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.
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.
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.
This week’s release has several major updates. The Statistically Significant Features section now includes binomial distribution probabilities. At the top of the list, the preposition pros (πρός) in the accusative form. It occurs in 157 different places in Luke and 152 of those are in the Lk2 stratum, but only 4 in the Qn stratum. The odds of this distribution being due to random chance are 9E-12 (i.e., 0.0000000000092 or 1 in 100 billion!). The characteristically Lukan participle + “then” / δέ transition also evidences a huge magnitude of statistical significance: 1 occurrence in the Qn stratum compared to 93 total occurrences in Luke, which yields a binomial distribution probability of 8E-09 (i.e., 0.0000000081522 or 1 in 100 million!). As that section notes, these isolated features, while clearly statistically significant, are only part of a far more compelling picture once we begin to identify and correlate clusters of more than 100 additional signature features that occur less frequently in Luke, yet seldom or never in Qn.
We’ve also added numerous footnotes to recent academic literature in Computational Linguistics related to Authorship Attribution as we continue to comb through it and see how best to apply authorship attribution methods to the earliest Gospel vocal strata. Major updates have also been made to the main sections (Comparative Restoration and Data Dictionary).
As always, feedback and collaboration–public or private–are welcome.
Heard yesterday from Tony Burke at York University (Canada) that I’ve been voted onto the Board of Directors as a Member-at-Large for the North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature starting this Fall. NASSCAL has been an intellectual home for a significant amount of my scholarship. It’s been especially delightful to see the eClavis Digital Humanities project (co-developed by me, Tony, and Brad Rice) take root and flourish as a leading, trusted source of academic knowledge for Christian fictions/legends. Tony’s tireless work and the formation of an editorial board of experts have made all the difference. I’m looking forward to participating in the governance of this academic association and seeing what the future holds!
Heard today that my application to become a Fellow of the Westar Institute was accepted. While the organization is new to me, many of its members are friends, including Dennis MacDonald at Claremont and Ben Hubbard here at Fullerton. David Galston graciously allowed me to organize a Westar session at SBL in Denver in 2018, and it looks like David and I might be able to bring together a Westar session on the Gospel of Marcion and Q at SBL 2021. I’m honored to be part of this group of scholars committed to honesty, rigor, public transparency, humanistic inclusivity and inter-religious peer-review in scholarship about sacred texts and traditions.
This week’s edition releases a major update to the internal Data Dictionary to include a Discourse Analysis and Rhetorical Techniques section (DD 1.3) that builds on the work of Stephen H. Levinsohn for the BART (Biblical Analysis and Research Tool) project. Initial findings from my comparison of Discourse Analysis features in GMarc and canonical Luke, along with cumulative findings from the other sections, have now brought our list of distinctive vocal features demonstrating Statistically Significant Variance between Lk1 and Lk2 to over a hundred. I have thus strengthened our proofs for the Schwegler hypothesis that GMarc is an earlier version of Luke with over a thousand different data points. Essentially, I’ve now scientifically clarified the distinct voice of the editor of canonical Luke in contrast to its sources for the first time in history.
Got confirmation of acceptance of a second paper this morning. Thank you to the session chairs (Garrick Allen and Paul Dilley) and the review committee for the opportunity to present this research.
Title: Introducing Linked Open Data Living Informational Books
Abstract: In a recent article, Claire Clivaz surveys the rise of VREs (Virtual Research Environments) that allow for scientific hypothesis-driven, iterative, and collaborative research in the Humanities. In this presentation, we propose a new kind of VRE, the Linked Open Data Living Informational Book or LODLIB, essentially a scientific hypothesis-driven iterative digital codex. LODLIBs follow the structure of scientific articles (introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion), leverage international Linked Open Data standards (unique and interconnected DOIs), rely on non-commercial Open Science repositories, include internal data dictionaries and lexicographical resources, embed datasets and code within the digital book, invite global open peer-review and collaboration, and allow for cycles of continuous improvement characteristic of agile software and systems development. Essentially, the LODLIB reimagines the codex as human- and machine-readable software, bringing together research and publishing, the Sciences and the Humanities. The LODLIB format inverts the power- and economic relationships between academic authors and publishers, opens academic discourse to the global public, allows for rich analytics about readership and citations, and has the potential to make monographs and compilations go viral in online environments. The conclusion will relate the story of the presenter’s prototyping of the LODLIB format to propose and realize a new, scientific solution to Q and the Synoptic Problem.
Subjects: Computer-Assisted Research | Historical Criticism | Lexicography
Got confirmation of acceptance this morning. Thank you to the session chairs (Eric Vanden Eykel and Christy Cobb) and the review committee for the opportunity to present this research.
Title: Murder, Madness, Mending, Mission, Mates, Mars Hill, and Mob Justice: The Characterization of Paul as a New Orestes in the Canonical Acts of the Apostles
Abstract: While myth critics have thoroughly explored the influence of Euripides’ Bacchae on the canonical Acts, the potential influence of his Orestes (in tandem with his twin Iphigenia plays), as well as Aeschylus’ Oresteia has gone overlooked. Here we outline the sagas of Orestes and the Paul of Acts in parallel: guilty of murder, subjected to religious madness, mended to health by a friend, sent on a divine mission, accompanied by faithful travel-mates, making a speech of self-defense on the Areopagus, and narrowly escaping mob execution at a major center of Artemis worship. Besides these parallel plot-lines, we detail numerous ways in which the Pauline narrative exhibits hallmark literary and thematic features of Greek drama and novels, such as the transformation of the hero’s character, the contrast of folly and wisdom, the negotiation of Greek and non-Greek identity, the inevitability of the divine will as mused by the narrator, and deus ex machina pivot points and resolutions. Finally, we seek to divine the purpose of such mythical characterization: providing meaningful cultural analogues to scaffold readerly understanding; referencing commonplace cultural iconography; engaging in entertainment characteristic of novelistic fiction; engendering Roman sympathy for Jews committed to pacifism; repositioning Jewish aniconism as a form of Greek philosophy; embracing the philhellenic policies of Hadrian; invoking the foundational Greek etiology of trial law to apply to Jesus-followers; and forming a literary-mythological foundation for Pauline hero cult. NB for evaluators: Anna Lefteratou is not an SBL member but she will co-author this presentation and may co-present, depending on future commitments.
Activists are right to call out major Atlanta-based companies like Coca-Cola to oppose the sick and disgusting efforts of the illegitimate GA gubernatorial occupant Brian Kemp (god damn him) and his white supremacist, plantation-nostalgic ilk (god damn them) to disenfranchise minority and white working-class voters.
I’m pledging $1000 to any voting rights organization in Georgia that:
promises to hand out only Dasani water bottles (the top-selling water bottle brand, owned by Coca-Cola) to voters waiting in line in future elections
demands that Coca-Cola upgrades its goals to move to 100% of their plastic bottles to recycled materials within 5 years