Re: Q and Papias

On Sat, 29 Oct 1994, David Coomler wrote:

> > preservation.  A modern example would be the difference in writing style 
> > and subject of a G. K. Chesterton, which few of my younger patrons have 
> > ever heard of, and of a Danielle Steel-no comparison in my mind, but 
> > Steel will certainly be read by more of the masses for a longer time than 
> > Chesterton.  c) which brings us to an important point.  If we look at 
> > Matthew and Luke as being fairly refined works, full of theological and 
> > biblical undercurrents and complex formulations, in contrast to the 
> > COMPARATIVE simplicity of Mark, and if the majority of the Christians in 
> > the first couple of centuries were from the lower classes, as many 
> > studies have indicated, then we would presume that the simpler  gospel 
> > would prevail in those circles.  d) your argument is open to a similar 
> > attack.  If there was a Q and Mark as sources for Matthew and Luke, Q has 
> > disappeared from the scene, Mark hasn't.  One would expect from your 
> > conclusion that the more "advanced" gospels would be preserved, and Mark 
> > should have disappeared as did Q because of its inelegance, lack of all 
> > but 4 OT fulfillment references which became increasingly important, its 
> > relative "low" Christology and so on.  So why didn't Mark disappear?  
> I think you answer your own question as to why Mark survived--it became
> connected with the name of Peter.

David, the question was yours, not mine.  If you review your posts you 
responded to my remarks.  I said that if you put on a different set of 
a priori glasses and assumed that Matthew was first, then one argues that
it is Mark who changes Matthew rather than the other way round as you stated.  
You replied that this is improbable since one needs to explain why Mark, 
a stylistically inferior gospel, survived unless it were prior to 
Matthew and used by Matthew.  My response then was the statement about 
Peter.  And since you grant me that Mark is preserved because of its 
connection to Peter, then your argument that Mark could not be preserved 
unless Mark is prior falls as well-regardless of its place in the 
sequence of production, we have adequate reason for Mark's preservation.
Do you have any other salient proofs that Mark is prior or for the 2 Source?

>  The comparison between Chesterton and Steele is hardly
> applicable, not only because of different subject matter but also because
> the stylistic differences between the two English authors are not
> comparable, I think, to the linguistic differences between Mark and Matthew.

Forgive me for being too obtuse in my last posting.  Please allow me to 
rephrase that section.  1) Your point regarding Mark's simplicity being 
demonstrative of its prior position and use by Matt and Lk assumes that 
STYLE is one of the criteria for use and preservation in the church.  Can 
you prove that style is one of those criteria?  No.  So your argument 
does not apply.  2) Mark's simplicity in comparison with Matt and Lk in 
style and theology has as much to do with the audiences addressed as 
Chesterton who has his audience 50+ years after his death and Steele has 
her audience.  My point was not a discussion of linguistics  comparing 
Steele and G. K., nor was it to be taken allegorically as Steele=Mk and 
Chesterton=Matthew.  It applies because it illustrates a difference in 
audience, and therefore illuminates why both gospels ended up in the 
canon side by side-again addressing your now moot point regarding Marcan 
simplicity proving priority.  3) As already stated, the comparison is 
meant to illustrative of audience intended, not of linguistic 
comparisons, so why are you objecting to a straw man?  4) Would you mind 
stating precisely the linguistic problems you mean?  

 It might also be helpful to keep in mind the popularity of Tatian's
> "harmony" of the Gospels, which threatened to replace the originals at one
> point. 

Well, that is interesting.  Let me see, Diatesseron by the late second 
century was exclusivly used in Syria-but I thought that the church was 
found in such far off places as Britain, and Spain, and India-the 
Diatesseron threatened to replace the orginals there too? I, in fact, do 
not find any such threat in any of the other writings of the CHristian 
movement that there was a great contest over the Diatesseron, that by 
some simple political machination the 4 survive.  The evidence seems to 
me to point to the Diatesseron's use in Syria where it did exclude the 4 
as separate units, and if this is correct then a limited phenomenon does 
not make your case.  2) What does a late second century document have to 
do with Q and the 2-Source hypothesis?  3) Once again, the problem of 
Tatian's work demonstrates the importance of the audience, thank you very 
much.  Diatesseron was used and survived so long because of its audience 
and the audience's endorsement.  

 > > While I do not consider all the textual problems in Markan 
> solved, it nonetheless seems that explaining a Matthean priority presents
> far greater difficulties in numerous areas, and accounting for the
> difference in stylistic and linguistic "quality" is but one of these.

This statement too demonstrates part of the problem.  Too much of the 
discussion of the 2 Source, Farmer et al hypotheses has been a debate 
between which theory better explains the phenomenon.  I think that this 
is wrong headed.  If you want to arrive at a hypothesis as you state 
above, you must begin at the beginning and sift through all the evidence 
and develop the theory.  In the process I think you will find as others 
have that the 2 Source has some very serious problems with it.  This does 
not mean that Farmer does not-in fact there are rather serious problems 
there as well, which you will also discover.  So the question on which I 
work, is whither from here?  Shore up an inadequate position, or find a 
better more defensible one?  I am in search of the latter.  Try it, you 
will at least find it educational and stimulating.