Saturday, November 10, 2007

Reconstructing Mark Thought Experiments

Well, it seems to be the weekend for activity on Q on the biblioblogs. On Singing in the Reign, Evans on "Retrieving" Q, Michael Barber points to an article by Craig Evans, "Authenticating the Words of Jesus," in B. Chilton and C. A. Evans, eds., Authenticating the Words of Jesus (Boston: Brill, 2002): 3-14, specifically the section dealing with the difficulty of reconstructing Q when one imagines a scenario according to which one tried to reconstruct Mark from Matthew and Luke. Michael and others may not be familiar with a subsequent article that takes Evans's project further, Eric Eve, "Reconstructing Mark: A Thought Experiment" in Mark Goodacre and Nicholas Perrin (eds.), Questioning Q (London: SPCK and Downers Grove, Ill: IVP, 2004): 89-114. Eric also provides bibliography there of others, like Cyril Rodd, who have engaged in the same thought experiment with respect to Mark. The value of Eve's piece is that it is able to conduct the experiment from the perspective of someone who is sceptical of the existence of Q, thus avoiding some of the tension inevitable in those who accept the existence of Q but resist attempts to reconstruct it.

1 comment:

Michael Barber said...

Thanks for the reference--I've got the book and read some of it, but I hadn't got to that chapter. Thanks for your work and for the link.

I'm writing a doctoral dissertation on the historical Jesus but I keep coming back to the method section. In my opinion, Jesus scholars are far too dependent upon assumptions regarding Q.