Scholarly Doubt about Q/First Gospel Contents is the Best Predictor of GMarc Attestation (LODLIB v2.03)

Lot’s of progress made in today’s upload. We’d specifically like to call attention to an expansion to our statistical proofs, especially in conversation with Daniel Smith’s 2019 chapter in BZNW 235 focusing on a statistical analysis of GMarc. In the interest of facilitating access for readers, we present the bulk of the content found on the page in our LODLIB that details our finding, building on Smith’s verse counts but nuancing them and challenging his starting goal (“On Not Dispensing with Any of Q”) and ultimate conclusions.

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Smith Verse Count: GMarc Attested as a Percentage of Lk2

Tradition TypeGMarc Verses AttestedLk2 VersesGMarc Attested / Lk2
Single13549827.1%
Double/Q12823155.4%
Markan/Triple21642251.2%
Total479115141.6%

Even without questioning or changing any of the traditional contents considered secure for Q, according to Smith’s verse count approach, Q verses are the best attested of any tradition type. That is a highly significant finding on its own.

But what happens if we adjust our method to account separately for the 83 verses considered but doubted or rejected within CEQ? … [more below the fold]

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Klinghardt and Nicolotti Word Counts Complete in First Gospel LODLIB v1.47

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.

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BeDuhn and Roth Word Counts Complete in First Gospel LODLIB v1.46

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

TraditionLk2%H%R%M%BD%
Single31.8%17.2%17.3%17.8%17.9%
Double20.4%27.3%26.9%26.1%28.2%
Triple42.9%52.4%52.7%52.1%50.7%
Other4.8%3.1%3.1%4.0%3.2%
Total100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%100.0%

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.

GMarc Editions Compared and TEI XML Sample Released in First Gospel LODLIB v1.45

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.

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First Gospel LODLIB v1.44 release notes

Today’s upload contains updates to several sections, particularly to the Statistically Significant Signature Features, Comparative Restoration, and Data Dictionary. We are increasingly including cross-references to the respective works of BeDuhn, Klinghardt, Gramaglia, and Nicolotti in our footnotes in the Comparative Restoration. We have also been spreading out the content in that section so that, whenever possible, there is one page for each verse in GMarc/Lk1. We hope that this offers a better reading experience and avoids having an overabundance of main text and footnotes on any given page. Outside of this book yet in relation to it, we are also continuing to build a lemmatized and morphologically tagged version of Klinghardt’s edition of GMarc as part of our rigorous analysis and forthcoming review of his work for the journal Vigiliae Christianae.

First and Third Gospel Discovery: Christmas Edition (v1.32)

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

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