Re: Q and Papias

On Wed, 26 Oct 1994, Dick Ruble wrote:

> As a Christian, my question is:  What position did the Holy Spirit take with
> regard to influencing EXACT similarities within these passages?  I nominate
> Him for alternative # (5) above.
> Thanks,
> Dick Ruble
Well, as another person who would hope to be able to be convicted of being
some sort of Christian in a fair hearing, I suggest that it is not
commonly done to attribute literary features of biblical texts to the Holy
Spirit.  The H.S. is more commonly understood in Christian theology as
motivating biblical writers, in some myterious way shaping their ideas,
and even providentially guiding what was written and what was made
canonical--but the linguistic forms and literary features in the Bible,
being so varied and so clearly tied to the historical circumstances of
each author, are more properly explored on the basis of common historical,
linguistic, and literary conventions.  Thus, we should not use the H.S. as
an option for determining whether  there is a literary relationship among
any of the Synoptics.  For that question, we have only good old historical
knowledge, linguistic skills, powers of observation, creative insight, and
cogent argumentation of scholars to help us.

Larry Hurtado, Religion, Univ. of Manitoba