Data Dictionary upgrades and integrations in First Gospel v1.31

We’ve now reached 550 pages and 250,000 words, up from 530 pages and 225,000 words in the last version.

We’ve also reclassified the “Linguistic-Syntactical Vocal Strata Profiles” as an embedded Data Dictionary with distinct headings that are now increasingly cross-referenced from footnotes. Hundreds of new entries are included; many of these entries add significant further evidence clarifying the distinct voices (vocal strata) of Qn, Lk1 and Lk2 within Luke.

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Statistical Proofs of GMarc as Early Luke from the Single, Double, and Triple Traditions

Today we release v1.30, containing new statistical proofs related to my discovery of the First Gospel (Qn) as an actual, historical text whose vocal stratum data can be proven and restored using modern data science methods. This goes together with my scientific reconstruction of Marcion’s Gospel as the third gospel stratum. We are now at 530 pages and almost 225,000 words, up from 500 pages and 210,000 words in our last version.

The main set of new proofs is the “Statistical Analysis of GMarc and Single, Double, and Triple Traditions.” By carefully comparing attestations and word counts of these different tradition types in GMarc and Lk2, we show clearly that GMarc has a consistent, systematic lack of single traditions compared to double and especially triple traditions. These patterns are too consistently evident across an inconsistently attested text to be explained logically as the product of Marcion’s editorial work or of random or even deliberate patterns of early orthodox attestation or suppression. The only scientifically sound explanation of the consistent favoring of double and triple traditions to single traditions in GMarc that Lk2 was a revised and expanded version of GMarc. The payoff of this detailed analysis comes in the following tables:

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Linguistic-Syntactical Vocal Strata Profile Section Released in First Gospel v1.29

We’ve now reached 500 pages and 210,000 words, up from 180,000 words in the last version.

The most important update is a new section of tables entitled “Linguistic-Syntactical Vocal Strata Profiles,” a workspace where we compile and partition features by their originating gospel stratum.

Now that the Lk1 and Lk2 vocal strata are starting to gain clarity based on a thorough inspection of passages not present in GMarc, we have started selectively restoring to Lk1 some Qn passages that are not attested in GMarc, most of which were previously considered part of Q.

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Criteria for Evaluating Gospel Strata Sequential Hypotheses

Uploaded v1.28 today. This major update brings the book series draft over 180,000 words, including some significant new content. Most important is the development of a set of twelve complementary criteria to expand and nuance my evolving scientific method for clarifying vocal strata within gospels and putting them in the correct historical sequence.

These twelve criteria are: 1) identifying signatures, 2) expansion/multiplication, 3) rhetorical density, 4) conceptual density, 5) transitional smoothness, 6) sequence preservation, 7) upward mobility, 8) honor/shame delineation, 9) hybridized intertextuality, 10) element preservation, 11) selective source alternation, 12) occasional weakness.

Along with a description of these twelve criteria, I provide a seven page set of tables showing how they work in practice.

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Luke 1-4 Parallel Sets Completed

Uploaded v1.26 this morning. This major update brings the book series draft up to nearly 450 pages and 160,000 words, including some significant new content:

  • Worked carefully through the infancy and childhood narratives, the genealogy, the introduction of John the baptizer, the baptism of Jesus, and the temptation to show that none of this content was present in the First Gospel (Qn) and Third Gospel (GMarc), but all quite clearly created by the Late Luke redactor, LkR2 (working 117-138 CE).
  • Started to develop a new proof of my hypotheses based on mapping the respective travels that Joshua/Jesus takes in each textual stratum. In Qn, Jesus makes a single trip from Nazareth to Jerusalem. In GMarc/Lk1, Jesus wanders around a few extra spots in Galilee before making the Qn single major journey. But in Lk2, Jesus, his parents, and his followers all make numerous back and forth trips between Galilee and Judea/Jerusalem.
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First and Third Gospel Reconstructions complete through chp. 11

Uploaded v1.24 today, another major update:

  • Draft reconstructions and translations for the First Gospel (Qn) and the Third Gospel (Early Luke / Gospel of Marcion) are now complete through chapter 11
  • Shifted to SBL fonts for the entire document
  • A more nuanced indication system is now in use to show precisely how the reconstructions relate to Roth’s critical edition
    • upgrade – ⸂⸃
    • emendation – ⸄⸅
    • explicit restoration – ⟨⟩
    • improvised restoration – ⟪⟫

Feedback welcomed, especially on the latest materials in chapter 11!

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First and Third Gospel Reconstructions complete through chp. 10

Uploaded v1.23 today, a major update:

  • Now up over 150,000 words (1.22 was around 125,000 words)
  • Draft reconstructions for the First Gospel (Qn) and the Third Gospel (Early Luke / Gospel of Marcion) are now complete through chapter 10
  • Lots of corrections made to earlier chapters as new evidence has continued to come to light
  • The page format in the Signals Reconstruction section is now uniform (tabloid size, landscape layout), facilitating a cleaner reading experience

Feedback welcomed, especially on the latest materials in chapter 10!

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LiveScience features my chapter from More New Testament Apocrypha

The indefatigable Religion meets Science reporter Owen Jarus gave a very generous summary of a chapter I contributed to volume 2 of the MNTA series published by Eerdmans, edited by Tony Burke.

It’s a little known crusader-era tale about San Dimas (Saint Dysmas) being a border guard between Israel and Egypt and his decision to practice civil disobedience to allow a very special group of impoverished refugees (Joseph, Mary, and Jesus) find asylum. While it’s an 800 year old Latin story, for some reason it feels strangely contemporary.

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Many Mostly Right; Some Flatly Wrong

New scientific breakthroughs in scholarship can feel like a game of winners and losers, and it’s never fun to lose. But real scholarship–scholarship based on scientific reality, method, and evidence–is not and can never be a winner take all prize. While the scientific discovery and reconstruction of the First and Third Gospels does completely invalidate some lines of inquiry and schools of thought, it simultaneously provides deep confirmation and reconciliation of many historic and current lines of scholarly inquiry and the rigorous work of scholars in those areas.

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