Re: here's what's wrong with Q

From: Nichael Cramer (
Date: Sat Oct 14 1995 - 13:15:09 EDT

On Sat, 14 Oct 1995 wrote:
> Besides, what the heck do you mean by "tremendous explanatory value"?
> Do you mean "usefulness"? How is *that* a criteria for which
> hypothesis is to be accepted?

I, for one, must admit to being bewildered by this question. The
explanatory power of a hypothesis is the _only_ criterion by which a
hypothesis can be accepted.

In short we are faced with certain data; in the present case under
discussion it is the form and nature of text of the Synoptic Gospels.
The immediate question is how did that text get to be in that form?

The only criterion by which a hypothesis is judged --indeed the only
criterion by which a hypothesis *can* be judged-- is how well it explains
the available data. What other, meaningful criterion can there possibly

Once again, the question is: Does or does not the hypothesis (the 2DH)
explain the data (the details of the text of the Synoptic Gospels) better
than its competitors?

That is the only question of importance --or indeed of relevance-- to be

> That's a judgement call, of course, but in my judgement Q fails the
> test.

1] It's not true that it's simply a "judgement call". This is what
science is all about, attempting to establish objective criteria by which
to make such judgements.

2] Again, perhaps it would be useful to explain why it "fails the test".
So far, the only of argument presented has been amounts "we don't have a
copy of Q", which as we've seen is of --at most-- margin relevance. The
important question is how well does the 2DH explain the text? On that
topic there has been precious little discussion.

> [...] I'd rather work with documents I *know* existed than build sand
> castles on hypothetical foundations.

3] Are you sure you mean this? By this criterion we can accept *no*
arguments for *any* sources behind the Gospels. And I don't think anyone
is going to seriously argue that.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:30 EDT