Digital Edition of August Hahn’s Reconstruction of GMarc Debuts in LODLIB v2.04

Now up to 385,000 words in today’s upload. As we await the last round of journal review on our Harnack datasets, we have gone ahead and compiled a digital edition of the first major reconstruction of Marcion’s Gospel, that made by August Hahn in 1832. The more I work on these datasets, the clearer the connections between them become. Among books in the public domain, Hahn’s work is certainly not as important as Harnack’s, and yet it is still foundational to the history of scholarship on GMarc. Even as a defender of the early orthodox view that GMarc was a later, abridged version of canonical Luke, Hahn sought to reconstruct a maximalist, continuous version of GMarc. In our view, Hahn’s edition (which totals 14400 words) restores far too much content from canonical Luke that was not attested for GMarc and thus, as an Lk1 dataset, it is deeply contaminated by Lk2 vocal signals and patterns.

In our iterative Critical Edition, we have also filled out additional columns with page numbers from several more scholarly editions of GMarc, including those by Hahn, Zahn, and Tsutsui, which altogether now total nine different comparative editions in addition to our own. The page numbers are sometimes supplemented with abbreviated indications to show at a glance how the various editors accounted for the data in a given verse, whether na (= not attested), np (= not present), anw (= attested but no wording), or ganw (generally attested but no wording). This allows for quick comparison of editor decisions.

We hope these new resources and supplements are useful to enthusiastic readers and to scholars specializing on GMarc. As always, constructive feedback and offers of collaboration are welcomed!

Scholarly Doubt about Q/First Gospel Contents is the Best Predictor of GMarc Attestation (LODLIB v2.03)

Lot’s of progress made in today’s upload. We’d specifically like to call attention to an expansion to our statistical proofs, especially in conversation with Daniel Smith’s 2019 chapter in BZNW 235 focusing on a statistical analysis of GMarc. In the interest of facilitating access for readers, we present the bulk of the content found on the page in our LODLIB that details our finding, building on Smith’s verse counts but nuancing them and challenging his starting goal (“On Not Dispensing with Any of Q”) and ultimate conclusions.


Smith Verse Count: GMarc Attested as a Percentage of Lk2

Tradition TypeGMarc Verses AttestedLk2 VersesGMarc Attested / Lk2

Even without questioning or changing any of the traditional contents considered secure for Q, according to Smith’s verse count approach, Q verses are the best attested of any tradition type. That is a highly significant finding on its own.

But what happens if we adjust our method to account separately for the 83 verses considered but doubted or rejected within CEQ? … [more below the fold]

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Epiphanius Citation Journey Complete (LODLIB v2.02)

The major milestone in today’s upload is that we have finished combing through the nearly 230 references to the text of Marcion’s Gospel made by Epiphanius in his Panarion. Our LODLIB now includes quotations, translations, and page references for this content according to the latest critical editions of the series Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller. As a condensation of this work, we have assembled a catalog of these passages, a helpful panoramic overview of the journey Epiphanius took through Marcion’s Gospel, with references sorted in order of appearance. A screenshot of half of this literary itinerary is appended below. We hope it is useful to other scholars and the interested public.

Lots of other improvements have been made, but we will leave those for readers to discover. One other important bit of news is that our Harnack GMarc dataset is now in the third round of review for the Journal of Open Humanities Data. The review process has been quick and very helpful, and we are grateful to the reviewers for their constructive feedback. Fingers crossed on its acceptance! As always, we welcome constructive feedback on our LODLIB as well as offers of collaboration and research fellowship/position opportunities.

One Year LODLIB Anniversary (v2.01 released)

It’s been a year today since we first publicly released our findings about discovering a scientific solution to the Synoptic Problem and reconstruction of the first Gospel (Qn). Given that, we are transitioning from version 1 to version 2 in the numbering of our LODLIB (Linked Open Data Living Informational Book). Over 1000 pages (many of them 11×17) and almost 350,000 words is pretty amazing progress to have made in a year’s time. While there is still a lot more work to do, it’s good to celebrate this milestone.

Today’s upload has significant improvements, especially to the “Popular Script Translation of the First Gospel” and the “Iterative Critical Edition and Translation of the Third Gospel Stratum”. Many other updates are to be found across the book, following our cycles of continuous improvement. A lot of our work recently has involved checking the wording and manuscript variants of the critical editions of Tertullian’s treatise Against Marcion and Epiphanius’ Panarion (our two main sources of attestations of Marcion’s Gospel) and inserting specific page references to these scholarly texts in our footnotes. We hope our readers and reviewers–present and future–appreciate this scholarly rigor and attention to detail.

As always, constructive feedback and opportunities for collaboration are most welcomed! The great thing about a LODLIB, especially one built on scientifically testable hypotheses, is that it can evolve, not only to correct errors, but also to respond to legitimate critique and to build out new proofs.

History of Stylometric and Statistical Scholarship on GMarc Debuts in First Gospel LODLIB v1.54

Today’s upload has many new updates, most notably several new pages on the history of statistical and stylometric scholarship on Marcion’s Gospel, from William Sanday to John Knox to Joseph Tyson and most recently, Daniel A. Smith of Huron University, who earned his PhD under Kloppenborg and whom I had the pleasure of meeting at KU Leuven several years ago. This history of scholarship culminates in a close comparison of Smith’s work and mine, summarized in this table:

The subsequent conclusions explain and evaluate the differences between Smith’s numbers and mine, conceiving of each approach (passage counts, verse counts, word counts) as lenses with increasing levels of magnification or granularity. Smith’s findings dovetail significantly with my own, that Q (in some version) and Mark (in some version) were both sources of GMarc.

Following continuous cycles of improvement, we have made many other content and formatting updates but will leave these for our readers to discover and enjoy. Every week our LODLIB gets a little better!

If there are institutions interested in hosting this work in a short- or long-term research fellowship or position, please let me know.

New Iterative Critical Edition Format and Content Debuts in First Gospel LODLIB v1.53

Today’s upload has numerous updates. The most significant is a complete reformatting of the Iterative Critical Edition of Lk1/GMarc to tabloid landscape, both to facilitate reading and to allow for columns with cross-references to other recent editions of GMarc. We have also started adding specific page references to the Sources Chrétiennes critical edition of Tertullian’s Contra Marcionem by Braun and Moreschini to the footnotes after having checked these texts against those in Evans and Roth. One significant decision new to this version is the removal of A253, Children welcomed, from QnLk1. Given the unreliability of Adamantius Dialogue, we now read that signal cascade as originating in Lk2 (117-138), picturing Jesus as a rabbi practicing circumcision in defiance of the Hadrianic proscription against circumcision, only for later strata of Mark and Matthew in the 140s to reframe the story as about the baptism of children as an early-orthodox substitution for circumcision. Lots of other new and interesting insights and updates are there for scholars and lay readers interested in combing through the reconstructions and notes.

If an international university or research center is interested in hosting a short-term or long-term fellowship or research position that allows me to focus completely on this groundbreaking work bringing together Classics, Religious Studies, Digital Humanities, and Computational Linguistics, please contact me. I love working as a faculty Librarian, but the research that I’m pioneering deserves to have the full support of an institution that can provide not only the basics of salary and benefits, but also close collaborators in Humanities and Computer Science, research assistants, and funds for travel and presentation.

SBL Proposal Accepted for Digital Humanities section: Introducing LODLIBs

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

The First Gospel (LODLIB v1.40 release notes)

This week’s edition puts us over 730 pages and 303,000 words. The main addition this week is the Lk2-CINP dataset. CINP stands for “Clear and Implicitly Not Present.” Like Lk2-CENP, this dataset records the redactor of Late Luke (Lk2) speaking freely without noise from prior gospel strata and is roughly the same size, representing about 20% of the total word count of Lk2. While we may make additions or subtractions from this dataset in future editions, depending on our restoration and signal transmission tracing work, we are confident that overall this dataset is a high fidelity representation of the Lk2 vocal stratum and thus ideal for modeling and training. We have already started incorporating the Lk2-CINP dataset into our Computational Linguistics analysis and visualizations, which now also include Acts and the Gospel of John for comparison.

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The First Gospel (LODLIB v1.38 release notes)

This week’s edition puts us at nearly 720 pages and 300,000 words. This is the week where our research really started to integrate with RStudio. We spent quite a bit of time troubleshooting Greek unicode and UTF-8 encoding issues in RStudio on our main Windows machine and getting Microsoft Linux Subsystem up and running so we can move back and forth between RStudio in both environments. Rather than build unicode points throughout our scripts, we decided to front load this work.

Thus our Code Repository debuts with two major scripts: one that transliterates all Greek unicode characters into ASCII English letter equivalents; and another that loads both Greek and English UTF-8 txt files, then quickly and cleanly parses six vectors for use in deep Computational Linguistics analysis (whole, lemma, and morphology for both languages). With the in-book datasets and code, experts and novices in Gospel Computational Linguistics can start to evaluate and build on our research. Our Data Visualizations section (freshly reformatted to tabloid layout) also features a new section that builds on this: Top Ten Words tables and graphs for the Harnack, Roth, and CENP datasets.

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The First Gospel (LODLIB v1.37 release notes)

This week’s edition puts us over 700 pages and 293,000 words. Notable highlights:

  • Identification of an additional 20 signature features showing statistically significant variance between Lk1/GMarc and Lk2 that will be used in future proofs of the Schwegler hypothesis and our five hypotheses. These now include several features with disproportionately high frequencies in Lk1/GMarc compared to Lk2, not just vice versa. Many of these newly listed features are morphologically nuanced bigrams, trigrams, and quadigrams we’ve been identifying over the past several editions of our LODLIB in DD 1.2.
  • Forked three sections (Computational Linguistics and the Synoptic [Signals] Problem; Data Visualizations; Excursus on Related Topics) from other areas to have their own sections.
  • Hundreds more “clear” vocal signal tags are now assigned across any and all strata throughout the entire reconstruction in anticipation of the future compilation of NLP training datasets for each vocal stratum.
  • Dozens of new entries to the Data Dictionary, adding further clarification and disambiguation of the Qn, Lk1, and Lk2 vocal strata.
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