Re: Bellinzoni (ed), The Two-Source Hypothesis

Brian E. Wilson (
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 17:05:20 +0100

In message <>, Jack Kilmon
<> writes
>Brian E. Wilson wrote:
>> I hope b-greek subscribers will visit
>> and would very much welcome comments. The more negative you can be, the
>> better! Do others agree that the new Two Notebook Hypothesis reconciles
>> the current Two Source (or Two Document), Two Gospel (or Farmer-
>> Griesbach-Owen), and Mark-without-Q (or Goulder-Farrer) Hypotheses?
> I think the hypothesis is interesting but much too simplistic an
>explanation for the development of the Gospels. Apparently there was an
>array of "Jesus said" writings during the latter 1st century of Gospel
>authorship and editing. I am one who believes that a very early account
>of sayings was written down by one of the disciples (probably cousin Matthew)
>and was foundational to later interpolations. This "sayings gospel" may have
>been seminal to QI, QII, the Gospel of Thomas, etc.
> The 2NH does not seem to take into account a variety of
"memoirs" that
>circulated among the Yeshuines that were later embedded in "Christian"
>Jack Kilmon


To answer your comments, it would be helpful if you could please give
some justification for accepting the existence of hypothetical QI and
QII. Also, I wonder why the "very early account...written down by one
of the disciples (probably cousin Matthew)" should not have contained
narratives as well as sayings, just as there are five narratives in the
Gospel of Thomas besides discourse material? And why should the
"memoirs circulated among the Yeshuines...later embedded in Christian
gospels" not have been the Notebooks N1 and N2 later embedded in the
Christian synoptic gospels?

It seems to me that the crucial test of a hypothesis put forward to
explain the similarities and differences between the synoptic gospels is
whether it fits the data in the synoptic gospels themselves. The Two
Notebook Hypothesis is unique in that it fits all the data, whereas
other hypotheses (like the 2SH, 2GH and FGH) do not fit the data
completely. I agree that the 2NH is simple, but isn't that a good thing
given that it also fits all the synoptic patterns? Is there any need for
a less simplistic hypothesis?

Brian E. Wilson