Following up on today’s publication in Journal of Open Humanities Data of my data paper and accompanying normalized, lemmatized, morphologized, born-digital, and peer-reviewed version of Harnack’s reconstruction of the Gospel of Marcion (GMarc), in v2.13 of my LODLIB I’ve now released a lemmatized and morphologized dataset of August Hahn’s 1832 reconstruction of GMarc. After many grueling months of work on these Greek texts in parallel, I’ve also completed lemmatizing and morphologizing the reconstructions of GMarc by Zahn, Klinghardt, and Nicolotti. Since the latter two are based on works still under copyright, we will start conversations to see how best to publish these and would like to take this opportunity to invite Klinghardt and Nicolotti publicly to join as collaborators on these datasets. The Zahn dataset will appear in next week’s LODLIB, and I will soon submit both the Hahn and Zahn datasets and accompanying data papers for peer-review and formal publication.
In other related news, Jason BeDuhn and I are in talks about how best to structure next month’s Westar SBL session on Q and the Gospel of Marcion. If any scholars specializing in GMarc and/or Q would like to be respondents in the session, please let me know.
Today’s LODLIB update reflects datatype normalization and quality control checks across all of our GMarc datasets (Hahn, Zahn, Harnack, Tsutsui, BeDuhn, Roth, Klinghardt, Nicolotti). While we have only released the full text of the first three, since their print works are in the public domain, we have made use of all of this normalized data in our new data tabulations (3.7) and data visualizations (3.8). While our own iterative critical edition is still in progress, the counts and graphs for all earlier editions should now remain static, thus we are now comfortable building these data tabulations and visualizations into forthcoming journal articles and book reviews.
In other related news, Jason BeDuhn and I are meeting later today to discuss the Westar SBL session on Q and the Gospel of Marcion. Given our overlapping scholarly work, I’m very much looking forward to the conversation. I also received just today the proofs of my forthcoming data paper for the Journal of Open Humanities Data. It’s always nice to see one’s work as it’s about to go to (digital) press.
Today’s LODLIB update reflects a major quality control check and normalization of our Hahn (1832) dataset of human-readable Greek, as well as minor corrections to some of the calculations in our Cluster Analysis and Statistical Analysis sections. We’re also happy to confirm via David Galston that Westar will be hosting an online/virtual session devoted to Q and the Gospel of Marcion as part of the upcoming Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. If you are interested in planning or participating in that session, please let me or David know! Here’s hoping that venue provides a launching pad for a new kind of Jesus Seminar focused on the scientific restoration and reconstruction of the many historical voices embedded within early canonical and non-canonical gospels. This week we also made a few minor corrections to our Harnack JOHD data paper, which should be published very soon.
This week’s LODLIB spices things up with numerous inspirational/illuminating quotations from Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions strewn throughout Part One of our LODLIB. These quotations inherently convey an outlandish confidence from someone who really thinks to be leading a scientific revolution in the study of the Gospels. Whether our five hypotheses, triangulation theorem, and various other proofs and methods are mostly right or mostly wrong, the field will eventually decide! All I can do is keep writing and moving forward.
This week’s LODLIB contains the author’s accepted version of our data paper and related datasets of Harnack’s 1924 reconstruction of the Gospel of Marcion (GMarc). Heartfelt thanks go to the journal’s editor-in-chief, Barbara McGillivray, to the four anonymous reviewers for their patient and thorough feedback, and to Paul Dilley for advising me to submit this work to JOHD, one of the many excellent Open Access journals hosted by Ubiquity Press. Because of them, both the paper and the datasets are far better than what I initially submitted. Their constructive criticism is ultimately what pushed me to develop consistent data normalization standards, both for the Harnack datasets and all other reconstructions of GMarc. These standards will allow for consistent and meaningful Computational Linguistics analysis. The fruits of this work are already evident in our data tabulations and visualizations in our LODLIB (a freshly released sample below) and will become more evident as we submit additional datasets and related papers for peer-review and formal publication. We’ll be sure to share DOIs for the paper and datasets (https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/5TEA5A) as they are published.
This week’s version continues our work to build out data normalization rules and standards for the academic/scientific study of the Gospel of Marcion. We’ve had another fruitful round of feedback about our Harnack datasets and short data paper for the Journal of Open Humanities Data. If we can get peer-reviewed agreement on the normalization of Harnack’s GMarc data, then normalizing the data of all of the other GMarc reconstructions will be far easier by comparison. In the meantime, in this week’s LODLIB, we have proposed new data normalization rules for the reconstructions of GMarc by Tsutsui (1992), Roth (2015), Klinghardt (2015/2020/2021) and Nicolotti (2019).
One of the great things about the LODLIB format is to visualize data while it is in process of peer-review and correction. The slew of data visualizations I released last week (another sample below) can easily be revised and updated if and when there are legitimate peer-reviewed corrections or consensus emerges about data normalization standards and/or the underlying normalized data. Visualizing data is so crucial to understand their importance and recognize their patterns, yet data are so often noisy, messy, and in fluctuation. Hence our modes of scholarly communication must adapt to accommodate these flexible processes, aiming for greater and greater clarity, fidelity, and scholarly consensus with each round of feedback and continuous improvement.
This week’s version initiates data normalization for the study of the Gospel of Marcion in concert with our freshly revised datasets for the fourth round of review of a short data paper and related datasets we have submitted to the Journal of Open Humanities Data, whose Editor-in-Chief is Barbara McGillivray at the Alan Turing Institute at Cambridge. The peer-review process has been wonderful and indeed transformative in my thinking and methodology.
The normalization of GMarc data (transforming past messy/noisy reconstructions into standardized data) will—mark my words—prove the tipping point in the transformation of the scholarly study of the canonical and non-canonical gospel strata into legitimate Data Science. In concert with our new normalization standards and normalized datasets of public domain reconstructions, we also release a slew of data visualizations illustrating the contents and relationships of all past GMarc reconstruction datasets. These visualizations clearly reinforce our scientific hypotheses and proofs that GMarc was in fact the third gospel stratum, based on two sources (the first gospel stratum, Qn, and an early version of Mark).
The age of hagiographical controlling bias and assumptions in Gospel Studies is over. The age of Gospel Data Science is upon us. Scholars can either get on board or get out of the way, but no matter what you do, you can’t stop this.
This week’s version puts us over 400,000 words. In concert with the peer-review of our Harnack 1924 datasets for the Journal of Open Humanities Data, we have compiled datasets for other closely related, public domain reconstructions of Marcion’s Gospel. Today’s release features Zahn’s 1892 reconstruction, the second major reconstruction in the history of scholarship. Zahn’s edition totals 10571 words, far less than Hahn’s 14400, yet far more than Harnack’s 4207 4338. The disparity between these reconstructions exemplifies how much the results of reconstruction are determined by a priori assumptions and methodologies. We anticipate adding granular word counts by passage and tradition type (single, double, triple) for the editions of Hahn and Zahn in the Data Dictionary (DD 1.6) of next week’s LODLIB update.
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.