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!

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.

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…

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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.