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RE: [GTh] The Sabbath in Th27

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  • 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 1 of 20 , Apr 27, 2010
      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 2 of 20 , Apr 27, 2010
        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 3 of 20 , Apr 28, 2010
          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 4 of 20 , Apr 29, 2010

            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 5 of 20 , Apr 29, 2010
              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 6 of 20 , Apr 29, 2010
                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 7 of 20 , Apr 30, 2010
                  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 8 of 20 , Apr 30, 2010
                    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 9 of 20 , Apr 30, 2010
                      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 10 of 20 , Apr 30, 2010

                        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 11 of 20 , May 1, 2010
                          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 12 of 20 , May 1, 2010
                            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 13 of 20 , May 1, 2010
                              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 14 of 20 , May 1, 2010
                                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 15 of 20 , May 2, 2010
                                  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 16 of 20 , May 2, 2010
                                    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 17 of 20 , May 3, 2010
                                      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 18 of 20 , May 3, 2010
                                        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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