Re: Q and Papias

On Fri, 28 Oct 1994, Gregory Jordan (ENG) wrote:
> On Thu, 27 Oct 1994, Michael I Bushnell wrote:
> > Whatever the origin of the narrative (and for the record I side with
> > the "piece of the whole cloth theory") it is not some primal
> > autographic ur-text that Christians look to, but the canonical text of
> > the Gospel.  To understand Matthew one cannot begin by retreating to
> > some earlier text which is not Matthew.
> This does sound as though words are being put into Christians' mouths; 
> not only _sola scripture_ but (very much like Luther) _sola mea scriptura_.
> I'm not sure Christian history supports an arbitrary restriction 
> to the canonicals, although at present there's little else to look to (no 
> archaeologists uncovering copies of Q to the horror of some).  Anyone 
> who's scanned through Eusebius's Eccl. Hist. knows how freewheeling the 
> canonization process was, and at best, this higher criticism just seems 
> a more careful, modern retreading of what the church did in the centuries of 
> canon formation.
> On that note, however - why was it that there was so little controversy 
> over the gospels, esp. considering their discrepancies and similarities 
> (the former would seem to have made some suspect as fraudulent, and the 
> latter would seem to have made some superfluous and thus unpreserved)?

(a) I may be wrong, but I think Greg has misunderstood the intent of 
Michael Bushnell's posting; if I have in fact read it rightly myself, he 
means that our canonical scripture is the whole text of Matthew, however 
much we may endeavor to analyze Matthew's sources and ascertain the 
stages of its composition into its extant format. I have no quarrel with 
that, and I don't think it precludes the endeavor to research Matthew's 
redaction of the hypothetical prior text of Q.

(b) I don't know the details here and hope someone will be able to supply 
them, but with regard to questions on the integrity of the gospels in 
early centuries, am I wrong in recollecting that the text of Luke that 
Marcion wanted to accept as canon was heavily edited to delete what he 
thought were OT Jewish conceptions of God? If so, there's one instance of 
early debate over the legitimate text of NT doccuments. 

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com