I reviewed Zeba Crook's Parallel Gospels at this year's SBL and Crook responded. I now have a few comments on that response. I am grateful for Zeba's thoughtful comments. I will take his points in turn:
(1) On the lack of word-alignment, I had not realized that this was a publisher's decision rather than an author's decision. I understand the importance of affordability but I think it is a great shame that something so fundamental to Synopsis construction is here jettisoned because of cost considerations.
In the discussion on Monday, I facetiously suggested that one could save a lot of space by getting rid of Q from the Synopsis, thereby freeing up more space for word-alignment.
(2) On the source-language translation, I understand Zeba's decision but I disagree with it. The difficulty is that prepositions, for example, do not exist on their own, as individual sense-units. They only attain meaning in connection with nouns in a particular case, so it makes no sense to translate hypo always as "under" and meta always as "with". It is misleading to translate every preposition the same way, and it is a decision that greatly detracts from the appeal of the Synopsis.
(3) I am a little surprised by Zeba's response on the inclusion of Q in the Synopsis. I think the inclusion of Q would be defensible on the grounds that it helps to illustrate the Two-Source Theory or that it facilitates comparison between Matthew, Luke and the reconstructed text of Q, but it is surely not debatable that including one solution to the problem into the presentation of the data prejudices the reader in favour of that solution, is it?
Zeba suggests that his Synopsis offers some encouragement to the Farrer Theory, e.g. placement of double tradition pericopes in the Synopsis and also the generation of more minor agreements. However, the point about minor agreements is at least in part negated by the fact that Q is present in this synopsis to explain key minor agreements, especially Q 3.3 and Q 4.16.
Zeba also suggests that the inclusion of Q is no different from the inclusion of Thomas or John, but there is, of course, a material difference. Both Thomas and John are extant works with textual witnesses and patristic citations; they are not hypothetical texts. In fact, the (helpful) inclusion of Thomas and John illustrates my point well -- that a Synopsis should aim to present the data without prejudice to a given solution to the problem. Integrating Q into the presentation of the data confuses problem with solution in a fundamental way.
But my key point here is the pedagogical difficulty of including Q in the Synopsis, which turns double tradition into a second kind of triple tradition, and makes colouring the Synopsis much more difficult. These are issues that are worth considering further.