Bellinzoni - The Two Source Hypothesis

Brian E. Wilson (
Tue, 3 Sep 1996 09:41:34 +0100

Carlton Winbery wrote;
>In my opinion the minor agreements have been accounted for. As for the
>overlaps between Mark and Q, these remain an area of great speculation
>and do not disprove the existence of some such document(s) shared by
>Matt and Luke. These would have to be dealt with one by one and would
>carry us far afield of the purpose of this forum. These questions have
>not been sufficiently strong to dissuade the majority of scholars,
>however, and they have not yet dissuaded me from the validity of the
>basic theory. I do indicate to my students though that this is still
>only a theory and fall short of total proof.

You write, "In my opinion the minor agreements have been accounted
for." If you mean this has happened under the Two Source Hypothesis,
then I am sure that the great majority of scholars who go along with the
2SH as the least troublesome attempted solution they have to the
synoptic problem, would love to hear how this feat has been achieved!!
Positing a proto-Mark, or a deutero-Mark, might appear to help at first
sight, but that would be to create a new (three source!) hypothesis.
The 2SH posits neither a proto- nor a deutero- Mark.

You also write, "As for the overlaps between Mark and Q, these remain an
area of great speculation." The "Mark-Q Overlaps" , however, have been
an area of great speculation only to advocates of the 2SH. I have
taught the 2SH to students, and mentioned to them that some passages in
the triple tradition are not explained by Matthew and Luke having copied
from Mark, but could be explained if Mark and Q overlapped. The
immediate reaction from many students is, "But how do you explain that
Mark and Q overlapped?" The short, and honest, answer is that you
cannot explain it under the 2SH, which affirms that Matthew and Luke
independently copied from both Mark and Q, but that Mark did not copy
from Q, nor Q from Mark.

You comment that, "These (overlaps) would have to be dealt with one by
one and would carry us far afield of this forum." Is it not a strange
coincidence that in your comments things suddenly become far to
difficult for us ordinary mortals precisely at the points where the 2SH
does not fit the data in the synoptic gospels? The only difficulty in
relating the "Mark-Q Overlaps" to the 2SH lies in the 2SH. The
"Overlaps" are easlily explained under other hypotheses, for instance
the Two Notebook Hypothesis.

Do we not need a hypothesis which fits the data explained by the 2SH
and any further data explained by the 2GH and FGM Hypotheses, so
reconciling all three?

Brian E. Wilson