- 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 - At 09:37 PM 8/3/2011, E Bruce Brooks wrote:
>To: Synoptic

Thanks, Bruce, for these counts from Mark 2 & more from 3.

>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

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:

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

>

>12.5, 13.3, 14.75, 23.75...

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

pericope, that would be helpful.

Thanks,

Bob Schacht

Northern Arizona University

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