More Two Source Stuff (fwd from Ioudaios-L list)

Just a forwarded message I read this morning on the Ioudaios-L list 
concerning more synoptic/2 source stuff.  Has anyone here read this book 
yet?  I realize that this may just muddy the waters of our Q and Papias 
discussion, but I also thought that some here may be interested.  Enjoy!


Leo Percer

Date:	 3-NOV-94  8:23a
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RE:	Book: Unfinished Gospel

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Subject: Book: Unfinished Gospel
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X-Comment: First Century Judaism Discussion Forum

Forgive me if this has already been brought up on Ioudaios, I was away for
six weeks and have not worked through the stored files...anyway, have anyone
had a chance to read the new book by Evan Powell, The Unfinished Gospel
(Westlake Village, CA: Symposium Books, 1994).  I think a massive mailing
went out on this book a couple of weeks ago to the SBL/AAR list, judging
from the address label.  Anyway, I ordered this book, based on the comments
and endorsements by Ron Hock, Robert McKenzie (GTU) and others that came with
the mailing.  I sat up until too long past midnight last night, reading the
book through in one sitting.  I found it quite fascinating, in view of the
recent attention the Jesus Seminar has received from "us" and the press, the
new books by Vermes and Sanders on the "historical" Jesus, et al.  Powell, who
is apparently a non-professional among us, has produced a fascinating thesis,
partly old, partly new.  He writes for the informed non-specialist, but has
basically done his homework well on critical Gospel studies, and so forth.
His thesis is that John 21 is a doctored lost ending to Mark, that John 1-20
is an anti-Petrine Gospel, the earliest, and Mark knew John and wrote in direct
opposition to "him," that Luke comes next, using Mark and other materials,
and Matthew uses/knows Luke, so there was no Q "document" per se, but Q is
Mt's selection of Lk (reversing Farmer here, old theory but newly presented
by Powell in an interesting way).  Powell concludes that our best grasp on
the historical J is in John, but read more on the narrative level--so he
surprisingly ends up with a revolutionary J, somewhat like Sander's J in
intention at least (Temple takeover, etc.) but without the apocalyptic
sayings per se, from Q, etc.  He argues that the Luke/Q sayings material
is mostly later, very theologically developed.  Anyway, this book is great
to read and I do accept it as a serious but welcome attempt by an "outsider"
to step into our world of Gospel criticism since 1836 and propose something
quite fascinating, kind of stirring the pot.  All along, as I was reading, I
would say to myself, "no way," "here we go," etc. before I had read Powell's
actual exposition, however, once he explained his arguments I found them
to be much more compelling than I anticipated, given my fairly standard, but
never entirely satisfied, "two-source" hypothesis approach.  Anyway, I just
wondered if anyone else had read the book, or if Ron Hock is on this list,
maybe he would care to comment--he was quite positive about the book.  The
final section of the book becomes quite speculative--empty tomb ideas, but
no more so than any of the standard portraits.

James Tabor