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RE: [Synoptic-L] Poirier's article in latest JSNT

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  • David Inglis
    Excellent. I’ve never understood how anyone could assume that something as long as a gospel could have been written from start to finish without some form of
    Message 1 of 21 , Jul 31 9:35 AM
      Excellent. I’ve never understood how anyone could assume that something as long as a gospel could have been written from start to finish without some form of ‘notes’ or other intermediate stage, involving smaller pieces of text which are gathered together before the final thing (whether on a roll or a codex) is written.



      David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



      From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark Goodacre
      Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:20 AM
      To: Synoptic-L
      Cc: John C. Poirier
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] Poirier's article in latest JSNT

      Congratulations to John Poirier on the publication today of this excellent article in JSNT:

      John C. Poirier, "The Roll, the Codex, the Wax Tablet and the Synoptic Problem", JSNT 35(1) (2012): 3-30

      Abstract: The Farrer hypothesis, especially as defended by Michael Goulder, has often been faulted for its supposed reliance on an anachronistic and technically impracticable understanding of Luke’s compositional practices. A closer look at the arguments against Farrer and Goulder, however, reveals a number of problems with this charge, including (but not limited to) its dependence on an inadequate
      understanding of how works were actually composed in antiquity. Goulder’s suggestion that Luke worked backwards through Matthew, in particular, has received a certain amount of criticism, but that
      scenario is shown here to be both technically feasible and perfectly in keeping with the way the ancients sometimes worked. Perhaps the greatest problem with the arguments made against the Farrer hypothesis is that they ignore Luke’s likely use of the wax tablet as a compositional aid—a medium that would have allowed Luke to rearrange Matthew’s material as freely as Farrerians suppose.
      --
      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



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mark Goodacre
      ... I know what you mean, but these things vary greatly from author to author, don they? I know scholars who just pound out several thousand words a day and
      Message 2 of 21 , Jul 31 10:55 AM
        On 31 July 2012 12:35, David Inglis <davidinglis2@...> wrote:

        > Excellent. I’ve never understood how anyone could assume that something as
        > long as a gospel could have been written from start to finish without some
        > form of ‘notes’ or other intermediate stage, involving smaller pieces of
        > text which are gathered together before the final thing (whether on a roll
        > or a codex) is written.

        I know what you mean, but these things vary greatly from author to
        author, don' they? I know scholars who just pound out several
        thousand words a day and hardly go back to change them, and others who
        agonize over every word and go through tons of drafts. Or I think of
        Mozart's near perfect scores and Beethoven's messy ones with all sorts
        of crossings-out all over them. If modern writing practice differs so
        greatly, shouldn't we assume by analogy that there would be variation
        between authors in the ancient world too?

        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 Mealand
        Mark wrote--- I know scholars who just pound out several thousand words a day and hardly go back to change them, ... Yes, I remember the story about one
        Message 3 of 21 , Jul 31 1:21 PM
          Mark wrote---
          I know scholars who just pound out several
          thousand words a day and hardly go back to change them,
          ----

          Yes, I remember the story about one scholar who produced
          an amazing output of books. His wife took a call for him one day
          and explained to the caller that he was working on his latest
          tome. That's all right said the caller, I'll just hold on
          till he has finished it.

          David M.


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


          --
          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
        • David Mealand
          I have just downloaded and read through the main argument in John Poirier s article. I like the extended emphasis on the realia of ancient writing techniques,
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 1, 2012
            I have just downloaded and read through the main argument in John
            Poirier's article. I like the extended emphasis on the realia of ancient
            writing techniques, and the examples from the ancient world which
            are cited. I was slightly surprised that, after the lengthy case made out
            for the possibility of Luke having proceeded in reverse order through
            a source scroll, he then fairly briefly states that actually he doesn't think
            that he did do this. But then I thought that in fact I would agree
            with both propositions - Luke could have done it (on the evidence
            provided), but no
            I also don't think that he did do so. The second section on the wax tablets
            also contains many interesting and useful insights. The possible explanation
            for Luke's major omission is fascinating and ingenious, but rather
            speculative. On most issues, however, I find the article contains many
            valuable insights into how ancient writings were produced, and avoids
            hasty or doctrinaire leaps in favour of particular theories about specific
            texts.

            I would strongly recommend others to read the article.

            Perhaps I could offer one passing suggestion which might appeal to
            those who still take the 2ST seriously - the use of wax tablets could
            also have helped Matthew note down bits of Q (and M) to fit into
            appropriate places in his more topically structured text ;-)

            David M.



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


            --
            The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
            Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
          • Mark Goodacre
            Thanks, David. Good points, all. With respect to Matthew s work on Q and M, Derrenbacker has the interesting suggestion that Q may have been in codex form
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 1, 2012
              Thanks, David. Good points, all. With respect to Matthew's work on Q and
              M, Derrenbacker has the interesting suggestion that Q may have been in
              codex form and so easier to bob around in. But I like your suggestion
              about Matthew working with wax tablets for this material -- that would also
              help to explain Matthew's "unscrambling" of Q's excellent order of the
              sayings and his rather wooden, thematic re-ordering. [ ;-) ]

              I agree with you about the slight anti-climax on the reverse-scrolling
              issue. In reading the article for the first time, I had assumed that
              Poirier was going to make the argument not only that it was feasible but
              also that it was what he thinks Luke did. But Goulder's argument for the
              reverse-scrolling is problematic because of the correspondences, not
              because of the process.

              But what I like about Poirier's article is that it stimulates the
              imagination to think about the realia -- agreed.

              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 Inglis
              Having also read the article, although I think it is very good as far as it goes, I am disappointed that it doesn t touch on what I consider a major issue with
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 1, 2012
                Having also read the article, although I think it is very good as far as it goes, I am disappointed that it doesn't
                touch on what I consider a major issue with what we see as Luke. This is the significant (to my mind, at least) evidence
                that the first version was not only shorter (e.g. missing at least chapters 1 and 2), and also had material in a
                different order (e.g. swapping Capernaum and Nazareth). As a result, any discussion of how the author of Luke composed
                it should take account of what the initial version most likely contained, and not what it currently contains. For
                example, if "the NA27 text of Luke's Gospel contains 95,972

                letters, while the text of Acts contains 95,838," then I think it very unlikely that this was true for at least the
                initial version of Luke. Consequently, what we see today may well have been 'massaged' so that Luke and Acts both fitted
                on a scroll of the same length, but I very much doubt that this applied to their initial form.

                David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



                From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark Goodacre
                Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 3:34 PM
                To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Poirier's article in latest JSNT

                Thanks, David. Good points, all. With respect to Matthew's work on Q and M, Derrenbacker has the interesting suggestion
                that Q may have been in codex form and so easier to bob around in. But I like your suggestion about Matthew working with
                wax tablets for this material -- that would also help to explain Matthew's "unscrambling" of Q's excellent order of the
                sayings and his rather wooden, thematic re-ordering. [ ;-) ]

                I agree with you about the slight anti-climax on the reverse-scrolling issue. In reading the article for the first time,
                I had assumed that Poirier was going to make the argument not only that it was feasible but
                also that it was what he thinks Luke did. But Goulder's argument for the reverse-scrolling is problematic because of the
                correspondences, not because of the process.

                But what I like about Poirier's article is that it stimulates the imagination to think about the realia -- agreed.

                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



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • David Mealand
                David Inglis raises an important issue: he wrote ... ...if the NA27 text of Luke s Gospel contains 95,972 letters, while the text of Acts contains 95,838,
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 2, 2012
                  David Inglis raises an important issue: he wrote
                  ----------
                  ...if "the NA27 text of Luke's Gospel contains 95,972
                  letters, while the text of Acts contains 95,838," then
                  I think it very unlikely that this was true for at least
                  the initial version of Luke. Consequently, what we see
                  today may well have been 'massaged' so that Luke and Acts
                  both fitted on a scroll of the same length, but I very
                  much doubt that this applied to their initial form.
                  ------------
                  I had already indicated some caution about the omission being
                  explained by 3 uses of a stack of wax tablets arriving at the
                  first of these totals, and matching the three sections of Luke.
                  This goes deeper. While I am not wholly persuaded that Luke
                  1 & 2 are additions to Luke it is a hypothesis I am willing to
                  entertain (as the philosophers are wont to say) in order to
                  consider the consequences. The latter are intriguing. If
                  Luke 1 & 2 are additions, and if David I's attempts to recover the
                  Luke known to Marcion provide evidence for this, then what is
                  the status, on this view, of the Lukan preface? I would be very
                  interested in David's response to this, as it has implications
                  for other aspects of what became the two volume work that got
                  attributed to "Luke".

                  Hope this isn't too convoluted a question.

                  David M.

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


                  --
                  The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                  Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                • Ronald Price
                  ... David, While I can t claim to be able to fit Marcion s text into the history of the editions of Luke, the clear implication of my page hypothesis is that
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 3, 2012
                    David Mealand wrote:

                    > ..... If Luke 1 & 2 are additions, and if David I's attempts to recover the
                    > Luke known to Marcion provide evidence for this, then what is the status, on
                    > this view, of the Lukan preface?

                    David,

                    While I can't claim to be able to fit Marcion's text into the history of the
                    editions of Luke, the clear implication of my page hypothesis is that the
                    original text of Luke did contain the preface. The original with its truly
                    majestic opening (1:1-4; 3:1-2) was a codex of 60 pages, and this was
                    expanded into a codex of 68 pages corresponding to the extant Luke. This was
                    achieved by the addition of the birth narratives (1:5 - 2:52, 7 pages) and
                    the Parable of the Pounds (19:12-27, 1 page).

                    For what it's worth, I consider the evidence for this text history (seen in
                    the light of a successful application of the page hypothesis to all the
                    other major NT books) to be overwhelming.

                    Ron Price,

                    Derbyshire, UK

                    http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/page_head.html



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • E Bruce Brooks
                    To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron On: Page Theories From: Bruce Ron (responding to David Inglis): While I can t claim to be able to fit Marcion s text into the
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 3, 2012
                      To: Synoptic
                      In Response To: Ron
                      On: Page Theories
                      From: Bruce

                      Ron (responding to David Inglis): While I can't claim to be able to fit
                      Marcion's text into the history of the editions of Luke, the clear
                      implication of my page hypothesis is that the original text of Luke did
                      contain the preface.

                      Bruce: This is a weakness of all page theories: they are vulnerable to
                      evidence for interpolation and extension, which unfortunately all the
                      Gospels except Matthew seem to contain. At any rate, decision between a page
                      theory and another type of theory seems to be possible, which is somewhat
                      interesting.

                      Ron: The original with its truly majestic opening (1:1-4; 3:1-2) was a codex
                      of 60 pages,

                      Bruce: The opening is surely impressive; much moreso than the opening of
                      Matthew, which I have suggested Luke was imitating, and indeed surpassing.

                      Ron: . . . and this was expanded into a codex of 68 pages corresponding to
                      the extant Luke. This was achieved by the addition of the birth narratives
                      (1:5 - 2:52, 7 pages)

                      Bruce: Ron thus incorporates the Birth Narrative into his page theory, which
                      preserves that theory against that challenge. I should think, however, that
                      the prefaces to Luke and Acts were added at the time that Acts I was added
                      to Luke, which as I have earlier suggested there are reasons for thinking
                      was later than Luke A. That is,

                      (1) Luke A (no Birth narrative, no preface)
                      (2) Matthew (contains a skimpy Birth narrative)
                      (2) Luke B adds a whammo Birth narrative plus Acts I, and prefaces both

                      Ron . . . and the Parable of the Pounds (19:12-27, 1 page).

                      Bruce: Ah, the Parable of the Pounds (or Talents). This is not only
                      intrusive in Luke, it is intrusive *from Matthew.* The directionality
                      argument has been ably (indeed, hilariously) set forth by M Goulder, and
                      needs no restatement by me. The upgrading to "ten" servants, which is not
                      maintained through the rest of the story, is enough to make Luke here
                      secondary to Matthew. Further support for the page theory as Ron here
                      outlines it is to be had from the directionality of the Parable of the Feast
                      (Lk 14:16-24 ~ Mt 22:1-14), which for many of the same reasons is original
                      in Luke. That is, it is part of Luke A, as Ron seems to allow. But the
                      implication of this priority of Luke in the Parable of the Feast is that
                      Matthew here is secondary to Luke. I have elsewhere argued that there are
                      many cases of this (the Sermon on the Mount < Plain being only the most
                      extreme). This reverse movement is, I think, fatal to FGH in the form in
                      which M Goulder left it. Since I have been unable to convince M Goulder
                      during his lifetime, or any subsequent proprietor of the theory, to accept
                      this reverse movement as a friendly amendment (so to speak), it becomes
                      instead the basis of a rival account of the material. So be it.

                      Meanwhile, Ron's Luke is vulnerable to any instances other than the two he
                      mentions in which Goulder's account of Luke is correct. I would think that
                      there are many of these, otherwise the general lateness of Luke compared to
                      Matthew in the Trajectory material would be inexplicable.

                      Quite apart from this Matthew question, there are signs of disturbance in
                      Luke that point to later intrusion of material in Luke. For example, What
                      route did Jesus take to Jerusalem? At the beginning there is a suggestion
                      that he took the high road through Samaria, but later in the travel
                      narrative he is evidently in Jewish territory, hence the low road along the
                      Jordan. The Samaria motif in Luke is associated (as is the symbolic Sending
                      of the Seventy, where 70 = 7 = all nations) with the Gentile mission, which
                      seems to have been a late idea in Luke. There is a similar geographical
                      tension at the end: Jesus appears to disciples on the road to Emmaus, which
                      is NW of Jerusalem and implies the high road, but he ascends having led them
                      out to Bethany, which is in the other direction and implies the low road. If
                      we eliminate from Luke (that is, from our picture of Luke A) everything
                      associated with the Gentile Mission, we avoid these little differences, and
                      get a geographically consistent Luke A. Which is encouraging, but at the
                      cost of making the Seventy etc secondary in Luke; author's later
                      improvements not suggested by Matthew.

                      Taking it a step further, the ascension in Luke also contradicts the
                      ascension in Acts, as many (including Fitzmyer ad loc) have noted. Acts I is
                      there precisely to reconcile Gentile and Jewish Christians, so it too (I
                      infer) belongs the the Gentile Mission layer in Luke. After these had been
                      added to Luke A, we have Luke B + Acts I, and a drastically reshaped picture
                      of the history of Christianity.

                      I think the evidences for such adjustments in Luke (including Acts, and I
                      think we must include Acts in our calculations) are strong. But they are
                      consistent neither with the Goulder realization of FGH nor with Ron's page
                      theory. They imply more movement, and in more directions, than either of
                      those proposals envisions.

                      Here, to me, is the direction in which an eventual solution lies.

                      Bruce

                      E Bruce Brooks
                      Warring States Project
                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                    • David Inglis
                      ... this, then what is the status, on this view, of the Lukan preface? *** David I: I repeat here some text from my website on Marcion s gospel [Mcg]: In Adv.
                      Message 10 of 21 , Aug 3, 2012
                        David Mealand wrote:

                        > ..... If Luke 1 & 2 are additions, and if David I's attempts to recover the Luke known to Marcion provide evidence for
                        this, then what is the status, on this view, of the Lukan preface?



                        *** David I: I repeat here some text from my website on Marcion's gospel [Mcg]:



                        In Adv. Marcion, Book IV, Chapter 7, Tertullian reports that Mcg begins:

                        "In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius [3.1a] (for such is Marcion's proposition) he "came down to the Galilean
                        city of Capernaum," [4:31a]"



                        Epiphanius agrees with Tertullian, stating that:



                        "At the very beginning he [Marcion] excised all of Luke's original discussion - his "inasmuch as many have taken in
                        hand" and so forth, and the material about Elizabeth and the angel's annunciation to the Virgin Mary, John and Zacharias
                        and the birth at Bethlehem; the genealogy and the subject of the baptism. All this he took out and turned his back on
                        and made this the beginning of the Gospel, "In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar," [3:1a] and so on.



                        *** So, both major sources agree that Mcg omitted Lk 1 and 2. However, it is (in my opinion) significant that while
                        Epiphanius comments on these omissions, Tertullian does not. As both delight in noting even minor differences between
                        Mcg and Lk, the fact that Tertullian does not mention Marcion's omission suggests to me that his (probably Old Latin)
                        copy of Lk did not contain these chapters either. Continuing:



                        It has been noted by many (including Brown, Fitzmeyer, Streeter, and Tyson) that v. 3:1 would have been a very good
                        beginning for a gospel, lending weight to the view that this was the case at some point in the development of Lk, with
                        the material in chapters 1 and 2 being added later. On this point Volume III of The Encyclopedia Biblica notes:



                        Finally, as in the case of Mt. so also in that of Lk. we must conjecture that the gospel once was without the first two
                        chapters (1:5-2:52). Lk.'s proem (1:1-4) speaks in favour of this presumption . as also do the facts that the Baptist is
                        in 3:2 introduced like a person who has never yet been mentioned, and that Jesus at Nazareth (4:16-30) appeals in his
                        own vindication simply to his possessing the gift of the Holy Spirit; so also the further fact that the Baptist (7:18 f)
                        allows the question to be raised whether Jesus be the Messiah or not, without knowing anything of the complete
                        information which, according to 1:41-45, his mother possessed."



                        *** Despite points such as this, the general opinion is that Marcion is the guilty party here (i.e. that he removed text
                        from Lk). For example:



                        On this point both Tyson and Gregory comment that Knox wrote:



                        "Marcion would surely not have tolerated this highly 'Jewish' section; but how wonderfully adapted it is to show the
                        nature of Christianity as the true Judaism and thus to answer one of the major contentions of the Marcionites! And one
                        cannot overlook the difficulty involved in the common supposition that Marcion deliberately selected a Gospel which
                        began in so false and obnoxious a way."



                        *** There is actually no evidence (that I have seen) to say that Marcion truncated Lk. There is, however, a great deal
                        of adverse opinion based on the fact that Mcg WAS shorter than what we see as Lk, in particular omitting Lk 1 and 2.
                        Marcion did become labeled the "arch heretic," but it appears to me that this could easily be a reaction to Marcion
                        presenting to the church an 'alpha' (with apologies to Bruce) version of Christianity based on an earlier, shorter,
                        version of Lk that omitted Lk 1 and 2, appears to have Capernaum and Nazareth swapped, omits some parables (including
                        the prodigal son), and is generally western, in particular having a shorter version of Lk 24.



                        David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • David Mealand
                        Many thanks to David I for the informative reply, with the specific kind of evidential detail I hoped would be forthcoming. I can t take the issue further
                        Message 11 of 21 , Aug 3, 2012
                          Many thanks to David I for the informative reply,
                          with the specific kind of evidential detail I hoped
                          would be forthcoming. I can't take the issue
                          further just at the moment - going out this evening,
                          but I hope to follow up with some points which
                          relate to Acts as well as to Luke in connection with
                          this.

                          David M.


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


                          --
                          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                        • David Mealand
                          David Inglis provided detailed evidence for the view that the version of Luke known to (and further adapted by) Marcion lacked all of the first two chapters
                          Message 12 of 21 , Aug 4, 2012
                            David Inglis provided detailed evidence for
                            the view that the version of Luke known to
                            (and further adapted by) Marcion lacked all
                            of the first two chapters including the preface.

                            The monograph on Acts by Patricia Walters showed
                            that stylometric evidence points to differences
                            between the style of the seams and summaries in
                            Luke and those in Acts which are significant,
                            often highly significant. This seems to indicate
                            serious problems with the assumption of common
                            authorship.

                            Broad differences of style between Luke and Acts had
                            been noted previously, but the significant differences
                            in passages most likely to be editorial form an
                            important body of fresh evidence. No longer can one
                            rest content with the thought that one would expect
                            some general differences of style given the greater
                            emphasis on the Graeco-Roman context in Acts, or
                            the presence of sources with more Semitic features
                            prior to Luke.

                            Walters' tests are robust. Using different criteria
                            (5 of the most frequent words) and the same method on the
                            same samples also shows significant differences. If
                            the Luke samples and the Acts samples are each partitioned
                            into two sub-samples of seams and summaries then these
                            are internally coherent though externally disparate. A
                            possible line of objection is that some of the Lukan
                            seams contain some words inherited from Mark. If those sections
                            are omitted then Walters results still stand, and the
                            attempted rebuttal fails. Given that these additional
                            tests all corroborate, and in no case cast doubt on the
                            original results, it would seem that the authorship of Acts
                            deserves serious reconsideration.

                            So the further point is to ask whether one should link the
                            contrasting style of seams and summaries in Luke and Acts
                            demonstrated by Walters, with the evidence cited by David Inglis for
                            the late addition of the first two chapters of Luke to that text.
                            But that is something I would hesitate to do without sufficient
                            further evidence to justify a single theory to resolve two
                            puzzles about Luke and Acts which may or may not be related.
                            It is always far easier to spin speculative theories than it
                            is to grind out the hard evidence to give them evidential
                            probability.

                            David M.


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


                            --
                            The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                            Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                          • E Bruce Brooks
                            To: Synoptic On: Certain Stylometric Results From: Bruce David Mealand in a recent post cited certain stylometric results of Patricia Walters, and ended with a
                            Message 13 of 21 , Aug 4, 2012
                              To: Synoptic
                              On: Certain Stylometric Results
                              From: Bruce

                              David Mealand in a recent post cited certain stylometric results of Patricia
                              Walters, and ended with a paragraph including this phrase: " So the further
                              point is to ask whether one should link the contrasting style of seams and
                              summaries in Luke and Acts demonstrated by Walters."

                              In view of the uniformly and knowledgeably negative response which Patricia
                              Walters received at her SBL presentation on Luke-Acts recently, I
                              respectfully doubt whether her conclusions can be accepted forthwith as
                              "demonstrated."

                              Her specific results aside, there is a more general point. As David himself
                              points out elsewhere, stylometric indicators tend to be sensitive for style,
                              but less so for authorship, a matter for which they were not designed. That
                              is exactly my own experience over many years with style tests (in English,
                              Chinese, and more recently and tentatively Greek). What we ask, and what our
                              tools are properly capable of giving us, are often divergent. This readily
                              leads to misapplication and misinterpretation in use. It's perhaps
                              questionable as methodology.

                              Not that we aren't going to try, just to see what happens, but what happens
                              should always be interpreted with appropriate reticence.

                              If anyone ever used a style difference test to explore style differences
                              (preferably within what is otherwise likely to be the work of one author), I
                              suspect that we would immediately begin to see profoundly interesting
                              results - answers to questions we have not so far chosen to ask, but which
                              are there for the asking, any day of any week. All we have to do is use the
                              screwdriver to drive the screw, and not to open the paint can.

                              Warmly recommended,

                              Bruce

                              E Bruce Brooks
                              Warring States Project
                              University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                            • David Mealand
                              Bruce claims I said ... stylometric indicators tend to be sensitive for style, but less so for authorship, a matter for which they were not designed. ... Not
                              Message 14 of 21 , Aug 4, 2012
                                Bruce claims I said
                                ---------
                                stylometric indicators tend to be sensitive for style,
                                but less so for authorship, a matter for which they were
                                not designed.
                                --------

                                Not so. What I said was that stylometric tests tend to
                                note genre differences as more prominent than source or
                                author differences. Tests have to be structured to allow
                                for this.

                                I have no idea what people may have said at SBL.
                                My point is that my tests corroborated Walters' findings,
                                giving support I had not expected to a view towards which
                                I had previously been resistant. I have read some of the
                                reviews of the book and noted that most of the points made
                                in resistance to the critique of Lukan authorship of Acts
                                did not deal with the tests reported, but appealed to matters
                                such as similar themes in both works, a line of argument I
                                find particularly unconvincing but not surprising.

                                David M.


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


                                --
                                The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                                Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                              • David Inglis
                                I would put it this way: Stylometric tests look for patterns in the usages of various words or phrases when comparing two or more pieces of text. Depending on
                                Message 15 of 21 , Aug 4, 2012
                                  I would put it this way: Stylometric tests look for patterns in the usages of various words or phrases when comparing two or more pieces of text. Depending on what words or phrases are used in such a test, we may find patterns that we interpret as being related to genre, style, or authorship. Further, the selection and/or the grouping of the words or phrases used in any such test can affect the patterns seen, as can the particular statistical procedure used. Therefore, I would say that no individual stylometric test can be relied upon, but where several different tests all seem to be showing the same patterns (or lack thereof) of usage of words or phrases then we should be able to, at least, state that the patterns either exist or don’t. Whether this then can be attributed to style, authorship, or something else, is a different question.

                                  If we find that the same patterns do exist, or not (at a significant statistical level), in a number of different tests, and have structured our tests to eliminate (or at least minimize) genre differences, then we have a phenomenon that requires an explanation. The question then becomes whether particular patterns of usage are a reliable indicator of authorship or not, which appears to be the sticking point. However, I think we are on safer ground if we say that the lack of common patterns of usage is a good indicator of different authorship than common patterns of usage are an indicator of common authorship. In other words, I think we can at least eliminate some hypotheses in situations where we don’t find the patterns that the hypotheses predict.

                                  David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA



                                  From: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Synoptic@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Mealand
                                  Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2012 9:24 AM
                                  To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Length of Luke (and Acts)

                                  Bruce claims I said
                                  ---------
                                  stylometric indicators tend to be sensitive for style, but less so for authorship, a matter for which they were not designed.
                                  --------
                                  Not so. What I said was that stylometric tests tend to note genre differences as more prominent than source or author differences. Tests have to be structured to allow for this.

                                  I have no idea what people may have said at SBL. My point is that my tests corroborated Walters' findings, giving support I had not expected to a view towards which I had previously been resistant. I have read some of the reviews of the book and noted that most of the points made in resistance to the critique of Lukan authorship of Acts did not deal with the tests reported, but appealed to matters
                                  such as similar themes in both works, a line of argument I find particularly unconvincing but not surprising.

                                  David M.



                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Patricia Walters
                                  E: In view of the uniformly and knowledgeably negative response which Patricia Walters received at her SBL presentation on Luke-Acts recently, I respectfully
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Aug 4, 2012
                                    E: In view of the uniformly and knowledgeably negative response which
                                    Patricia
                                    Walters received at her SBL presentation on Luke-Acts recently, I
                                    respectfully doubt whether her conclusions can be accepted forthwith as
                                    "demonstrated."

                                    Walters: With all due respect, I cannot let this pass. I would be
                                    interested to know whether you were at my presentation, E. Mikeal Parsons
                                    was not convinced by my research, that is true. But, I count David E. Aune
                                    and Thomas H. Tobin, S.J., and Richard I. Pervo as experts -- and they
                                    were/are convinced. It is a controversial subject, since few have
                                    challenged the assumption of unitary authorship. Be careful of speaking to
                                    research you may not know enough about...

                                    Patricia Walters
                                    Rockford College

                                    --

                                    "To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the
                                    affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and
                                    endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the
                                    best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy
                                    child, a garden patch... to know even one life has breathed easier because
                                    you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
                                    � Ralph Waldo Emerson


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • E Bruce Brooks
                                    Patricia, I was there. The place was packed. There were many objections, not (as might have been expected) from traditionalists offended at a nontraditional
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Aug 4, 2012
                                      Patricia,

                                      I was there. The place was packed. There were many objections, not (as might
                                      have been expected) from traditionalists offended at a nontraditional idea,
                                      but from people seemingly knowledgeable about stylometrics. They questioned,
                                      in detail, both the method used and the validity of the associated
                                      statistical interpretation of significance.

                                      I might add that those wishing Richard Pervo's published opinion of
                                      Patricia's book, who didn't receive it a few hours ago via E-mail from RBL,
                                      can search it on the SBL site. Its last two lines are perhaps more guarded
                                      than accepting. Anyway, here they are, verbatim:

                                      "Patricia Walters has now nailed a thesis to the church door. It will be
                                      interesting and, one may hope, informative to witness the reactions to her
                                      reassessment of the evidence."

                                      Bruce

                                      E Bruce Brooks
                                      Warring States Project
                                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                                    • E Bruce Brooks
                                      To: Synoptic In Response To: David Mealand On: Stylometrics From: Bruce In view of David s recent disclaimer, I am perfectly willing to assume sole ownership
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Aug 4, 2012
                                        To: Synoptic
                                        In Response To: David Mealand
                                        On: Stylometrics
                                        From: Bruce

                                        In view of David's recent disclaimer, I am perfectly willing to assume sole
                                        ownership of the following principle:

                                        "Stylometric indicators tend to be sensitive for style, but less so for
                                        authorship, a matter for which they were not designed."

                                        To which, as sole owner, I would add the following (adapted from the same
                                        previous note):

                                        "Use of stylometric methods to investigate authorship questions is in
                                        principle a misapplication, and the results should always be interpreted
                                        with appropriate reticence."

                                        Bruce

                                        E Bruce Brooks
                                        Warring States Project
                                        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                                      • David Mealand
                                        In reply to Bruce two sentences are more than enough. It is perfectly possible to test stylometric methods on works of known authorship as David Hoover has
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Aug 4, 2012
                                          In reply to Bruce two sentences are more than enough.

                                          It is perfectly possible to test stylometric
                                          methods on works of known authorship as David Hoover
                                          has done many times.

                                          Concluding that results so far demand that previously
                                          assumed conclusions be seriously re-examined is not the
                                          same as pre-empting the end result of that process.

                                          David M.


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


                                          --
                                          The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
                                          Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
                                        • Stephen Carlson
                                          ... I would not take the reaction to an oral presentation at SBL on something as technical and mathematical as this topic to be indicative of much of anything.
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Aug 4, 2012
                                            On Sat, Aug 4, 2012 at 4:47 PM, E Bruce Brooks <brooks@...>wrote:

                                            > **
                                            >
                                            > I was there. The place was packed. There were many objections, not (as
                                            > might
                                            > have been expected) from traditionalists offended at a nontraditional idea,
                                            > but from people seemingly knowledgeable about stylometrics. They
                                            > questioned,
                                            > in detail, both the method used and the validity of the associated
                                            > statistical interpretation of significance.
                                            >
                                            I would not take the reaction to an oral presentation at SBL on something
                                            as technical and mathematical as this topic to be indicative of much of
                                            anything. This is the kind of scholarship that needs to be published and
                                            carefully considered. The value of the questions at such a session is to
                                            make sure that they are (eventually) addressed in the publication.

                                            Stephen
                                            --
                                            Stephen C. Carlson
                                            Ph.D., Duke University


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