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Re: [Synoptic-L] Testing the 3ST

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic In Response To: Previous 3ST Thread From: Bruce The discussion between Dave and Ron has its statistical interest, but it is almost supernaturally
    Message 1 of 24 , Dec 14, 2007
      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Previous 3ST Thread
      From: Bruce

      The discussion between Dave and Ron has its statistical interest, but it is
      almost supernaturally hard to follow, due to the near identity of the "sQ"
      and "xQ" abbreviations. Relying on Ron's clarification of 9 Dec, which went

      "xQ (from Matthew) or sQ (from the logia),"

      I interpret the 3ST to say that Luke is accessing the supposed Aramaic Logia
      in two ways, either via Matthew's previous translation into Greek (xQ), or
      directly, by his own translation from the Aramaic (sQ). If so, and
      representing the Aramaic source by A, we have this contrast:

      (1) A > Lk [direct]
      (2) A > Mt > Lk [indirect]

      Why not simply call the first case A material, and the second, mediated case
      B material?

      Respectfully suggested. And if only for my own convenience, I proceed to
      implement it with Ron's previously provided list of 35 "strings" of 10 or
      more identical Greek words in Mt/Lk. I have grouped strings that occur in
      the same narrative unit, and labeled the units, because otherwise I can't
      make sense of the proposal.

      A. Luke draws on A [Ron's "sQ]: 12 strings in 7 units

      A1. Sermon on the Mount
      6:24 // 16:13 / sQ / 26 [no man can serve two masters]
      6:29-30 // 12:27-28 / sQ / 13 [not even Solomon . . .]
      7:3 // 6:41 / sQ / 14 [the speck in your brother's eye]
      7:7-8 // 11:9-10 / sQ / 24 [ask and it will be given you]
      7:11 // 11:13 / sQ / 11 [if you know how to give good gifts . . .]
      A2. Foxes Have Holes
      8:20 // 9:58 // sQ / 24
      A3. The [Missionary] Laborers are Few
      9:37-38 // 10:2 / sQ / 15
      A4. He Who Is Not With Me
      12:30 // 11:23 / sQ / 15
      A5. Curses By:
      12:41 // 11:32 / sQ / 24 [the men of Nineveh]
      12:42 // 11:31 / sQ / 16 [the Queen of the South]
      A6. The Good Fortune of the Disciples
      13:17 // 10:24 / sQ / 11 [many desired to hear what you hear]
      A7. Simile of the Leaven
      13:33 // 13:21 / sQ / 13

      [NB: All from the first half of Matthew. Anything significant here?]

      B. Luke uses Matthew's translation of A [Ron's xQ]: 23 strings in 13 units

      B1. Preaching of John
      3:7-8 // 3:7-8 / xQ / 12
      3:9-10 // 3:8-9 / xQ / 24
      3:10 // 3:9 / xQ / 20
      B2. Baptism of Jesus by John
      3:11-12 // 3:16-17 / xQ / 15
      B3. Temptation of Jesus by Satan
      4:6 // 4:11 / xQ / 11
      B4. Tale of the Centurion
      8:9 // 7:8-9 / xQ / 25
      B5. Signs of Jesus's Power, as Message to John
      11:5-6 // 7:22-23 / xQ / 11 [the blind see, etc]
      B6. Jesus Speaks of John
      11:7-8 // 7:24-25 / xQ / 19
      11:8-10 // 7:25-27 / xQ / 18
      11:10 // 7:27 / xQ / 14 [Isaiah quotation]
      B7. Woes to Galilean Churches
      11:21 // 10:13 / xQ / 12
      11:21 // 10:13 / xQ / 12
      B8. Thanks to the Father
      11:25 // 10:25 / xQ / 11
      11:25-27 // 10:21-22 / xQ / 27 [ . . who has concealed it from the wise]
      B9. All Things are Delivered to Jesus
      11:27 // 10:22 / xQ / 11
      B10. Beelzebul Controversy
      12:27 // 11:19 / xQ / 15
      12:28 // 11:20 / xQ / 13 [then the Kingdom of God has come upon you]
      B11. The Unclean Spirit Returns
      12:43 // 11:24 / xQ / 14
      12:45 // 11:26 / xQ / 14
      B12. Lament for Jerusalem
      23:37 // 13:34 / xQ / 14
      23:37-38 // 13:34-35 / xQ / 12 [cursing of Jerusalem]
      B13. Parable of the Evil Servant
      24:47-48 // 12:44-45 / xQ / 14 [cursing of Israel]
      24:50-51 // 12:46 / xQ / 26 [the Master will condemn the faithless]

      [NB: *Almost* all from the first half of Matthew]

      COMMENTS

      1. The A source cannot be a "logia" in the usual sense of "logia of Jesus,"
      since it also contains logia of John, not to mention Satan. The problem of
      John, as it seems to me, bedevils this hypothesis as it also does the Q
      hypothesis. Only a narrative of Jesus would have a place for this material.
      For that matter, a good many of the sayings of Jesus attributed to A have
      chiefly narrative import, eg the Lament Over Jerusalem. If we subtract these
      non-logia materials from the proposed Logia, how much is actually left?

      2. All the units in question have Matthean parallels in Luke. The hypothesis
      for the B material is that Luke is using Matthew. The hypothesis for the A
      material is that Luke is abandoning Matthew and instead using Matthew's A
      source directly. Why? I would like to see the reason for the abandonment
      expounded for at least one of the A units.

      3. Taking the above A and B materials together, forgetting about Matthew and
      Luke and looking at the Aramaic source as a whole, my first impression is
      that it certainly contains a lot of pronouncements of doom. The overall
      impression is rather severe. Even from the Sermon on the Mount, everybody's
      favorite Nice Jesus part of Matthew, the extracts here included tend to be
      divisive and minatory. If there was a tradition of Jesus as a hellfire
      preacher, the Aramaic text here proposed might be intelligible as coming out
      of that tradition. Apart from items listed above, I get a not dissimilar
      impression from the full inventory of the Aramaic source on Ron's web site.
      Comment?

      Bruce
    • Dave Gentile
      Bruce, Thanks for the inventory. That is helpful. If we had total word length for for each of the As, A1-A7, and for each of the Bs, B1- B13, then we d be
      Message 2 of 24 , Dec 14, 2007
        Bruce,

        Thanks for the inventory. That is helpful. If we had total word
        length for for each of the As, A1-A7, and for each of the Bs, B1-
        B13, then we'd be ready to crunch a few numbers.

        Interesting observation about these being from the first half of
        Matthew...significant I'm sure, but I'm not sure how to explain it.
        The first thing which comes to mind is that Luke found his own voice
        as he wrote.

        On hellfire in the saying source - that is one of the most
        noticeable changes when moving from Mark to Matthew, in my opinion.
        Thus I tend to associate this with Matthew's style. Since I think
        the saying source and Matthew had the same author, this makes
        perfect sense, from my point of view. I believe Ron would say that
        the author of the gospel of Matthew adopted this style from the
        saying source with which he agreed in large part.

        Dave Gentile
        Riverside, IL
      • E Bruce Brooks
        To: Synoptic In Response To: Dave G On: Hellfire in Matthew From: Bruce On the Aramaic material identified by Ron Price as lying behind Matthew and (at one
        Message 3 of 24 , Dec 14, 2007
          To: Synoptic
          In Response To: Dave G
          On: Hellfire in Matthew
          From: Bruce

          On the Aramaic material identified by Ron Price as lying behind Matthew and
          (at one remove) also behind Luke:

          DAVE: Interesting observation about these being from the first half of
          Matthew...significant I'm sure, but I'm not sure how to explain it. The
          first thing which comes to mind is that Luke found his own voice as he
          wrote.

          BRUCE: Or it might be simpler than that. Just by way of speculation:

          Matthew on the whole, not unlike Mark, has written a two-part Gospel, the
          second half of which is more or less oriented around the Crucifixion. The
          material in the first half of Mark and Matthew is less interested in the
          Crucifixion than in the message of Jesus. Of course, by the time you get to
          the Gospel of John, the Crucifixion IS the message of Jesus, but as many
          including von Soden have noticed, there is more of a split personality in
          the earlier Gospels. Suppose (as the distribution here noticed might imply)
          that Matthew is relying on a separate source for the material here being
          considered, and suppose again that that source was in Aramaic; that its
          material is less likely to have been packaged for the wider Near Eastern
          community. Such a source might be relatively near the original situation
          (and in Matthew, it might have been incongruously spliced into a
          Crucifixion-oriented narrative).

          What, on Ron's account of it, does that source contain? Essentially and
          predominantly, warnings about what awaits the wrongdoer at some not distant
          time. So far Jesus. How about John the Baptist? Same. Those who resist
          temptations, who keep from evil, who remain alert and watchful, will survive
          the coming wrath. The message attributed to the two apocalyptic preachers in
          this material is essentially identical. Might we not here have a snapshot of
          Jesus before he (or his posthumous apologists) had theorized him too far out
          of his own original teaching? While he was still recognizably part of the
          John movement? Might this not explain why the otherwise incongruous John
          material keeps turning up in reconstructions of Jesus sayings? I find this a
          useful and suggestive possibility.

          I will tentatively call it the Hellfire Source, or H for short. I don't at
          this moment assume that it corresponds exactly with Ron's 72-saying
          hypothetical Aramaic source, just that it is in somewhat the same direction.

          Such a possibility would be refuted if the few items from late in the
          Matthean scheme, as previously inventoried, were Crucifixion-oriented. Are
          they? The Lament over Jerusalem might be so considered. But the last item,
          Mt 24:50-51 is still about the need to be prepared for the imminent End -
          not the end of Jesus, on which no reliance is here placed, but on the End of
          the World, for which the hearer already knows how to prepare, and requires
          only to be motivated to actually carry out those preparations.

          With a few adjustments here and there, it seems to me possible. Other
          opinions always welcome.

          Bruce
        • Ron Price
          ... Bruce, Your interpretation is wrong. The 23 xQ strings I mentioned were never in the logia. They are strings of Matthean text which Luke copied directly
          Message 4 of 24 , Dec 15, 2007
            Bruce Brooks wrote:

            > A. Luke draws on A [Ron's "sQ]: 12 strings in 7 units
            > .......
            > B. Luke uses Matthew's translation of A [Ron's xQ]: 23 strings in 13 units
            > .......
            > COMMENTS
            >
            > 1. The A source cannot be a "logia" in the usual sense of "logia of Jesus,"
            > since it also contains logia of John, not to mention Satan. The problem of
            > John, as it seems to me, bedevils this hypothesis as it also does the Q
            > hypothesis.

            Bruce,

            Your interpretation is wrong. The 23 xQ strings I mentioned were never in
            the logia. They are strings of Matthean text which Luke copied directly from
            Matthew. I am at a loss as to how you could misunderstand me so badly.
            Somewhere along the line I obviously didn't make myself clear enough. My
            proposal is that the xQ material (xQ is shorthand for ex-Q, i.e. taken out
            of Q) does *not* come from the logia, but originates with Matthew. There is
            no reference either to JnB or to Satan in the logia, and therefore the 3ST
            as proposed *does* solve the "problem of John"!

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          • Ron Price
            ... Bruce, Your survey is interesting, but you may wish to update it in the light of my previous posting. ... Yes, I believe the logia does give such an
            Message 5 of 24 , Dec 15, 2007
              Bruce Brooks wrote:

              > What, on Ron's account of it, does that source contain?

              Bruce,

              Your survey is interesting, but you may wish to update it in the light of my
              previous posting.

              > ....... Might we not here have a snapshot of
              > Jesus before he (or his posthumous apologists) had theorized him too far out
              > of his own original teaching?

              Yes, I believe the logia does give such an insight.

              > While he was still recognizably part of the
              > John movement? Might this not explain why the otherwise incongruous John
              > material keeps turning up in reconstructions of Jesus sayings?

              But here you appear to be in the company of many who have been misled by the
              Q hypothesis. The incongruous John material keeps cropping up because Q
              supporters take a simplistic view of the Double Tradition, which leads them
              to deduce that this material was in Q, which makes it appear that it might
              have been earlier than Mark. As I see it, Mark wanted an impressive but
              brief way to open his story of the gospel of Jesus, and he chose to
              highlight JnB as the forerunner of Jesus. All the other gospel writers
              retained the Markan role for JnB. But decades before the first gospel was
              composed, any influence JnB might have had on Jesus is difficult to detect
              in the logia sayings penned by Jesus' earliest followers.

              Ron Price

              Derbyshire, UK

              Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
            • E Bruce Brooks
              To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron On: xQ From: Bruce RON: Somewhere along the line I obviously didn t make myself clear enough. My proposal is that the xQ
              Message 6 of 24 , Dec 15, 2007
                To: Synoptic
                In Response To: Ron
                On: xQ
                From: Bruce

                RON: Somewhere along the line I obviously didn't make myself clear enough.
                My proposal is that the xQ material (xQ is shorthand for ex-Q, i.e. taken
                out of Q) does *not* come from the logia, but originates with Matthew.

                BRUCE: Still not clear, and to me, still enigmatic terminologically. If xQ
                means "out of Q" (rather than out of the "logia") then how exactly can it
                "originate with Matthew?" Do we have an equation xQ = xM?

                This most recent comment might be construed as meaning that there is a Q
                somewhere in the 3ST. But that is evidently not the case; the non-Synoptic
                source in the 3ST is apparently supposed to overlap with Q as conventionally
                understood, but to be smaller (and also to include material NOT usually
                assigned to Q). I have gone again to the web page, and there I read:

                "On the previous page I proposed that the early collection of Jesus' sayings
                was roughly a subset of Q as normally understood, and labelled it "sQ",
                meaning '(pure) sayings-Q'. In this theory the author of Matthew's gospel
                (hereafter "Au_Matt") used two written sources: sQ and Mark, and the author
                of Luke's gospel (hereafter "Au_Luke") used three written sources: sQ, Mark
                and Matthew. I argued that Au_Luke took from Matthew some of the material
                usually allocated to Q. This included the following pericopae: Mt 3:7-12;
                4:1-11; 8:5-13; 11:2-19; 20-23; 25-27; 12:22-29,31-32; 43-45; 22:1-10;
                23:37-39; 24:45-51; 25:14-28,30. [1] The remaining double tradition material
                is assigned to sQ. "

                One way to understand this is to assume that sQ (the revised, smaller Q) +
                xQ (material formerly, but not in the 3ST, allocated to Q) = Q. That is, the
                conventional Q is being divided into Matthean original material and stuff
                that really IS in an outside written source. We might then gloss

                sQ = "still in Q"
                xQ = "taken out of Q; not in an outside source used by aMt"

                If this is correct, then as earlier suggested, I think other labels would be
                better; say A and M. "Q" is a letter which, at this hour of the day, is very
                hard to control, at least with the wider readership. The phrase "out of"
                also seems to be a problem; it does not always seem to have the meaning
                which a horse breeder would assign to it. It seems to be doing duty for "in"
                as well as "not in," which is perhaps unlikely to advance understanding. Why
                not pick another?

                Bruce
              • Ron Price
                ... Dave, Down to pericope or saying level there are I think 73 such blocks. ... I count 18 sub-blocks in xQ and 57 in sQ (thus indicating that only 2 blocks
                Message 7 of 24 , Dec 15, 2007
                  Dave Gentile wrote:

                  > I was thinking of blocks that would need to be defined by being
                  > contiguous in both Matthew and Luke. These blocks could be a
                  > pericope, or a single saying found in both Matthew and Luke, but in
                  > a different context.

                  Dave,

                  Down to pericope or saying level there are I think 73 such blocks.

                  > Those blocks are then assigned to sQ or xQ in whole or in part. The
                  > resulting number of blocks in each sQ and zQ are what we would wish
                  > to count, I belive (as well as determine their length).

                  I count 18 sub-blocks in xQ and 57 in sQ (thus indicating that only 2 blocks
                  were split between xQ and sQ). As for counting the length of each block in
                  both Matthew and Luke, I could do the counts if and when you actually want
                  to make use of the information.

                  Ron Price

                  Derbyshire, UK

                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                • Dave Gentile
                  ... Replying to my own post - We would also need the length of the blocks in sQ and xQ that are not in A and B. i.e the blocks which do not contain identical
                  Message 8 of 24 , Dec 15, 2007
                    >
                    > Thanks for the inventory. That is helpful. If we had total word
                    > length for for each of the As, A1-A7, and for each of the Bs, B1-
                    > B13, then we'd be ready to crunch a few numbers.

                    Replying to my own post -

                    We would also need the length of the blocks in sQ and xQ that are not
                    in A and B. i.e the blocks which do not contain identical strings of
                    at least 10 words.

                    Dave Gentile
                    Riverside IL
                  • Dave Gentile
                    No need to do all the word counting yet. I think we have enough information for a hand-waving approximate calculation. I have to take the cat to the vet, but
                    Message 9 of 24 , Dec 15, 2007
                      No need to do all the word counting yet. I think we have enough
                      information for a hand-waving approximate calculation.

                      I have to take the cat to the vet, but I'll come back to this soon.

                      Dave Gentile
                      Riverside, IL



                      --- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, Ron Price <ron.price@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Dave Gentile wrote:
                      >
                      > > I was thinking of blocks that would need to be defined by being
                      > > contiguous in both Matthew and Luke. These blocks could be a
                      > > pericope, or a single saying found in both Matthew and Luke, but
                      in
                      > > a different context.
                      >
                      > Dave,
                      >
                      > Down to pericope or saying level there are I think 73 such blocks.
                      >
                      > > Those blocks are then assigned to sQ or xQ in whole or in part.
                      The
                      > > resulting number of blocks in each sQ and zQ are what we would
                      wish
                      > > to count, I belive (as well as determine their length).
                      >
                      > I count 18 sub-blocks in xQ and 57 in sQ (thus indicating that
                      only 2 blocks
                      > were split between xQ and sQ). As for counting the length of each
                      block in
                      > both Matthew and Luke, I could do the counts if and when you
                      actually want
                      > to make use of the information.
                      >
                      > Ron Price
                      >
                      > Derbyshire, UK
                      >
                      > Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                      >
                    • Ron Price
                      ... RON: O.K. I see why you re confused. The hypothetical document Q never existed. *I* took the xQ material out of Q, and assigned it where it really
                      Message 10 of 24 , Dec 15, 2007
                        > BRUCE: Still not clear, and to me, still enigmatic terminologically. If xQ
                        > means "out of Q" (rather than out of the "logia") then how exactly can it
                        > "originate with Matthew?" Do we have an equation xQ = xM?

                        RON: O.K. I see why you're confused. The hypothetical document Q never
                        existed. *I* took the xQ material out of Q, and assigned it where it really
                        belonged, i.e. to Matthew.

                        > BRUCE: This most recent comment might be construed as meaning that there is a
                        > Q somewhere in the 3ST. But that is evidently not the case;

                        RON: Indeed. Q is a figment of the imagination resulting from a simplistic
                        analysis of the Double Tradition.

                        > BRUCE: ..... the
                        > conventional Q is being divided into Matthean original material and stuff
                        > that really IS in an outside written source. We might then gloss
                        >
                        > sQ = "still in Q"
                        > xQ = "taken out of Q; not in an outside source used by aMt"

                        RON: Phew. I think we may be nearly there.

                        > BRUCE: Why not pick another [label for the sayings source]?

                        RON: I have already back-tracked on my use of the label "sQ", which I now
                        retain only for a certain subset of the Double Tradition. However I can see
                        the advantage of not using the letter "Q" at all in labels relating to a
                        theory which dispenses with the document widely known as "Q". The difficulty
                        is that most folk know about Q. It seemed easier to start by relating what
                        is new in my proposal to what is known and what it replaces.

                        Ron Price

                        Derbyshire, UK

                        Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                      • Dave Gentile
                        O.K. - a back of the envelop calculation (or really some quick cutting and pasting with a spreadsheet) - xQ: 18 blocks 1770 words average length 98 words 1602
                        Message 11 of 24 , Dec 15, 2007
                          O.K. - a back of the envelop calculation (or really some quick
                          cutting and pasting with a spreadsheet) -

                          xQ:

                          18 blocks
                          1770 words
                          average length 98 words
                          1602 possible 10 word agrements
                          23 actual agreements
                          1.5% point extimate of frequency
                          Low end of 95th percentile credibility range = 1.03%
                          High end = 2.03%

                          sQ:
                          57 blocks
                          2381 words
                          average length 42 words
                          1881 possible 10 word agrements
                          12 actual agreements
                          0.69% point extimate of frequency
                          Low end of 95th percentile credibility range = 0.41%
                          High end = 1.03%

                          The edges of the credibility ranges just touch but do not overlap.
                          So there is something like a 2.5% chance that this is finding is due
                          to random chance.

                          Doing the actual word counts would add very little information to
                          this picture, since the average block length seems to be quite
                          adaquate for these purposes.

                          Thus - we seem to have a signficant result. And so far, two
                          suggested explinations for it.

                          Dave Gentile
                          Riverside, IL
                        • Dave Gentile
                          ... A correction to the quick calculation - I had the spreadsheet set for a 90th percentile confidence range, not 95th. I also needed to double the number I
                          Message 12 of 24 , Dec 15, 2007
                            --- In Synoptic@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Gentile" <gentile_dave@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > O.K. - a back of the envelop calculation (or really some quick
                            > cutting and pasting with a spreadsheet) -
                            >

                            A correction to the quick calculation - I had the spreadsheet set for
                            a 90th percentile confidence range, not 95th. I also needed to double
                            the number I gave, for another reason. As a result, there is more like
                            a 10% chance these numbers are just random chance (not 2.5% as
                            previously stated). Appologies for the error.

                            So the result seems significant at the 90th percentile, but just
                            barely. However, this (combined with Ron's other observations) still
                            suggests to me that sQ and xQ, by in large, are the result of two
                            different processes.

                            Dave Gentile
                            Riverside, IL
                          • Ron Price
                            ... Dave, Thanks for your efforts, but you may need to find another envelope - should be plenty around at this time of year :-) ... Or another spreadsheet.
                            Message 13 of 24 , Dec 16, 2007
                              Dave Gentile wrote:

                              > O.K. - a back of the envelop calculation

                              Dave,

                              Thanks for your efforts, but you may need to find another envelope - should
                              be plenty around at this time of year :-)

                              > (or really some quick cutting and pasting with a spreadsheet) -

                              Or another spreadsheet.

                              > xQ:
                              >
                              > 18 blocks
                              > 1770 words
                              > average length 98 words
                              > 1602 possible 10 word agrements
                              > .......
                              > sQ:
                              > 57 blocks
                              > 2381 words
                              > average length 42 words
                              > 1881 possible 10 word agrements
                              > 12 actual agreements

                              Firstly, what I found was the set of strings common to Matthew and Luke
                              having *more than* ten contiguous words, i.e. 11+
                              Thus 1602 should be replaced by 1584 and 1881 by 1824.

                              Secondly you appear to be comparing apples and pears in the agreements. The
                              numbers 1584 and 1824 represent counts of the number of possible 11-word
                              strings (some of which will be overlapping). What I had counted were the
                              numbers and lengths of all the strings having more than ten words (none of
                              which overlap with each other by definition). The total number of words in
                              the xQ and sQ strings were 364 and 205 respectively. Therefore my actual
                              numbers of 11-word strings (some of which will overlap) are 364 - 10*23 =
                              134 and 205 - 10*12 = 85 respectively. So in xQ there are 134 contiguous
                              11-word strings out of a possible 1584, and in sQ there are 85 contiguous
                              11-word strings out of a possible 1824. (All this neglects the fact that the
                              blocks have different lengths, but I agree that the approximation that they
                              have equal lengths is unlikely to make much difference to the results.)

                              Ron Price

                              Derbyshire, UK

                              Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
                            • Dave Gentile
                              ... 23 actual agreement ... Luke ... Dave: O.K. I ll change the calculation from 10+ to 11+. I d expect this is a small effect. ... agreements. The ... 11-word
                              Message 14 of 24 , Dec 17, 2007
                                >
                                > > xQ:
                                > >
                                > > 18 blocks
                                > > 1770 words
                                > > average length 98 words
                                > > 1602 possible 10 word agrements
                                23 actual agreement

                                > > .......
                                > > sQ:
                                > > 57 blocks
                                > > 2381 words
                                > > average length 42 words
                                > > 1881 possible 10 word agrements
                                > > 12 actual agreements

                                Ron:
                                >
                                > Firstly, what I found was the set of strings common to Matthew and
                                Luke
                                > having *more than* ten contiguous words, i.e. 11+
                                > Thus 1602 should be replaced by 1584 and 1881 by 1824.
                                >

                                Dave:
                                O.K. I'll change the calculation from 10+ to 11+. I'd expect this is
                                a small effect.

                                Ron:
                                > Secondly you appear to be comparing apples and pears in the
                                agreements. The
                                > numbers 1584 and 1824 represent counts of the number of possible
                                11-word
                                > strings (some of which will be overlapping). What I had counted
                                were the
                                > numbers and lengths of all the strings having more than ten words
                                (none of
                                > which overlap with each other by definition).

                                Dave:
                                I had given that some thought. Counting that way seems to greatly
                                inflate the significance, and I don't think it is correct, although
                                granted I did not formulate a precise argument as to why it is
                                correct or not. Done the way you suggest, you get something like
                                99.999 percentile significance, which does not seem to be the right
                                order of magnitude for the numbers we're dealing with. Plus,
                                considering a few extreme cases leads to absurd looking conclusions.
                                So, without precise argument, I conclude we should not count that
                                way.

                                Rather, I would put it this way - there are 1824 places a string
                                could start, and 12 places one actually does start.

                                Then using the revised numbers, the finding is significant at the
                                89th percentile, just short of one typical arbitrary cut-off.
                                Regardless, it still adds something when combined with your other
                                arguments.

                                Here I should also note that I used a Bayesian credibility interval,
                                rather that a traditional confidence interval. They give nearly the
                                same result, although they say something subtly different. But in
                                this case if we are looking for that last 1%, the other method might
                                give results more to our liking, or it might be slightly worse.

                                Finally, one other potential problem - How was the "11+" criteria
                                selected? Was that the first number you tried, or did you try other
                                string length cutoffs first?

                                Dave Gentile
                                Riverside, IL
                              • Ron Price
                                ... Dave, Thanks for carrying out this investigation. ... Good question. I first tried 18+ and realized there were so few strings that the result was going to
                                Message 15 of 24 , Dec 18, 2007
                                  Dave Gentile wrote:

                                  > Then using the revised numbers, the finding is significant at the
                                  > 89th percentile, just short of one typical arbitrary cut-off.
                                  > Regardless, it still adds something when combined with your other
                                  > arguments.

                                  Dave,

                                  Thanks for carrying out this investigation.

                                  > Finally, one other potential problem - How was the "11+" criteria
                                  > selected? Was that the first number you tried, or did you try other
                                  > string length cutoffs first?

                                  Good question. I first tried 18+ and realized there were so few strings that
                                  the result was going to be too sensitive to the choice of cut-off. I wanted
                                  to choose a cut-off which was significantly lower than 18+, yet not so low
                                  as to necessitate too much effort (my procedure being part computerized and
                                  part manual). It also had to be not too near 14 as I had already observed an
                                  apparently more-than-average number of strings of this length with known
                                  assignment, and didn't want the result to be biased. I had also by this
                                  stage determined to use a single computer run, for which (as it happens) an
                                  odd number cut-off was more 'efficient'. Hence the 11+.

                                  Ron Price

                                  Derbyshire, UK

                                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
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