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Paralleomania

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  • Bob Schacht
    Things have been quiet here lately, so I am forwarding this comment from Rick Hubbard over at the GThomas group, because it is certainly of general relevance
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 13, 2010
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      Things have been quiet here lately, so I am forwarding this comment
      from Rick Hubbard over at the GThomas group, because it is certainly
      of general relevance here, as a discussion of his questions would be.

      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University

      >From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
      >Sender: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      >Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2010 11:16:26 -0400
      >Subject: RE: [GTh] Paralleomania (Revisited)

      [snip]

      >During the last few weeks I have spent many hours reading through various
      >journals and monographs hoping to uncover some extended discussion of how
      >one might empirically describe "textual parallels", especially as those
      >"parallels" suggest intertextual relationships among various compositions
      >of early Christian literature during the earliest centuries of the common
      >era. At this juncture, I am fairly confident that no such studies exist
      >although there is certainly no shortage of observations about apparent
      >affinities between some particular piece of literature and another,
      >especially among scholars of the Hebrew Bible.
      >
      >That is not to say, however, that there is not at least some general
      >awareness that "there are parallels and then there are parallels." I was
      >interested to note that the Jesus Seminar's _The Complete Gospels_
      >(Polebridge, 1992) makes some effort to distinguish between **types** of
      >parallels: In it, the textual apparatus eight different sigla are used to
      >classify intertextual correlations:
      >
      >Double hash marks "//" denote "Primary parallels", which are pericopae or
      >sayings that exhibit "significant degrees of verbal similarity";
      >
      >The abbreviation "Cf." is used to signify "a similar or comparable passage
      >with a low degree of verbal similarity";
      >
      >An open right-arrow indicates an "Old Testament passage quoted or alluded to
      >, or Old Testament laws or customs presupposed";
      >
      >The siglum D inside a circle identifies a Doublet, "a duplicate version of a
      >story or saying within the same gospel";
      >
      >The capital letter "I", again enclosed within a circle, marks a "Narrative
      >Index: a reference to an earlier or later event narrated in the same
      >gospel";
      >
      >An encircled "S" designates "an Old Testament or New Testament passage whose
      >wording or substance is used to create a new passage";
      >
      >The letter "T" (circled) represents a "Thematic parallel: a passage with
      >comparable theme or motif".
      >
      >As I see it, this scheme is a step forward from the conventional practice of
      >merely declaring two passages to be "parallels." Still, however it seems to
      >not go far enough. For example, while it is helpful to distinguish between
      >pericopae marked with "//" and those notated with "Cf." there is a
      >**degree** to which each of these apply. For instance, it seems to me that
      >two or more pericopae marked "//" each having 15 words that are identical
      >with respect to vocabulary, grammar and syntax, are **qualitatively**
      >different from two or more pericopae with, say, only matching vocabulary but
      >differences in grammar and/or syntax (a distinction virtually never made as
      >near as I can tell from the reading I have done). Moreover this method of
      >analysis in its present form falls short of addressing the genealogical, or
      >directionality, issue (which I suspect is at the root of most parallel
      >identifications). Then, of course, there are textual features that extend
      >beyond vocabulary, grammar, syntax and theme; form critical and rhetorical
      >properties being two that come to mind. In addition, now that I think about
      >it, some consideration also should be annotated about the pedigree of the
      >texts at hands- is there evidence of a prototype behind any of them (e.g.,
      >an Aramaic or Syriac ancestor)? Moreover, there is also the question of the
      >certainty, or integrity, of the texts- are there variants and is the reading
      >of either of them open to question?
      >
      >So here are the closing questions:
      >
      >First, what value (if any) would derive from a more detailed way of citing
      >parallels?
      >
      >Second, what is the catalogue of properties that should be assessed when
      >textual correlations are proposed?
      >
      >Finally, would it be possible to develop a functional and robust coding
      >system (beginning, perhaps, with the one employed in _The Complete
      >Gospels_)?
      >
      >Rick Hubbard


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • E Bruce Brooks
      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
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 15, 2010
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        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
        soundtrack).

        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
        way:

        # < (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
        difference:

        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
        example.

        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
        typographical?

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      • Rick Hubbard
        To All: Evidently my query to the GThomas list has made it here, a bit to my surprise. First though, thanks to the folks who have responded off-list about my
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 25, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          To All:

          Evidently my query to the GThomas list has made it here, a bit to my
          surprise.

          First though, thanks to the folks who have responded off-list about my
          questions, but also I appreciate Bob Webb's suggestion pointing me toward
          _Nag Hammadi Texts and the Bible_. All this was helpful, as were Bruce's
          suggestions about revising conventional sigla in order to more accurately
          differentiate between "types" of parallels.

          Despite all the generous advice, I am not much further down the road toward
          solving the conundrum of how, empirically, one engages in the **process** of
          assigning correlated texts to one category or another. In other words, it is
          helpful to use distinctive sigla to distinguish one "kind" of parallel from
          another but the criteria used to establish this taxonomy often seems vague.

          Perhaps this is a bit of a quixotic exercise, but it nevertheless remains as
          a question. I'd welcome comments.

          Rick Hubbard


          ||-----Original Message-----
          ||From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On
          ||Behalf Of E Bruce Brooks
          ||Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 11:35 PM
          ||To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
          ||Cc: GPG
          ||Subject: Re: [XTalk] Paralleomania
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||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 soundtrack).
          ||
          ||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
          ||way:
          ||
          ||# < (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
          ||difference:
          ||
          ||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 example.
          ||
          ||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 typographical?
          ||
          ||Bruce
          ||
          ||E Bruce Brooks
          ||Warring States Project
          ||University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||
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