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The Sabbath in Th27

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  • Michael Grondin
    Since the List has been rather quiet lately, I thought I d post some thoughts on Bob Schacht s mention of the Jubilee (50th) year. As the source text Leviticus
    Message 1 of 20 , Apr 21, 2010
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      Since the List has been rather quiet lately, I thought I'd post some
      thoughts on Bob Schacht's mention of the Jubilee (50th) year.

      As the source text Leviticus chapter 25 makes clear, the Jubilee
      year was an outgrowth of the Sabbatical (7th) year, which was
      declared to be a year of rest for the land, through an admonition
      to farmers to neither sow the field nor prune the vineyard. There
      is also emphasis on the seventh month of the year, but ISTM
      that none of this has anything particular to do with the Parable
      of the Tenants (Th65), since there's no indication in the parable
      that either land or tenants were resting. The Sabbath is mentioned
      in Th27, however, so I'll turn to that.

      Th27 consists of two parallel admonitions: (1) if one doesn't fast
      from the world, one won't discover the kingdom, and (2) if one
      doesn't observe the Sabbath as a sabbath, one won't see "the
      Father". Is there a connection between the two? DeConick and
      Valantasis both think so, as the possibility of random placement
      seems remote. But first a comparison to the Greek version.

      There are two notable differences between the Coptic and Greek
      versions. The first is that the phrase 'Jesus said' is present in the
      Greek (P.Oxy.1), but missing from the Coptic. In a three-tiered
      taxonomy of differences (minor, major, and middlin'), this is
      certainly a minor difference. But is it simply an inadvertent Coptic
      scribal oversight? Here, I would question what would surely be the
      scholarly consensus. It might have been an unintentional error, sure,
      but I'm in mind of the fact that the Coptic text contains 105 occurrences
      of the sacred names for Jesus. That number is in turn half of the value
      of the sacred name 'IS' (=210), which I don't think is a coincidence.
      So I regard it as a real possibility that the Coptic designers might
      have eliminated some 'Jesus said's in order to hit the number 105.

      The second difference is that the Greek has 'kingdom of God',
      whereas the Coptic has simply 'kingdom'. I'd categorize this as a
      "middlin'" difference. It's not a mistake that the Coptic doesn't
      have 'of God', since it *never* adds that to 'the kingdom'. DeConick
      thinks it was a scribal addition in the Greek. Not to suggest, of course,
      that the Coptic version was prior to the Greek, but rather that the
      Coptic version was more accurate to the original. (How that could
      have happened if the Coptic was merely a translation from the
      Greek, as some assume, is a mystery.)

      What Sabbath is being talked about - the Christian or Jewish? As
      with many another Jewish concept, it was adopted but changed
      in some minor way by Christians. Not that it makes much difference
      in the end, but the Jewish sabbath is basically Saturday, not Sunday.
      (More precisely, it was and is from sundown Friday to sundown
      Saturday.) If I may throw in a personal note here, folks born since
      the fifties are probably blissfully unaware of how strong the prohibition
      against Sunday commerce used to be in this country. Businesses
      were closed on Sunday due not only to various "blue laws", but to
      informal community practices as well. I can remember that it was
      quite a scandal in our small town when one relatively-new business
      decided to open on Sunday. (Needless to say, with nothing to
      stop it save the preacher's sermons, the whole practice of
      Sunday closings collapsed in short order - except for bars.
      A number of other moral strictures of that time met the same fate.)

      Was there a thematic connection between the two parts of Th27?
      Both DeConick and Valantasis propose a connection in mystical
      thought between fasting from the world and observing the Sabbath
      as a sabbath (i.e., as a day of rest). I will leave it to you all to read
      about this (assuming you have the DeConick and Valantasis books,
      which you should :-) What I want to do here is to add a little something
      from the Epistle of Barnabas which seems to me to have relevance
      (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/barnabas-lightfoot.html).
      Chapter 15 of Ep.Barn. is talking about the sabbath, but in a way that
      relates days to years - supposing one "day" to be a thousand years
      (apologies for Lightfoot's old-fashioned translation):

      > [15:4] ... in six days, that is in six thousand years, everything shall
      > come to an end.
      > [15:5] And He rested on the seventh day. This He meaneth; when
      > His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One,
      > and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon
      > and the stars, then shall he truly rest on the seventh day.

      The implication here seems to be that the period of six thousand
      years will end when Jesus returns. Barnabas thought that this would
      happen soon, if not within his own lifetime. That would be another
      period of 1000 years. Now jumping to the eighth "day":

      > [15:8] ... it is not your present Sabbaths that are acceptable [unto Me],
      > but the Sabbath which I have made, in the which, when I have set all
      > things at rest, I will make the beginning of the eighth day which is the
      > beginning of another world.

      Keeping in mind that Sunday was the "eighth day" to early Christians
      like Barnabas, he is here insisting that it was the Christian sabbath,
      not the Jewish one, that God had made. But beyond that, he furnishes
      a possible extended interpretation for the second part of Th27. Not
      just that one should rest on a particular *day*, but that the entire *era*
      in which the Thomasines found themselves might have been seen as
      an *era* of "rest" - in the sense of "fasting from the world", as in the
      first part of Th27. In support of this, consider the last words quoted
      above from Ep.Barn.: the "eighth day" (i.e., Christian sabbath) "is the
      beginning of another world". But what does the Gospel of Thomas
      say? Q: "When is the new world coming?" A: "It has come already,
      and you all don't know it." (Th51) If the Thomasines saw the age in
      which they lived to be a sabbath age ala Barnabas (but altering his
      time-table to eliminate the concept of parousia), then the relationship
      between the two parts of Th27 becomes more intimate.

      Mike Grondin
    • Michael Grondin
      Since the concept of rest or repose is central to the Sabbath, this is a survey of the way in which that concept is used in Coptic Thomas. Additional
      Message 2 of 20 , Apr 26, 2010
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        Since the concept of 'rest' or 'repose' is central to the Sabbath,
        this is a survey of the way in which that concept is used in Coptic
        Thomas. Additional interest in this topic is found in the facts that
        (1) the concept is not found where it seemingly ought to be, viz.,
        in L2, and (2) in one place where it is found (L51), some scholars
        have supposed that it might be a scribal error.
         
        There are two words involved, the Greek word anapausis and the
        Coptic word Mton (emton). The latter occurs in two places:
         
        L61.1: Two will rest on a bed; the one will die, the other live.
        L86.2: The son of man has no place to lay his head down to rest.
         
        Anapausis occurs in four places:
        L50.3: If you are asked, "What is the sign of the Father in you?"
                    Say "It is movement and repose."
        L51.1: When will the repose of the dead take place, and when
                    is the new world coming?
        L60.6: Look for a place of repose for yourselves, so that
                    you not become a corpse and get eaten.
        L90: Come to me, for my yoke is gentle and my lordship mild.
                And you will find repose for yourselves.
         
        Some scholars have maintained that the word intended in L51.1
        was anastasis (resurrection), not anapausis. I'm not persuaded
        that the weight of thematic evidence supports the suggestion, but
        it certainly is a possibility. (Anastasis doesn't occur elsewhere in
        Coptic Thomas, but it was in the Coptic lexicon of Greek words).
        Leaving that instance of anapausis aside, however, the others
        indicate that it was an important concept in the Coptic text. Which
        makes it all the more surprising that where the Greek version has 
        anapausis in L2, it doesn't occur in the Coptic.
         
        The sequence of stages in the Greek version of L2 is five-fold: seek-
        find-be amazed-rule-attain rest. The Coptic version leaves off "attain rest".
        (The Greek manuscript has a lacuna at the point in question. The
        contents of the lacuna have been reconstructed to include a form
        of the word anapausis.) In terms of the major-minor-middlin' structure
        I mentioned earlier, this would certainly seem to count as a major
        difference. Furthermore, it looks like an unintentional slip, though of
        course such judgments are always fundamentally undecidable. (It's
        possible that the imperfection in the papyrus that apparently caused
        a half-line-sized gap in L2 may have contributed to this.)
         
        Mike Grondin
        Mt. Clemens, MI
         
      • Rick Hubbard
        Much could be made of this I suppose, but on the other hand maybe I can defuse it a little. Evidently you have given this some careful attention while I, on
        Message 3 of 20 , Apr 27, 2010
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          Much could be made of this I suppose, but on the other hand maybe I can
          defuse it a little.

          Evidently you have given this some careful attention while I, on the other
          hand, haven't had the time to look at all that carefully, so I checked the
          "usual suspects" (Patterson, Valantasis and DeConick) to see which scholars
          advocate the displacement of anastasis by anapausis. My admittedly quick
          look indicates only DeConick in favor the hypothesis (_The Gospel of Thomas
          in Translation_:182-183). Maybe you could direct me to commentators with
          similar views.

          In any case, as I looked a bit further, there is at least one precedent in
          Jewish texts that may throw some light on all this. Job 3.23 (LXX) reads
          THANATOS ANDRI ANAPAUMA ("death is rest to men. . ."). How embedded this
          outlook may have been in early common-era Mediterranean basin culture is
          hard to say, but certainly it was known amongst at least some Judeans.

          Then, as you point out (with DeConick) there are only a matter of three
          letters difference between anastasis and anapausis. One could, I imagine,
          write the difference off to scribal error if one assumes the difference to
          be the work of a scribe. On the other hand, the possibility of some kind of
          "word-play" can't be dismissed either (IMHO). It would be interesting to
          look at **all** the places in Coptic Thomas where there is some sort of
          "soundex" relationship between the word in the text (primarily those of
          Greek origin) and other words that might give a different spin on things.

          Rick


          ||-----Original Message-----
          ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
          ||Behalf Of Michael Grondin
          ||Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 5:11 PM
          ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
          ||Subject: Re: [GTh] The Sabbath in Th27
          ||
          ||
          ||
          ||Since the concept of 'rest' or 'repose' is central to the Sabbath, this is
          a survey of
          ||the way in which that concept is used in Coptic Thomas. Additional
          interest in
          ||this topic is found in the facts that
          ||(1) the concept is not found where it seemingly ought to be, viz., in L2,
          and (2)
          ||in one place where it is found (L51), some scholars have supposed that it
          might
          ||be a scribal error.
          ||
          ||There are two words involved, the Greek word anapausis and the Coptic word
          ||Mton (emton). The latter occurs in two places:
          ||
          ||L61.1: Two will rest on a bed; the one will die, the other live.
          ||L86.2: The son of man has no place to lay his head down to rest.
          ||
          ||Anapausis occurs in four places:
          ||L50.3: If you are asked, "What is the sign of the Father in you?"
          || Say "It is movement and repose."
          ||L51.1: When will the repose of the dead take place, and when
          || is the new world coming?
          ||L60.6: Look for a place of repose for yourselves, so that
          || you not become a corpse and get eaten.
          ||L90: Come to me, for my yoke is gentle and my lordship mild.
          || And you will find repose for yourselves.
          ||
          ||Some scholars have maintained that the word intended in L51.1 was
          anastasis
          ||(resurrection), not anapausis. I'm not persuaded that the weight of
          thematic
          ||evidence supports the suggestion, but it certainly is a possibility.
          (Anastasis
          ||doesn't occur elsewhere in Coptic Thomas, but it was in the Coptic lexicon
          of
          ||Greek words).
          ||Leaving that instance of anapausis aside, however, the others indicate
          that it was
          ||an important concept in the Coptic text. Which makes it all the more
          surprising
          ||that where the Greek version has anapausis in L2, it doesn't occur in the
          Coptic.
          ||
          ||The sequence of stages in the Greek version of L2 is five-fold: seek-
          find-be
          ||amazed-rule-attain rest. The Coptic version leaves off "attain rest".
          ||(The Greek manuscript has a lacuna at the point in question. The contents
          of the
          ||lacuna have been reconstructed to include a form of the word anapausis.)
          In
          ||terms of the major-minor-middlin' structure I mentioned earlier, this
          would
          ||certainly seem to count as a major difference. Furthermore, it looks like
          an
          ||unintentional slip, though of course such judgments are always
          fundamentally
          ||undecidable. (It's possible that the imperfection in the papyrus that
          apparently
          ||caused a half-line-sized gap in L2 may have contributed to this.)
          ||
          ||Mike Grondin
          ||Mt. Clemens, MI
          ||
          ||
          ||
        • Michael Grondin
          ... Patterson et al (The Fifth Gospel) notes: The Coptic [of 51.1] reads repose, but this seems to be a misunderstanding caused by the end of Saying 50.3.
          Message 4 of 20 , Apr 27, 2010
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            Rick wrote:
            > Evidently you have given this some careful attention while I, on the
            other
            > hand, haven't had the time to look at all that carefully, so I
            checked the
            > "usual suspects" (Patterson, Valantasis and DeConick) to see
            which scholars
            > advocate the displacement of anastasis  by
            anapausis. My admittedly quick
            > look indicates only DeConick in favor the
            hypothesis (_The Gospel of Thomas
            > in Translation_:182-183). Maybe you
            could direct me to commentators with
            > similar views.
             
            Patterson et al (The Fifth Gospel) notes:
            "The Coptic [of 51.1] reads 'repose,' but this seems to be a misunderstanding
            caused by the end of Saying 50.3. Cf. 2 Tim 2:18." (p.19)
             
            Of course, L50 does end with the word anapausis, and perhaps the
            scribe inadvertently copied that word instead of anastasis into the opening
            of the next saying (on the next line), but I think there's a technical word for
            that kind of scribal error. If the word "misunderstanding" is just a dumbed-
            down replacement, it's a pretty poor one, since it suggests something
            different, for which there's no apparent support. In any case, the reference
            to 2 Timothy is intended to support the view that 'resurrection' was intended:
             
            "[Some] have gone astray from the truth, saying that the resurrection
            has already taken place ..."
             
            Now as to DeConick, her view is more complex. If I've got it right,
            she thinks that 'resurrection' was the word when the saying was first
            formulated, but that it later became 'repose' - not through scribal
            error, but through ideological change. (TOGTT, p.183)

            That's pretty much all I've worked up on this.
             
            Mike
          • Rick Hubbard
            Thanks for the clarification about who-is-where in the spectrum of opinion about the integrity of the text in L 51. FWIW this whole business of appealing to
            Message 5 of 20 , Apr 28, 2010
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              Thanks for the clarification about "who-is-where" in the spectrum of opinion
              about the integrity of the text in L 51.

              FWIW this whole business of appealing to "scribal errors" or
              "misunderstanding" as a means of resolving tough interpretive issues is a
              bit of a cop-out in my opinion. Someday, when I have absolutely **nothing**
              else to do, I'd love to plough through 3 or 4 recent commentaries and count
              how many times such suggestions arise.

              As I think about it, it seems to me that a lot of the most recent discussion
              topics here on this list have revolved around whether or not the text reads
              the way it reads.

              Rick

              ||-----Original Message-----
              ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
              ||Behalf Of Michael Grondin
              ||Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 11:26 PM
              ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
              ||Subject: Re: [GTh] The Sabbath in Th27
              ||
              ||
              ||
              ||Rick wrote:
              ||> Evidently you have given this some careful attention while I, on the
              ||> other hand, haven't had the time to look at all that carefully, so I
              ||> checked the "usual suspects" (Patterson, Valantasis and DeConick) to
              ||> see which scholars advocate the displacement of anastasis by
              ||> anapausis. My admittedly quick look indicates only DeConick in favor
              ||> the hypothesis (_The Gospel of Thomas in Translation_:182-183). Maybe
              ||> you could direct me to commentators with similar views.
              ||
              ||Patterson et al (The Fifth Gospel) notes:
              ||"The Coptic [of 51.1] reads 'repose,' but this seems to be a
              misunderstanding
              ||caused by the end of Saying 50.3. Cf. 2 Tim 2:18." (p.19)
              ||
              ||Of course, L50 does end with the word anapausis, and perhaps the scribe
              ||inadvertently copied that word instead of anastasis into the opening of
              the next
              ||saying (on the next line), but I think there's a technical word for that
              kind of
              ||scribal error. If the word "misunderstanding" is just a dumbed- down
              ||replacement, it's a pretty poor one, since it suggests something
              different, for
              ||which there's no apparent support. In any case, the reference to 2 Timothy
              is
              ||intended to support the view that 'resurrection' was intended:
              ||
              ||"[Some] have gone astray from the truth, saying that the resurrection has
              ||already taken place ..."
              ||
              ||Now as to DeConick, her view is more complex. If I've got it right, she
              thinks that
              ||'resurrection' was the word when the saying was first formulated, but that
              it later
              ||became 'repose' - not through scribal error, but through ideological
              change.
              ||(TOGTT, p.183)
              ||
              ||That's pretty much all I've worked up on this.
              ||
              ||Mike
              ||
              ||
            • Judy Redman
              Rick says: FWIW this whole business of appealing to scribal errors or misunderstanding as a means of resolving tough interpretive issues is a bit of a
              Message 6 of 20 , Apr 29, 2010
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                Rick says:


                FWIW this whole business of appealing to "scribal errors" or
                "misunderstanding" as a means of resolving tough interpretive issues is a
                bit of a cop-out in my opinion. Someday, when I have absolutely **nothing**
                else to do, I'd love to plough through 3 or 4 recent commentaries and count
                how many times such suggestions arise.

                As I think about it, it seems to me that a lot of the most recent discussion
                topics here on this list have revolved around whether or not the text reads
                the way it reads.

                I think this is a tricky issue. Because we only have one complete (we hope) copy of the manuscript and therefore have no real way of judging its quality, it’s really difficult to know how likely scribal errors (or deliberate adaptations) are. We certainly have evidence from POxy 1 that the sayings were not always recorded in the same order as they are in NH II,2, but what the significance of that is, we have no way of telling.  It’s certainly very tempting to adjust the text to make it say things that make sense to us.

                 

                I actually think that the scientific method is not the most useful way of approaching the analysis of ancient texts in that it starts with an hypothesis which you need to test. I think that having an hypothesis when you approach an ancient text is problematic, because you tend only to see things that support your hypothesis and to interpret things in ways that support your hypothesis. I think it’s much better to start with a question like “how are these two texts related?” or “what is this piece of text saying?” which doesn’t put fences around your potential conclusions.

                 

                Judy

                 

                --

                Judy Redman
                PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
                University of New England
                Armidale 2351 Australia
                ph:  +61 2 6773 3401
                mob: 0437 044 579
                web: 
                 http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
                email: 
                 jredman2@...
                 

                 

              • Bob Schacht
                ... Since you are a candidate in the School of Humanities, I scarcely expect that you would take any other position. You are echoing what you have been taught,
                Message 7 of 20 , Apr 29, 2010
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                  At 12:16 AM 4/29/2010, Judy Redman wrote:

                  ...I actually think that the scientific method is not the most useful way of approaching the analysis of ancient texts in that it starts with an hypothesis which you need to test. I think that having an hypothesis when you approach an ancient text is problematic, because you tend only to see things that support your hypothesis and to interpret things in ways that support your hypothesis. I think it’s much better to start with a question like “how are these two texts related?” or “what is this piece of text saying?” which doesn’t put fences around your potential conclusions.

                   
                  Judy Redman
                  PhD Candidate, School of Humanities

                  Since you are a candidate in the School of Humanities, I scarcely expect that you would take any other position.
                  You are echoing what you have been taught, in the best tradition of C.P. Snow's The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1961).

                  I do not suggest that the scientific method is the one and only Path to Truth and Beauty, but I hate to see it cast aside so cavalierly. I think it is often a most excellent idea to have a hypothesis to test when approaching the issues posed by ancient texts. It can lead to clarity of thought, and pushes one to be more precise in one's arguments.

                  You are arguing, on behalf of your humanities mentors, for inductive method. This has a useful place as well, but often leads to muddy thinking which leaves me rather frustrated. For example, take Crossan's suggestion that the passion narrative was "prophecy historicized," best articulated in his book, The Birth of Christianity. This is a useful idea, because it suggests a process by which other prophecies might have become historicized. We had a special e-mail seminar with Crossan about BOC years ago hosted by XTalk in which I tried to press Crossan on this issue: How is it that a prophecy becomes historicized? But Crossan had only his one example, which involved cherry-picking isolated bits of prophecy from here and there, and he refused to engage in any discussion about this intriguing alleged historical process. IOW, he refused to indulge in proposing any hypotheses that might be tested. This left me feeling that his intriguing suggestion was nothing more than ex post facto rationalization.

                  Questions such as “how are these two texts related?” can be answered most satisfyingly when the relationship can be shown to be the result of a process known elsewhere, following a predictable path, rather than a unique process that renders the relationship sui generis. The latter always makes me suggest that some kind of special pleading is at work. Without the work of hypothesis testing, Crossan's proposal regarding “how are these two texts related?” wrt prophecy historicized falls flat on its face as a unique, sui generis, special pleading.

                  Scholarship works best when the community of scholars can work both inductively and deductively, recognizing the value which each methodology can bring to the table.

                  Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
                  Northern Arizona University
                • kurt31416
                  Hi Bob, Seems to me, that if we identify the synoptic (and other) parallels in Thomas, we have numbers we can test with formal mathematical statistical
                  Message 8 of 20 , Apr 29, 2010
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                    Hi Bob,

                    Seems to me, that if we identify the synoptic (and other) parallels in Thomas, we have numbers we can test with formal mathematical statistical methods. Theories of who got what from whom that can be tested by experiment.

                    For instance, no Mark Parallels between sayings 66 and 99 in Thomas according to the "Five Gospels". Hard mathematics says the chance of that happening by random luck is less than 1%. Not 100%, but what else in the study of the historical Jesus is 99% certain? Seems any theory would need to explain that experiment. (And that the four Mark parallels afterwords are single saying and tiny Coptic blocks, and the non-Mark part is huge Coptic blocks.)

                    Or, that there are virutally no GJohn/Mark sayings parallels/Cf's, never more than 2 in a row, all through Mark, until the end, where there's 10 in a row. The probability of that happening by chance is like the grains of sand in the Universe. Seems any theory should be able to predict that mathematically, scientifically measured experiment too.

                    Granted, parallels are matters of opinion, but it's at least something you can get a mathematical, experiment predicting (science), handle on.

                    Rick Van Vliet
                  • Bob Schacht
                    ... In order to do this properly, there are several considerations that need to be established. First is clarity on what the hypothesis is. What is your
                    Message 9 of 20 , Apr 30, 2010
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                      At 10:40 PM 4/29/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
                       

                      Hi Bob,

                      Seems to me, that if we identify the synoptic (and other) parallels in Thomas, we have numbers we can test with formal mathematical statistical methods. Theories of who got what from whom that can be tested by experiment.

                      For instance, no Mark Parallels between sayings 66 and 99 in Thomas according to the "Five Gospels". Hard mathematics says the chance of that happening by random luck is less than 1%. Not 100%, but what else in the study of the historical Jesus is 99% certain? Seems any theory would need to explain that experiment. (And that the four Mark parallels afterwords are single saying and tiny Coptic blocks, and the non-Mark part is huge Coptic blocks.)

                      In order to do this properly, there are several considerations that need to be established.
                      First is clarity on what the hypothesis is. What is your hypothesis? It sounds like it is this: That the distribution of sayings with Mark Parallels in GTh is random. Is that it? Note that this hypothesis requires paying attention to the distribution of Markan parallels throughout GThomas, not just "between sayings 66 and 99". This hypothesis might be interesting, since the reasons for the order of the sayings in this text is presently unclear. If it can be demonstrated that the distribution of sayings with Markan parallels within GTh is nonrandom, that could be of interest.

                      Second, I am always wary of such proclamations as "Hard mathematics says..." This is tendentious, and looks like an attempt to dress up your undisclosed methodology with impressions of precision. What  methodology are you using, exactly?

                      The scientific method requires precision in hypothesis formulation as well as accuracy in methodology. I don't see either in your brief presentation. Please clarify.

                      Bob Schacht
                      Northern Arizona University
                    • kurt31416
                      If science can do anything, it can identify explicit superstition. Seems any theory would have to be compatible with the location of superstition. And when it
                      Message 10 of 20 , Apr 30, 2010
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                        If science can do anything, it can identify explicit superstition. Seems any theory would have to be compatible with the location of superstition.

                        And when it comes to explicit superstition, from the viewpoint of science, the Gospel of Thomas stands alone. Lots of incomprehensible stuff, but no miracles or supernatural creatures other than a rather abstract Father, and his Life Force, that never says or does anything, that you don't pray to, and is no big deal to cuss. And you can reel off no Judgment Day, no Virgin Birth, no rising from the dead, on and on, all explicit superstition from the viewpoint of science.

                        Doubting Thomas indeed.

                        Seems any theory of a Gospel of Thomas evolving over time, would need to explain how no explicit superstition from the viewpoint of science was ever added to it.

                        Rick Van Vliet
                      • kurt31416
                        Hi Bob, thanks for the thoughtful reply, My point is a general one that if we can identify the parallels, it gives us the ability to put a mathematical handle
                        Message 11 of 20 , Apr 30, 2010
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                          Hi Bob, thanks for the thoughtful reply,

                          My point is a general one that if we can identify the parallels, it gives us the ability to put a mathematical handle on it, to be able to test theories' ability to predict experiments. One hypotheisis would be that the parallels in Mark are random. That one you can get a hard math answer to, by looking at that big Mark gap between 66 and 99. Less than 1% the way the Jesus Seminar broke apart the sayings, about 1.2% by saying, would have a gap that large or larger if you rolled dice. You can take that to Las Vegas. A universal system to test the randomness of the distribution of things by looking at the largest gap. I posted it here before, I'll go get it. It's never been published elsewhere that I'm aware of. You'd think someone had already done the math to calculate the probability of a gap of a certain size for this kind of case, but apparantly they never have. It's harder than it looks. By saying, I took it as far as proving it was smaller than one out of 40. And experimentally, by having a computer roll the dice hundreds of thousands of times, which consistantly produce a result of about 1 in 80. (Less than 1 in 100 by partial sayings) I'll go bump it with brief commentary.

                          There's plenty more strange about Mark. Ratio of Mark to Q before 66 is 7 times higher than after #66. (Five Gospels parallels, Q defined as Matthew plus Luke, but not Mark, per saying.)

                          One could defend the position that before #66 is the Mark part of Thomas, and after #66 is the Q part.

                          In addition to the math, it also gives the human brain, a picture, that we are very good at sorting out intuitively, so we know where to go do the math. One could calculate the odds there the ratio would be at least seven times higher, etc, but good to know where to look. For instance, here's the Mark and Q sayings in Thomas, before and after #66, according to the Jesus Seminar. Intuitively, does that look random?

                          http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html

                          The one hypothesis I want to test with it, the one that's interesting to me lately, is that there was a Christianized version of Thomas, a lot like the notion of Q, except Mark saw it too. But that's another whole ball of wax.

                          Rick Van Vliet
                        • Judy Redman
                          Actually, Bob, my first degree is in Agricultural Science where I learned about the scientific method and then put it into practice whilst feeding 196 broiler
                          Message 12 of 20 , Apr 30, 2010
                          • 0 Attachment

                            Actually, Bob, my first degree is in Agricultural Science where I learned about the scientific method and then put it into practice whilst feeding 196 broiler chickens on four different diets. J

                             

                            My frustration with the development of hypotheses is that they tend to prejudice the outcomes in many situations, because you only test the hypotheses that you can think of. When people look at parallels between Gos Thom and they synoptics there are a range of hypotheses that can be developed, but the ones that people seem to have tested are:

                             

                            Thomas is dependent on Matthew

                            Matthew is dependent on Thomas

                            The two are independent

                             

                            I haven’t seen much attention paid to the possibility that they have a common source but have followed different trajectories.

                             

                            When people try to decide if Thomas is Gnostic, or encratic or mystic or wisdom literature, using the scientific method seems to result in people opting with one of the four options, whereas I don’t see that they’re necessarily mutually exclusive.

                             

                            Perhaps the scientific method is useful after you ask inductive questions, but I don’t think it’s always a good starting point.

                             

                            Judy

                            --

                            Judy Redman
                            PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
                            University of New England
                            Armidale 2351 Australia
                            ph:  +61 2 6773 3401
                            mob: 0437 044 579
                            web: 
                             http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
                            email: 
                             jredman2@...
                             

                             

                            From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bob Schacht
                            Sent: Friday, 30 April 2010 1:43 AM
                            To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: RE: [GTh] The Scientific method

                             

                             

                            At 12:16 AM 4/29/2010, Judy Redman wrote:

                            ...I actually think that the scientific method is not the most useful way of approaching the analysis of ancient texts in that it starts with an hypothesis which you need to test. I think that having an hypothesis when you approach an ancient text is problematic, because you tend only to see things that support your hypothesis and to interpret things in ways that support your hypothesis. I think it’s much better to start with a question like “how are these two texts related?” or “what is this piece of text saying?” which doesn’t put fences around your potential conclusions.

                             
                            Judy Redman
                            PhD Candidate, School of Humanities


                            Since you are a candidate in the School of Humanities, I scarcely expect that you would take any other position.
                            You are echoing what you have been taught, in the best tradition of C.P. Snow's The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1961).

                            I do not suggest that the scientific method is the one and only Path to Truth and Beauty, but I hate to see it cast aside so cavalierly. I think it is often a most excellent idea to have a hypothesis to test when approaching the issues posed by ancient texts. It can lead to clarity of thought, and pushes one to be more precise in one's arguments.

                            You are arguing, on behalf of your humanities mentors, for inductive method. This has a useful place as well, but often leads to muddy thinking which leaves me rather frustrated. For example, take Crossan's suggestion that the passion narrative was "prophecy historicized," best articulated in his book, The Birth of Christianity. This is a useful idea, because it suggests a process by which other prophecies might have become historicized. We had a special e-mail seminar with Crossan about BOC years ago hosted by XTalk in which I tried to press Crossan on this issue: How is it that a prophecy becomes historicized? But Crossan had only his one example, which involved cherry-picking isolated bits of prophecy from here and there, and he refused to engage in any discussion about this intriguing alleged historical process. IOW, he refused to indulge in proposing any hypotheses that might be tested. This left me feeling that his intriguing suggestion was nothing more than ex post facto rationalization.

                            Questions such as “how are these two texts related?” can be answered most satisfyingly when the relationship can be shown to be the result of a process known elsewhere, following a predictable path, rather than a unique process that renders the relationship sui generis. The latter always makes me suggest that some kind of special pleading is at work. Without the work of hypothesis testing, Crossan's proposal regarding “how are these two texts related?” wrt prophecy historicized falls flat on its face as a unique, sui generis, special pleading.

                            Scholarship works best when the community of scholars can work both inductively and deductively, recognizing the value which each methodology can bring to the table.

                            Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
                            Northern Arizona University

                          • Bob Schacht
                            ... What do you mean by random? Do you mean that the composer of a saying in GTh decides at random whether or not to include a Markan parallel? Or that
                            Message 13 of 20 , May 1, 2010
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                              At 11:09 PM 4/30/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
                               

                              Hi Bob, thanks for the thoughtful reply,

                              My point is a general one that if we can identify the parallels, it gives us the ability to put a mathematical handle on it, to be able to test theories' ability to predict experiments. One hypotheisis would be that the parallels in Mark are random.

                              What do you mean by random? Do you mean that the composer of a saying in GTh decides at random whether or not to include a Markan parallel? Or that existing "sayings" were selected for inclusion in the list of sayings at random, with respect to whether or not there is a Markan parallel? Please clarify what you mean by "random" in this context.

                              That one you can get a hard math answer to, by looking at that big Mark gap between 66 and 99. Less than 1% the way the Jesus Seminar broke apart the sayings, about 1.2% by saying, would have a gap that large or larger if you rolled dice. You can take that to Las Vegas. A universal system to test the randomness of the distribution of things by looking at the largest gap. I posted it here before, I'll go get it. It's never been published elsewhere that I'm aware of.

                              Well, then chances are(!) that your method is poppycock. If no one has done it before, there's probably a reason. Or perhaps your literature search has not been effective.

                              The better parallel is not rolling dice, but tossing a coin, in which, say, "Heads" means a Markan Parallel, and "Tails" means no Markan parallel.
                              "Gaps" of the kind you point to are not uncommon in coin toss sequences. But you can't just look at the gap; you have to look at the entire sequence. For example, a "gap" of 33, such as you point to, would be very rare in a run of 33, but in a run of, say, a million, the odds are much greater of finding such a "gap" somewhere in the sequence. The mathematics of this have been the object of many studies. Avoid reinventing the wheel, when this particular wheel has been well studied.

                              There are also standard statistical tests that could apply to this situation, regarding Ordinal Testing (see, for example,
                              http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordhlp.htm)
                              This requires that the sayings in GTh be divided into two groups: those with Markan Parallels, and those without. It is an ordinal test because the sayings in GTh are presented in a certain order that is fixed. These are usually described as runs tests because the sayings in GTh can be described as a "run" in which each saying can be represented by a letter indicating whether or not each saying has a Markan parallel. So, for example, if M designates a Markan parallel, and X means no Markan parallel, GTh could be represented by a string such as
                              XXMMXMXXXXMMXMXM....

                              But you still need to play close attention to exactly what your hypothesis is.

                               You'd think someone had already done the math to calculate the probability of a gap of a certain size for this kind of case, but apparantly they never have.

                              Baloney. See above.

                               It's harder than it looks. By saying, I took it as far as proving it was smaller than one out of 40. And experimentally, by having a computer roll the dice hundreds of thousands of times, which consistantly produce a result of about 1 in 80. (Less than 1 in 100 by partial sayings) I'll go bump it with brief commentary.

                              You're barking up the wrong tree.


                              There's plenty more strange about Mark. Ratio of Mark to Q before 66 is 7 times higher than after #66. (Five Gospels parallels, Q defined as Matthew plus Luke, but not Mark, per saying.)

                              One could defend the position that before #66 is the Mark part of Thomas, and after #66 is the Q part.

                              Now you're getting into more interesting territory. You're dabbling in hypotheses about the source for *blocks* of text


                              In addition to the math, it also gives the human brain, a picture, that we are very good at sorting out intuitively, so we know where to go do the math. One could calculate the odds there the ratio would be at least seven times higher, etc, but good to know where to look. For instance, here's the Mark and Q sayings in Thomas, before and after #66, according to the Jesus Seminar. Intuitively, does that look random?

                              http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html

                              The one hypothesis I want to test with it, the one that's interesting to me lately, is that there was a Christianized version of Thomas, a lot like the notion of Q, except Mark saw it too. But that's another whole ball of wax.

                              Yes. For starters, you'll have to define what a "Christianized" saying looks like.

                              Always, always be clear about exactly what your hypothesis is.

                              Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
                              Northern Arizona University
                            • Bob Schacht
                              ... Thanks for your thoughtful response. It is true that testing hypotheses is an exercise in futility if the hypothesis is poorly formulated, or trivial. As
                              Message 14 of 20 , May 1, 2010
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                                At 11:47 PM 4/30/2010, Judy Redman wrote:
                                 

                                Actually, Bob, my first degree is in Agricultural Science where I learned about the scientific method and then put it into practice whilst feeding 196 broiler chickens on four different diets.

                                My frustration with the development of hypotheses is that they tend to prejudice the outcomes in many situations, because you only test the hypotheses that you can think of. When people look at parallels between Gos Thom and they synoptics there are a range of hypotheses that can be developed, but the ones that people seem to have tested are:

                                Thomas is dependent on Matthew

                                Matthew is dependent on Thomas

                                The two are independent

                                I haven�t seen much attention paid to the possibility that they have a common source but have followed different trajectories.

                                 
                                When people try to decide if Thomas is Gnostic, or encratic or mystic or wisdom literature, using the scientific method seems to result in people opting with one of the four options, whereas I don�t see that they�re necessarily mutually exclusive.

                                Perhaps the scientific method is useful after you ask inductive questions, but I don�t think it�s always a good starting point.

                                Judy

                                Thanks for your thoughtful response.
                                It is true that testing hypotheses is an exercise in futility if the hypothesis is poorly formulated, or trivial.
                                As in many areas of life, a good question is the best starting point, but a "good question" can be formulated either inductively (more open ended) or deductively.

                                Some people are very good at formulating good questions in hypothesis form; many others are not. Part of the problem is that our education system does not seem to focus very much on asking good questions, or forming good hypotheses.

                                Inductive questioning is often very sloppy and poorly defined. Starting with a poorly formulated inductive question can result in a lot of wasted time and futile activity, leading to woolly-headed conclusions. Starting with a well-formulated hypothesis can result in a very efficient and decisive outcome.

                                We need both inductive and deductive approaches, for best results. Either way, starting with a good question is the key.

                                Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
                                Northern Arizona University
                              • Rick Hubbard
                                Hi Bob- Just for the record, I see from the changed subject line on your post that you thought you were replying to my remarks, but you in fact were replying
                                Message 15 of 20 , May 1, 2010
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Hi Bob-

                                  Just for the record, I see from the changed subject line on your post that
                                  you thought you were replying to my remarks, but you in fact were replying
                                  to Kurt, instead.

                                  Rick



                                  ||-----Original Message-----
                                  ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
                                  ||Behalf Of Bob Schacht
                                  ||Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2010 2:08 PM
                                  ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                  ||Subject: Rick Re: [GTh] Re: The Scientific method
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||At 11:09 PM 4/30/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  || Hi Bob, thanks for the thoughtful reply,
                                  ||
                                  || My point is a general one that if we can identify the parallels, it
                                  gives us
                                  ||the ability to put a mathematical handle on it, to be able to test
                                  theories' ability
                                  ||to predict experiments. One hypotheisis would be that the parallels in
                                  Mark are
                                  ||random.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||What do you mean by random? Do you mean that the composer of a saying in
                                  ||GTh decides at random whether or not to include a Markan parallel? Or that
                                  ||existing "sayings" were selected for inclusion in the list of sayings at
                                  random,
                                  ||with respect to whether or not there is a Markan parallel? Please clarify
                                  what
                                  ||you mean by "random" in this context.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  || That one you can get a hard math answer to, by looking at that big
                                  Mark
                                  ||gap between 66 and 99. Less than 1% the way the Jesus Seminar broke apart
                                  ||the sayings, about 1.2% by saying, would have a gap that large or larger
                                  if you
                                  ||rolled dice. You can take that to Las Vegas. A universal system to test
                                  the
                                  ||randomness of the distribution of things by looking at the largest gap. I
                                  posted
                                  ||it here before, I'll go get it. It's never been published elsewhere that
                                  I'm aware
                                  ||of.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||Well, then chances are(!) that your method is poppycock. If no one has
                                  done it
                                  ||before, there's probably a reason. Or perhaps your literature search has
                                  not
                                  ||been effective.
                                  ||
                                  ||The better parallel is not rolling dice, but tossing a coin, in which,
                                  say, "Heads"
                                  ||means a Markan Parallel, and "Tails" means no Markan parallel.
                                  ||"Gaps" of the kind you point to are not uncommon in coin toss sequences.
                                  But
                                  ||you can't just look at the gap; you have to look at the entire sequence.
                                  For
                                  ||example, a "gap" of 33, such as you point to, would be very rare in a run
                                  of 33,
                                  ||but in a run of, say, a million, the odds are much greater of finding such
                                  a
                                  ||"gap" somewhere in the sequence. The mathematics of this have been the
                                  ||object of many studies. Avoid reinventing the wheel, when this particular
                                  wheel
                                  ||has been well studied.
                                  ||
                                  ||There are also standard statistical tests that could apply to this
                                  situation,
                                  ||regarding Ordinal Testing (see, for example,
                                  ||http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordhlp.htm
                                  ||<http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordhlp.htm> ) This
                                  requires
                                  ||that the sayings in GTh be divided into two groups: those with Markan
                                  Parallels,
                                  ||and those without. It is an ordinal test because the sayings in GTh are
                                  ||presented in a certain order that is fixed. These are usually described as
                                  runs
                                  ||tests because the sayings in GTh can be described as a "run" in which each
                                  ||saying can be represented by a letter indicating whether or not each
                                  saying has
                                  ||a Markan parallel. So, for example, if M designates a Markan parallel, and
                                  X
                                  ||means no Markan parallel, GTh could be represented by a string such as
                                  ||XXMMXMXXXXMMXMXM....
                                  ||
                                  ||But you still need to play close attention to exactly what your hypothesis
                                  is.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  || You'd think someone had already done the math to calculate the
                                  ||probability of a gap of a certain size for this kind of case, but
                                  apparantly they
                                  ||never have.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||Baloney. See above.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  || It's harder than it looks. By saying, I took it as far as proving
                                  it was
                                  ||smaller than one out of 40. And experimentally, by having a computer roll
                                  the
                                  ||dice hundreds of thousands of times, which consistantly produce a result
                                  of
                                  ||about 1 in 80. (Less than 1 in 100 by partial sayings) I'll go bump it
                                  with brief
                                  ||commentary.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||You're barking up the wrong tree.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  || There's plenty more strange about Mark. Ratio of Mark to Q before 66
                                  is 7
                                  ||times higher than after #66. (Five Gospels parallels, Q defined as Matthew
                                  plus
                                  ||Luke, but not Mark, per saying.)
                                  ||
                                  || One could defend the position that before #66 is the Mark part of
                                  Thomas,
                                  ||and after #66 is the Q part.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||Now you're getting into more interesting territory. You're dabbling in
                                  hypotheses
                                  ||about the source for *blocks* of text
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  || In addition to the math, it also gives the human brain, a picture,
                                  that we
                                  ||are very good at sorting out intuitively, so we know where to go do the
                                  math.
                                  ||One could calculate the odds there the ratio would be at least seven times
                                  ||higher, etc, but good to know where to look. For instance, here's the Mark
                                  and
                                  ||Q sayings in Thomas, before and after #66, according to the Jesus Seminar.
                                  ||Intuitively, does that look random?
                                  ||
                                  || http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html
                                  ||<http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html>
                                  ||
                                  || The one hypothesis I want to test with it, the one that's
                                  interesting to me
                                  ||lately, is that there was a Christianized version of Thomas, a lot like
                                  the notion of
                                  ||Q, except Mark saw it too. But that's another whole ball of wax.
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                  ||Yes. For starters, you'll have to define what a "Christianized" saying
                                  looks like.
                                  ||
                                  ||Always, always be clear about exactly what your hypothesis is.
                                  ||
                                  ||Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
                                  ||Northern Arizona University
                                  ||
                                  ||
                                • Bob Schacht
                                  ... I guess I should address him as Kurt, even though he signs as Rick Van Vliet Or maybe RickVV? Bob
                                  Message 16 of 20 , May 1, 2010
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                                    At 05:17 PM 5/1/2010, Rick Hubbard wrote:
                                     

                                    Hi Bob-

                                    Just for the record, I see from the changed subject line on your post that
                                    you thought you were replying to my remarks, but you in fact were replying
                                    to Kurt, instead.

                                    Rick

                                    I guess I should address him as Kurt, even though he signs as "Rick Van Vliet"
                                    Or maybe RickVV?

                                    Bob


                                    ||-----Original Message-----
                                    ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [ mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
                                    ||Behalf Of Bob Schacht
                                    ||Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2010 2:08 PM
                                    ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                    ||Subject: Rick Re: [GTh] Re: The Scientific method
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||At 11:09 PM 4/30/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||Hi Bob, thanks for the thoughtful reply,
                                    ||
                                    ||My point is a general one that if we can identify the parallels, it
                                    gives us
                                    ||the ability to put a mathematical handle on it, to be able to test
                                    theories' ability
                                    ||to predict experiments. One hypotheisis would be that the parallels in
                                    Mark are
                                    ||random.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||What do you mean by random? Do you mean that the composer of a saying in
                                    ||GTh decides at random whether or not to include a Markan parallel? Or that
                                    ||existing "sayings" were selected for inclusion in the list of sayings at
                                    random,
                                    ||with respect to whether or not there is a Markan parallel? Please clarify
                                    what
                                    ||you mean by "random" in this context.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||That one you can get a hard math answer to, by looking at that big
                                    Mark
                                    ||gap between 66 and 99. Less than 1% the way the Jesus Seminar broke apart
                                    ||the sayings, about 1.2% by saying, would have a gap that large or larger
                                    if you
                                    ||rolled dice. You can take that to Las Vegas. A universal system to test
                                    the
                                    ||randomness of the distribution of things by looking at the largest gap. I
                                    posted
                                    ||it here before, I'll go get it. It's never been published elsewhere that
                                    I'm aware
                                    ||of.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||Well, then chances are(!) that your method is poppycock. If no one has
                                    done it
                                    ||before, there's probably a reason. Or perhaps your literature search has
                                    not
                                    ||been effective.
                                    ||
                                    ||The better parallel is not rolling dice, but tossing a coin, in which,
                                    say, "Heads"
                                    ||means a Markan Parallel, and "Tails" means no Markan parallel.
                                    ||"Gaps" of the kind you point to are not uncommon in coin toss sequences.
                                    But
                                    ||you can't just look at the gap; you have to look at the entire sequence.
                                    For
                                    ||example, a "gap" of 33, such as you point to, would be very rare in a run
                                    of 33,
                                    ||but in a run of, say, a million, the odds are much greater of finding such
                                    a
                                    ||"gap" somewhere in the sequence. The mathematics of this have been the
                                    ||object of many studies. Avoid reinventing the wheel, when this particular
                                    wheel
                                    ||has been well studied.
                                    ||
                                    ||There are also standard statistical tests that could apply to this
                                    situation,
                                    ||regarding Ordinal Testing (see, for example,
                                    || http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordhlp.htm
                                    ||< http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordhlp.htm> ) This
                                    requires
                                    ||that the sayings in GTh be divided into two groups: those with Markan
                                    Parallels,
                                    ||and those without. It is an ordinal test because the sayings in GTh are
                                    ||presented in a certain order that is fixed. These are usually described as
                                    runs
                                    ||tests because the sayings in GTh can be described as a "run" in which each
                                    ||saying can be represented by a letter indicating whether or not each
                                    saying has
                                    ||a Markan parallel. So, for example, if M designates a Markan parallel, and
                                    X
                                    ||means no Markan parallel, GTh could be represented by a string such as
                                    ||XXMMXMXXXXMMXMXM....
                                    ||
                                    ||But you still need to play close attention to exactly what your hypothesis
                                    is.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    || You'd think someone had already done the math to calculate the
                                    ||probability of a gap of a certain size for this kind of case, but
                                    apparantly they
                                    ||never have.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||Baloney. See above.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    || It's harder than it looks. By saying, I took it as far as proving
                                    it was
                                    ||smaller than one out of 40. And experimentally, by having a computer roll
                                    the
                                    ||dice hundreds of thousands of times, which consistantly produce a result
                                    of
                                    ||about 1 in 80. (Less than 1 in 100 by partial sayings) I'll go bump it
                                    with brief
                                    ||commentary.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||You're barking up the wrong tree.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||There's plenty more strange about Mark. Ratio of Mark to Q before 66
                                    is 7
                                    ||times higher than after #66. (Five Gospels parallels, Q defined as Matthew
                                    plus
                                    ||Luke, but not Mark, per saying.)
                                    ||
                                    ||One could defend the position that before #66 is the Mark part of
                                    Thomas,
                                    ||and after #66 is the Q part.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||Now you're getting into more interesting territory. You're dabbling in
                                    hypotheses
                                    ||about the source for *blocks* of text
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||In addition to the math, it also gives the human brain, a picture,
                                    that we
                                    ||are very good at sorting out intuitively, so we know where to go do the
                                    math.
                                    ||One could calculate the odds there the ratio would be at least seven times
                                    ||higher, etc, but good to know where to look. For instance, here's the Mark
                                    and
                                    ||Q sayings in Thomas, before and after #66, according to the Jesus Seminar.
                                    ||Intuitively, does that look random?
                                    ||
                                    || http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html
                                    ||< http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/Mark-QInThomas.html>
                                    ||
                                    ||The one hypothesis I want to test with it, the one that's
                                    interesting to me
                                    ||lately, is that there was a Christianized version of Thomas, a lot like
                                    the notion of
                                    ||Q, except Mark saw it too. But that's another whole ball of wax.
                                    ||
                                    ||
                                    ||Yes. For starters, you'll have to define what a "Christianized" saying
                                    looks like.
                                    ||
                                    ||Always, always be clear about exactly what your hypothesis is.
                                    ||
                                    ||Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
                                    ||Northern Arizona University
                                    ||
                                    ||

                                  • kurt31416
                                    Hi Bob, By random, I mean how close to algorithmically random the statistical sample is. Algortihmically random being random with the lucky rolls removed, what
                                    Message 17 of 20 , May 2, 2010
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                                      Hi Bob,

                                      By random, I mean how close to algorithmically random the statistical sample is. Algortihmically random being random with the lucky rolls removed, what you approach if you roll the dice a lot.

                                      In this case, we could use sophisticated techniques like fuzzy k clustering or whatever to test the randomness of Thomas, but I'm not so sure the results would be as strong. Lots of arbitrary choices, and far from intuitively clear you've accomplished anything.

                                      But, given the number of possibilities, (number of sayings or partial sayings in Thomas), and number of instances, (number of Mark sayings or partial sayings), you can calculate the probability the largest gap (those 32 between 66 and 69) would happen if you rolled dice.

                                      In other words, what is the probability that 32 saying gap would happen by random chance, and it's less than 1 in 100.

                                      -------

                                      As for it being Poppycock, I'll turn the other cheek, even though I don't think Jesus ever said it, and it comes to us from Paul, through the Didache.

                                      I looked pretty hard, because I had a hard time getting a handle on it, and it sure seemed to be something someone would have done before. I did find a site with a "Mister Statistics" where people would ask obscure statistics questions and he would answer them. He came up with a solution, but it was wrong, which one of the posters pointed out, to his embarrassment, so he said he'd get back with the answer, but never did. So, it's relatively obscure, at least.

                                      But it's there, and it's hard pure math, and anyone comfortable with math can point out any error, certainly after my clarifying it, and determine if it's poppycock. Who knows, perhaps their literature search and/or knowledge of statistics will find a case of someone else doing it before. Hard for me to say about that, but I'm pretty certain the math is correct. For what it's worth, it wouldn't be the first time I solved a logic puzzle others seemed to find difficult.

                                      -

                                      Flipping a coin doesn't work logically, Bob, because the probability of a saying being a Mark saying in Thomas isn't 50/50. And, as Mark sayings are used up in your dice rolling, the odds change, depending on the luck of the dice in the first part. It's a more difficult puzzle than it first appears.

                                      The bottom line, Bob, is that less than 1 out of 100 cases, with that many Mark sayings out of 114, if random, will have a gap of 32 or more. Mathematical fact. Easy money at Las Vegas if they will bet against it.

                                      And no, from what I've seen, Biblical scholarship is rather weak on the math. Still waiting for one person to even be able to follow the relatively simple math/logic I presented. Granted I probably did a poor job of explaining it, but I'm here to answer questions. It's a universal system for testing randomness, not just Mark in Thomas.

                                      I hope that addressed all your points, if I missed one, let me know.

                                      Rick Van Vliet
                                    • kurt31416
                                      I ll answer to anything, no problem. I ll start signing Richard . Richard Van Vliet
                                      Message 18 of 20 , May 2, 2010
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                                        I'll answer to anything, no problem. I'll start signing "Richard".

                                        Richard Van Vliet
                                      • Bob Schacht
                                        ... This is not a dice roll problem. By your framing, this would be a die with only two faces, and that makes it a coin toss. [snip] ... Most statistics can
                                        Message 19 of 20 , May 3, 2010
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                                          At 04:33 PM 5/2/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
                                           

                                          Hi Bob,

                                          By random, I mean how close to algorithmically random the statistical sample is. Algortihmically random being random with the lucky rolls removed, what you approach if you roll the dice a lot.

                                          This is not a dice roll problem. By your framing, this would be a die with only two faces, and that makes it a coin toss.

                                          [snip]

                                          ...Flipping a coin doesn't work logically, Bob, because the probability of a saying being a Mark saying in Thomas isn't 50/50.

                                          Most statistics can handle this, using appropriate probabilities for each category (parallel/not parallel)

                                          And, as Mark sayings are used up in your dice rolling, the odds change, depending on the luck of the dice in the first part. It's a more difficult puzzle than it first appears.

                                          Here you make a good point, but wind up hoist on your own petard. This is the reason your dice analogy won't work, but it is a good point against my coin toss analogy. At the risk of provoking our list moderator's complaint against technicalities, this is covered in statistics by "sampling without replacement." But I shall eschew further discussion of the statistical details.

                                          I hope that addressed all your points, if I missed one, let me know.

                                          Richard Hubbard raised a series of excellent questions for you to ponder, regarding definition of terms.

                                          Bob Schacht
                                        • kurt31416
                                          Hi Bob, Well, if the equation says 99% of the time, if random, there wouldn t be a sequence that long, I ll bet on it. Sayings, sub sayings, sentences, words,
                                          Message 20 of 20 , May 3, 2010
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                                            Hi Bob,

                                            Well, if the equation says 99% of the time, if random, there wouldn't be a sequence that long, I'll bet on it.

                                            Sayings, sub sayings, sentences, words, or individual characters.

                                            And since the probability of a Mark (or anything in general) isn't 50/50, I just don't see your point about preferring a coin toss vs. dice. A fair dice/coin produces statistically random numbers, and if you roll/flip them a lot, it approaches maximum algorithmic randomness/maximum entropy/maximum complexity/largest compressed file size.

                                            Richard Van Vliet
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