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.
Today’s upload has several columns completed in the internal Data Dictionary (DD 1.6), a quantitative tabular comparison of major editions of Marcion’s Gospel. Several new concluding tabular calculations are also now included.
Several major quantitative findings deserve comment:
BeDuhn’s 2013 edition, while in English, stakes out a moderate position in its scope and reconstructions, especially when compared with the appearance of several new maximalist editions
Roth’s 2015 edition is highly similar to Harnack’s minimalist reconstruction
Klinghardt’s 2015/2020/2021 edition is by far the most extensive attempt to restore Marcion’s Gospel, owing significantly to his confidence in Codex Bezae as a consistent and reliable witness to its text
Nicolotti’s 2019 edition is certainly influenced by Klinghardt’s, but pulls back significantly from its reconstruction, both in the total number of passages restored and the extent of the word count restored within those passages
These quantitative findings will feature in two forthcoming reviews, one with Vigiliae Christianae focused on Klinghardt’s edition and a second, more encompassing review for another journal.
For this post, we highlight one table that illustrates the above conclusions. It consists of a compilation of the passages in each edition of Marcion’s Gospel that exceed the total number of words in the respective parallel passages in the canonical Gospel of Luke.
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.
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.
Our first edition of the new year puts us over 610 pages and over 265,000 words. The big addition for this version is a twofold digital edition of Harnack’s reconstruction of the Gospel of Marcion in our in-book Dataset and Code Repository. The first is untagged Greek text for human readers and the second is lemmatized with full morphological tagging for deep Computational Linguistics analysis. We welcome and encourage other scholars to use this dataset to evaluate our hypotheses and come to your own conclusions about whether the Gospel of Marcion is in fact the third gospel stratum, composed partly of early Mark and mostly of the first Gospel (Qn).
This evening’s edition brings us to 580 pages of detailed and ever-growing evidence proving my five hypotheses to uncover and reconstruct the first and third gospel strata. Besides reorganizing the table of contents and chapter order to be cleaner, we’ve added lots of new content:
an in-book Dataset and Code Repository section, which debuts here with a digital edition of Harnack’s critical reconstruction of Marcion’s Gospel
lots of footnotes on the history of scholarship of Marcion’s Gospel
a new section, “Half of a Love Letter to Advocates of the Marcionite Hypothesis”
a new excursus calling for a new Quest for the Historical Marcion and critiquing the failure of scholars to set Marcion squarely and thoroughly within his Roman historical setting, almost entirely ignoring the major role that Pliny the Younger (the first Roman official on record to execute Christians) probably played in Marcion’s life and thinking as his local governor in Pontus