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23323Re: [XTalk] Paralleomania

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Jun 15 8:34 PM
      To: Crosstalk
      Cc: GPG
      In Response To: Bob Schacht
      On: Parallel Indications
      From; Bruce

      There have been several responses to Bob's question about analytical
      sigla, but none have listed precise alternatives, and the books
      referred to aren't immediately available to me. I will thus return to
      his original list, which is that of the Jesus Seminar. As an
      alternative, in my own work with these texts, I have found three
      classes of indications useful, but don't in practice require that all
      signs should be specific to only one class.

      (1) One is the use by a text of of material outside the text, which in
      (say) Mark is chiefly the use of the OT. Nestle/Aland 1 put all such
      connections in bold type, the 3rd edition reserved bold type for
      explicit references. The difference (esp in Revelation) is dramatic;
      nearly everything OT-ish in that text is implicit, and in the 3ed
      those pages turn up almost entirely unbold. I don't think we should be
      forced to choose between one or the other, and in fact I can see three
      levels that it is useful to distinguish:

      1. echo. The wording of the outside text is used, but as background
      music, to lend sonority or to guide reactivity. This is what
      Revelation does all the time; it is what the cinema critics call
      nondiegetic music (not actually part of the story, rather, part of the

      2. reference (but nonspecific). vague diegetic (inside the story)
      mentions, such as "as it is written" or "to fulfill the scripture."

      3. explicit quotation, as the Isaiah mention at the beginning of Mk.
      (In fact Malachi is also involved).

      I would code these respectively (where 00 replaces the exact chapter
      and verse) as

      1. e Psa 00:0
      2. r Deu 00:0
      3. q Isa 00:0 [Mal 00:0]

      Those who like may enclose M (Masoretic) or S (Septuagint) in
      parentheses following these identifications. In fact, I wish they
      routinely would.

      If the text in question is not OT, use its name instead (eg, T Mos). I
      don't see that a different siglum is necessary; the name alone conveys
      the difference.

      It may be a convenience that letter codes only are used for these
      outside scriptural connections. If someone can typographically enclose
      them in a circle, so much the more distinctive.

      (2) Another thing helpful to be able to annotate is relations between
      passages *within* the same text. If something refers ahead, or refers
      back, then we can use the appropriate arrows, thus the famous two
      Galilee sayings in Mark:

      14:28 > 16:7
      16:7 < 14:28

      There are things in Mk, especially, which point back to events not
      narrated in the earlier text, one being the accusation that Jesus had
      claimed that he could rebuild the Temple in three days. It is
      instructive to see how the later Gospels (and especially Acts) manage
      this conundrum. In such cases, the passage in question points backward
      to precisely nothing. I might be tempted to mark such a passage this

      # < (read, "referring back to no incident in the present text")

      There are also the Matthean and other doublets, where we don't
      necessarily (at least at the outset) want to say that one depends on
      the other, but simply want to point to the recurrence. These parallels
      can probably use the conventional parallel sign from highschool
      geometry (well established for this purpose; I don't see the advantage
      of the slant parallels the JS seems to recommend):

      Mt 13:12 || Mt 25:29 ("to him who has")

      If somebody wants to parenthesize a (Q), or as who should say an (M)
      after one of such pairs, that's their conclusion. The convention
      allows the conveyance of that information.

      How inexact the parallel is doesn't seem to me to call for a separate
      symbol; we would quickly get symbols for four or five levels. More
      confusing than helpful.

      (3) There are also parallels between Gospels (and between a Gospel and
      other NT texts). For these, I don't see a problem with the above
      signs, since the mention of the other text prevents any
      misunderstanding or ambiguity. Hence:

      Mk 9:38-41 || Lk 9:49-50 (The Strange Exorcist)

      Suppose we have determined that one of these is prior to the other, as
      seems not too difficult to do in this case. The above marks of
      inequality (here, directionality) would again seem to apply:

      Mk 9:38-41 > Lk 9:49-50, or equivalently
      Lk 9:49-50 < Mk 9:38-41

      And if the parallel or related text in question is non-NT, I see no
      problem in using the same marks; again the name itself identifies the

      Jn 21 || G Pet

      As to how exact these and other parallels may be, again, I think it is
      not prudent to indicate degree. It is understood that all parallels
      are likely to be more or less inexact. The exception is the exact
      parallels, and for that, the established symbol is the equals sign
      (=). Instances are not numerous, and I leave the suggestion without an

      I think that these conventions will pretty much cover, and in a way to
      me simpler and better established in existing usage, what Bob reports
      of the JS sigla, except the last, "thematic parallel." For that, I
      would use the standard mathematical "more or less equal" mark, thus

      A ~ B (name the theme in parentheses if desired).

      Probably examples of almost all these usages can be found in the
      literature. Does anybody see a problem, whether analytical or


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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