Talk:Augustinian hypothesis

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Former good article nominee Augustinian hypothesis was a Philosophy and religion good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
December 11, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
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New Additions[edit]

I greatly added to the article. I wrote:

Augustinian Position in Brief
Primary Points of Contention
Strengths of the theory
Modifications to the theory
Historical Sources
Augustinian Analysis of the Sources
Augustinian Position in Detail

Enjoy Lostcaesar 01:46, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

How Augustine Fits In[edit]

There is something odd here. The article is about an Augustinian hypothesis but doesn’t explain what Augustine (presumably the famous one) has to do with it. A sentence on that would be valuable. - Ian Spackman 00:05, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Done, I'll also work on the rest of the article soon.

Original Language of Matthew[edit]

According to the church fathers, was Matthew originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic? The article is unclear about this. It could have been written in Hebrew (with the Aramaic letters) or in Aramaic. Hebrew adopted the Aramaic alphabet at some point, and the entire Hebrew Bible is written with those letters, however, Aramaic was the lingua franca of the day, so it was more likely in Aramaic.

Do you have a link to where Augustine says that, so that I can update the article? Lostcaesar 17:44, 15 June 2006 (UTC)


I am the author of this article and I am very impressed with the additions. ken 02:47, 22 June 2006 (UTC)kdbuffalo

Andrew c's overhaul[edit]

  • I cut most of the excessive quotes from the Church Fathers. This article is not the place to list every passage that mentions gospel authorship. Furthermore, almost everyone had more to do with Aramaic primacy than the Augustinian hypothesis (AH).
  • I also cut the quotes about Robinson and dating Matthew early. There may be an article that those quotes would fit, but I feel that the AH isn't the same thing as arguing for very early dating.
  • I cut the numbered lists that seemed like OR and unencyclopedic. If someone wants to re-add them in paragraph form in a less biased, less argumentative manner, feel free.
  • Finally, the "Augustinian Position in Detail" seems very poor to me. It isn't sourced at all, and is full of blanket statements and generalities that are contested by scholars. There are 3 paragraphs on the hypothetical purpose and meaning in Matthew (what's that have to do with the AH), and 3 paragraphs on Mark's hypothetical preaching (what's that have to do with the AH)... This whole section reeks of original research. Can it be cut down and sourced? If not, I feel the brief overview is suficient and there isn't that much beneficial material in the longer section (thus, I'd propose simply cutting that section as well).

--Andrew c 02:19, 24 June 2006 (UTC)


I cannot possibly see how you think the article is better now considering it has so much less information and presents the position so much less thoroughly. Allow my to address your edits point by point.

You removed every quote from the Church fathers save two. The original article had many more, and a section analyzing these sources. The point of the Augustinian hypothesis, rather than some of the other solutions to the synoptic problem, is that it explains the historical sources. If you remove the sources and their discussion then you removed the point of the hypothesis. It would be like going into the section on Q theory and removing points about textual integrity and their examples. Furthermore, the article hardly gave every quote from the Fathers, and they were in their own section, easily bypassed by any reader browsing the article. In fact, there was a section at the top of the article that gave the Augustinian position in brief, if one did not wish for a more detailed examination.

You will have to explain to me how a numbered list, stating the points of the Augustinian hypothesis (which is an argument, no less) is “biased”, or why its being “argumentative” is inappropriate. This article is not on the synoptic problem. It is on one particular solution to the synoptic problem, a hypothesis. Hypothesis have to be argued, and they are not “biased” if they present one point of view (the point of the hypothesis).

The only thing unencyclopedic is removing information essential to the subject of an article.

As for the section on “The Augustinian Position in Detail”, every single paragraph had multiple facts given to support the claim, and each fact was based on the source of the document itself (i.e. the Gospel of Matthew), which should have been clear to anyone reading the text. The information is indeed contested by scholars – but not scholars of the Augustinian hypothesis! There are other articles on the competing hypotheses. Again, this is not an article on the synoptic problem. Its an article on one solution to it, and in that respect the section you omitted merely articulates the position proposed by scholars who agree with the Augustan hypothesis.

You mentioned there are three paragraphs on Mark’s hypothetical preaching. There were no paragraphs on Marks preaching. There were paragraphs on Peter’s preaching, recoded by Mark (did you read what you deleted?), which was important because it explained why Mark would have poorer Greek than Matthew and yet still have used Matthew as a source (which is the point of contention of the AH). I really don’t want to explain it all here when you could have realized that from actually reading the section.

Whatever the case, your edits strike me as wanton mutilation. I am loath to remove information from articles I edit, usually incorporating those facts and sections into my work. I think you need to provide much more justification as to why you decreased the informative value of this article.

Lostcaesar 15:35, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I am sorry I offended you. I know you put a lot of time and effort into this article, but it seems like you wrote a paper on this Augustinian hypothesis, not an encyclopedia article. Keep in mind WP:NOT and WP:OWN.
Church Father Quotations: There were 6 quotes from church fathers, and they all said the same thing. 2 of them were particularly long. I consolidated them into: "Papias, Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius and Jerome all agree that the original Matthew was written in Hebrew." I guess this a matter of editing styles. I feel that sentence sums up the quotes just fine for an encyclopedia. I do not feel an encyclopedia needs to quote all those sources in such depth, when the point is simply that one sentence. (perhaps the citations of the quotes could be referenced, instead?) I left in 2 more bits of detail to to explain further, and to show that the Church Fathers clearly claimed the Hebrew Matthew survived into the 4th century. I'm not trying to be harsh, but can you find me one single WP:FA that has such a redundent list of quotations? Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not an indiscriminate source of information or a primary source. You need to simply present the position and support for the hypothesis, you do not need to 'prove' the hypothesis by listing all the 'evidence', etc. Summarize. This is an encyclopedia, not an essay trying to prove a position. More information does not always mean better encyclopedia.
Numbered lists: Once again, find a WP:FA that has this sort of formating. Find another encyclopedia that does this. I said above that the formatting and argumentative nature were in question. If you want to rework it and add it in paragraph form, feel free. Don't say "the strengths of the theory are x, y and z" instead say "This theory dates back to the Church fathers, and has been held historically for by most Christians for nearly 2 millenia" Let the reader decide if that is a strength or not. Remember you are not arguing a position, but reporting ABOUT a position. Alternatively, you could state that those who hold to this hypothesis feel its strengths are x, y z, and critics feel its weaknesses are a, b and c... but that goes into the realm of debate which can be a bad thing.
Augustinian Position in Detail. I did not touch this section except to mark it as unreferenced and to wikify. (I clearly did not delete it as you claim). I personally would like to remove it, but it may be salvagable. I came to talk before doing that though (so I am not THAT wonton). Anyway, it sounds like you are admitting to original research WP:OR. You say you presented "facts" to support "claims". Even if you are simply giving one interpretation of the 'facts', you need to cite who holds these positions, or else it is original research (and has no place in wikipedia). I can't go through the whole section, but reading through, I want to fact tag just about everything. The purpose of the text was of a subordinate nature to the primary preaching of the apostles because they were both alive and centrally active in Palestine at the time. Says who? It is highly contested that Matthew was written during the time of the apostles preeching, and were they centrally active in Palestine at the time? This duplicate material is the product of: (1) a catechetical device, (2) a historical device used to emphasize common themes of Jesus' teachings given repeatedly by the teacher at every different location, and / or (3) a necessity of liturgical considerations. Once again, says who? Who specifically makese these claims? etc etc. Almost every sentence in this section needs support, and I'd say a lot of it could be consolidated and put together better. one of the reasons for Peter making such speeches was to lend his authoritative approval of Matthew, and because of close associate of the Gospel of Mark with these events it too received approval.
These issues can be solved with adding clauses like "Robinson believes that..." and adding a cite. Or "Those who hold the AH also state..." The issue is, if these claims are not presented in books and articles by scholars who hold the AH, or if they cannot be otherwise referenced, we then have a problem. As it stands, the bulk of the material is simply asserted to be true. Even if you are presenting a POV, to be NPOV you have to always say who is making the claims. Just because this article is about a POV, does not give us a pass to ignore NPOV. Every claim needs a source, and things that are contested need to be made clear that this is a position held by the POV, not a truth. --Andrew c 17:19, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Andrew, I am certainly not offended. Let me thank you for your advice. I am new to editing here, and my background is in history and philosophy. In those fields, when explaining a position, the following is customary: one lists the argument in brief, and its strengths, then one gives the argument charitably, following that one lists objections to the argument, and references a counterargument. Often numbered lists are employed (think of a philosophical proof). If you notice, this was the format employed in the article. There was not a strong section on weaknesses and counterarguments, and I welcome any such additions. What bothered me, I suppose, was that rather than add counterarguments and point out weaknesses, you suggested merely deleting parts of the original argument. That is most frowned upon in philosophical / historical circles, as you can understand, I am sure. I felt the approach I used in the article was appropriate considering that the article is about a particular argument. For example, if I were to write an article on Marxist theory, I would give the traditional argument, its strengths and reasons for adherence, then the difficulties. This seems to me the most non-pov way to discuss theories, and I have read many Wiki articles where this occurs (though I never attended to whether they were featured or not). Perhaps this is a differnce of background, but I assure you this is the method used in, for example, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
I understand your point about the quotations, and I appreciate that you linked them at the bottom of the page. I do understand they were all saying the same thing – that was rather the point of listing them. The theory claims that historical evidence is on its side, so I felt giving the evidence was a necessary corollary to making such a statement.
Let me say that I would not take credit for any of the ideas here, and as such it is certainly not original research. I concur that the section needs more citations from secondary sources. It certainly has amply primary source citation, which was my point. And the position is so common amongst holders of the Augustinian Hypothesis that I felt secondary sources to be unnecessary. Now, if disturbed, the response to me seems to add in such references rather than to delete the section, and in my view I see little harm in leaving a section up which is factually correct (i.e. it represents the hypothesis fairly) and allowing others to do more work. I certainly didn’t nominate this article for an award. I just expected others to add contributions rather than cut sections out. I certainly do not expect to own an article, I just expect a building of knowledge rather than a reduction.
Let me thank you for your contributions to the clarity of the article, and for making me aware of the particular style in use here. I will review more featured articles and attempt to conform to that. However, I insist that the article is in no way biased, and I don’t understand how such a claim could be made. If you still think this, please give examples.
I will return to this article and try and contribute more in accord with the customs of this website. In my view, a specific article on an argument is permitted to make an argument insofar as describing the argument requires such. If this is not in accord with policy, I will gladly take correction once directed to the policy. I read the “what wikipedia is not” section and did not see a conflict. Lostcaesar 18:22, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for responding civily, articulately, and intellegently! To answer a few of your concerns to the best of my abilities... In regards to citing sources and original research. While elements of primary sources are refered to (not directly referenced in a formal, inline manner), they are analyzed. This analysis might be seen as original research. You are making claims or interpreting the text. While it may seem logical that some of these concepts simply follow what's in the primary sources, wikipedia still requires that this analysis be cited and referenced as best as possible. I highlighted a number of claims in my last post that are examples of this (where a simple citation would clear up this issue). The best policy is Wikipedia:Cite sources#When to cite sources. If you add any information to an article, add a source to go with it. Unfortunately, not everyone follows this policy, and there is a large number of articles that lack sources.
Regarding the style of listing key points. I personally feel a paragraph structure is more encyclopedic, but my opinion is not the end. I personally have not come across any Good or Featured articles that are written in this manner. I'll try to restore that particular content in paragraph form and see what you think. If the other way works better (or if this is a more common format than I thought for wikipedia), it can easily be restored.
The only thing that I found POV about this article is that arguments/claims were made without it being made clear that it was a POV and who held these views. Like the statements I quoted above, something reads as if it is a fact, when it is just one of many interpretations. But these issues can be solved rather easily. I just do not have the resources (books, etc) on this topic in order to add the citations. But I'll try to give it a bit of work to the best of my abilities.
I hope that's everything. While I clearly recomend familarizing yourself with key policy points and the format/content structure of some of the better articles, also keep in mind one of the five key pillars, WP:IGNORE.--Andrew c 22:59, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Andrew, I have learned a lot from your comments and revisions to the article, and I thank you for this. I hope to comtribute more in the future in keeping with your guidance. Lostcaesar 19:13, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the earlier comments that the revision was excessive and made the article poorer. I restored the earlier version. ken 01:59, 1 July 2006 (UTC)kdbuffalo

Numbered lists, etc[edit]

Just to add my 2 cents. There's a judgment call here, IMO, between clarity and readability.

Usually I think there's no overwhelming need for numbered lists inside a WP paragraph. Unlike, say, a philosophy paper where you may wany to set up a label for argument "T7", so you (or somebody else) can then refer back to it later, or contrast it to argument "Q5" or whatever, mostly there is no need for that here. And the use of too many numbered lists, endlessly coming at you one after the next, can make a reader feel they are being machine-gunned, rather than talked through the subject in a friendly way. So mostly, it's (IMO) more readable just to make the points one after the next in continuous prose.

On the other hand, if by separating and denumerating the points a numbered list really helps clarity then go for it. But as a rule, they are not used routinely, and any more than pretty sparing use can jar.

One thing wikipedia probably (and IMO rightly) does more than most print encyclopedias is bullet point lists. Again, it's not something to be overdone - the count of separate different "bullet structures" in an article should probably stay very low. But I think a bullet point list (or even a numbered list) can work quite well for say the main summary of key points in favour of, and key points against, a principal hypothesis. (In some cases eg Software patent debate such a structure can get taken to extremes, but very probably even there it really was the only way to cope with such a density of assertions and counter-assertions. Thankfully there shouldn't ever be the need to deal with such a slanging match as that here!)

So: a question of balance, IMO. Probably don't number list unless there's a particular reason to; but on the other hand, don't necessarily be afraid of doing so either, if you feel there is a reason to. Jheald 00:39, 25 June 2006 (UTC).

Augustinian position in detail[edit]

I made some revisions to this section following the advice of Andrew. The section is still in need of citation. However, I gave the revelant material at the top of the section, and I think this is a great improvement. Furthermore, I made the section more brief. There is still work to be done, and perhaps soon I can add all the necessary citations. Still, I think it is a proper representation of the scholarship, not original research, and it should be both much improved and much easier to improve upon. Lastly, I attempted to explain the need for the position in detail to be included in the article, despite its hypothetical nature and sometime repititon of the summary atop the page. Lostcaesar 21:36, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Original Language, Again[edit]

The quote from Papias in section 2.2.1 states that Matthew was written in Aramaic. However, a quote in section 4 from John Wenham says that it was written in Hebrew. It is more likely that it was written in Aramaic, but it may be good to cite another of the church fathers. A good source for some of their writings is If they do agree that it was written in Aramaic, then Wenham's quote should be removed or replaced with one that is accurate. Otherwise, there should be a note in the early section that Papias was wrong about Matthew being written in Aramaic, with sufficient justification for that statement. AUhl 02:52, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

That it was written in Aramaic with Hebrew letters is consistent with the claim that it was written “in Aramaic” or “in Hebrew”, besides Aramaic was a Hebrew dialect and thus in antiquity, especially to Greeks, they would seem to be the same thing. To give an example, I have met some Italians who would swear that they speak Latin, just a form of it, as it were. Nor would saying that the Iliad is in Greek be inconsistent with the claim that it is in Homeric, or that Plato is in Attic – both are Greek. Perhaps modern linguists have the terminology to differentiate dialects, sub-dialects, creoles, pigeons, and the like, but in antiquity I think such statements should be understood as uniform and unanimous.Lostcaesar 16:16, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

rv by Ken[edit]

So my edits were fairly controversial because I removed a lot of quotes. However, I have worked with editors on the talk page since then, restored some of the information, and I feel that the edits that both myself and Lostcaesar made reached a compromise, in addition to improving gramatical issues, POV issues, wikify, etc etc. If there is specific information that I removed that you would like to see put back into the article, please discuss that. Also, please discuss what other issues remain in the article due to our edits. However, I cannot see that the version that two editors worked on is worse than what was previously there. Can you please explain your revert in more depth? --Andrew c 02:05, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Seriously, look at the diff between the first paragraph alone. How can anyone say the current version is superior to the previous version? Ken needs to be MUCH more careful when reverting to avoid overturning positive contributions. --Andrew c 02:10, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the earlier comments by Lost Ceasar that the revision was excessive and made the article poorer. I restored the earlier version before the excessive overhaul. Frankly, I don't think the article needed a overhaul and the overhaul made the article poorer. ken 02:20, 1 July 2006 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Please, be more careful when reverting. You are reverting a LOT of good content. And what specifically do you agree with Lostcaesar about? That the Augustinian position in detail section needs citations and a rework (that s/he made, and you reverted)? That s/he conceded my position a couple of times after discussion? That some of the content that I removed was restored after discussion. We were working together to make the article better and you come along and ruin the progress that BOTH of us put forth. I cannot see how in good conscious you claim to side with Lostcaesar when you reverted some of their helpful edits, in addition to some of my helpful edits. So I will ask you once again, what SPECIFICALLY about the previous version is "poor". What content that I removed specifically do you feel needs to be in the article? Please dialogue with us. I urge you to read the conversations and address points directly that we have been discussing. You wholesale reversion is disruptive. Please do NOT revert again because you are overturning a number of helpful edits. If anything, cut and past material you feel needs to be back into the article, instead of blanking the progress we made with a wholesale revert. Thanks for your consideration, and I hope we can talk this out without edit warring anymore.--Andrew c 02:44, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Gentlemen, I think this is a debate best dealt with in specifics, and I think if we do that then many of these problems will be resolved with ease. First, I appreciate the contributions that have been made thus far by both of you. Since Andrew’s revision is in question, I will discuss that. I think the article looks better without the numbered lists, for the most part, though perhaps there is a place for them here or these (at least as bullet points). I agree that the section “Augustinian Position in Detail” requires more citation. I attempted to add some references, however it still lacks specific citations throughout the argument, and I hope someone can contribute those in time. I insist that the section ought to remain in the article so that this can be done in the future, though it should always be open to improvement in form. Concerning the quotes from the Church fathers, I understand Andrew’s points. However, I think their removal should instead be replaced by a more tempered approach. I think the streamlined mentioning of the fathers, with references, is an insightful approach, however I think the links should reference, at the bottom, the full quotations with citations (rather than just citations). I see no harm in that, as footnotes often quote at length. Overall, I would consider the work of Andrew, and myself, to have improved the article and that a full restoration is unnecessary. However, I think that certain content removed (such as the sources, and the Augustinian analysis of the sources) degraded the overall value of the article and ought to be reintroduced in a way better than their original inclusion. Personally, I am not sold on the “two traditions” approach, and may restructure this section in the future, but I appreciate the improved clarity that the new structure gives, and I think that perhaps the “Augustinian analysis of the sources” and the “two traditions” section, rather than replacing one another, could be merged. Lastly, if I might just speak personally, I think (or rather guess) that Andrew and I come from quite differing positions on the authorship of the New Testament, however I think a spirit of collegiality and respect can foster an excellent article from our differing positions, one which is stronger because of both our contributions, especially if we adhere to wikipedia standards. I appreciate his work, and hope that the future will bring further improvements to the article and a reintroduction of some of the lost material in a way superior to a revert to a previous text. My original response to him was largely prompted by certain subtle accusations of bias, but this matter, I think, has been settled thoroughly. I have made my revisions to the article, please review.Lostcaesar 06:06, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
On the whole, very nice edits. However I did a little editing myself. You don't need to wikilink every instance of a term. Linking the first instance is usually enough. (also, some of your links were off as well Luke the Evangelist vs Saint Luke). I removed the # strengths list because we have a whole paragraph about the strengths. That information is already in the article and I do not see how repeating it 3 paragraphs down is helpful (and there isn't a corresponding weakness list either). If we really want to go to bulleted points instead of paragraph form in the brief overview section, we can discuss that, but having redundent information that close doesn't seem right. I also moved your new paragraph out of the Clement section, and made a opening paragraph two the Two Traditions section. I also did some minor word changes. There are a number of Church Fathers that don't mention the gospel tradition, and there are a number of Church Fathers who only mention part of the gospel tradition. To say that every single Church Father supports the Augustinian hypothesis is an argument from silence. We aren't sure that the writers who didn't write about this agreed. So therefore, I changed the wording some to reflect this, saying for the authors who wrote about this, they basically agreed with the hypothesis' main points. Please review.--Andrew c 12:45, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Minor Points[edit]

Andrew, thank you for the input again. I think the moving of the paragraph which followed the quotes from Clement and Papias to the top of the section is a nice change. Some other changes you made were to sections that I don’t remember editing (I don’t remember adding back the “strengths of the theory” section, for instance), but I think you’re well supported in your maneuvers concerning those areas. There are a few minor areas that I would like to hammer on a bit more.

I think the language concerning Marcan priority’s reliance on Q vs. Matthean priority’s reliance on an Aramaic Matthew is misleading. The Aramaic Matthew is not a considered a “source” for the current Gospel, it is considered to be the current Gospel, just before translation. Conversely, Q scholars argue that a collection of saying was used as a source, with some sayings included, some changed, and some dropped, and the scholars go about “reconstructing” this text by redacting the synoptics (and I have not seen two Q scholars ever agree on their reconstructions). I don’t mean to go into that debate here (or in the article), but I think that using the word “source” in both senses is an equivocation.

Furthermore, I am not entirely comfortable with the phrase: “like Q, which some scholars argue are unmentioned in the historical sources.” Whether something is mentioned, at least explicity, ought to be pretty clear, I would think. I don’t want to go into the debate and include a big section on “deconstructing” the little sentence of Papias, but I think perhaps instead the line could just read “like Q, which is not explicitly mentioned in the historical sources”, or perhaps something like that. The scholars who interpret Papias’ statement to say something like Q theory only made such an interpretation after their textual analysis determined two sources and Marcan priority. This is a very significant point, because that is the opposite approach of the Augustinian hypothesis, which interprests textual anaysis in light of history, not vice versa, and the article should be clear on this point I think.

In this sentence: The Augustinian hypothesis address certain fundamental points of contention surrounding…” I used “questions” instead of “points of contention”. I did this because the article also uses the phrase “points of contention” in the opposite sense, discussing the primary points of the Augustinian hypothesis, rather than points against it. I would like a difference of language to distinguish these different senses, although I am not sure how best to achieve this.

Thanks again Andrew. I will mull over these thoughts, and might made some minor changes. If you have other ideas please share them. Lostcaesar 16:20, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Making the claim that Papias or any other Church Father didn't refer to Q is POV. Making the claim that they DID is also POV. Either way a POV is going to be presented. Because this is a matter of interpreation, I feel it is important to convey this, or at least point out who is making what claim. I agree that this isn't the place to argue about Q, and my initial reaction was "Do we really need this commentary about Q here?". I think we can work to get a wording that accurately conveys the situation without coming down in favor of either side. “like Q, which is not explicitly mentioned in the historical sources” is alright, but what about "which is arguably not mentioned by the Church Fathers"?
Ken is the one who reverted the numbered list (I'm guessing without realizing that content was recreated in paragraph form....).
Regarding Points of contention: I was just trying to convey what was covered in the number lists that I removed. There were 5 "points of contention" listed. However, it seemed to me that only 2 of them applied to within the AH community, and the other 3 applied to the synoptic problem in general (and I added some more issues regarding the synpotic problem as well). What I was thining is that there are problems with the AH. Some discussed within the community, and some discussed outside the community. The two paragraphs differentiate who is doing the criticizing, but I feel these problems or "points of contention" are similar so I used parallel language. Make sense? (and the reason was they were included under one banner in the list format). If I understand you correctly, you feel that there needs to be even more seperation between the issues discussed in these paragraphs, right? hmm... I'll think about that.
As for sources, you have a point that we should differentiate between Q and Aramaic Matthew to some extent, but I'm not sure how problematic the word "source" is because the two-source hypothesis posits that Mk is a source. Aramiac Mt isn't a "source" per se for Koine Mt because it is simply a translation, as you point out. But then one of these is hypothetically a source for Mk and Lk. I cannot find the exact place in the article that is causing this confusion.. it seems to me that this sentence clears this issue up: "Furthermore, according to the hypothesis the current Greek Mathew is a complete translation of the original Aramaic Matthew, whereas hypotheses based on Q have a difficult time determining to what extent the hypothetical text was used as a source." --Andrew c 17:26, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Andrew, you caught me in the midst of editing, so I made some changes before reviewing your comments, and then made more changes after reading your advice. First, I like your language “which is arguable not mentioned by the Church Fathers”, and I also think it worth saying that there is no explicit mentioning (hence it becomes a matter of PoV and interpretation). So I think both lines can be included. The reason that the issue is PoV is exactly because no explicit mentioning occurs. However, I think my last revisions are not subtle enough to express this nuisance of scholarly opinion, and I think more work can be done here.
I understand your use of “points of contention” and have reintroduced it (after my first edit made before reading this). I think the article should still be clear with the use, but I too want to think about this a bit more. One improvement on this area I think I made was to include the former section on “other hypothesis”, which was just hanging at the bottom, into your paragraph and I think it fits much nicer here.
As to the use of “source”, I simply want to express that the Augustinian hypothesis, unlike others (and siginificantly so), does not attempt to “dig” and find the “karigma” behind the late hellenistic “texts” which we have today. Instead, it asserts that the “digging” ends at Matthew because that is the first “source” to be written.
Thanks again for the comments and improvements Lostcaesar 18:08, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposed Omission of Discussion on Q[edit]

For analysis, this is how the paragraph in question would read with the omitted comments on Q, and I think it is actually much better:

The Augustinian hypothesis has a number of unique features when compared to other solutions to the synoptic problem. The foundation of evidence for the hypothesis is the writings of the Church Fathers. These historical sources date back to the first half of the 2nd century, and they historically have been held as authoritative by most Christians for nearly 2 millennia. Furthermore, the hypothesis draws upon historical testimony, rather than textual criticism, as the primary line of evidence. Hypothetical conclusions derived from textual criticism have their veracity checked by examining their consistency with the historical witness. The Augustinian hypothesis does not rely on hypothetical source documents, or texts not explicitly mentioned in the historical sources. An Aramaic version of Matthew is hypothetical in the sense that no copy survives in the original language today, however the hypothesis holds that the current Greek Mathew is a complete translation of the original Aramaic Matthew. Additionally, the Aramaic Matthew has strong support in the writings of early Christians. Finally, adherents to the Augustinian hypothesis view it as a simplistic, coherent solution to the synoptic problem.Lostcaesar 18:17, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

I am going to go ahead and make this revision - the more I think on it the better it sounds.

Sorry this is going to have to be brief. I do not really care for this sentence: Hypothetical conclusions derived from textual criticism have their veracity checked by examining their consistency with the historical witness. Maybe my biggest issue is it is wordy and I'm not exactly sure what its trying to say. Since this section is supposed to be about the AH is brief, maybe we shouldn't discuss textual criticism (the editor could simply click the link to learn more). Along those lines, the discussion on the Aramaic Matthew seems too long as well because once again it seems too long and wordy for a section about the AH in brief. The issue is one of the "strengths" of the AH is that it doesn't rely on "hypothetical documents". However, that isn't exactly true because an Aramaic Matthew is hypothetical. So then we have to go and explain all that. Maybe there is a simpler solution that doesn't need 3 sentences to cover it all (and we can discuss more in depth in another section if necessary?) If I get any idea in a day or so, I'll be sure to add them. Otherwise, I think clearing up the Q stuff is helpfull.--Andrew c 23:45, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Andrew, what exactly is your objection to the sentence? I do agree that the discussion about the Aramaic Matthew is cumberson. I still think it comes from an equovovation on the word “source”. I have a copy of “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.” Is “La Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen ” a source for my text ? I think not – its just translatied. Even if there were a redaction or two in the English, I don’t think “source” would be the appropriate word. Thus, in this sense (and I think it is the correct sense), the Augustinian Hypothesis does not rely on hypothetical sources – and if we say that ("sources", rather than hypothetical "documents"), then we can shave a lot off. Let me know what you think. Lostcaesar 01:00, 3 July 2006 (UTC) (p.s. I removed the warning about "no sources" on the detailed section, since it has so very many sources now. I still think it needs more work, though - perhaps there is a different banner we could use) Lostcaesar 01:02, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Added an image[edit]

I added an image, a painting of Matthew inspired by an Angel, by Rembrandt. This painting reflects the historical tradition, so important to the Augustinian Hypothesis, at work in Renaissance art.

Hypothetical documents and Q[edit]

I think we should keep it simple. Here is the main allusion to Q which I put in the opening:

"This position also does not rely on any hypothetical documents that have not been found or mentioned in history." ken 21:16, 5 July 2006 (UTC)kdbuffalo

This is problematic because some advocates of the Q-hypothesis believe there are references in "history" to Q, such as the famous Papias statement. It is also confusing to say "This position does not rely on any documents that have not been found" when an Aramaic Mark has not been found. I don't think we should try to fit this information in to the opening paragraph when the next section (In Brief) deals a bit more in detail about this (and even more in the Aramaic Mark section). Also, the addition of "...and hypothetical documents" under line 8 seems redundent when followed with the next sentence starting "The Augustinian hypothesis does not rely on hypothetical source documents". I think everyone has done a pretty good job of bringing this article up. I think the areas that need the most work are fixing up and sourcing the "Augustinian Position in Detail", and perhaps adding a criticism section. What areas of the article do you (and anyone else) feel need the most work? Perhaps after a few more tweeks we may be able to nominate this for GA status?--Andrew c 21:39, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Your going to have to be more explicit in showing that there have been references to Q in historical sources. I don't think we should be reliant on vagaries. ken 21:48, 5 July 2006 (UTC)kdbuffalo
I added the word explicitly in the opening. It now reads: "This position also does not rely on any hypothetical documents that have not been found or explicitly mentioned in history." I think it is important we put a statement like this in the beginning. ken 21:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC)kdbuffalo
I personally do not think that this point (covered in the in brief section already) is important enough to the AH to be tagged on to the last paragraph of the opening. I feel it also doesn't flow well with the paragraph. I also feel like this sentence "This original Hebrew gospel of Matthew is sometimes called proto-Matthew" should instead read "This hypothetical Hebrew..." If this latter change is implimented, it would make your additions seem even more strange. This argument is hard to present in a neutral manner. I am not trying to argue that the Church Fathers knew of a document named Q and quoted it extensively. I am just saying some schlolars believe that there ARE references to a sayings gospel by the Church Fathers. We are not to detemine if they are right or wrong, that isn't our place. We simply report all relevent sources without giving undue weight. I felt like the way we handled the hypothetical document business in the "In Brief" section works well, but your introducing this idea into the opening paragraph is akward. Would you consider removing that sentence from the opening, or do we have any ideas on how to incorporate it better, without ignoring or belittling relevent POVs? Why do you feel that this statement is important to a first paragraph summary of the article (when the position in brief section covers this view already)--Andrew c 22:01, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
The two main distingushing characteristics of the Augustian hypothesis is that it relies on historical citations from the early church fathers (ECF) and that it relies on no hypothetical documents. This was explicitly stated in the non-overhauled version because it is the main two differentiating characteristics of the Augustinian hypothesis. I agree a overhaul was helpful but not one that significantly diminishes the points that need to be stated. ken 22:11, 5 July 2006 (UTC)kdbuffalo

Well, as I said, I feel this information is redundent with already existing information. Furthermore, I looked through the "non-overhauled version" and only found a single reference to "hypothetical documents": 3. The coherence and simplicity of the theory. It explains the nature of the texts without needing to invent hypothetical texts utterly unknown to history in order to explain the same facts. Under the "In Brief" section in a number list of strengths (that we have since changed to paragraph form). On the other handk, in the current revision, we mention this idea 3 different times in 3 different sections. I do not see how the earlier version stated how this was one of the 2 strongest points regarding the AH (and do we have a source to back up that claim). My skepticism of what earliesr version you are refering to aside, I think there may well be a way to compromise and still include this information in a more coherent manner in the opening. I'll give a revision a shot and see what you think.--Andrew c 23:01, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

The information was redundant. I'm not against removing it if no workable phrase can be discerned, since it is incorporated in the article elsewhere. Lostcaesar 01:58, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
I made an attempted compromise edit to fix the strong language, and to incorporate the text better into the paragraph. See if that works. If not, I'm not opposed to reverting it either. But before reverting, I want to try and please all editors, without degrading the content of the article, or breaking wiki-policy.--Andrew c 02:02, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Check out my recent change, and see what you think of it Lostcaesar 23:55, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
There was one minor issue that I changed the wording. Historical record connotes something to me that the writings of some of the Church Fathers doesn't quite meet. I hope my change isn't going to be problematic. That said, your edit is concise and reads well. It may oversimplify the issue by not making the comparison to Q and mention "hypothetical" documents, but maybe this isn't the place to get into that back and forth debate. So yeah, those changes definately works for me. I wonder what ken thinks of the state of things, since s/he was the one to initially raise these issues.--Andrew c 00:20, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
I wonder if "early Christian writings" is a bit too parochial sounding, but I wont be losing any sleep over it. As for Q, after listining to your comments I thought it best to back the article out of the "Q" issue a bit. Maybe someone can do a fair comparison between the two in its own section. P.S., I too wonder what Ken thinks....Lostcaesar 00:39, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

John MacArthur[edit]

In the body of the article there is a sentence stating:

"John MacArthur in his work The MacArthur Study Bible which was well received by conservative Christian scholars, argues a number of lines of evidence favoring the Augustinian hypothesis in his introduction to the Gospel of Mark."

I think MacArthur's analysis is excellent and he cites statistics as well. Perhaps some of his work could be incorporated in the section "Augustinian position in detail". I highly recommend that the Wikipedian LostCaesar look at the MacArthur material. ken 21:58, 5 July 2006 (UTC)kdbuffalo

I'll try and get to this tip when I can, thanks KD - perhaps you could add the info if your familiar with it. Lostcaesar 02:50, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Augustinian Position in Detail issues[edit]

While this section is coming along nicely, I feel there are some issues still present. I think a number of claims still need citations for better verifiablity. Below is a list of things that I feel need citation; I didn't want to bugger up the page with citation needed tags just yet. (note commentary):

  • Furthermore, it would have been of central importance (why?) to show that Jesus of Nazareth had fulfilled the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. Because the apostles would still have been alive at this time, strict chronology would have been of secondary consideration.
  • it is argued (by whom?) that he would have been educated and therefore a natural choice to pen the needed document.
  • Instead, these scholars (which scholars specifically?) argue that catechetical and liturgical needs would result in the same duplication of material within the text
  • At this time, it is argued (by whom?), there would have been a need for a Greek text,
  • The use of Septuagint quotations in the Greek text is explained as a device used include renderings familiar to the new audience.
  • Possible reasons for this suggested are:...(none of the reasons are cited)
  • the rustic nature of the Gospel of Mark would be a reflection of the spoken Greek of Peter (is this covered in this article?)

I'm not sure if I like the format of the evidence in list form. Perhaps we could list the claims as topic sentences, and have a sentence or two after each claim explaining the evidence Imagine it in outline form:

  • I. Claim 1
    • A. Support 1
    • B. Support 2
  • II. Claim 2
    • A. Support 1

Instead of the current: I. Claim 1 Claim 2 Claim 3

II. Support 1 Support 2 Support 3

Maybe it is the way I was taught to write, but the fomer method seems more organized and formal instead of listing claims followed by listing evidence. I also feel the way the numbered evidences is presented is poor. Some are straight out of Matthew, and some are interpreations of Matthew. This difference needs to be made clear (and this is purely preference, but I like to see bible references using the template:bibleverse and outside of ref tags.) Also, some of these evidences are still missing citations. Finally, I'm not sure if I liked the previous ending better or not, but I feel that Luke is hardly touched upon. Anyway, just a couple things to consider. --Andrew c 01:41, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Andrew, I agree with all your points. The section needs work, more citations, better organization. I think a tag is appropriate. I removed the citation tag only because it seemed wierd to says that the passage "did not cite..." when there were a lot of citations (though not enough, for sure). Is there another tag? I need to work on this more, I know. I wish others were active on these pages to help. I grab refrences when I can. I haven't been able to go to a library, grab those books, and really cite the secondary sources. I had hoped an expert would have come around to do this. Ah well, thanks for the help. This is a great "to do" list for this section in the article. Lostcaesar 02:49, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

First Half rewrite[edit]

I rewrote some of the first half of the article. I took out the bullet point list, and removed much redundant material. I also managed to add more references, and some more material as well. I think the section is much improved. I tried to play down the "alternative" notions, as they were confusing. Likewise I played down the Aramaic Primacy, since there is a main article on this, and since it is also mentioned in the body text here briefly. Also, I took out some redundant material. Next I will turn my attention to the more difficult second part of the text.

Lastly, I wonder if the Griesbach hypothesis ought to be merged with this one, since it is so tiny, and there is possibly more information on it here than over there, even though it is treated as an ammendment to the Aug. hyp. rather than a main article. Idealy, someone would totaly update that article, but until then maybe it should just point here. Well, its an idea. Lostcaesar 11:26, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Rewrite of second section[edit]

I finally managed to rewrite the second section, long overdue. I restructured it a bit to work the two sections, modern revival and Augustinian position in detail, into a more coherent section. I also focused on secondary, modern literature. Unfortunately, A good bit of primary source material was lost, and I would like to work it back in, but overall I think the section is much better. If someone else has the opportunity to examine the changes and reapply some of the previous material, that would be appreciated. I really wasn't able to work it all back in. But, like I said, this newer revision I think is a great deal better and might be all that we need anyway. Lostcaesar 16:10, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Looking through the page history, there seems to be a discussion on whether Luke was 2nd or 3rd that is missing. I don't think that much of the old text is salvagable, but maybe someone with sources could fill in the details. This would be handy if we merged the GH with this article. Maybe it could be its own section discussing the differences between AH and GH? I dunno, just some ideas.--Andrew c 16:52, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I also agree that merging the GH with this article would help add a discussion about Mark-Luke that is needed. I thinned the discussion out concerning this in the early sections of the article simply because I thought it was confusing to start off with two basically contradictory points; I did not mean to remove this totally, but I thought its inclusion needed to be further on and better organized. This is one matter I would like added back to the article.
As for a couple of your edits, I should clarify - the phrase "and supported by certain passages in Acts", in reference to the association between Luke and Paul, refers to the famous "we" passages. I didn't think that too controversial, but perhaps a clarification that it is indeed the "we" passages would be needed. As to the sentence with a fact tag, I do need to give a reference; I'll try and clean that up. Thanks for the input. Lostcaesar 09:46, 19 August 2006 (UTC)


I believe the P64 information should be changed. I have been unable to find an online copy of the Times article (it has been removed from the LexisNexis database), however I have found a little more information [1] [2]. Apparently, the scholarly article by Thiede only dates it (still controversially) to 70-100, and it is his non-scholarly writing that arbitrarily pushes it back further, and makes the conclusion that it is an eyewitness document. The media got a few things mixed up, and published an inaccurate representation of the whole situation for a big Christmas Eve story. I think citing the media in this case is not a good idea (WP:RS), and that we may be giving undue weight to Thiede's position. Maybe we could say something like "A few scholars argue for radically redating early MSS" and cite Thiede and maybe Robinson. Also, 7Q5 is not clearly identified as Mark, although, not surprisingly Theide was one of the main players in the claim as well. I think mention this information is helpful for this article, I just think there is a better way to do it. I'd propose rewriting the section thusly:

Concerning the oldest physical evidence, several controversial arguments regarding papyri fragments agree with the Augustinian hypothesis. The earliest known fragments of Matthew are the Magdalen papyrus (fragment P64), which contains portions of Matthew 26:23 and 31 on both sides (meaning that the text came from a codex rather than a scroll), and has been been dated to c. 200. However, in a 1995 study, Carsten Peter Thiede has controvesially dated the fragments to 70-100.[1] If the earlier date is accepted, P64 could be seen as supporting eyewitness, i.e. Matthean authorship of the text. Concerning Mark, a tiny papyrus fragment, 7Q5, found at Qumran has been suggested by José O’Callaghan and Theide as containing part of Mark 6:52-53. Because the community at Qumran left no later than 68, the fragment may evidences a date of composition for the work before this year. The certainty that 7Q5 contains portions of Mark is disputed.

Andrew c 14:40, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Done. I was a bit worried about the source myself, at least for P64, though I think the 7Q5 topic is a bit more solid. Personally I think the notion that someone will perhaps tip over jar and, lo and behold, settle the debate about authorship is, while perhaps a nice dream, in reality probably nothing more than just that. Our oldest copies of Virgil and Homer are medieval vellum scrolls. Our knowledge of Catullus comes from one manuscript stuck in the bottom pile of material in a medieval monastery. The fact that we have any fragments like this at all is a bit of a miracle (and a luxury of scholars who happen to deal with matters Egyptian &c.). Lostcaesar 14:49, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Most scholars reject both Theide's attempts to date P64 in the first century and his identification of 7Q5 as a portion of Mark. But accuracy is not the only problem. Since neither fragment is from the autographs of Matthew and Mark, their dating (and identification) is irrelevant for the viability of the Augustinian hypothesis. Even though the paragraph has recently been improved, it still should just be removed. Stephen C. Carlson 17:27, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

I personally agree completely that Theide's arguments are very, weak and very fringe. However, just because I disagree with a view is not reason enough to not include it in wikipedia. It is sourced. My concern is whether Theide argues for the Augustinian hypothesis (if not, that information is probably off topic here). Since it is cited, and I feel it passes (barely) notability, I don't mind including it because frankly, most of the other arguments included here for the Augustinian hypothesis are also weak and fringe. But I could be mistaken. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if this information was removed, but I can also understand keeping it in as well. You are the expert, so don't get me wrong, I totally respect your opinion. -Andrew c 19:52, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Personally I am a bit worried about its inclusion here also, more so P64 than 7Q5, because it is a rather fringe view and therefore might drag the rest of the article down. In other words I think we risk mixing some weak arguments with some strong ones and thus might end up with an alloy that, as a whole, does disservice to the overall position. In this sense I suppose my view is quite different from yours but nonetheless arrives at the same basic conclusion. I wouldn't say that their dating is "irrelevant", though, but perhaps not central. Of all the articles perhaps this is the place to include the information, and I myself moved it here because another editor had added it in good faith to a different article and I felt like it was the right thing to do to move it rather than just delete it. Furthermore, its location in the article is a bit off, but I knew of no proper section to place it in. Well, those are my thoughts. Lostcaesar 20:46, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I didn't mean to simplify the AH by say the whole thing is as weak and fringe as the Theide stuff (althought I basically did say as much). I also understand the history of this content (having Gospel on my watch list as well). If a view is determined to be notable, even if it is weak and may drag down the better arguments, that again is not a good enough reason to not include something. I think a solution, as noted above, may be to note that some advocates of the AH date certain documents and MSS earlier than mainstream scholars. We don't need to go into detail about Thiede's claim, but we can mention in passing generally what he was doing. I think the most important issue is how notable Theide is. He pushed both the P64 and 7Q5 arguments. I know the popular media (and Christian apologetic websites) have jumped on the P64 stuff, but I have yet to find another scholar who agrees with him (while finding multiple that disagree). As for the 7Q5 stuff, I'll have to do some research, but I think I agree with SCC that "most scholars reject". What I am getting at is we should either include both or include neither (unless we have more reliable sources backing up 7Q5 than the P64 stuff). One last thing, perhaps we should contact the original poster of this content to get her/his view. --Andrew c 22:03, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
As far as I am aware (based on the two books of his I have), Thiede does not argue for the AH. In fact, his Eyewitnesses to Jesus, p. 163, assumes the existence of Q, which is not a good indication of a support of the AH. Stephen C. Carlson 22:28, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
It is not a good indication that he supports the AH, but his early dating of those fragments (if we accept it as correct) is at least consistent with the AH (even if it is also consistant with a Q). Another part of the AH, an not an insignificant part, is that Mark really wrote Mark, a point to which the early date of 7Q5 is likewise consistent. But, as I have said before, the real central points of the AH are (1) that the historical tradition is in support of it (and not of any other hypothesis), which is certainly the case, and (2) that there is no aspect of the synoptic problem explained well by Markan priority that cannot be equally well explained by Mathean priority. The sectond point is more theoretical, and likewise more subjective than the first, but it has been offered by certain significant voices and it at least worth listening to. It did, after all, hold sway for centuries - centuries in which there was much attention give to the matter. Whatever the case it is a view that is not likely to go away any time soon. I believe that, in our presentation of the AH, we should stay focused on these two points. Concerning the former I think the article is at present very well said. Concerning the latter I think there is much to be added. But as for this matter above, it seems to be a bit of a diversion, albeit not a wholly irrelevant one.
One relevant aspect of the claim about P64 is that it came from a codex; now there has been increasingly early evidence for Christian use of the codex, but there is also a considerable set of arguments built around the assumption that Christians did not use the codex in their first century of existence. Indeed this assumption is generally understood as one of the strikes against P64, but if we imagine that P64 is genuine, then it would bring codex use into the first century. This would have many consequences, some of them relevant to the AH, especially that a didactic Gospel of c. AD 40 (e.g. Hebrew Matthew) would be more fittingly rendered onto one codex than a collection of scrolls, as would early Greek Gospels.
Just to comment on the difference in reliability of dating 7Q5, rather than P64, in my understanding the dating of P64 is based wholly upon the script, which is a very problematic process indeed (though one we are comfortable with on other matters, like the Dead Sea Scrolls). However, concerning 7Q5 we have a very clear date: ante-68. Also, if the letters are acurately rendered, then it is certainly a line that is contained in Mark and no other known text. The debate, therefore, is whether these letters are accurately rendered, and, if so, whether some purely hypothetical text could account for them without recourse to Mark's Gospel itself. I think it can be seen from this that, while not conclusive, there is certainly more weight behind 7Q5 then P64.
Lostcaesar 23:23, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

The only published Augustinian proponent I'm aware of that even mentions 7Q5 is John Wenham, Redating Matthew, Mark & Luke (1992: 177-179), and even then he is only discussing it in connection with the absolute dating of Mark, not with the relative order of the synoptics. I'd say that, unless one can cite an actual Augustinian making an argument based on 7Q5 and/or P64 for the order of composition, that paragraph with 7Q5 and/or P64 is looking like original research and, for that reason, ought to be considered a candidate for non-inclusion in Wikipedia. Stephen C. Carlson 05:08, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Even if we believe these arguments help the AH, our job is not to make a case for the scholars, but instead to simply summarize (in an encyclopedic fashion) the work of others. If AH advocates don't use these arguments, it is original research if we place them here to support that position (but a simple citation of a scholar using these arguments could help). Maybe this isn't the best place for this information? Because these are such minority views, I wouldn't suggest moving them to the corresponding gospel articles. "If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it is true or not." The 7Q5 and P64 articles already covers Theide, so maybe keeping that information there is good enough? And like I said above, I'd support a general statement saying AH scholars tend to date documents and MSS earlier than mainstream scholars. --Andrew c 14:55, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Seeing that there's been no objection in a while, I'm moving the whole paragraph to talk here:

Concerning the oldest physical evidence, several controversial arguments regarding papyri fragments agree with the Augustinian hypothesis. The earliest known fragments of Matthew are the Magdalen papyrus (fragment P64), which contains portions of Matthew 26:23 and 31 on both sides (meaning that the text came from a codex rather than a scroll), and has been been dated to c. 200. However, in a 1995 study, Carsten Peter Thiede controvesially dated the fragments to 70-100.[2] If the earlier date is accepted, P64 could be seen as supporting eyewitness, i.e. Matthean authorship of the text. Concerning Mark, a tiny papyrus fragment, 7Q5, found at Qumran has been suggested by José O’Callaghan and Theide as containing part of Mark 6:52-53. Because the community at Qumran left no later than 68, the fragment may evidence a date of composition for the work before this year. The certainty that 7Q5 contains portions of Mark is disputed.

Good article review[edit]

Failed "good article" nomination[edit]

This article failed good article nomination. This is how the article, as of December 11, 2007, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: It is generally written in a way that is catches the readers interest and uses basic good writing. It could be revised for a bit more clarity in parts and a better flow overall.
2. Factually accurate?: This is in large part one of the greatest flaws of the article. For example, the last half of the closing paragraph of "Origin" is completely uncited, despite the fact that those are some important and bold claims. At the end of the first paragraph of "Ancient tradition" it is asserted that the comments of Irenaeus, Origen and Eusebius are part of some broader tradition without the support of a reference that makes that claim (or rather, it is original research). Reference 11 is a self-reference to Wikipedia, which is impermissible as a supporting citation. Under "Clement" the assertion that Eusebius "recorded an important tradition from Clement of Alexandria" is original research, as we should be depending on reliable sources to tell us if this was both an accurate recording and an important tradition. The remainder of that section is completely unreferenced as well, but it makes a number of claims. These types of issues plague the article and need to be seriously addressed. I would further recommend a source audit to ensure that the reliable secondary sources have been appropriately used, as the spotty and problematic sourcing noted raises a warning flag for the general use of citations in this article.
3. Broad in coverage?: The article covers the ancient views and the modern views, but completely neglects the impact (or lack thereof) of the hypothesis throughout history. For example, views of Biblical authorship were a significant part of the Reformation, but this article completely neglects that period of time.
4. Neutral point of view?: Due to the numerous sourcing issues, it is unlikely that this article is appropriately NPOV, since NPOV is essentially a reflection of the available reliable literature.
5. Article stability? There do not seem to be any issues with stability.
6. Images?: Images are used well in the article.

This article needs significant work, particularly in the reliable sourcing of claims and the removal of original research.

When these issues are addressed, the article can be renominated. If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to take it have it reassessed. Thank you for your work so far.— Vassyana (talk) 13:30, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Textual Criticism[edit]

"Unlike some competing hypotheses, this hypothesis does not rely on, nor does it argue for, the existence of any document that is not explicitly mentioned in historical testimony. Instead, the hypothesis draws primarily upon historical testimony, rather than textual criticism,"

Suggests that those hypothetical models are using textual criticism, but they do not, in fact. Textual Criticism is the examination of variants and then weighing the readings for originality. Models such as Q, however, are entirely speculative: they take details from textual criticism and then speculate, which is wholly different (even against) Textual Criticism. I'm proposing that "criticism" be changed to "speculation".


09:29, 12 March 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheResearchPersona (talkcontribs)

  1. ^ Theide, C. P. "Papyrus Magdalen Greek 17 (Gregory-Aland {P}64 ): A Reappraisal," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Vol. 105, pp. 13-20.
  2. ^ Thiede, Carsten Peter (1995). "Papyrus Magdalen Greek 17 (Gregory–Aland P64). A Reappraisal" (PDF). Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 105: 13–20. Retrieved 2006-12-13.