Date: Tue Oct 17 1995 - 17:52:30 EDT
Re. basing arguments on hypothetical sources:
NI>> [...] I'd rather work with documents I *know* existed than build sand
NI>> castles on hypothetical foundations.
NI>3] Are you sure you mean this? By this criterion we can accept *no*
NI>arguments for *any* sources behind the Gospels. And I don't think anyone
NI>is going to seriously argue that.
Perhaps I'm being a touch (but only a touch) polemical. Certainly
sources, some written and some oral, lie behind the gospels. But any
argument that relies on, say, supposed layers of redaction within
hypothetical sources, etc.,
[HOT OFF THE PRESSES! REDACTIONAL LAYERS DISCOVERED IN
Q! AMAZE YOUR FRIENDS! PROVE THAT THOMAS IS A FIRST-
CENTURY DOCUMENT! SEE WHAT THE EARLIEST CHRISTIAN
COMMUNITIES WERE *REALLY* LIKE!],
is prohibitively speculative. It
depends more on a fanciful Hegelian reconstruction of the history of
early Christianity than a fair reading of the evidence.
For instance, I very much appreciate the way R. Brown handles these
questions in *Death of the Messiah*. He notes great degrees of
similarity in the prayers of Jesus recorded in the gospels, or that Mk
and Jn use a certain OT passage in very similar (but very different)
ways, and suggests that these phenomena spring from layers of
pre-gospel tradition. But he realizes that attempting to build
arguments on these foundations is ludicrous.
PLS <sorry, continued *again*>
--- SLMR 2.1a A little government and a little luck are both necessary, but only a fool trusts either.
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