JEPD Evidence - Diatessaron

Andrew Davies a.davies at
Tue Dec 21 11:31:03 EST 1999

Tatian's Diatesseron is a document known to be composed of the four gospels.
If the only gospel that survived was the Diatesseron, would scholars be
wrong to subdivide it into four sources?
No, but then this is an entirely different circumstance.  Aren't the four
traditions separated already clearly in the text?  I thought they were in
columns, but then I might be thinking of the hexapla. There is a big
difference between this and postulating a number of hypothetical sources
which no one can be sure existed (and no one agrees upon the extent,
definition, context and characteristics of).

To be honest, I'm surprised as a newbie to this list to find so much heated
discussion on this issue.  I for one am sceptical that we can ever know for
certain anything of the origins of the biblical texts we have and find
myself getting increasingly frustrated by attempts to propose histories for
the traditions.  Let's be honest, where does it really take us?  And if
anyone would suggest it gives us insight into the cultural context in which
the traditions arose, then, might I ask, how can any text give us any
information about the 'real' historical world?  Texts are texts, constructs
of reality, and the biblical account of Israel's history is no more and no
less a construct than Professor Lemche's.  The difference is, for me as an
evangelical Christian, that I accept the biblical account as authoritative
(no matter who wrote it and when).

Andrew Davies
Mattersey Hall
Email a.davies at

-----Original Message-----
From: 	Stephen C. Carlson [mailto:scarlson at]
Sent:	21 December 1999 14:45
To:	Biblical Hebrew
Subject:	Re:  JEPD Evidence

At 09:21 PM 12/20/99 -0800, kdlitwak wrote:
>There are many problems with JEDP, such as
>the lack of a parallel document that
>is known to be composed of multiple sources

Stephen Carlson
Stephen C. Carlson                        mailto:scarlson at
Synoptic Problem Home Page
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words."  Shujing 2.35

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