Data Paper and Normalized Datasets for Roth’s 2015 GMarc Reconstruction Accepted for Journal of Open Humanities Data (LODLIB 2.15)

This week’s LODLIB version now contains the author’s accepted version of our data paper and related transformational, normalized datasets based on Roth’s 2015 reconstruction of the Gospel of Marcion (GMarc). As we note in the paper, Roth’s is the most widely accepted reconstruction in scholarship today. Sincere thanks go to Dr. Roth and to Tanja Cowall at Brill’s copyright office for securing an agreement for the distribution of these datasets under a CC-BY-NC-ND license. We also would like to thank the editor-in-chief and three anonymous reviewers at JOHD for their excellent and constructive feedback on this work. While the data paper is still at print, we are happy to go ahead and share the DOIs that have already been minted for the paper (https://doi.org/10.5334/johd.57) and datasets (https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/BYPOOR). [The latter DOI was randomly (providentially?) generated, by the way! We have no control over what specific DOI is generated when we upload datasets to the Harvard JOHD Dataverse.]

Lemmatization and Part of Speech Tagging Completed for All Greek GMarc Datasets (LODLIB v2.13)

Following up on today’s publication in Journal of Open Humanities Data of my data paper and accompanying normalized, lemmatized, morphologized, born-digital, and peer-reviewed version of Harnack’s reconstruction of the Gospel of Marcion (GMarc), in v2.13 of my LODLIB I’ve now released a lemmatized and morphologized dataset of August Hahn’s 1832 reconstruction of GMarc. After many grueling months of work on these Greek texts in parallel, I’ve also completed lemmatizing and morphologizing the reconstructions of GMarc by Zahn, Klinghardt, and Nicolotti. Since the latter two are based on works still under copyright, we will start conversations to see how best to publish these and would like to take this opportunity to invite Klinghardt and Nicolotti publicly to join as collaborators on these datasets. The Zahn dataset will appear in next week’s LODLIB, and I will soon submit both the Hahn and Zahn datasets and accompanying data papers for peer-review and formal publication.

In other related news, Jason BeDuhn and I are in talks about how best to structure next month’s Westar SBL session on Q and the Gospel of Marcion. If any scholars specializing in GMarc and/or Q would like to be respondents in the session, please let me know.

Normalization and Quality Control Pass Completed for All GMarc Datasets (LODLIB v2.12)

Today’s LODLIB update reflects datatype normalization and quality control checks across all of our GMarc datasets (Hahn, Zahn, Harnack, Tsutsui, BeDuhn, Roth, Klinghardt, Nicolotti). While we have only released the full text of the first three, since their print works are in the public domain, we have made use of all of this normalized data in our new data tabulations (3.7) and data visualizations (3.8). While our own iterative critical edition is still in progress, the counts and graphs for all earlier editions should now remain static, thus we are now comfortable building these data tabulations and visualizations into forthcoming journal articles and book reviews.

In other related news, Jason BeDuhn and I are meeting later today to discuss the Westar SBL session on Q and the Gospel of Marcion. Given our overlapping scholarly work, I’m very much looking forward to the conversation. I also received just today the proofs of my forthcoming data paper for the Journal of Open Humanities Data. It’s always nice to see one’s work as it’s about to go to (digital) press.

Cycles of Continuous Improvement (LODLIB v2.11)

Today’s LODLIB update reflects a major quality control check and normalization of our Hahn (1832) dataset of human-readable Greek, as well as minor corrections to some of the calculations in our Cluster Analysis and Statistical Analysis sections. We’re also happy to confirm via David Galston that Westar will be hosting an online/virtual session devoted to Q and the Gospel of Marcion as part of the upcoming Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. If you are interested in planning or participating in that session, please let me or David know! Here’s hoping that venue provides a launching pad for a new kind of Jesus Seminar focused on the scientific restoration and reconstruction of the many historical voices embedded within early canonical and non-canonical gospels. This week we also made a few minor corrections to our Harnack JOHD data paper, which should be published very soon.

Channeling the Ghost of Thomas Kuhn (LODLIB v2.10)

This week’s LODLIB spices things up with numerous inspirational/illuminating quotations from Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions strewn throughout Part One of our LODLIB. These quotations inherently convey an outlandish confidence from someone who really thinks to be leading a scientific revolution in the study of the Gospels. Whether our five hypotheses, triangulation theorem, and various other proofs and methods are mostly right or mostly wrong, the field will eventually decide! All I can do is keep writing and moving forward.

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Data Paper and Datasets Accepted for Journal of Open Humanities Data (LODLIB v2.09)

This week’s LODLIB contains the author’s accepted version of our data paper and related datasets of Harnack’s 1924 reconstruction of the Gospel of Marcion (GMarc). Heartfelt thanks go to the journal’s editor-in-chief, Barbara McGillivray, to the four anonymous reviewers for their patient and thorough feedback, and to Paul Dilley for advising me to submit this work to JOHD, one of the many excellent Open Access journals hosted by Ubiquity Press. Because of them, both the paper and the datasets are far better than what I initially submitted. Their constructive criticism is ultimately what pushed me to develop consistent data normalization standards, both for the Harnack datasets and all other reconstructions of GMarc. These standards will allow for consistent and meaningful Computational Linguistics analysis. The fruits of this work are already evident in our data tabulations and visualizations in our LODLIB (a freshly released sample below) and will become more evident as we submit additional datasets and related papers for peer-review and formal publication. We’ll be sure to share DOIs for the paper (https://doi.org/10.5334/johd.47) and datasets (https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/5TEA5A) as they are published.

Call for AAR and SBL to Pull Out of Texas

The American Academy of Religion (9000 members) and Society of Biblical Literature (8300 members) are the largest academic associations in the world focusing on the study of religion and the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Our conference this November is scheduled to take place in San Antonio.

The Handmaid’s Tale dystopia unfolding in Texas politics–exacerbated and abetted by the minority-appointed Supreme Court majority–is not something which should be rewarded with travel and tourism funds from other states.

Both conferences should move fully and completely online.

More GMarc Data Normalization and Synoptic Cluster Analysis (LODLIB v2.08)

This week’s version continues our work to build out data normalization rules and standards for the academic/scientific study of the Gospel of Marcion. We’ve had another fruitful round of feedback about our Harnack datasets and short data paper for the Journal of Open Humanities Data. If we can get peer-reviewed agreement on the normalization of Harnack’s GMarc data, then normalizing the data of all of the other GMarc reconstructions will be far easier by comparison. In the meantime, in this week’s LODLIB, we have proposed new data normalization rules for the reconstructions of GMarc by Tsutsui (1992), Roth (2015), Klinghardt (2015/2020/2021) and Nicolotti (2019).

One of the great things about the LODLIB format is to visualize data while it is in process of peer-review and correction. The slew of data visualizations I released last week (another sample below) can easily be revised and updated if and when there are legitimate peer-reviewed corrections or consensus emerges about data normalization standards and/or the underlying normalized data. Visualizing data is so crucial to understand their importance and recognize their patterns, yet data are so often noisy, messy, and in fluctuation. Hence our modes of scholarly communication must adapt to accommodate these flexible processes, aiming for greater and greater clarity, fidelity, and scholarly consensus with each round of feedback and continuous improvement.

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Shine on You Crazy Diamond (LODLIB v2.07)

This week’s version initiates data normalization for the study of the Gospel of Marcion in concert with our freshly revised datasets for the fourth round of review of a short data paper and related datasets we have submitted to the Journal of Open Humanities Data, whose Editor-in-Chief is Barbara McGillivray at the Alan Turing Institute at Cambridge. The peer-review process has been wonderful and indeed transformative in my thinking and methodology.

The normalization of GMarc data (transforming past messy/noisy reconstructions into standardized data) will—mark my words—prove the tipping point in the transformation of the scholarly study of the canonical and non-canonical gospel strata into legitimate Data Science. In concert with our new normalization standards and normalized datasets of public domain reconstructions, we also release a slew of data visualizations illustrating the contents and relationships of all past GMarc reconstruction datasets. These visualizations clearly reinforce our scientific hypotheses and proofs that GMarc was in fact the third gospel stratum, based on two sources (the first gospel stratum, Qn, and an early version of Mark).

The age of hagiographical controlling bias and assumptions in Gospel Studies is over. The age of Gospel Data Science is upon us. Scholars can either get on board or get out of the way, but no matter what you do, you can’t stop this.

Digital Edition of Theodor Zahn’s 1892 Reconstruction of GMarc Features in LODLIB v2.06

This week’s version puts us over 400,000 words. In concert with the peer-review of our Harnack 1924 datasets for the Journal of Open Humanities Data, we have compiled datasets for other closely related, public domain reconstructions of Marcion’s Gospel. Today’s release features Zahn’s 1892 reconstruction, the second major reconstruction in the history of scholarship. Zahn’s edition totals 10571 10572 words, far less than Hahn’s 14400 14442, yet far more than Harnack’s 4207 4338. The disparity between these reconstructions exemplifies how much the results of reconstruction are determined by a priori assumptions and methodologies. We anticipate adding granular word counts by passage and tradition type (single, double, triple) for the editions of Hahn and Zahn in the Data Dictionary (DD 1.6) of next week’s LODLIB update.