The First Gospel (LODLIB v1.41 release notes)

This week’s edition has incremental improvements over the last addition, some new additions to the Comparative Restoration and Data Dictionary, and spelling and grammatical corrections throughout. Finalizing my forthcoming co-authored Harvard Theological Review article on Iphigenia, Librarian duties and home responsibilities have all made work on the First Gospel book slower going than usual, but I’m hoping to get back in the groove of uploading an updated edition each week.

On a related, very positive note, I recently received complementary review copies of Matthias Klinghardt’s freshly published two volume work: The Oldest Gospel (Leuven: Peeters, 2021), which I’m reviewing for the Brill journal Vigiliae Christianae. Thank you to Peeters and to the editor(s) at Brill for this opportunity.

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Contemporizing the Classics: A Guessing Game

If I told you a story with the following plot-lines:

  1. once upon a time, there was a royal brother and sister who were long separated from each other
  2. with the help of a male friend, the brother escaped from death and went on a distant journey
  3. the sister became the guardian of an object of special importance
  4. the sister was trapped in an ominous center of death
  5. the brother and male friend were captured and brought to that place of death
  6. the siblings were thus finally reunited, but they still did not recognize each other
  7. the siblings and their friend were joined together in a common mission under supernatural guidance
  8. the siblings and their friend narrowly escaped death after being pursued by an evil ruler

…would you say that you know the story? The author? Are you sure?

And if I told you another story with these plot-lines:

  1. once upon a time, there was a man and his faithful male companion who fled from danger and embarked on an adventure
  2. their quest took them on a distant journey to find and steal a sacred artifact
  3. that sacred artifact was kept in an ominous temple devoted to the god of death where gruesome human sacrifices were done
  4. the two male travelers were unexpectedly joined by a female on their adventure
  5. the adventurers were captured and were on the verge of being sacrificed
  6. the group of three together escaped the temple with the sacred artifact
  7. the evil ruler pursued them, but they miraculously got away and survived
  8. they returned the sacred artifact to its rightful home and returned home themselves

…would you say that you know the story? The author? Are you sure?

If you seek answers, you’ll find them below the fold

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Erastus as Timothy’s Lover? A Possibly Positive Homoerotic Allusion in Acts 19.22 in Light of the Orestes-Pylades Mythological Paradigm of Friendship

A quick follow-up to the previous post. As part of our forthcoming article in Harvard Theological Review, there is a footnote (p26n68 in the Green Open Access archived version) that should be surfaced and not buried.

The Greek word ἐραστής means “lover,” “admirer,” or “adherent.” See LSJ s.v. ἐραστής. In antiquity, the love between Orestes and Pylades was commonly seen as more than platonic friendship. See, e.g., Lucian, Erotes 47 and Augustine, Confessions 4.6, both quoted in Hall, Adventures with Iphigenia, 107–108. Given the etymology of the name and its intertextual indebtedness, Erastus and his pairing with Timothy may suggest an homoerotic interpretation. Regarding the paradigmatic status of the friendship of Orestes and Pylades, see esp. Lucian, Toxaris.

Harvard Theological Review article forthcoming: Iphigenia-Orestes Myths Retold in the Canonical Acts of the Apostles [updated 2021-04-16]

A forthcoming article by me and Anna Lefteratou in Harvard Theological Review explores how the Ephesian Riots in Acts 19 are thoroughly modeled after Euripides’ Iphigenia in Tauris in matters of vocabulary, plot, themes, characterization, dramatic sequencing, and speech acts.

Update 2021-04-16. Got confirmation of final acceptance today! Screenshot below. Additionally, Anna and I recently heard that the article will be cited in a major forthcoming commentary on Iphigenia in Tauris as part of the section on the reception of the play. Green OA archiving makes a difference! As per usual, in the publishing negotiation process I’m trying my best to advocate for the version of record being made fully open access without the payment of an APC. Since HTR is a hybrid OA journal and the authors’ institutions already pay Cambridge University Press a lot in subscriptions, this is an eminently reasonable ask. I’ll report back on their decision once I hear.

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Good Friday sermon translations forthcoming with Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press

Happy today to share that SVS Press has entered into a contract with me to translate and introduce a wide variety of late antique Good Friday sermons focused on the so-called good thief or penitent bandit. Most of the introductions and translations are already completed, since I made this close analysis and careful translation work part of the research for my UVA dissertation on the reception history of Luke 23.39-43. If I understand correctly, the book will be released as part of the Popular Patristics series, which has a really strong brand and print distribution. I’m hopeful it will be a quick publication process, an excellent addition to the series, a helpful resource for patristics scholars, and a source of inspiration for many Good Friday homilies yet to be preached. Thank you to Sarah Werner and Fr Ignatius Green for facilitating the process. Thank you also to Matt Jenson for encouraging me to submit a proposal to SVS Press.

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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The First Gospel (LODLIB v1.36 release notes)

This week’s edition puts us at 685 pages and almost 288,000 words. Notable highlights:

  • Signals reconstruction and tagging completed for a large chunk of Lk1/GMarc chapter 12, as well as more minor corrections made throughout other chapters
  • Dozens of new entries to the Data Dictionary, adding further clarification and disambiguation of the Qn, Lk1, and Lk2 vocal strata
  • Hundreds of “clear” vocal signal tags assigned across any and all strata throughout the entire reconstruction in anticipation of the future compilation of NLP training datasets for each vocal stratum
  • New restorations made to unattested earlier chapters (e.g., QnLk1 7.31-32) in light of the above
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