Thursday, February 21, 2008

Textual Criticism and the Synoptic Problem

I've mentioned before the Oxford Conference on the Synoptic Problem coming up in April. I have been asked to write a paper on 'Textual criticism and the synoptic problem’; and I have a welcome chance to try out some thoughts on this at a seminar this afternoon at King's College London Biblical Studies Research Seminars (somehow the fact that this is generally abbreviated to the BS seminars is a little worrying).

Anyway, here is the outline of my talk (Room 2E at 5pm if you are interested)


1. Sanday’s Oxford Seminar (1894-1910)
W. Sanday (ed.), Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem (Oxford: Clarendon, 1911)

2. Earlier Approaches

3. B.H. Streeter (1924)
The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins. Treating of the Manuscript Tradition, Sources, Authorship, and Dates (London: Macmillan & Co., 1924; 1930rev)

4. C.H. Turner, ‘Notes on Markan Usage’ (1920s)

5. Textual Criticism Advances
New manuscripts: Oxyrhynchus Papyri from 1898; W; P. Ch. Beatty, esp. P45
New editions: Von Soden (1911); Legg, Mark 1935; Legg, Matthew 1940 (WH)

6. The Synoptic Problem Solved

7. W.R. Farmer and the revival of the Griesbach Hypothesis
The Synoptic Problem (1964)
The Last Twelve Verses of Mark (1974)

8. The New Standard Text (UBS3 – 1975; NA26 – 1979; Aland, Synopsis 1978 -9th)

9. Synopsis Construction: Theory and Practice
B. Orchard (1983)
Huck-Greeven (1981 - 13th)

10. Textual Critics Address the Synoptic Problem
G.D. Kilpatrick (1977)
G.D. Fee (1978 & 1980)
J.K. Elliott (1979/80 & 1986 & 1990)

11. Q as a “virtual” Text-critical artifact
Critical Edition of Q (2000)

12. The Minor Agreements

13. The Pre-History of the Synoptic Tradition

14. Some Recent Attempts at Synthesis
H.W. Shin (2004)
M.C.C. Yuk (2005)
M.C. Williams (2006)

15. Retrospect and Prospect
a) Materials
b) Resources:
c) Approaches:


  1. Hi Peter. Sounds like fun. Just in case you've not spotted it, I have a piece relevant to number 11 on your list in Questioning Q (ed. by me and Perrin), "When is a Text Not a Text? The Quasi-Text-Critical Approach of the International Q Project". I would also be interested to hear any response to some comments I made on textual criticism and the Minor Agreements too in Case Against Q, 161-2. I look forward to seeing you in Oxford.

  2. Thanks Mark,

    On the CEQ you already featured (in the notes anyway!). I shall have a look at the MA section too (although MA's have a separate paper at the conference, so I am not planning to spend much time on them).

    A question did come up in relation to whether the Farrer-Goulder-Goodacre Hypothesis had made much of any text-critical argument. I said I hadn't come across much, but should probably re-check, starting with Goodacre as the most likely.

    It was nice to have a good run through, and some good suggestions (especially from Ed who suggested a good way to tie the whole thing up with a stronger 'story'). Oxford, I hope, will be a great time.