An outline of the Griesbach hypothesis

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Ten issues in the debate

Verbal agreements, or agreements in substance

Agreements in wording indicate a source. If the agreements are exact, and if they extend over a series of several words, the agreement indicates that the source was in a written form. Here is an example:This is an example not only of the parallels, but also of the order that may be argued by virtue of the modifications that appear in each.Mark: First, Taylor (1969:561) thinks that ‘I was…teaching,’ npnv 5i5dtOK(i)V, a periphrastic imperfect, connected Mark’s version with Palestinian speech customs. Secondly, Mark’s version described the group that came to seize Jesus as a mob. This group was a more likely one than the group in Luke’s version, namely, the officials themselves. These are two arguments for the fact that Mark’s version may have a more primitive background.Matthew: ‘I sat…teaching,’ e K a 0 e ^ 6 p n v 6i6dtOK(j)V. Sitting was the more formal teaching posture of an acknowledged teacher. Matthew had an interest in describing Jesus as a teacher like Moses, or more contextually to Matthew, like the rabbis. This variation was consistent with Matthew’s editorial concerns. Therefore, this variation was then a later adjustment by Matthew rather than a part of the material Matthew was working with.Luke: In Luke’s version, there are two or three features that were customary in Luke’s writing. First, there was the introduction. Secondly, there was the construction npoc; with an accusative (Fitzmyer 1981:1448). Thirdly,Mann (1986:598), who was usually in favour of Mark’s dependence upon Luke, said that it was ‘highly unlikely that any such official [as those listed by Luke] would have been present at the arrest’ Notably, Mark’s version described ‘a crowd from’ these officials. Of these two options, the crowd was the more likely origin for Mann, who said that ‘they had hired a mob to take care of the seizure.’Therefore, these three variations are Luke’s contribution and not part of the material from which Luke worked.On the other hand, Luke did not have the word ‘teaching.’ If Luke was copying Mark, first, it was strange that Luke would omit the word, because Luke does refer to the teaching activity of Jesus, and even his teaching in the Temple (19:47). Secondly, Luke regularly changed Mark’s use of the verb ‘teach.’ Perhaps there was a connection between Luke’s variation on this verb, ‘teach,’ here, and those regular changes elsewhere in Mark // Luke.Such parallels are not just an isolated few. Rather, there is a comparable degree of similarity in the text which forms a substantial percentage or even the majority of the synoptics. The choice of words-often very similar—in the triple tradition indicates that there is a relationship, and that Mark was prior at least to Luke and probably to Matthew as well. When one examines the choice of words, Mark never looks like a mere connecting link, and it never looks as if Mark borrowed from either Matthew or from Luke (Fitzmyer 1970:139).

Agreements in the order of parallel material

When one compares the three orders of events in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, one finds that on occasion then each one of the three first, lacks elements that are present in, and whose relative order is shared by two others; and, secondly, contains elements that are not present in either of the others.None of the material in the above two tables is without its own significance, so this is at least some prima facie or first impression evidence that none of the three completely represents either, or both, of the other two as we know them. We could ask whether this means that perhaps none of the three synoptic Gospels represented the lead, or the prototype, or had priority.The relative order of the synoptic Gospels provides some clues for answering such a question. The two source hypothesis rests upon the observation of the pattern that ‘Matthew and Mark can agree against Luke, and Mark and Luke can agree against Matthew, but Matthew and Luke do not normally agree against Mark where they share the same material, i.e. where there was a triple tradition’ (Perrin& Duling 1982:67). This applies not only to the general order of the material, but also to the majority of the word order choices in Matthew, Mark and Luke.

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The order of wording

The Greek word ordering of many passages in the triple tradition matches. When we examine these passages, they do not indicate that Mark has adopted from or shortened Matthew and Luke. Each case, like the example above, suggests that the likelihood is the other way round (Fitzmyer 1981:69).

The order of episodes

It is necessary to define ‘an agreement in order.’ At first, the discussion centred on the units as they were designated, headed and printed by Tischendorf ([1841] 1869-1872), Huck and Leitzmann([1892] 1949), and many publishers of the synoptic texts. These units, or pericopes, were made up of the separate events or episodes in Mark. In a synopsis, these units could have a heading of their own, like ‘The Cleansing of the Leper’ in Mark 1:40-45.Another way of putting this is that Matthew and Luke never agree together against Mark in their sequence of pericopae in the triple tradition. Wood’s fourth point is particularly striking, for if either Luke or Matthew was using the other’s work, then there ought to be at least some ‘double tradition’ material that is immediately connected with triple tradition material in their accounts. Since there is no material like this, Luke cannot have been copying Matthew, and there is no support for the fact that Matthew was copying Luke. Arguing for the Griesbach hypothesis, that Mark primarily followed Matthew’s order and content and secondarily that of Luke, Mann said this: The adoption of order was to be explained not in that Mark wrote first, and somehow passed on the order of events to Luke or to Matthew. Rather, it was the opposite direction, that Mark wrote last, and received the order of events from Matthew or from Luke.Mann’s second sentence is quite curious. First, it seems quite possible for Matthew or Luke to use Mark’s material as an outline at least, particularly if Mark or a document like it had already begun to be used in more than one place. Secondly, one reason why we may think that it was Luke that preserved Mark’s order rather than the other way round is that Luke was quite conservative with the lexical wording of his sources. In chapter five we w ill note that Luke displayed a fairly steady process of changing the grammar and syntax of his sources, however.

Chapter O ne: The motivation, aims and organisation of this thesis
1 Motivation
2 The value of source analysis
3 Aims 
4 Method 
5 Problem statement
6 Organisation 
Chapter Two: The relationship between the Synoptic Gospels 
1 The relationship between Mark, Matthew and Lu k e 
1.1 A naming convention or definition for a source
1.2 An outline of the ‘two source’ hypothesis
1.3 An outline of the Griesbach hypothesis
1.4 Principal issues in sequence and dependence between Luke and Mark
2 Ten issues in the debate
2.1 Verbal agreements, or agreements in substance
2.2 Agreements in the order of parallel material
2.3 Luke accredited so u rces
2.4 The setting and purpose of Mark and Luke
2.5 The contents of Mark and Lu ke
2.6 The objective existence of a source supplementary to Mark, namely Q
2.7 D oublets
2.8 Vocabulary and gram m ar
2.9 When Luke and Matthew both omit text from Mark
2.10 When Luke and Matthew both insert text into Mark
3 Concluding rem arks
4 Synthesis and reconstruction: The process through which the synoptic Gospels were com posed
5 Sum m ary
Chapter Three: A review of literature on authorship with regard to style
1 Introduction
2 Aim: Consider literature on authorship style, to ground our method
3 A review of selected works that have considered authorship style 
3.1 A definition of style
3.2 The goal of the stylistic experiment, or the question it responds to
3.3 The kind and quality of stylistic variables required
3.4 The means of acquiring such information
3.5 Methods of analysing and interpreting the data
4 Opting for one method-The principles or theoretical considerations underlying the syntax chain method 
5 Conclusions
Chapter Four: Using syntax chains to discern the author of a block 
1 Introduction
2 Aim: To quantify, measure and assess the discriminating power of syntax 
3 M ethodology
4 The process of constructing syntax chain distributions (details and data) 
4.1 Distribution A: First block-the editorial layer of Mark (odd h alf)
4.2 Distribution B: Second block-the editorial layer of Mark (even half)
4.3 Distribution C: Third block-the editorial layer of L u k e
5 Results: Evaluation and comparison of distributions A, B, and C 
6 Conclusions: The method has discriminating power in this case 
7 Sum m ary
Chapter Five: An examination of source material through syntax chains
1 Introduction
2 Aims: To test and apply the method in the Triple tradition’
3 Method: Comparing Luke’s triple to unique Mark and unique Luke
4 Process: Distributions in Luke’s triple, in unique Mark, and in unique Luke .
5 Results: Luke’s triple is closer to unique Luke than to unique M ark
6 Discussion: The effectiveness of the weights 
7 Conclusions: Luke may not have derived the triple tradition from Mark
Chapter Six: Characteristics, conclusions, applications, and further study 
1 Selected illustrations and stylistic characteristics from Luke’s triple, from unique Mark and from unique Luke
2 Conclusions with regard to the thesis as awhole
3 Applications of the analysis of syntax in New Testament research
3.1 Where we are still uncertain of the host source or the direction of dependence
3.2 Where material believed to be of one source actually belongs to a different source
3.3 Synoptic investigations addressed by a comprehensive assessment of syntax chains
3.4 The beginning and ending of parallel blocks of text in the synoptics
3.5 The composition and unity of a section of writing
3.6 Assessing originality in similar versions of an event-the Gospel of Thomas
4 For further study 
1 Working definitions
2 A full list of the fifty-four grammatical features


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