As you know, I agreed to allow Mark Goodacre to respond to Alan Garrow’s unusual view of how to explain the “Synoptic Problem,” as part of the $1000 challenge by blog-participant Evan. Some of you enjoyed going down into the weeds yesterday with Mark; today I post Alan Garrow’s reply to Mark’s Response, and if you like the weeds, here are some more! If nothing else, these posts show why it is hard to make scholarship simple and accessible to the non-expert, without simplifying it out of recognition — which is the ultimate goal of this blog.
If you prefer other kinds of (less weedy) fields, no worries! I’m not planning on continuing this back and forth, with one exception. Evan himself would like to post his views, and I’ve agreed to allow him to do so. But first I’ll let these two posts settle in for you, and tomorrow get back onto other things.
Here now is Alan’s reply to Mark’s response. See which side you line up with! (Just one point of clarification I’d like to make about my own views in light of what Alan says below; I am not at all committed to the form of Q reconstructed by the International Q Project – not in the least; I simply think there was a Greek document that Matthew and Luke both used for a number of their traditions, and I’m happy to call it Q).
The $1000 Challenge: Garrow responds to Goodacre
First of all I’d like to thank Evan Powell. Evan is a particularly incisive and original thinker. You can find more about his ideas at http://synoptic-problem.com. Evan’s $1000 challenge has injected fresh energy into a tired and moribund debate. Evan’s particular concern is to dispense with Q – which creates an amusing irony: to keep the flame of Q burning brightly, Ehrman accepts the services of Mark Goodacre, a man who has worked harder than any living scholar to put it out. Evan will offer his own response to Goodacre in due course.
Before getting onto the substance of Mark’s critique I need to offer a very important – but perhaps confusingly subtle – clarification. When I use the term Q (*without* quotation marks) I mean …
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