Re: Q and Papias

> 	I am still waiting for an argument that adequately accounts for the
> poorer quality Greek that consistently characterizes Mark over against 
> Matthew or Luke from those who reject the argument that Matthew and Luke have
> improved the markan text.  Why would one consistently downgrade the quality
> of a text that one is editing?

As I see it your response here is based on a couple of assumptions that I
have rejected:  a) that there is a clear cut literary dependance among the
3.  If Matt and Lk copied Mark, they improved his Greek.  If Mk copied Mat
and Lk, how come his Greek is so bad in comparison.  How do we explain
this?  But what if the situation is more complex than this simple
dichotomy allows for?  If it is, and I think that it is, then this
question is thrown out, it no longer has significance.  b) when teaching
elementary Greek, by the time we get to Xenophon I had them translating
English translations of material they had read back into Greek.  Now, they
had been reading Xenophon, were familiar with his sentence structure after
hours and hours of dealing with it in class and tutorials, had learned
Xenophon specific vocab lists.  But the translations back into Greek were
always worse Greek than Xenophon's-how come?  SKILL LEVEL.  It doesn't
matter how good the original source is, if you don't have the skill to
deal with it, it will always come off worse than the original.  c) We have
to remember that Mark is not just copying Matthew and Luke (if we accept
the F-G-which let me say again I don't), otherwise why write at all?  He
is retelling using these 2 as sources.  This is in line with Hellenistic
use of sources-read any of the historiographers for instance-they do not
quote their sources, they retell them, restate them, they don't quote
extended passages of material.  If F-G has any merit, the Markan style
comparative to Matt and Lk is explained thus:  Lack of skill, and
retelling the story with his own concerns and in his own style rather than
a mere cut and paste artist.  By the way, he wouldn't have written bad 
Greek on purpose, like the Good News version does.

> when working on Q, such as noted above, are not an a priori argument 
> against the existence of Q as a source for Matthew and Luke.  Indeed, such
> a stance obviates discussion of a Semeia source in John, miracle catenae
> behind the synoptics, an "Aramaic Vorlage" to any of these texts, etc., 
> etc., because the sources do not exist as extant early CE manuscripts.  But
> enough said.

Thank you Steve.  Well said.

Larry Swain