- As a new member here, I am interested, please, in the extent to which a recent
statistical analysis I have just perused on line may now be superseded by more
recent scholarship. This analysis
appears to provide a statistical pattern in word combinations that may point to
the validity of the Three-Source Theory. Although the preparer of this analysis
also tends toward one supposition in particular that is not entirely necessary
to account for the statistical pattern he describes (the supposition that the
common sayings tradition Matt./Luk. stems from a source slightly later than Mark
rather than contemporaneous with Mark or earlier), the basics of the
Three-Source Theory are still (apparently) borne out by the pattern duly
I am wondering, please, if current scholarship might put this kind of
statistical analysis in some serious question, or if it seems like valid work.
Does it seem possible that the statistical conclusions here are valid and that
the possible connections traced, through these statistics, between discrete word
patterns in the common sayings tradition and more exclusively Matthean material
are plausible? Thank you.
Also, is there any current work being done, please, on the (apparent?)
connections between exclusively Matthean material and common-sayings material?
Or have such perceived connections been subjected to serious question-marks?
I have no brief, myself, for the Three-Source Theory. But I suppose that if I
have any bias at all, it is toward concrete analyses, such as statistical data
and rigorous philological analysis, over and above more impressionistic or
strictly content-related theorizing. Philology and idiosyncratic word style
simply bulk larger in my view. (To an extent, I sense that may be true of the
posters on this board as well.)
With thanks for your attention,
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Geoffrey Riggs asks about Dave Gentile's
work on Synoptic agreement data.
For those who may not have looked closely at
Dave Gentile's work it is based on analysis
of the data contained in the HHB
(= Hoffmann, Hieke, & Bauer)
Synoptic Concordance which divides the evidence into
19 categories showing varying patterns of agreement
from full triple agreement to material found in
one gospel only, and differentiating full and
DG analyses 807 of the most frequent words (HHB
doesn't give data for some very frequent words
though). His analysis produces end results which
show which of the 19 types of material correlate
closely with which other ones.
His conclusion runs as follows:
>A cross check on his correlations using an
> So, in conclusion, based on this study and other more traditional
> forms of evidence, not presented here, I believe the 3SH, or some
> variation of it is most likely the correct solution. The study also
> provides almost as much support for the FH, and I do not believe the
> 2SH can be eliminated by this study.
entirely different method suggests they are
well founded. However some caution
needs to be noted a) some of the 19 categories are very
large and some very small b) this makes it difficult to
partition the data to check within-group consistency
c) HHB omits details of the words of highest frequency
d) some allowance needs to be made for differences due
to genre and HHB does not encode for this. Despite
these words of caution I think this study makes very
good use of the data from HHB and I don't know of
anything else which does it better. Can anyone else
point to a comparable study based on HHB ?
David Mealand, University of Edinburgh
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