“It’s not the process of parallelomania that I dislike but rather the term itself. It is not helpful and is dismissive in its nature.”
And now, let me respond. First, I want to point out to you something rather odd…
Petrus Ens, a Reformed professor in Harderwijk, had been accused of teaching Socinian theses [in the middle of the 18th century]. While the case of Stinstra [a minister removed from office for doctrinal reasons] caused a great commotion throughout the country, Ens was a little combative; when it appeared that he maintained his refusal to withdraw his statements, he was quietly removed from the academy (1741). It is the only time in the history of the Reformed Church after the Synod of Dordrecht that a theological professor in the Netherlands was dismissed for his doctrine.
Let that sink in. Now, read it again, like this:
Peter Enns, a Reformed professor in Westminster, had been accused of teaching a post-modern theses. While the case of Pahl [a minister removed from office for doctrinal reasons] caused a great commotion throughout the country, Enns was a little combative; when it appeared that he maintained his refusal to withdraw his statements, he was quietly removed from the academy (2008). It is the only time in the history of the Reformed Church after the Westminster Confession that a theological professor in the United States was dismissed for his doctrine.
Both are true stories. Entirely true. Both.
So, what to do with parallelism? First, The Shape may be correct in suggesting it is a cheap shot and Sandmel does not help his case when he says,
“…that extravagance among scholars which first overdoes the supposed similarity in passages and then proceeds to describe source and derivation as if implying literary connection flowing in an inevitable or predetermined direction…we are at a junction when biblical scholarship should recognise parallelomania for the disease that it is.”
However, there are some that are truly diseased – Joseph Atwill, Ralph Ellis, and others — but there are those who correctly call out parallelism (sometimes Brodie, myself, etc…). Is there a better term? Doubtful, but can it be better used?
Yes. As I pointed in out my book, I am timid in approaching certain instances in Mark because connecting it too much to the outside world could be construed as parallelism. But, there are times when things are truly parallel.
Look at the account of Petrus Ens and Peter Enns, both professors at Reformed institutions. Both were fired for teaching something other than the approved theology. In hundred years, or two thousand, would you say scholars researching Peter Enns are practicing parallelism?