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Synoptic gospel comparison in colour

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  • Ronald Price
    The site indicated below contains a colour-coded comparison of the three synoptic gospels. Each instance of a word is represented by a pixel and its colour
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 9, 2010
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      The site indicated below contains a colour-coded comparison of the three
      synoptic gospels. Each instance of a word is represented by a pixel and its
      colour shows which gospel(s) include it. Mark is depicted as green, Matthew
      as red and Luke as blue, with combinations as of primary colours except that
      triple tradition words are black instead of the more logical white.

      All sorts of interesting characteristics can be seen in the three small
      rectangles, each of which represents a gospel.

      Most obvious is the number of word instances unique to each gospel, with
      Luke having the most, and Mark the least. Then there is the so-called Œgreat
      omission¹ from Mark, which shows itself in the Markan rectangle as a patch
      having no cyan and no black. Also if you look closely you will see the word
      similarities of the minor agreements, shown as tiny magenta dots in the
      predominantly black (triple tradition) parts of the Lukan rectangle.

      http://ntmath.blogspot.com

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • E Bruce Brooks
      Ron, To what extent does this chart duplicate the data in the old Farmer Synopsis? Bruce E Bruce Brooks Warring States Project University of Massachusetts at
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 9, 2010
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        Ron,

        To what extent does this chart duplicate the data in the old Farmer
        Synopsis?

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • Ronald Price
        ... Synopsis? Bruce, I have no idea, as I¹ve never set eyes on the Farmer Synopsis. Ron Price Derbyshire, UK [Non-text portions of this message have been
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 9, 2010
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          Bruce Brooks wrote:

          > To what extent does this chart duplicate the data in the old Farmer
          Synopsis?

          Bruce,

          I have no idea, as I¹ve never set eyes on the Farmer Synopsis.

          Ron Price

          Derbyshire, UK



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David Mealand
          Many thanks and congratulations to the semi-anonymous creator of the map. Having done some stats on the Synoptics I know just how huge an amount of time it
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 9, 2010
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            Many thanks and congratulations to the semi-anonymous
            creator of the map. Having done some stats on the Synoptics
            I know just how huge an amount of time it can take to
            do this sort of thing.

            The general effect is very interesting and illuminating
            despite my first instinct which was to think that
            it is hard to substitute for what I had to
            do in my first week on NT study which was to buy a
            Greek synopsis and a set of coloured pencils and not
            come back to see my tutor the next week till it had been
            coloured in - each word or part word at a time. I probably
            learned more from that than from any other single item
            on the Synoptics, as it forces one to see just exactly what
            the differences are right down to inflected or conjugated
            form changes, or the switch of simple to compound verb.

            Some observations on the Synoptic Colour Map:
            1. The pixels=words show up better if the chart is cut and
            pasted into a programme such as Irfan and given a hefty
            enlargement.

            2. The map doesn't line up by matching content, and that
            would be very difficult, as most synopses have duplicate
            entries and dodge to and fro. It might help a bit to
            "stretch" Mark to a similar length to Mat & Lk so that like is
            a little more likely to be alongside like. Also (while emulating
            Procrustes) maybe a compensating move would make Mark
            thinner. These would only partially reduce this problem.

            3. Another thought for anyone doing a mark 2 version
            of the project would be to allow colour switches so that (e.g.)
            one could see in Mat and Lk the triple material in the same
            colour as the double shared with Mark. Then similar
            switches would visualize how different Synoptic theories
            "see" the evidence, and allow the viewer to compare different
            theories in this format.

            4. One way to cope with similar material in different
            places would be to have some arrows in extra columns
            between the existing three. Probably a separate
            display for different locations comparing Mat directly
            with Lk would then be needed as well.

            These are not suggestions which could be done
            easily or quickly, but the colour map does look as though it
            might have interesting longer term potential for development.
            Another thought would be running counts of the quantities
            of agreement in a parallel column.

            David M.


            ---------
            David Mealand, University of Edinburgh




            --------

            --
            The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
            Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
          • David Mealand
            Bruce asks how the display compares with Farmer s Synopsis. Unless that was used directly it is unlikely as people differ so much on what is identical. I
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 9, 2010
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              Bruce asks how the display compares
              with Farmer's Synopsis. Unless
              that was used directly it is unlikely
              as people differ so much on what is
              identical.

              I tried to capture the first 16 pixels
              =words of Mark which go something like
              GbbGGCCGCbbbbbGG (where b=black)
              and am slightly puzzled at not being
              able to match up the words.

              Of course there are very serious problems
              over what is, or is not, identical between
              texts as the discussion in Poirier's 2008
              article (CBR 7.1, 84-86) makes very clear
              in what is said there about how one
              decides if a set of words is Form und Folge
              identisch. Identity of form is one thing,
              sequence quite another.

              But it would be nice to have a sample of text
              and the pixel equivalent matched up, and this
              has eluded me so far.

              David M.




              ---------
              David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


              --
              The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
              Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
            • David Mealand
              The pixels should match the words. Luke weighs in at around 19482 words, and the Luke column of the Synoptic map shows 195 rows of 100 pixels each. So far so
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 10, 2010
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                The pixels should match the words. Luke weighs in
                at around 19482 words, and the Luke column of the
                Synoptic map shows 195 rows of 100 pixels each.
                So far so good. Extracting the last two lines
                should have the last 182 words of Luke plus 18
                blank pixels. Most of these are deep blue which
                is fine. But there are several blobs of cyan
                (Luke=Mark) in the last 45-50 words of Luke.
                e.g. something like CBBCBBCC at the very end.

                Does anyone have a Synopsis to hand whether
                by Farmer or whoever which matches this?

                David M.



                ---------
                David Mealand, University of Edinburgh


                --
                The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
              • Joseph Weaks
                The chart is a great idea. I have made great and frequent use of Barr s Synoptic Diagram poster, which is the analogue version of this, in some respects.
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 10, 2010
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                  The chart is a great idea. I have made great and frequent use of Barr's Synoptic
                  Diagram poster, which is the analogue version of this, in some respects.
                  However, we need more details from the creator. Post the entire process and
                  code. Without it, the result must be suspect.

                  Joe Weaks

                  Dr. Joseph A. Weaks
                  Raytown Christian Church
                  The Macintosh Biblioblog
                  http://macbiblioblog.blogspot.com
                • David Inglis
                  Barr s very useful diagram is available online as a PDF here http://www.revneal.org/Resources/biblestudyimagefiles/Synoptic%20Diagram%20P oster.pdf David
                  Message 8 of 12 , Nov 10, 2010
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                    Barr's very useful diagram is available online as a PDF here
                    http://www.revneal.org/Resources/biblestudyimagefiles/Synoptic%20Diagram%20P
                    oster.pdf



                    David Inglis

                    Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



                    From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                    Of Joseph Weaks
                    Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 7:51 AM
                    To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [Synoptic-L] Re: Synoptic gospel comparison in colour

                    The chart is a great idea. I have made great and frequent use of Barr's
                    Synoptic
                    Diagram poster, which is the analogue version of this, in some respects.
                    However, we need more details from the creator. Post the entire process and
                    code. Without it, the result must be suspect.

                    Joe Weaks

                    Dr. Joseph A. Weaks
                    Raytown Christian Church
                    The Macintosh Biblioblog
                    http://macbiblioblog.blogspot.com



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Mark Goodacre
                    ... Thanks for posting this, David.  It s useful to have it online.  I must admit that I have never really got on with Allan Barr s diagram. I was often told
                    Message 9 of 12 , Nov 12, 2010
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                      On 10 November 2010 13:57, David Inglis <davidinglis2@...> wrote:

                      > Barr's very useful diagram is available online as a PDF here
                      > http://www.revneal.org/Resources/biblestudyimagefiles/Synoptic%20Diagram%20Poster.pdf

                      Thanks for posting this, David.  It's useful to have it online.  I
                      must admit that I have never really got on with Allan Barr's diagram.
                      I was often told in my undergraduate days in Oxford how great the
                      chart was and dons would bring it along to class to show us.  I bought
                      my own copy when it was re-issued and put it up on the wall of my
                      office for several years where the colours then faded and made it
                      unusable.  I have never quite been able to put my finger on what it is
                      that I don't like about it.  I think it may be in part to do with the
                      multiple lines and cfs. that screech around in such a way as to make
                      the problem feel more complicated than it is.  It may also have
                      something to do with the old-fashioned type-face, which I don't find
                      congenial.

                      But I think that more than anything, it is to do with the choice of
                      colours.  I have never been able to understand why others don't seem
                      to find primary colours intuitive in the colouring of the Synopsis,
                      and Barr's choices are to me counter-intuitive.  And there is one
                      major simplification of the data in his chart that seriously limits
                      its usefulness -- "Passages common to St. Mark and one or both of the
                      Other Gospels" are coloured in that pinky sort of colour.  This shades
                      over something really important -- Matthew // Mark but not Luke and
                      Mark // Luke but not Matthew. Lots of scholars, perhaps influenced by
                      Barr's chart, or by the thinking that goes into the chart, just call
                      this stuff "triple tradition", which is simply mis-description of the
                      data.  When I wrote my Way Through the Maze and surveyed the data in
                      Chapter 2, I was stuck as to what to call this material.  We tend just
                      to push it into "triple tradition", and I am not sure that that is the
                      right thing to do.

                      Does anyone else have qualms about the Barr diagram, or am I touching
                      the Ark of the Covenant?

                      Best wishes
                      Mark

                      --
                      Mark Goodacre
                      Duke University
                      Department of Religion
                      Gray Building / Box 90964
                      Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
                      Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

                      http://www.markgoodacre.org
                    • David Inglis
                      Mark Goodacre wrote: Does anyone else have qualms about the Barr diagram, or am I touching the Ark of the Covenant? Well, yes, and (perhaps) yes. I like the
                      Message 10 of 12 , Nov 12, 2010
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                        Mark Goodacre wrote: "Does anyone else have qualms about the Barr diagram,
                        or am I touching the Ark of the Covenant?"

                        Well, yes, and (perhaps) yes. I like the diagram because it makes it easier
                        (for me) to visualize Luke's structure in particular. At least, I find this
                        much easier than a pure text representation that states what the parallels
                        are. However, it doesn't do justice to Mark, because the only 'high level'
                        thing I get from the diagram is what portions of Mark do not appear in
                        either Matthew or Luke (Green). For me the black bars to the right of the
                        Mark column get lost. Basically, Barr is using the pink color and the black
                        bars to represent 3 different types of passage:

                        . Mark in common with both Matthew and Luke

                        . Mark in common with Matthew only

                        . Mark in common with Luke only

                        Because Barr only uses 2 indicators he loses information. Also, why not use
                        a different color instead of the black bars? Because he misses out a color,
                        AND he mixes up the visual representation (color vs. bars) it makes it much
                        harder (IMHO) to see what's going on. Finally, I suspect that if the outer
                        two columns were Mark, with Matthew and Luke between them (e.g. remove the
                        left column, and add another Mark column on the right), it might be easier
                        to see the relationships. Anyone (not me!) feel like giving it a try?



                        David Inglis

                        Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



                        From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                        Of Mark Goodacre
                        Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 7:35 AM
                        To: Synoptic
                        Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Synoptic gospel comparison in colour





                        On 10 November 2010 13:57, David Inglis <davidinglis2@...
                        <mailto:davidinglis2%40comcast.net> > wrote:

                        > Barr's very useful diagram is available online as a PDF here
                        >
                        http://www.revneal.org/Resources/biblestudyimagefiles/Synoptic%20Diagram%20P
                        oster.pdf

                        Thanks for posting this, David. It's useful to have it online. I
                        must admit that I have never really got on with Allan Barr's diagram.
                        I was often told in my undergraduate days in Oxford how great the
                        chart was and dons would bring it along to class to show us. I bought
                        my own copy when it was re-issued and put it up on the wall of my
                        office for several years where the colours then faded and made it
                        unusable. I have never quite been able to put my finger on what it is
                        that I don't like about it. I think it may be in part to do with the
                        multiple lines and cfs. that screech around in such a way as to make
                        the problem feel more complicated than it is. It may also have
                        something to do with the old-fashioned type-face, which I don't find
                        congenial.

                        But I think that more than anything, it is to do with the choice of
                        colours. I have never been able to understand why others don't seem
                        to find primary colours intuitive in the colouring of the Synopsis,
                        and Barr's choices are to me counter-intuitive. And there is one
                        major simplification of the data in his chart that seriously limits
                        its usefulness -- "Passages common to St. Mark and one or both of the
                        Other Gospels" are coloured in that pinky sort of colour. This shades
                        over something really important -- Matthew // Mark but not Luke and
                        Mark // Luke but not Matthew. Lots of scholars, perhaps influenced by
                        Barr's chart, or by the thinking that goes into the chart, just call
                        this stuff "triple tradition", which is simply mis-description of the
                        data. When I wrote my Way Through the Maze and surveyed the data in
                        Chapter 2, I was stuck as to what to call this material. We tend just
                        to push it into "triple tradition", and I am not sure that that is the
                        right thing to do.

                        Does anyone else have qualms about the Barr diagram, or am I touching
                        the Ark of the Covenant?

                        Best wishes
                        Mark

                        --
                        Mark Goodacre
                        Duke University
                        Department of Religion
                        Gray Building / Box 90964
                        Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
                        Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

                        http://www.markgoodacre.org





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • David Mealand
                        With regard to colours surely yes, separate colours are needed for the triple tradition (proper) and for each of the three double traditions. What appeals
                        Message 11 of 12 , Nov 14, 2010
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                          With regard to colours surely yes,
                          separate colours are needed for
                          the triple tradition (proper)
                          and for each of the three double
                          traditions. What appeals about
                          a computer display is that one _also_
                          wishes to see the totality of the
                          shared material between each pair
                          of Synoptists on some occasions.
                          That could be done by switching the
                          colour scheme to show all common
                          Mat//Mk, or Mark//Luke, or Mat//Luke
                          shared material in one colour either
                          by switching one display, or by having
                          alternative displays shown successively.

                          However before one can even dream of this,
                          some clarification is needed of the
                          existing online colour comparison scheme.
                          Are words assigned to the relevant colour
                          for one of the double traditions (or the triple)
                          if a) same word and inflection and sequence
                          or b) only two of these or c) only one of these?
                          Sequence is probably the most problematic
                          of these categories to implement.
                          But I can't yet make out which of a or b or c
                          has been chosen.

                          David M.



                          ---------
                          David Mealand, University of Edinburgh





                          ---

                          --
                          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                        • Karel Hanhart
                          I wonder if the excellent diagram could be posted on the internet. I for one would nuch appreciate it cordially, Karel ... From: Mark Goodacre To: Synoptic
                          Message 12 of 12 , Nov 16, 2010
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                            I wonder if the excellent diagram could be posted on the internet.
                            I for one would nuch appreciate it

                            cordially,

                            Karel
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Mark Goodacre
                            To: Synoptic
                            Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 4:35 PM
                            Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: Synoptic gospel comparison in colour



                            On 10 November 2010 13:57, David Inglis <davidinglis2@...> wrote:

                            > Barr's very useful diagram is available online as a PDF here
                            > http://www.revneal.org/Resources/biblestudyimagefiles/Synoptic%20Diagram%20Poster.pdf

                            Thanks for posting this, David. It's useful to have it online. I
                            must admit that I have never really got on with Allan Barr's diagram.
                            I was often told in my undergraduate days in Oxford how great the
                            chart was and dons would bring it along to class to show us. I bought
                            my own copy when it was re-issued and put it up on the wall of my
                            office for several years where the colours then faded and made it
                            unusable. I have never quite been able to put my finger on what it is
                            that I don't like about it. I think it may be in part to do with the
                            multiple lines and cfs. that screech around in such a way as to make
                            the problem feel more complicated than it is. It may also have
                            something to do with the old-fashioned type-face, which I don't find
                            congenial.

                            But I think that more than anything, it is to do with the choice of
                            colours. I have never been able to understand why others don't seem
                            to find primary colours intuitive in the colouring of the Synopsis,
                            and Barr's choices are to me counter-intuitive. And there is one
                            major simplification of the data in his chart that seriously limits
                            its usefulness -- "Passages common to St. Mark and one or both of the
                            Other Gospels" are coloured in that pinky sort of colour. This shades
                            over something really important -- Matthew // Mark but not Luke and
                            Mark // Luke but not Matthew. Lots of scholars, perhaps influenced by
                            Barr's chart, or by the thinking that goes into the chart, just call
                            this stuff "triple tradition", which is simply mis-description of the
                            data. When I wrote my Way Through the Maze and surveyed the data in
                            Chapter 2, I was stuck as to what to call this material. We tend just
                            to push it into "triple tradition", and I am not sure that that is the
                            right thing to do.

                            Does anyone else have qualms about the Barr diagram, or am I touching
                            the Ark of the Covenant?

                            Best wishes
                            Mark

                            --
                            Mark Goodacre
                            Duke University
                            Department of Religion
                            Gray Building / Box 90964
                            Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
                            Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

                            http://www.markgoodacre.org




                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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