certain minister said to me, sometime ago, said, "If you'd be a--a servant of Christ and you have the Holy Ghost, strike me blind. Strike me blind." Said, "Paul struck a man blind; you strike me blind."
I said, "Brother, I can't do what the devil's already done. You're blind now, and don't know it."
...Gehazi was blind, standing there, and couldn't see the Angels of fire and the mountains on fire around that prophet, until God opened his eyes.
Spiritual blindness is ten million times worse than physical blindness. If I have to go blind in my eyes or go blind in my spirit, God take my eyes, before my spirit. Let my eyes be open to see His glory. " - William M. Branham
joja
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:34 pm


Return to Koine Greek And Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: C. S. Bartholomew, jmloftus13, uberdwayne and 15 guests