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

Stephen C. Carlson (
Tue, 27 Aug 1996 13:19:34 -0400

At 04:24 8/22/96 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
>In message <>,
>"Stephen C. Carlson" <> writes
>>At 02:51 8/18/96 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
>>> 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?
>>Therefore, without understanding the character of the two hypothetical
>>notebooks better it would seem to that it would be very difficult to
>>reconcile the three theories because each theory demands incompatible
>>characters for N1 and N2: N1 is either a quasi-Q, Mt, or Mk; N2 is
>>either a quasi-Mk, Lk, Mt; for the 2SH, 2GH, and FGM respectively. I
>>can't see how each theory can make the nature of N1 and N2 any more
>Under the 2NH, N1 and N2 are EACH a quasi-Q AND a proto-Matthew AND a
>proto-Mark AND a proto-Luke. This is obvious from the diagram of the
>2NH. [...] In other words, IF the 2NH describes what actually
>happened,then it becomes clear that the other hypotheses considered
>above describe major parts of the truth.

You've adequately explained the contents of N1 and N2, but that is only
part of the whole picture. The character of the N1 and N2 also includes
the arrangement (order) of its contents and their wording. The 2SH, 2GH,
and FGM all make incompatible predictions on the order and wording of
their sources. For example, the order of N1 and N2 under the 2GH would
be most similar to Matthew and Luke respectively, but the remaining two
hypothesis seem to require that one of the notebooks have Mark's order.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by reconciling the major hypotheses,
but it would seem that they are not subsumed by the 2NH in the same sense
that the Einsteinian relativity subsumes Newtonian mechanics. Rather,
it would appear that the 2NH has the potential to appropriate the most
persuasive aspects of its competitors and leave the others behind.

Postulating two hypothetical documents and seven lines of dependencies
(compared to 0/3 for 2GH, FGM and 1/4 for 2SH) adds a lot to the explanatory
power of the model. The major concern is Occam's Razor: is it necessary
to explain all the data? Most of the inadequacies of the 2SH (the Mark/
Q overlaps and minor agreements) have been thoroughly thrashed out in
the scholarly community, and so one is unlikely to win over a majority
unless one can produce either (a) a methodological flaw in the 2SH, or
(b) new, unconsidered evidence that the 2SH/2GM/FGM, etc. cannot easily
explain. If I understand you correctly, you are preparing to present
that new evidence at Lausanne in 1997, and I must patiently wait until

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson                   : Poetry speaks of aspirations,              : and songs chant the words. :               -- Shujing 2.35