Minor comments on the WS/Romans discussion

From: Edward Hobbs (EHOBBS@wellesley.edu)
Date: Fri Feb 09 1996 - 16:01:43 EST

        Indeed, Carl Conrad, it was Nygren who found Wisdom very important for
Romans 2. And indeed, Joe Fitzmyer says "Yes, but be not too bold"--as Joe
always does, in person and in print (except for Q, about which he is
dogmatic). But before we deplore the lack of certitude, let me quote one
of my great teachers, William Irwin (of Toronto, then Chicago 1930-1950):
"In historical research we deal with probabilities only; science-fiction
deals with possibilities, and dogma with certainties." This was in
response to my repeated arguments in an Ezekiel seminar, "But isn't it
possible that ... ?"

        Another friend of mine (both Joe F. and my teacher WI came to be
friends), Sam Sandmel, did not speak of "parallelitus", or even
"parallelitis" (being irritated by parallels?), but of "Parallelomania,"
the compulsive search for parallels which are then read as cause-effect.
In the case of Wisdom-Romans-Hebrews, Edgar Krentz and Carl Conrad have
got it right: the issue isn't whether author A read Author B's work, but rather
whether both worked in at least one cultural framework which they shared.

        May I add a comment about the Auctor ad Hebraeos which is wiser
than anything I might coin? Origen said that the author of Hebrews was
"God-only-knows-who." IMHO, that is exactly who wrote it.

Edward Hobbs

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