Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Modified Two-Source Hypothesis for the Synoptic Gospels



It's rather surprising that in hundreds of years of source criticism, no one has thought of this hypothesis before. But now it's so obvious!

Where is my evidence? Simple. The Parable of the Lost Sheep appears in Luke and Matthew, but not in Mark. But it does appear in Wikipedia. Likewise the Parable of the Talents appears in Luke and Matthew, but not Mark. But again, it is present in Wikipedia. Numerous similar examples abound in the three works.

I'm a genius! Now it's time to cash in on my discovery. Because, as we all know, the big money is in Biblical source criticism. I can finally get that lakehouse that I've always wanted, paid for by drooling seminarians who are forced to pay $85 for a fifty page book on the subject.

69 comments:

Laurie said...

I think you've made a source-criticsm breakthrough! Well done.

Theresa Coleman said...

Sheer Brilliance.

BruceA said...

That would explain the occasional difference in wording between Luke and Matthew, too, since Wikipedia could have been edited after Matthew used it but before Luke copied it.

gmw said...

whew! nice to finally put that one to rest.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

Very funny stuff.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Extremely intriguing thesis. You realize what this means? "Q" is actually "W."

Tim said...

Oh, boy, that made me laugh!

And, of course, you're correct that Q has no place here, because he's a semi-omnipotent alien from Star Trek, and he therefore is too easily invoked as an explanation.

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced. If it had come from Wikipedia, there should be a chapter at the end, 'Parable of the Talents in popular culture:' "Homer Simpson in episode 234 lost his talents. In the Metal Gear Solid death-from-above expansion pack, talents are used as ammunition." And all the interpolations are missing: "Mr. Smith in third hour is gay. So's you mom. asdfasd lol"

howard david ingham said...

Genius. That is all.

rocksalive777 said...

And to think, my World Religions professor was filling my head with all of this "undiscovered Q" dribble. I only wish you had revealed this before I took my final.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!

Brett Royal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett Royal said...

I got out my Study Bible to try to find information about the Q document everyone is talking about, and nothing was there. As far as I knew, it had to do with Star Trek. Anyway, my study Bible did not have anything about it, but it is in Wikipedia.
It appears John has discovered a treasure chest of knowledge not even mentioned in any of the Gospels.

Brother Marty said...

Duh,
Wikipedia, a source of wisdom from all sorts from all parts. Love the Wikipedia explanation of this.
Not a theologian...just a follower...and I like the Wikipedia explanation.

John said...

Thank you, thank you for your accolates. I would protest them if they were not so well-deserved. Yea truly, the limits of time-space stagger to withhold my intellect.

rocksalive777 said...

Humility at it's finest.

doodlebugmom said...

I need to show this to my dad. He always teases me about having grandsons named Matthew, Mark, Luke and Aaron. Guess which one is mine?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I find believing in jesus is as hard as believing in santa claus; it's funny how they are related; santa to control children and jesus to control adults.

I mean to offend in order to get your attention.

It is time to drop our old belief system and ways of war to protect them.

We need Christians' to denounce their religion as an example for all other religions to do the same so we may all really come together as a whole planetary being of goodness. I've seen enough of the badness already!!!!!!

This is not just my belief but what I know and have learned from an eternity of detachment from mortality and a love for all life. Please do what you can to save this world and open your minds, we need this change.

::aaron g:: said...

The Wiki-community clearly had an exile-theology as they were outcasts from Britannica.

Anonymous said...

This is great news for Mark Goodacre who can now write, "The Case Against Wikipedia" to debunk yet another unquestioned assumption of gospels scholarship!

Anonymous said...

To the individual who advocated abandoning religion. A question to ponder. Is man's evil because of religion, or is man's evil independent of religion and simply uses religion as a vehicle for his evil when it so suits him.

This is a testable hypothesis. Which philosophical system has caused more death in the history of humankind:

Christianity
Atheistic Communism

An observation of history will show that Christianity, even when corrupted and imperfectly practiced, has a more pwerful restraining effect on men's tendencies toward evil than any other religious system.

To anyone who has studied Christian doctrine, this is self-evident. Christian doctrine presumes a moral authority outside of man and man's reason to which man will be held accountable.

Communism and other atheistic philosophies put man as the central arbiter of his own morality, allowing for any man, given sufficient charisma to convince himself and others that his morality, no matter what it is, is the superior morality.

Christianity doesn't produce a Stalin or a Pol Pot, but atheism does.

Arvid said...

Wow! Amazing! And there seems to be links to this post on every theology blog!

Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous at 9:33

Christianity does put that morality outside us humans, but it leaves it up to use humans to interpret it and does give a possibility for "Man in the Middle" problems. We've seen enough problems in history where people claiming to be "Christian" have caused a lot of harm.

The more peaceful religions seem to be those based on the idea of it being up to man. I've still not heard of any major Buddhist uprising for example. I've heard mixed reports on Hinduism. In any large group I expect you'll find militant examples.

It is quite refreshing to be able to visit a Hindu temple and see different people worshiping different deities or revering different founders for the more atheist ones, and them all getting on with each other! After seeing that, all the other religions just become different groups with different leaders. I can't imagine a church saying that.

Dharmic philosophies work on the basis that you get back what you put in. It's a natural law without a big overseeing 'God' person deciding for you. Put in badness, get badness out.

Yes it can be taken too far. I disagree with the notion that something bad happening to you must have been caused by past action, but going forward "Bad in, bad out. Good in, good out" works. A lot of other ideas in Dharma work. A lot of those ideas exist in Jesus' example and teachings.

Problems seem to come where a group decides that its religion is the "One and Only" and that all others are bad. Fortunately in today's world of increased communication this is becoming a much harder position to defend.

Let's not lose the positives of religion. It can serve a wonderful purpose. Let's lose the negatives such as teachings that "My God will burn all you non-believers in Hell". Instead let the religious and the humanists work together to find the positive common ground and get the benefits without the hatred.

- Richard

Theresa Coleman said...

Oh look!!

Atheist Spam!!

Goody!!

Maybe HE will eat the sandwich.

Or better yet, maybe HE will start editing Wikipedia.

Melissa said...

Shoot...if only I had known this before I took New Testament last semester...

Tim said...

In response to the atheist post on supposedly violent Christianity. I can only say...

"Oh...my...science!!"

Anonymous said...

Previously I said: "It is quite refreshing to be able to visit a Hindu temple and see different people worshiping different deities or revering different founders for the more atheist ones, and them all getting on with each other! After seeing that, all the other religions just become different groups with different leaders. I can't imagine a church saying that."

All that's needed is to visit the right church. It seems that there do exist churches, and I think a lot of Christians in today's world, who will say things like that.

Andrew C. Thompson said...

John - That was a brilliant post.

Anonymouses - The issues you raise are going to be best resolved in the context of community rather than in blog commentaries. But you can use blog commentary - such as that connected with this blog - to find communities that will aid in your search for love & truth. I hope that you won't limit yourselves to the relatively detached and isolated exchanges that happen in forums like this.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Secret Mark is also "W"...

crevo said...

chilanganadiense -

Secret Mark is not in W. However, the Mar Salba Letter referring to Secret Mark is in Q, though it is translated.

This must mean that early Christians (referred to from here on out as "freaky Jesus people communities") were trying to keep their documents alive by translating them into not-yet-invented langauges. This spawned an entire religious tradition, which was revolutionized when Tolkein started translating not-yet-spoken words from the past into not-yet-invented languages from the past (previously it was thought that you could only translate into future-oriented not-yet-invented languages, but Tolkien proved by example that one can indeed translated into a long-dead not-yet-invented language).

Of course, the "freaky Jesus people communities" were diverse enough that some held to the necessity of translation and others thought it heretical. The council of Nicea doesn't mention anything about these translations because the power-hungry freaky Jesus people communities had already beat the "translator types" into submission, and convinced constantine that they were all heretics.

Andreas said...

It's rather tempting to mention the W-theory in the introduction of my next paper at the Seminary..

.. but for the sake of my grades, I think I'd rather not do it..

But it's funny though!

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