Re: Bellinzoni (ed), The Two-Source Hypothesis

From: Brian E. Wilson (
Date: Thu Aug 22 1996 - 11:24:06 EDT

In message <>,
"Stephen C. Carlson" <> writes
>At 02:51 8/18/96 +0100, Brian E. Wilson wrote:
>> I hope b-greek subscribers will visit
>>and would very much welcome comments. The more negative you can be, the
>>better! Do others agree that the new Two Notebook Hypothesis reconciles
>>the current Two Source (or Two Document), Two Gospel (or Farmer-
>>Griesbach-Owen), and Mark-without-Q (or Goulder-Farrer) Hypotheses?
>I must say that your site is very interesting and its appearance is
>very professional. Naturally, I would want to hear more about it, and
>so I am eagerly waiting for your article to come out next year. As a
>result, it's hard to evaluate the 2NH without understanding the nature
>and contents of the two notebooks (denominated N1 and N2) better, but it
>would seem difficult to reconcile the 2SH, 2GH, and FGM (Farrer-Goulder
>Model, Bellinzoni's term).
>Under the 2SH, N1 and N2 would be like Mark and Q, but not necessarily
>respectively. Now, under the 2NH, N2 is directly dependent upon N1, yet
>Mark and Q are generally thought to be independent (e.g. Streeter 1926).
>Even so, Q is often considered to be the earlier, and if there is a
>dependence it is probably Mark upon Q rather than vice versa (Streeter
>1911). So, under the 2SH N1 would be like Q (a quasi-Q) and N2 a quasi-
>If we look at the 2GH, in which Matthew is first, used by Luke, and the
>two conflated by Mark, then N1 would be a quasi-Matthew, and N2 = q-Lk.
>Under the FGM (Markan priority but no Q), N1 is a q-Mk, and N2 is a q-Mt.
>Therefore, without understanding the character of the two hypothetical
>notebooks better it would seem to that it would be very difficult to
>reconcile the three theories because each theory demands incompatible
>characters for N1 and N2: N1 is either a quasi-Q, Mt, or Mk; N2 is
>either a quasi-Mk, Lk, Mt; for the 2SH, 2GH, and FGM respectively. I
>can't see how each theory can make the nature of N1 and N2 any more
>Stephen Carlson


Under the 2NH, N1 and N2 are EACH a quasi-Q AND a proto-Matthew AND a
proto-Mark AND a proto-Luke. This is obvious from the diagram of the
2NH. The 2SH is a simplified version of part of the 2NH. For, just as
under the 2SH, both Mk and Q were independentlly copied by both Mt and
Lk, so also, under the 2NH, both N1 (as a quasi-Q) and N2 (as a proto-
Mark copied by Mk) were independently copied by both Mt and Lk.
Similarly, the 2GH is a simplified version of part of the 2NH. Under
the 2GH, just as Lk copied from Mt, and Mk copied from both Mt and Lk,
so also under the 2NH, N2 (as a proto-Luke copied by Luke) copied from
N1, and Mk copied from both N1 (as a proto-Matthew copied by Matthew)
and N2 (as a proto-Luke copied by Lk). The same sort of analysis can be
applied to the FGM Hypothesis. There is no contradiction once you
realize that the 2SH, 2GH and FGM Hypotheses are simplified versions of
parts of the 2NH. Try finding the structures of each of the 2SH, 2GH
and FGM in the diagram of the 2NH. They are all present. I actually
set this out with diagrams in my talk which can be seen at
http:/ The diagrams represent visually what is
explained above. In other words, IF the 2NH describes what actually
happened,then it becomes clear that the other hypotheses considered
above describe major parts of the truth.

On the question of the character of N1 and N2, under the 2NH two
categories of material must have belonged to N1 and/or N2:
(1) the material common to more than one synoptic gospel, including the
Minor Agreements of Mt and Lk against Mk in the triple tradition, and
(2) both components of every synoptic doublet, including any doublet
component found in only one synoptic gospel.
In the case of category (2), under the 2NH one component of each
doublet was in N1, and the other in N2. For example, the Feeding of the
Five Thousand was in one of these sources, and the Feeding of the Four
Thousand in the other.

Now most of the subject-matter of Mk is found in Mt. Under the 2NH,
this means that probably Mt used nearly all the subject-matter of N1 and
N2, these sources also being used, but more selectively, by Mk. Also
under the 2NH, N2 was a revision of N1, so there must have been a
significant overlap of subject-matter between N1 and N2. It follows
that probably most of the subject-matter of Mt was also the subject-
matter of N1, and of N2. This gives a rough idea of the character of
N1 and N2.

It is possible to improve on this rough finding. In the case of some
synoptic doublets, it is possible to distinguish between which component
was in N1, and which component was in N2. This can be done using my
"Pattern 9" which I have not yet divulged to others. (I hope to
introduce this, and three other previously unrecognized synoptic
patterns at the SBL International Meeting in Lausanne in July 1997.) On
this analysis, the following pericopes were from N1 (using the pericope
headings in Huck/Throckmorton):

The Baptism of Jesus, The Call of the First Disciples, Jesus in the
Synagogue at Capernaum, The Centurion's Servant, The Healing of a Dumb
Demoniac, The Healing of the Man with the Withered Hand, The Feeding of
the Five Thousand, The Healing of the Deaf Mute, Teaching on Humility,
The Rich Young Man, The Entry into Jerusalem, and The Parable of the
Wicked Tenants.

And the following were from N2:

The Transfiguration, The Call of Levi, The Gerasene Demoniac, The
Syrophoenician Woman, Accusations against Jesus (healing of a blind
mute), The Healing of a Man with Dropsy, The Feeding of the Four
Thousand, The Blind Man of Bethsaida, The Parable of the Pharisee and
the Publican, The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, Preparation
for the Passover, and The Parable of the Marriage Feast.

More research is needed . I find this the most exciting part of my work
at the moment.

Brian E. Wilson

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