e-Clavis Entry on the Narrative of Joseph of Arimathea (CANT 76; ECCA 274)

The entry is completed and now posted on the e-Clavis site. Thank you: to Stephen Hopkins (the section editor) for persistently and patiently nudging me to finish this entry; to Bradley Rice for insightful correspondence about the relationship of the Greek Narrative of Joseph of Arimathea to the distinctive Georgian Story of Joseph of Arimathea (the seminal story in Holy Grail lore); to Tony Burke for editorial skill and rigor that always makes my writing far better than what I submitted; and to Slavomír Čéplö for your expertise and assistance with the Slavic manuscripts and related literature on this text. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Now back to work on the Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity article on this fascinating text, where I get to dig into the historical and literary contexts! In my analysis, its portrayal of Demas (aka Dismas or Dysmas) is highly significant in the history of the cult of the so-called Good Thief.

Incidentally, NASSCAL already tweeted about this new entry…

As part of that work, I also wrote up the Manuscripta apocryphorum entry for British Library Harley 5636, one of the Greek manuscript witnesses to the Narrative of Joseph of Arimathea:

Synoptic Model Charts and Critical Gender Overview now included in First Gospel LODLIB v1.52

Today’s upload has numerous updates. We’d like to highlight two in particular. With thanks to Stephen Carlson for allowing us to make use of his graphic thumbnails for different models of proposed solutions to the Synoptic Problem, we have created the following table, pointing out where each model works perfectly to map all of the transmissions within certain specific sets of signals (= Aland Synopsis parallel sets). The description of this table in the book critiques all of these proposed solutions as mutually exclusive, mutually invalidating, and individually incapable of accounting for most of the signal data. They all have some validity, but only within an encompassing, scientific signal tracing methodology.

The other update we want to highlight is a brief catalog of passages focused on women, passages that were part of Qn and yet have been overlooked or ignored in past scholarship on Q.

We hope these updates and many others make our LODLIB that much more useful and thought-provoking! As always, feedback, inquiries, and collaborations are welcomed!

Armenian Text Now Included in First Gospel LODLIB v1.50

Today’s upload has numerous updates, mostly consisting of improvements in the main sections (Comparative Restoration, Data Dictionary). In the renaissance spirit of going ad fontes and the information and organizational principles of continuous improvement, we are cycling back through critical editions of Tertullian’s Against Marcion to double-check and correct Latin transcriptions. Thanks to the kindness of Cornelia Horn and Rob Phenix, we have also started to add Armenian text to our footnotes. The commissioned book cover is in progress and is looking great. I’m very excited to release it in a future version of this LODLIB. As always, scholarly feedback and collaboration is welcome, as are journalistic inquiries.

Syriac Insights Included in First Gospel LODLIB v1.49

Today’s upload has updates to many sections. Building on last week’s release of content newly attributed to Jacob of Serugh, we started combing through various other Syriac attestations to Marcion’s Gospel. (Thanks are due again to Phil Forness, this time for checking over my Syriac transcriptions and translations.) This has yielded additional confirmations of our reconstruction of the opening of this text in 3.1 and 4.31, and the footnotes have been substantially expanded accordingly. Other updates are spread across the book as we continue to practice cycles of continuous improvement. As always, feedback is welcomed!

Outside of this book but related to it, we’ve reached out to a science-focused journalist to ask if expert responses/reviews can be obtained for a potential news article on this book, and we also have a request into an illustrator to design a customized, artistic digital book cover.

Philip Forness’s Find Included in First Gospel LODLIB v1.48

Today’s upload has updates to several sections. We especially want to draw our readers’ attention to our revised reconstruction of the opening of Marcion’s Gospel in verses 3.1 and 4.31. Most notably, we now restore the word “he appeared” / ἐφάνη. In our view, the preponderance of evidence now supports this updated decision, in part based on the newly released finding by Philip Forness of Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main that the quotation about Marcion in British Library, Add. 17215 fol 30-33 can be reliably attributed to Jacob of Serugh. (To Phil: congrats on the recent acceptance of your article for the journal New Testament Studies, and thank you for sharing your article in advance of peer-review and publication and allowing me to make use of it publicly.) Our copious footnotes now include quotations of the primary source texts, including a quotation from Phil’s forthcoming Syriac text and translation. His article (which is already in production) does a great job of walking the reader through the historical debates about this quotation, from Barnes, Zahn, and Harnack to several current scholars.

In other book-related news, we have submitted our Harnack GMarc digital edition datasets (human-readable Greek and lemmatized and morphologically tagged Greek) to the Journal of Open Humanities Data and the JOHD data repository in Harvard’s Dataverse for peer-review. Thank you to Paul Dilley for recommending JOHD and to the journal’s editor-in-chief, Barbara McGillivray, for your responsiveness.

Klinghardt and Nicolotti Word Counts Complete in First Gospel LODLIB v1.47

Today’s upload has several columns completed in the internal Data Dictionary (DD 1.6), a quantitative tabular comparison of major editions of Marcion’s Gospel. Several new concluding tabular calculations are also now included.

Several major quantitative findings deserve comment:

  • BeDuhn’s 2013 edition, while in English, stakes out a moderate position in its scope and reconstructions, especially when compared with the appearance of several new maximalist editions
  • Roth’s 2015 edition is highly similar to Harnack’s minimalist reconstruction
  • Klinghardt’s 2015/2020/2021 edition is by far the most extensive attempt to restore Marcion’s Gospel, owing significantly to his confidence in Codex Bezae as a consistent and reliable witness to its text
  • Nicolotti’s 2019 edition is certainly influenced by Klinghardt’s, but pulls back significantly from its reconstruction, both in the total number of passages restored and the extent of the word count restored within those passages

These quantitative findings will feature in two forthcoming reviews, one with Vigiliae Christianae focused on Klinghardt’s edition and a second, more encompassing review for another journal.

For this post, we highlight one table that illustrates the above conclusions. It consists of a compilation of the passages in each edition of Marcion’s Gospel that exceed the total number of words in the respective parallel passages in the canonical Gospel of Luke.

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BeDuhn and Roth Word Counts Complete in First Gospel LODLIB v1.46

Today’s upload has several columns completed in our new section of the internal Data Dictionary (DD 1.6), a tabular comparison of major editions of Marcion’s Gospel. Some concluding calculations are also now included.

Major finding: the same internal patterns of word count distribution for Single, Double, and Triple traditions that I previously found in my reconstruction also hold true for the reconstructions of Harnack, BeDuhn and Roth. We are making good progress on compiling datasets of the editions by Klinghardt and Nicolotti, but those columns aren’t yet complete. So far, though, no matter who is doing the editing/reconstructing, the data are clear. GMarc has a systematic lack of uniquely Lukan traditions and a systematic surplus of Double and especially Triple traditions when compared to Lk2. This is one of many compelling proofs that GMarc was in fact an earlier version of Luke.

Lk2 vs GMarc Internals


On a somewhat related note, we’ve recently joined the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), the ACM SIGKDD, and the Data Visualization Society. We look forward to bringing our scholarly work on the Gospels into conversation with members of these groups in conferences and publications soon and for years to come.

GMarc Editions Compared and TEI XML Sample Released in First Gospel LODLIB v1.45

Today’s upload adds a significant new section to the internal Data Dictionary. DD 1.6 provides a tabular comparison of major editions of Marcion’s Gospel by Harnack, Roth, Klinghardt, Nicolotti, and myself. Thus far we have added verses, word counts, and attestation rates for the first few chapters. In future weeks, we plan to complete this table and add another section, 1.7, noting how specific linguistic features are rendered differently across these editions.

Even with the tabulations and calculations compiled thus far, the various methodological assumptions of the respective editors are already coming into focus. Klinghardt and Nicolotti consistently render more verses and more words within verses than do BeDuhn, Roth, or I. Harnack’s work is most closely followed by Roth, and both are minimalist renditions. Nicolotti follows Klinghardt most closely, and both are (overly) maximalist renditions (in my view). BeDuhn and I are moderate in our methods, attempting to render verses and words that were likely in GMarc even if not clearly attested by patristic witnesses, but not unnecessarily adding verses simply because they are present in Codex Bezae or have variant readings in the Luke manuscript tradition.

The other major addition to this version is a couple sample pages of TEI XML for Harnack’s version of Marcion’s Gospel. This sample is intended to give readers a preliminary sense of the XML structural and tagging conventions we plan to follow for our datasets.

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Liz, Adam, Mitt… How about joining us in democracy- and truth-land?

When the former VP Dick Cheney has to join 10 former SecDefs to co-author an op-ed prior to January 6 and then call his daughter that day to warn her about Trump threatening her on Twitter, only for Liz to be censured by her own state’s party for her patriotic, evidence-based calls to impeach Trump…

When the family and friends of Adam Kinzinger–a military veteran and patriot–disown him for taking the principled stand

When Mitt Romney gets booed and heckled as a traitor by the members of his own party in his own Mormon-majority state…

It’s time to ask all of these life-long Republicans, is the GOP beyond saving?

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First Gospel LODLIB v1.44 release notes

Today’s upload contains updates to several sections, particularly to the Statistically Significant Signature Features, Comparative Restoration, and Data Dictionary. We are increasingly including cross-references to the respective works of BeDuhn, Klinghardt, Gramaglia, and Nicolotti in our footnotes in the Comparative Restoration. We have also been spreading out the content in that section so that, whenever possible, there is one page for each verse in GMarc/Lk1. We hope that this offers a better reading experience and avoids having an overabundance of main text and footnotes on any given page. Outside of this book yet in relation to it, we are also continuing to build a lemmatized and morphologically tagged version of Klinghardt’s edition of GMarc as part of our rigorous analysis and forthcoming review of his work for the journal Vigiliae Christianae.