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Seminar Voting

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  • Corey W. Liknes
    Hello everyone, Again, please forgive my naivete, I am relatively new to this field, but intensely interested in both the arguments and the collegiality that I
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 1 4:35 PM
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      Hello everyone,

      Again, please forgive my naivete, I am relatively new to this field, but
      intensely interested in both the arguments and the collegiality that I have
      seen here.

      I am trying to determine how voting is carried out in Jesus Seminar
      meetings. I understand there are 4 possibilities for any statement or
      action, and that each member (some 40-50 people, am I right?) drops in a
      pebble corresponding to their personal decision on a question.

      When the votes are tallied is it a first-past-the-post system? In other
      words If 40 people vote and 15 vote for possibility 1, 10 vote for 2, 10
      vote for 3, and 5 vote for 4 does that mean that possibility 1 is given the
      decision? Or are there checks and balances built into the mechanism to
      ensure that minority views don't carry the day. Those of you from Canada
      will recall that in 1988 65% of the population voted against the Tories, and
      yet they still formed a majority government for precisely the same reasons.

      Perhaps one of you would prefer to respond to me personally instead of
      wasting the listserv's time if this is a silly question.

      Respectfully,

      Corey W. Liknes
      Department of Arts and Sciences
      Prairie Bible College
      Three Hills, Alberta, CANADA
      cwliknes@...
      corey.liknes@...
      http://instructor.pbi.ab.ca/coreyliknes
    • Dawson, Gail
      Corey, a good place to start regarding the methodology of the Jesus Seminar is the introductory material to _The Five Gospels_ by Robert W. Funk (Polebridge
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 2 7:26 AM
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        Corey, a good place to start regarding the methodology of the Jesus Seminar
        is the introductory material to _The Five Gospels_ by Robert W. Funk
        (Polebridge Press, 1993). An excerpt from this can be found at this Westar
        Institute web page (follow links within page):
        http://www.westarinstitute.org/Jesus_Seminar/jesus_seminar.html You will
        want to review the hard copy to obtain the complete version.

        Please also review Mahlon Smith's (a JS Fellow) Jesus Seminar Forum page at
        http://religion.rutgers.edu/jseminar/ and, within that collection of pages,
        this article by Bob Miller (also a JS Fellow) that contains sections on the
        issues of voting and consensus:
        http://religion.rutgers.edu/jseminar/miller1.html

        On many, many occasions on this list, Mahlon Smith has explained not only
        how the Jesus Seminar came to a particular conclusion, but also the
        background on what was discussed and the arguments that were presented. If
        you search the archive for this e-group under his name, you will access a
        treasure trove of background information on Jesus Seminar votes.

        Hope this helps.

        Gail Dawson
        Edinburg, Virginia
      • Dawson, Gail
        Richard Mallet wrote: Have the details of the voting been published anywhere ? It would be interesting to know what the actual voting was for each of the four
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 2 2:14 PM
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          Richard Mallet wrote:
          Have the details of the voting been published anywhere ? It would be
          interesting to know what the actual voting was for each of the four
          categories on each issue.

          GD: The results by category may have been published in the Seminar's
          journal _Forum_ (someone else on this list may know for certain).

          Richard: Even more interesting would be votes taken before and after the
          discussion, to see if anybody's mind was changed (as the criticism directed
          at the JS says that they were mainly sceptics to begin with) but that may be
          too much to hipe for :-)

          GD: My understanding is that the votes are taken once after the discussion
          (which follows the papers under discussion being sent out in advance for
          reading & review). No one has ever claimed that the JS database represents
          the final word on determining the historicity of the Gospel accounts for all
          time; it is simply a snapshot of scholarly consensus at a given moment.
          Individual members of the JS can & do hold scholarly opinions on individual
          items in the words/deeds database that differ from the published results.


          Gail Dawson
          Edinburg, Virginia
        • Rikki E. Watts
          ... Sorry to nit-pick ... but with respect and without prejudice, I don t think anyone would honestly claim that JS even represents scholarly consensus. Rikk
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 2 5:06 PM
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            > GD: No one has ever claimed that the JS database represents
            > the final word on determining the historicity of the Gospel accounts for all
            > time; it is simply a snapshot of scholarly consensus at a given moment.

            Sorry to nit-pick ... but with respect and without prejudice, I don't think
            anyone would honestly claim that JS even represents "scholarly consensus."

            Rikk Watts
          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... The results (and explanations for why they voted that way) for the sayings in Mark and parallels are found in the Red Letter edition of Mark. This may be
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 2 6:32 PM
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              At 05:14 PM 8/2/00 -0400, Dawson, Gail wrote:
              >GD: The results by category may have been published in the Seminar's
              >journal _Forum_ (someone else on this list may know for certain).

              The results (and explanations for why they voted that way) for the
              sayings in Mark and parallels are found in the Red Letter edition
              of Mark. This may be easier for people to find than the journal.
              I believe the other Red Letter editions are still in the planning
              stage.

              Stephen Carlson
              --
              Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
              Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
              "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
            • Dawson, Gail
              I had written: No one has ever claimed that the JS database represents the final word on determining the historicity of the Gospel accounts for all time; it is
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 3 7:02 AM
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                I had written:
                No one has ever claimed that the JS database represents the final word on
                determining the historicity of the Gospel accounts for all time; it is
                simply a snapshot of scholarly consensus at a given moment.

                Rikk Watts wrote:

                Sorry to nit-pick ... but with respect and without prejudice, I don't think
                anyone would honestly claim that JS even represents "scholarly consensus."

                GD:

                To clarify: The JS is a corporate body of scholars, reporting their
                findings as a body, not as individuals. My intent might have been clearer
                in my message if I had written "_a_ scholarly consensus"--that is, the
                scholarly consensus *of* the JS.

                Gail Dawson
                Edinburg, Virginia
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