## Counting Mark (2)

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• To: Synoptic On: Counting Mark (2) From: Bruce I don t seem to be seeing a lot of response to my suggestion to count length of the pericopes in Mark via the
Message 1 of 2 , Aug 3, 2011
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To: Synoptic
On: Counting Mark (2)
From: Bruce

I don't seem to be seeing a lot of response to my suggestion to count length
of the pericopes in Mark via the UBS3 Greek text, which, for all its
shortcomings for this purpose, seems to be a little less arbitrary than
methods previously suggested.

It is only five hours to dawn, which is the natural deadline to get these
results in (there are a lot of other tasks awaiting NT attention). To push
things along a little, I will take on a second chapter of Mark. Here are the
results. Pericope numbers are consecutive with those in Mk1.

10 (2:1-12) The Healing of a Paralytic. 23.75
11 (2:13-17) The Calling of Levi. 13.3
12 (2:18-22) The Question About Fasting. 14.75
13 (2:23-28) Plucking Grain on the Sabbath. 12.5

For graphing purposes, these numbers in arithmetical order are:

12.5, 13.3, 14.75, 23.75

The picture, considered by itself, again does not suggest a normal
distribution. It again suggests a cluster on the left and extreme values on
the right. The general trend of Mk2 is somewhat as though Mk1 were shifted
to the right about 9 points. (The distance between the extreme low and high
values is close for these chapters, 12.35 for Mk 1 and 11.25 for Mk2). If we
combine in one line the 13 values so far reported, we still do not get a
pattern suggesting normality, though we maybe get a little closer to it.
Whether this is emergent normality or the Central Limit Theorem taking over,
presumably time will tell. Preferably time between now and dawn.

Anybody for Mk3? Only five pericopes; another pushover.

E Bruce Brooks
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
• ... Thanks, Bruce, for these counts from Mark 2 & more from 3. I was about to send off the results for Mark 1-2, but then Bruce s results for Mark 3 arrived,
Message 2 of 2 , Aug 3, 2011
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At 09:37 PM 8/3/2011, E Bruce Brooks wrote:
>To: Synoptic
>On: Counting Mark (2)
>From: Bruce
>
>I don't seem to be seeing a lot of response to my suggestion to count length
>of the pericopes in Mark via the UBS3 Greek text, which, for all its
>shortcomings for this purpose, seems to be a little less arbitrary than
>methods previously suggested.
>
>It is only five hours to dawn, which is the natural deadline to get these
>results in (there are a lot of other tasks awaiting NT attention). To push
>things along a little, I will take on a second chapter of Mark. Here are the
>results. Pericope numbers are consecutive with those in Mk1.
>
>10 (2:1-12) The Healing of a Paralytic. 23.75
>11 (2:13-17) The Calling of Levi. 13.3
>12 (2:18-22) The Question About Fasting. 14.75
>13 (2:23-28) Plucking Grain on the Sabbath. 12.5

Thanks, Bruce, for these counts from Mark 2 & more from 3.
I was about to send off the results for Mark 1-2, but then Bruce's
results for Mark 3 arrived, so I'll incorporate the results from Mark 3, too.

>For graphing purposes, these numbers in arithmetical order are:
>
>12.5, 13.3, 14.75, 23.75...

For Mark 1-3 combined, we now have, by your counts,

3.25, 4.2, 6.2, 7.6, 8.9, 10.4, 11.5, 12, 12.2, 12.3,12.4, 12.5,
13.3, 14.75, 15.4, 15.6, 20.7, 23.75

The 2.8 gap between 7.6 and 10.4 is filling in, and the gap between
12.4 and 15.4 is filled in. But there are new large gaps above 15.6.
For the time being, I'll group the two top values together, even
though there's a gap of more than 3.0 between them. Except at the
high end, the gaps are smaller, and are being pushed to the margins.
At the small end, there is a gap of 2 between 4.2 and 6.2. So, to
review, we have
Short: 3.25, 4.2 (2 pericopes)
Medium: 6.2, 7.6, 8.9, 10.4, 11.5, 12, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 13.3,
14.75,15.4, 15.6 (14 pericopes)
Long: 20.7, 23.75 (2 pericopes)

We now see a median between 12.2 and 12.3, which is close to the
middle of the Medium-length pericopes. There are 5 values between 12
and 12.5, so this cluster can be regarded as the Mode. I haven't
calculated the mean yet, but it looks like we have a much more normal
distribution, with short and long outliers. But Bruce has already
identified a set of long pericopes that are even longer, so 23.75
will probably not be an outlier after all.

If we could get this translated into number of codex pages per